Patch Panel Information Guide

patch panelPatch panels are used in networking applications right around the world. But if you are new to these beneficial setups then here is some information that may be beneficial for you if you are looking to purchase one in the near future.

What Is A Patch Panel

A patch panel is a panel of interconnecting ports which are contained together to easily connect outgoing and incoming lines of LAN or other electrical or electronic communication systems. With LAN setups, a patch panel is designed to connect networking computers to one another and also to the outside lines which allow for the LAN to easily connect to a WAN or the internet. The patch panel uses patch cords which provide the connections between the devices and lines. These panels allow for the circuits to be arranged or rearranged accordingly by easily plugging and unplugging patch cords.

The Structure Of A Patch Panel

Usually found in a server closet, a patch panel is mounted to a rack and is generally installed with other equipment. From here the lines will be integrated in from all parts of the network allowing for easy wiring to the back of the panel. The front panels generally feature many ports which can easily connect switches, routers, or hubs with shorter cables to allow for many different configurations. These can easily be labeled for organization purposes.

Easy Troubleshooting Solution

Network patch panels provide a great means of trouble shooting when there is a problem in the network. If a problem arises the user can easily isolate the problem section by disconnecting different parts of the network lines right at the patch panel itself. Once this is done, the lines can be added back into the patch panel until the problem is rectified and found.

Do You Need A Patch Panel?

A patch panel is ideal for larger networking applications. If you have minimal devices that can be connected directly from the router or switch to the computer then it may not be needed. If you run a larger networking system, you may find that you need more organization and flexibility. Patch panels are a great idea for these types of systems and for maintaining order with many wires while providing an all-in-one connection point for easy changing and fixing of the wires if needed. The benefit of using a patch panel in larger applications is that it provides easy expansion of the system if needed with the ability to add new devices and connections.

 

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3 Benefits Of Server Racks

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Server Racks and Enclosures 

server racksServer racks can be beneficial for any application where servers are used in a business. They can provide a more aesthetically pleasing appearance than just having your servers just lying around anywhere. Here are some of the benefits of installing a server rack within your business setup.

Server Racks Increase Performance

Using server racks can easily help to increase your server’s performance for the better. They are perfect for helping to provide proper airflow ensuring that your server won’t overheat or be pushed against objects causing an obstruction in front of the air vents. Unlike having servers free and lose to move around, server racks are designed to easily keep your servers secure at all times to reduce the risk of movement. They are also customizable to cater for the specific needs of your business.

Easier to Maintain

Another benefit of using server racks is that they are easy to maintain. This is because everything is in order and organized appropriately and cables are bundled in neat and tidy bundles which allows for easy access. Server racks are designed with shelves that slide out or racks which give you even easier access to your servers without having to bump your head when trying to crawl into them. When integrated into your business they provide a cost effect solution for easy maintenance especially if you have to hire someone to come and check them.

Increase Security

Another added benefit of using a rack server is that is can provide a convenient method of increasing security to your servers. Most server rack feature locked panels which help to keep people from accessing the servers without your permission. You can also purchase rack servers without multiple locking options which allows for some servers or sections to be locked while others aren’t.

So if you own a business that uses many servers, then why not take a look at how beneficial a server rack can be to save you both time and money in the long run.

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iPad Wall Enclosure For Business IPad Safety

iPad Wall Enclosure Do you run a business that sells iPads? Do you need an iPad wall enclosure to help it from becoming damaged when on display in front of your customers? Well with this FSR iPAD wall enclosure you can now protect your Ipad in commercial and multiple user applications. This is perfect when used in public environments. With over 30 years of experience in manufacturing products for video, audio, and machine vision industries you can see why this wall enclosure is such great quality.

Add Product Safety To Your Business With An iPad Wall Enclosure 

This iPad wall enclosure has outstanding features which are beneficial for many commercial or multiple use applications. It features a great design! The best part of all is that your iPad is secured at all times!

Aluminum Enclosure: The aluminum enclosure can help stop people from stealing or tampering with your display iPad no matter where it is setup in your store.

iPad Wall Enclosure BackRear Holes: The rear holes allow you to easily mount it to the wall or VESA mount for a more convenient and time saving installation.

Full Cut-out Points: The full cut-out points give perfect access to the screen, camera, application button and even speakers. Your display iPad will definitely give customers the ultimate iPad experience without sacrificing quality.

Invisible Hardware: With no hardware on the face of the unit you can still keep that professional and streamline look within your store.

