Monthly Archives: August 2018

Understanding the Modular Patch Panel

Cable management is a significant part of a network which is designed well. Managing cables have contributed to maintaining the essential function of data centers and protect devices from airflow blockages caused by unorganized and disordered cables. Therefore, users usually solve cabling problems with fiber patch panel, splicing fiber enclosure, server rack and other cable management methods. Among them, fiber optic patch panel is an economical, efficient and easy-to-use cable management solution for the modern data center. However, depending on different standards, there are different types of patch panels. Today, our topic is one kind of patch panels: the modular patch panel.

modular patch panel: cable management

What Is Modular Patch Panel

The modular patch panel, or unloaded patch panel, is a kind blank fiber patch panel without pre-loaded built-in ports. But the modular patch panel has reserved holes. The empty slot allows users to install different ports according to his needs, such as CAT5E/CAT6 insertion module. Therefore, these panels can terminate different cables when different connectors are required to be installed. In addition, a modular patch panel can connect multiple types of cables. Generally, the modular patch panel is installed in the high-density 1U rack. It can be easily installed on the standard racks, cabinets or wall brackets. All empty ports are also numbered in advance to facilitate connection and identification.

Flat and Angled Modular Patch Panel

According to the style of design, the modular patch panel includes two types: flat modular patch panels and angled modular patch panels. I’ve once seen the jokingly stated that the difference between the flat panel and angled panel is the aesthetic difference. In fact, the most essential difference between the flat modular patch panel and angled modular patch panel is indeed the shape, the former is straight, and the latter has a “V” angle.

Flat modular patch panels help horizontal cable managers organize and route cables to vertical managers. The angled patch panels facilitate cabling improvement. They are substitutes for management and do not require horizontal management of rack space. The angled patch panels increase the rack density and manage high-density applications in a quarter of the area required for conventional cable management systems. However, due to the requirement of front depth, the angled patch panels are not conducive to the installation of cabinets.


The modular patch panel is useful for eliminating cable clutter, leaving enough room for airflow, and maximizing the performance and scalability of the data center. Today’s data centers need a reliable, scalable, and manageable cabling infrastructure, and then patch panel cable management solutions address these trends and promote high-density data center cabling efficiency. By the way, when buying patch panels, there is no single solution that meets all cable management needs. We hope you can get a little knowledge of patch panel cable management technology to successfully deploy cables in the data center. FS.COM can provide you with not only many kinds of fiber patch panels, but also fiber enclosures and server racks which support your cable managing work.

Cable Jacket Rating: Something You Need to Know

As the first defense line against the surrounding environment, the cable jacket prevents the core of fiber optic cable from water, flame, chemistry, etc. Meanwhile, the outermost layer keeps inert to gases and liquids that may be exposed during its service life. Besides, the cable jacket provides a smooth, low friction surface. The jacket must be made of a material that can keep the cable flexibility and maintainability at all temperatures during its service life. Today our topic is the cable jacket rating of fiber optic cable.

What Is Cable Jacket?

The optical fiber cable is composed of the inner core, cladding, coating, strength member and the outer cable jacket. The core made of plastic or glass is a physical medium used for optical signal transmission. Because bare fibers are easily broken, outer cable jacket is required to protect optical fibers. Just like mentioned above, the cable jacket is the first line of moisture, mechanical, flame and chemical protection for cables. If there is no jacket, fiber optic cable is likely to be damaged during and after installation. Common jacket materials are PE (Polyethylene), PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen).

cable jacket: fiber cable structure

Fiber Cable Structure

Cable Jacket Rating of Fiber Optic Cable

In general, the NEC (National Electrical Code) provides eight grades of fire resistance for non-conductive and conductive cables. All indoor cables must be marked and installed for the intended purpose: plenums, risers, and general purpose areas.

  • Plenums: A plenum area is is used for air flow or air distribution system (ceiling and elevated floor) building space.
  • Risers: A riser area is a floor opening, shaft or pipe vertically passing through one or more floors.
  • General purpose areas: The general area refers to all other areas on the same floor without pressure ventilation systems or risers.

Cable jacket rating is important. If the cables do not have these ratings, they cannot be installed on walls or ceilings. Here we will introduce the most common cable jacket ratings that you will encounter.

  • CL/CM/CMG: These cable jackets are applicable to all common situations. Specifically, CL cables are used for audio and video applications, and CM/CMG for communication applications, such as Ethernet. They are all tested through the so-called “vertical tray flame test”, which means they usually won’t spread the flame more than eight feet. You can install these rated cables on walls or ceilings without worrying about risers and plenums at home.
  • CMR: The CMR rating means that the cables can be used in the risers of commercial buildings because they limit flame spread better than the cables in the CL/CM series. In addition to plenums, they can be installed anywhere.
  • CMP: “P” clearly represents the plenum, so in addition to the places where CM and CMR cables can operate, this communication cable can also be used for plenums. The jacket is made of the material that retards the spread of flame. It does not emit a large amount of smoke or poisonous gas when it burns.


These are the common ratings of fiber optic cable jacket. We should follow these cable jacket ratings in the NEC guidelines to minimize the risk of impact, fire and toxic smoke in each area, thus preventing fire. Besides, fiber optic cable plays an important role in the field of communication. You can visit to find fiber cables that can meet your needs, such as single mode fiber optic cable, multimode fiber optic cable, and fiber patch cord. I hope you can get your own cable.