Cat6 Patch Panel vs Cat6a: Difference and Usage

Patch panels are always the indispensable component of tidy and neat cabling system in the data center. There are many Ethernet patch panel types available on the market. According to different cable types, there are different patch panels, such as the cat6 patch panel and cat6a patch panel. Then what’s cat6 and cat6a patch panel? Will Cat6 patch panel work with Cat6a cable?

What Is Cat6 Patch Panel

As the name suggests, the Cat6 patch panel is designed for Cat6 cable management in Gigabit Ethernet applications. With these panels, users can easily manage cables and save space of the data center rack. The Cat6 patch panel features high density to deliver the performance needed for current and next generation data communication networks and applications. These high-density panels offer different port versions, such as the 24, 48 port patch panel.

Cat6 Patch Panel

Figure: Cat6 Patch Panel: used for Cat6 cable management

What Is Cat6a Patch Panel

The Cat6a patch panel is designed for Cat6a cable management. The Cat6a patch panel is a 10G series panel. It also can offer different port versions, such as 24 port Cat6a patch panel and 48 port Cat6a patch panel. The Cat6a patch panel features port labeling areas and port numbering for easy circuit identification. In addition, it offers maximum strength and durability. This Ethernet patch panel can be easily installed in a universal 19″ rack/cabinet or a wall-mounted bracket with a 1U standard height.

Difference Between Cat6 Patch Panel and Cat6a Patch Panel

In fact, there is no big difference between the Cat6 and Cat6a patch panels. The cat6 patch panel is used to manage the cat6 cables, and the cat6a patch panel is used to manage the cat6a cables. So the main difference between Cat6 patch panel vs Cat6a patch panel lies in the wire gauge specified for cat6 and cat6a cables – cat6a cables are thicker and bulkier than Cat6 cables.

Can Cat6 Patch Panel Work with Cat6a Cable?

Will it work if the Cat6a cable is installed on the Cat6 patch panel? There are several things to consider before answering it.

Will the Connectors Match?

The Cat6a cable is the improved version of the Cat6 cable. But they share the same RJ45 connectors. So there is no doubt that the Cat6a cable can be plugged into the Cat6 patch panel.

Will It Be Safe?

Since the Cat6a cables are thicker and bulkier than Cat6 cables, the corresponding minimum bend will be larger. This will change the installing requirements of cabling and the design of routing. For an instance, if the Cat6a cables are installed on the Cat6 panel, the thinker cables may be bend. So it will be not safe enough, users need to manage it more patiently and carefully.

Will It Work?

In general, the conductor determines if the connection is working. Then, since both the Cat6a cable and the Cat6 patch panel have the same RJ45 connectors, the Cat6a cable and the Cat6 panel can work together. Just as mentioned above, it is not safe enough.

Therefore, the Cat6a cables are able to run on the Cat6 panel. I still recommend not taking such an adventure. Because the cables may be out of work, which will cause damages to your business.


With the advancement and development of technology, today’s data centers require a more reliable and flexible cable management system. The Cat6 patch panel and Cat6a patch panel are integral parts of the Cat6 and Cat6a cable management. The above content has given some details about Cat6 and Cat6a patch panel. Hope it can help you to understand the two.

How to Prepare for Server Rack Installation

High-density cabling in data centers is increasingly tied to the server rack. Because server racks make it easy to manage cabling systems and protect fibers from external mechanical damage. However, this is only possible if server racks are properly installed and used. In this post, some tips and accessories for server rack installations are listed.

Choose the Right Server Rack

Before installing the server rack, make sure that the rack will be installed is best for the needs. There are many types of server racks on the market, so make sure to choose the rack based on the equipment will be housed.

  • Consider the Type of Server Rack

Choose the rack based on the type and size of the equipment will be housed, which means the rack must have enough space to house the equipment. The types of server racks mainly include the open server rack, enclosed rack and wall mount server rack. The width and depth of the rack are usually measured in standard units. The server rack 42U is the most popular data center rack, which is 19 inches wide and 73.5 inches high. However, wall-mounted racks are much smaller and are generally suitable for home and small office use.

  • Consider Server Rack Cost

Maybe some people always pay ultra-high cost when buying racks. In fact, most people can save money by choosing a good-quality rack that meets all their needs, without having to choose an expensive rack.

Choosing the Location for Server Rack Installation

  • Find the Right Room

It is important to choose the right room in the building. The room should be as safe as possible because server racks often contain valuable hardware with essential company data on it. Others can’t be allowed to access and operate the devices installed in the rack. Otherwise it will affect data transmission.

  • Keep the Rack away from People

Keep the server rack away from people if possible. The server generates a lot of heat and noise, which is very annoying in the surrounding area. In addition, even if a good rack can provide a lot of protection for the equipment within it, when there are people moving around the rack frequently, the equipment in the rack will be at risk of being collided.

  • Consider Cooling

Cooling becomes an important factor as the density of equipment in the rack increases. Heat concentration leads to increased power consumption and increased equipment failure rates. The server rack itself will help promote proper cooling, but this is only part of it. It is also important to ensure that the rack does not rest against walls that may restrict airflow.

Other Things to Consider

  • Choose PDU

Power distribution units (PDU) are often essential when all servers and other computer equipment are placed in a rack. They ensure stable power to the rack. Finding reliable PDU for server rack installation to meet specific power needs is critical.

  • Paste Cable Label

When users house devices in a server rack, they need to connect cables from different devices to routers, switches, servers, or other devices. Labeling these cables at each end will help quickly determine where they are running, which is critical for troubleshooting.

  • Manage Cable

In addition to labeling cables, managing them so that they are neat in the rack is essential. This means trimming long cables, and using the cable organizer to bundle them together. Besides, please run cables along the edge of the server rack as much as possible. Organized cables not only meet aesthetic requirements but also more durable.

  • Future Expansion

When plan a server rack installation, make sure it meets all of the current needs and future expansion. Spending more money today to get a server rack that will meet the needs for years to come is saving time and money in the long run.

Rack Accessories for Server Rack

Here are some specific rack accessories for reference to promote rack installation.

  • Patch panel

Patch panel can lower the maintenance cost and reduce installation errors. It can provide space-saving and high-density cable connections.

Server Rack Accessories: Patch Panel

Figure 1:Patch Panel: used to connect and manage incoming and outgoing cables

  • Horizontal and Vertical Cable Manager

Horizontal cable managers allow neat and proper routing of the patch cables from equipment in racks. Vertical cable manager utilizes the additional space to manage the patch cords.

Server Rack Accessories: Horizontal Cable Manager

Figure 2: Horizontal Cable Manager: used to manage cables on front racks

  • Fiber Enclosure

Fiber enclosure allows users to make more efficient use of rack space, which offers the superior density, port access, and cable management.

Server Rack Accessories: Fiber Enclosure

Figure 3: Fiber Enclosure for Ultra High Density Structured Cabling


Server rack installation is not difficult. Keep the above points in mind, a successful server rack installation can be reached. If you have any questions or needs related to this, please visit