Tag Archives: patch panel

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.

Introduction to Fiber Patch Panel

People always say that the patch panel is the “unsung hero” in the data center. It’s pretty vivid. Because there is no doubt that the patch panel is an indispensable component of the simple and tidy cable management. Usually, it is used in two kinds of cabling system, fiber and copper cabling systems. Therefore, it can be divided into two main types: the fiber optic patch panel and Ethernet patch panel. In this post, I will introduce the former one. For more information about Ethernet patch panel, read How to Select the Suitable Copper Patch Panel?

What Is the Fiber Patch Panel?

The fiber patch panel is used to terminate fiber optic cables and make it accessible to individual fiber optic cable for cross connection. A basic fiber optic panel is typically made of metal. It contains the adapter panels, the connector couplers, and a splice tray. The fiber optic cables connect to the adapter panels through the couplers. The splice tray allows cables to be neatly arranged in the panel.

Fiber Patch Panel Types

Based on different standards, the fiber panel can be categorized into different types. Here, we will introduce its types according to the mounting type, loaded state, and port counts.

  • According to the mounting type, there are rack mount and the wall mount fiber patch panels. The former one usually holds the fiber optic cables horizontally and it looks like a drawer. Designed in 1U, 2U, 4U size, it can hold up to 288 or even more fibers. In addition, it can be mounted onto 19″and 23″standard relay racks. While the latter one is used in enclosed wall mounting. It can be mounted to any wall easily. FS.COM offers FHD wall mount fiber panels which have the designs of 2 door 2 adapters and 2 door 4 adapters as the option. It’s usually equipped with high density cassettes fixed on walls. For more details, you can refer to Introduction of FHD Wall Mount Patch Panel.

rack and wall mount fiber patch panel

Figure 1: Rack and Wall Mount Fiber Patch Panel

  • According to the loaded state, the fiber panel can be classified into the loaded and unloaded ones. The former means that it has been loaded with adapter panels or cassettes. The latter means that it is loaded with nothing. Users can install adapter panels or cassettes depending on their needs, customizing their own patch panels.
  • According to the port counts, the fiber panel can be categorized into many types ranging from 12, 24, 48 to 288 and even more. Actually, there is no limit to the count of the port on the panel. FS.COM can provide 12 port patch panel, 24 port patch patch, and 48 port patch panel.

Benefits of Using Fiber Patch Panel

The fiber panel provides a convenient way to manage fiber optic cables. There are three main benefits of using it.

  • Convenience

Using the fiber panel, users can easily replace the fiber optic cables and change the order of fiber optic cables according to their needs. Besides, they don’t need to look around for ports of the devices on the rack because the fiber patch panel groups all ports.

  • Reducing Cable Congestion

Using the fiber panel, users can reduce the cable clutter and confusion. The fiber optic cables will be easily organized and labeled. Users can manage their cables in any direction.

  • Reducing Wear of Devices

Using the fiber panel, users will complete all the connections on the panel. They won’t frequently plug or unplug the cables directly from the devices. Therefore, wear on the ports of expensive networking devices like switches will be reduced.


All in all, the fiber patch panel is such a useful device in the data center, especially in the high-density data center. After reading this post, I think you’ve had a general understanding of the fiber panel. FS.COM can provide varied cable management solutions. Welcome contact us if you have any needs about this, just by visiting www.fs.com.