USA Made: Yes that’s right this enclosure is home grown! It gives you peace of mind knowing it is highly constructed with high quality materials.

Color options: That’s right it comes available in 2 colors including aluminum and black! Your choice of color to best suit your store!

What it does: iPad Wall Enclosure Side

  • Protects your ipad from becoming stolen or damaged when placed on display in commercial applications
  • Provide protection from multiple use

 Where you can use the product:

  • Automation controls and trade show displays
  • Medical kiosks
  • POS systems
  • Any electronics businesses
  • Retail centres
  • Commercial businesses that sell iPads
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Climatronix Stretch Connect: More Fun (and Simpler to Use) Than Your Average Lacing Bar

What do you get when you combine effective and efficient rack cable management with a design that vaguely reminds you of a toy? A really fun way to manage patch cords!

I guess I should start out by saying that rack cable management, while a very necessary and worthwhile thing, has never really excited me. It’s all business – no bells, whistles or sparkles, because why would you need them? Rack cable managers are usually hidden in the dark recesses of server enclosures, so they’re strictly utilitarian. Yawn.

Then I got a look at the Climatronix Stretch Connect™ System, and the fun-loving part of me felt a glimmer of hope. While the Stretch Connect is based on the standard black powder-coated cable management bar design, its top and bottom edges have a very interesting cut-out pattern that not only adds a little visual flair, but is also the key to Stretch Connect’s method of functionality.

Method of functionality? That would be how the Stretch Connect actually controls cables, which, like any other cable bar, is to have patch cords routed and fastened along it. But unlike other cable bars, which tend to make heavy use of cable ties and hook-and-loop wraps that fully loop either around or through both the bars and the cables lashed to them, Stretch Connect employs reusable stretchy connectors, which simply, well, stretch across the front of the bar to hold patch cords in place.

These reusable stretchy connectors have wide grips at the ends, which not only give you a good handhold, but also fit snugly into the cutout edging I mentioned earlier. To fasten patch cords against the Stretch Connect, you just hold the cords in place, slide one end grip behind the cutouts, stretch the strap across the cables, and slip the other connector end behind the opposite cutouts. Fast, simple, and a lot more fun to look at (and use) than most other lacing bars out there.

see the magic for yourself

Middle Atlantic Hinged Plexiglass Security Doors: Tamper-Free Visibility for Critical Server Equipment

February 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Server Racks and Enclosures 

middle-atlantic-hinged-plexiglass-doorsYou know that scene in Ocean’s Eleven where one of the Utah twins (can’t remember if it was Scott Caan or Casey Affleck) manages to get into the casino’s “secure” data center, mess with a patch cord or two, and gain access to the surveillance video feed? First, you’ve gotta love that they worked a little server room tampering into the plot, and secondly, why the heck wasn’t that equipment locked up better? Didn’t Terry Benedict and his security staff know there was at least some chance that several of Hollywood’s best-looking, lovable scoundrels would stop by to rob them blind on fight night?

Apparently not, or they would have gotten their Bellagio-monogrammed mitts on at least a few of Middle Atlantic’s Hinged Plexiglass Security doors.

These rackmount security doors are made in 2, 3, 4, and 8U heights, come complete with pre-installed keyed locks, and bolt onto just about any standard 19″ server rack, so you can protect just one or two components, or a whole group of them. The doors are fantastic because they keep your equipment perfectly visible, but limit access to only trusted keyholders. Those prowling, sticky-fingered, up-to-no-good types may be able to see your telecom equipment, but won’t be able to actually sabotage it. Perfect.

Now that we’ve covered the basic idea, on to the specs. The security doors are framed in 16-gauge steel to stay strong, and have a tough black powder coat finish that resists scratching and matches well with pretty much any rack. They also have a stand-out depth of 1½ inches, so they give plenty of clearance for controls, cable connectors and the like.

And did I mention that they’re almost as easy on the eyes as certain Ocean’s cast members? Almost.

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Middle Atlantic Comp-Cool Component Fan: Beat the Heat, Right at the Source

February 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Server Racks and Enclosures 

middle-atlantic-comp-cool-fansHere I am, huddled in layers and cringing as I get periodic updates on the “winter weather system” (aka “The Soon to be Historic Blizzard of 2011″) that’s getting ready to mercilessly whack my corner of the Earth at any hour now. Surprisingly, no matter how bleak and chilly both the current room temperature and my outlook are, my laptop is unfazed, cranking out the BTUs like nobody’s business.

At the moment, the gentle warmth emanating from my laptop’s side vent is like a balmy tropical breeze by which to warm my hands, but were the ambient temp in my office on the stuffier side, I’d be worrying about things like proper ventilation – after all, when our favorite electronics start feeling the heat, they tend to call it quits, whether or not we’re okay with that. This especially goes for components that tend to be housed close together on shelves. Group electronics together in a tight space, and conditions can go from comfortable to sauna before you know it.

Rack fans are great, but they’re kind of limited to, well… racks. And enclosures. The kind that you usually find in server rooms or data centers. But what if you have just a few high-tech home theater components that run hot and need some help cooling off? Or a small server setup that doesn’t quite warrant a full-scale cooling enclosure? That’s where Middle Atlantic’s Comp-Cool Component Fans come very much in handy.

Unlike your typical rack fan, Comp-Cool fans are individually paired with the devices that need them most. They install right over a component’s vent to draw out damaging heat, right at the source. Even better, they run quietly (at only 19 dB) and switch themselves on and off automatically, kicking into gear when the temperature registers 90°F, and going on break when things have been cooled down to a more comfortable 88°F. You get the double benefit of well-ventilated equipment, and the money savings that come with electronics that run only when they absolutely need to.

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Geist Variable Speed Fan Controller: “Steps on the Gas” or “Hits the Brakes” as Enclosure Cooling Needs Fluctuate

geist-variable-speed-fan-controllerFrom the green perspective on data center cooling, keeping rack fans running full tilt all the times is the equivalent of revving your engine nonstop while sitting through a red light, or keeping an oven preheated 24/7 so that it’s ready to go if and when you feel like baking something. In other words, it’s needless, wastes crazy amounts of energy, and causes unnecessary wear and tear on the components left running (i.e. the fans).

That’s not to say that cooling isn’t one of the most important elements of a well-run server room. Rack fans are, in many cases, a must, and they need to be left on to adequately circulate air and keep things comfortable for temp-sensitive computer equipment. The point is that they don’t have to be run at high speed all the time to do their job. It’s actually possible to keep a server enclosure at an optimal temperature with fans running at lower speeds and using less energy. Considering the stat I recently read that said cooling costs alone can swallow up to 40% of a data center’s energy budget, why wouldn’t you want to make some smart pare-downs wherever possible? Your data center will be that much greener for the energy savings, and the lower electricity bills won’t hurt your budget either.

So, how do you accomplish these energy-conserving fan speed adjustments? It’s easier than you might think. Geist’s Variable Speed Fan Controller mounts right into a server enclosure, and based on temperature parameters that you set, adjusts fan speed as needed when temp readings fluctuate. If things are warm but not too stuffy, fans will be run at a gentler speed, saving you unnecessary wear and tear on your ventilation fans, as well as pointless overspending on energy. But when that equipment kicks into high gear and starts cranking out the BTUs, the fan controller senses the rise in temperature, and makes the fans work harder. Exactly what you need, when you need it.

The Geist Variable Speed Fan Controller also has a web interface, and can be set to warn you via e-mail, SNMP traps or XML when temperature conditions get out of control and warrant your personal attention. You can also adjust fan speeds remotely by way of the web interface, so it’s a perfect option for business owners or data center managers who need peace of mind even when they’re on the go.

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Geist Compact Environmental Monitor: The High-Tech Babysitter for Your Most Sensitive Network Components

January 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Server Racks and Enclosures 

geist-compact-environmental-monitorI’m a little foggy on how it all unfolded, but there’s a scene in an old episode of Frasier in which the lovably pretentious Frasier Crane (played by Kelsey Grammer) complains to his blue collar, ex-cop father, Martin (John Mahoney) about all of the things that drive him crazy and make life unbearable. The exact annoyances I can’t remember, but they probably had something to do with imbeciles who can’t correctly pronounce the name of his favorite opera, someone dreadfully fouling up his $8 cappuccino order, or a sommelier who didn’t live up to expectations – you know, the everyday stuff. Anyway, when Frazier finishes his whiny rant, Martin retorts with something to the affect of, “Well, aren’t you a little hothouse orchid!”

I never thought I’d end up relating one of my favorite shows to IT equipment, but here it goes: network components are just as much hothouse orchids as our gent Frasier is. They may not snub and whine and spend way too much at the haberdashery, but man, are they finicky – especially when it comes to temperature and humidity. Let servers get too hot, or mess with the ambient humidity too much, and they start spazzing out or shut down altogether. Talk about electronics that need constant babysitting!

But there’s not really a choice: communication must go on, so the equipment that makes it possible must be coddled. But now there’s an easier way, one that gives you a break from constantly monitoring the thermostat and humidity levels. Meet Geist’s Compact Environmental Monitor, an extremely helpful device that mounts in any data center or server enclosure, and keeps tabs on all the vitals for you… while you spend your time on better things.

Here’s how it works: you install the environmental monitor, and then set a few predetermined maximum and/or minimum thresholds, or cutoff points. If the temperature or humidity go above or below the parameters you’ve set, the monitor automatically sends you an alert via e-mail, so that you can tend to the problem at hand. This is all thanks to a PoE web interface that provides the Internet connection and the power – you don’t even need to plug it into a separate electrical outlet.

High maintenance just got a lot easier to deal with.

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Black Box IntelliPass Biometric Access System: Authorized Cabinet Access That Takes Nothing More Than a Fingertip Scan

January 4, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Server Racks and Enclosures 

black-box-intelli-passThere was a time when critical server access control meant only one thing: an enclosure with locks – the kind that require keys. Keys that could easily be misplaced, or even worse, stolen. Keys that could fall into the wrong hands, or force you to call a locksmith if they couldn’t be found. Keys that made that heavy, jingling mass of metal in your pocket look and feel more like a jailer’s keyring than a collection of door-openers belong to a tech-savvy pro. Keys suck. It’s time to kiss them goodbye, and say hello to the future of computer cabinet access.

Meet Black Box’s Intelli-Pass biometric cabinet access system. If you ever thought that biometrics were way too James Bond or Mission Impossible for your humble data center, think again. Server room biometrics are here, accessible, and in the hands of Black Box, really, really good.

The Intelli-Pass installs right where an enclosure’s handle would normally go, and at first glance, actually looks like a handle. But zoom in on it, and you’ll notice that there’s a small fingerpad at the top, which is precisely where the magic happens. It’s “unlocked” with the most convenient, least duplicable keys of all: the fingerprints of you and your most trusted IT staff members.

One thing that I really like about the Intelli-Pass (aside from the biometrics) is that it’s designed with tamper-resistance in mind. While the fingertip scanner is very necessarily located on the outside, unsecured portion of the device, all of the most sensitive inner-workings are safely stashed on the other side of the enclosure door, where they can’t be vandalized or otherwise damaged. It also has the very cool feature of alarm system compatibility – tie it into your building’s existing emergency alert system, and the Intelli-Pass can be configured to automatically open server enclosures when the alarm sounds, so that equipment can be accessed or removed instantly.

I know that I totally ripped traditional keys before, but sometimes you may want them as a backup, so Intelli-Pass is available in an optional keyed version in the event that you’d like to have standard key access in the event of a power outage. It’s pretty convenient, really. They think of everything.

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Dasco Media Storage Racks: Simple, Organized Storage for Offices, Studios, Libraries or Home A/V Hounds

dasco-media-storage-rackSo, A/V fans, how do you store your media? Unless you’ve gone completely Technologically Awesome and have, by now, ripped all of your CDs and started downloading all of your favorite movies from iTunes, you still need a place to keep that stuff (for the record, I do, too). I don’t know about you, but my music and movie storage situation tends to get a little precarious at times, mostly because discs (boxed, jewel-cased or au naturel) aren’t meant to be stacked into mini-skyscrapers until you need them. Bump into one of those piles, and bad things happen. Try to whisk one disc out of the stack without disturbing the others, and you’re in a predicament that’s worse than Jenga and the Tablecloth Trick combined.

Sounds like it’s time for a media rack.

I just recently got a load of Dasco’s Media Storage Racks, and I have to say, I like what I’m seeing. If you’ve ever wished that you could get your hands on the type of shelving units you see at the neighborhood movie rental place or your library’s AV department, these are them, just a little better. Their angled shelves keep things from sliding off, make it easier to scan titles, and can be adjusted in 1 inch increments, depending on what you need to store. Whether you’re into CDs, games and Blu-Ray discs or are still kickin’ it old school with the audio cassettes and VHS tapes of your glory days, it all fits.

I’m not going to even try to imply that this would be the perfect fixture for your living room, but if you have a separate, dedicated home theater or media room, it would work like a charm. What’s really nice is that you can choose the configuration that works for you – there are multiple heights, single and double-sided designs, and standing or wall-mount versions available.

Lest I paint too narrow a picture, here, Dasco‘s media racks aren’t just for home A/V types – they’re also great for offices, schools, studios, and any other environment with lots of media in need of proper storage. It’s time to stop treating your discs and tapes like building blocks.

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