ONIE: Why It Is Special for Bare Metal Switch?

Have you ever wondered that one day you could customize switches like the way you configure your own PC? It is actually happening. As vendors researches and develops switch structures by decoupling software from hardware, bare metal switch come into being. The switching technology can be programmed like Cumulus Linux servers. They may appear in a lot more average enterprises in the next few years with ONIE moving into the spotlight.

Clearing the Fog Around Bare Metal Switch

Bare metal switch, also known as white-box switch, is solely a switch box with a chip inside it. What makes it differ from original network switch? Well, common Ethernet switches, also called closed switches, are sold with hardware and software together. That is to say, if you buy a Juniper EX or MX series network switches, you also buy JUNOS; if you buy a Cisco Catalyst network switch, you have to buy Cisco IOS. This is in contrast to bare metal switches which widen the choice available to network buyers. They can choose components like application, network OS, and driver, depending on their own needs. The segregation of hardware and software fulfills the vision of a more affordable, manageable network and saves the time and funding for more projects, which is really beneficial to business.

bare metal switch vs. traditional switch

With a cheap bare metal switch in hand, what about the network operating system? That’s what ONIE (Open Network Install Environment) can do for bare metal switch.

Ins and Outs of ONIE

Introduced by Cumulus Networks, open network install environment (ONIE) combines a boot loader and a small linux operating system. Having been pre-installed on bare metal switches where software and bare-metal hardware are sold separately, customers can freely choose network OS from a range of sources over a network using IPv4, IPv6 and TFTP, or even locally from a USB flash drive. ONIE enables switch hardware suppliers to manage their operations based on a small number of hardware SKUs, enabling a thriving ecosystem of both network hardware and network OS alternatives.

ONIE Paving the Way of Bare Metal Switch

With ONIE, consumers can run any compatible network OS, such as cumulus linux Pica8, and Open Source on the bare metal switch, which dramatically reduces the overall capital and operating cost and breaking through the proprietary traditional network architectures. Moreover, switch & network OS vendors can concentrate on researching and developing switches and operating systems, without being distracted by the minutiae of loading a network OS onto a specific switching platform.

bare metal switch

As a component of the open hardware switch platform, ONIE will contribute to advancing standards that define the hardware/software interface. It has now been pre-installed on many bare metal switches, such as FS N8500-48B6C 100gbe switch which also supports current and future network requirements, including an x86- based control plane COM-E with BMC and Timing options for easier integration of automation tools familiar to server administrators. The increasingly mature bare metal switch will in return spur the ONIE to open its arm to more excellent network OS.


Bare metal switch indeed makes our choice flexible and diversified. Moreover, ONIE, presenting an open standards platform for network operating systems, will facilitate the widespread adoption of bare metal switches by making it much easier for administrators to purchase and deploy standards-based network hardware in the same way that x86 servers accept a variety of conventional operating systems.

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CMR vs. CMP: When to Use Them in Your House?

Lots of customers have found the letters “CM”, “CMR” and CMP” in the product description when purchasing copper cables like Cat5e cable and Cat6 cable. These terms are the most common cable jacket ratings specified by the National Electric Code (NEC). CM rated cables that are designed for general use won’t be covered in this article. Let’s see the difference between CMR vs. CMP in their applications.

Introduction of CMR vs. CMP

CMR cable stands for “Communications Multipurpose Cable, Riser”. It is also referred to as “riser-rated cable” and designed to prevent fires from spreading between floors through risers or vertical shafts, that is to say, it can self-extinguish when ignited. As for flame-resistance, it does better than the CM cable, so CMR cable can be used where CM cable would be required. Consequently, CMR cable is more expensive than CM cable.


CMP cable stands for “Communications Multipurpose Cable, Plenum”, which is the so-called plenum cable. It is constructed to limit the amount of smoke emitted in case of a fire and prevent flame from spreading to more than five feet. In some places where air travels throughout a building via plenum spaces, it is critical that Ethernet cable is made of the material that doesn’t give off toxic fumes if burned. CMP cable is the one suitable for installation into air plenum spaces.

When it comes to the difference between CMR vs. CMP, as the flammability requirements for CMP cables are stricter than CMR cables, plenum cables can always replace riser cables, but not the reverse. Plenum rated cable is always twice as expensive as riser cable.

CMR vs. CMP: When to Use Them in Your House?

Even though we have read lots of materials telling what is CMR vs. CMP, the knowledge about when to use these cables truly matters for the mass people. Only being applied to the practice, can the theory be tasted. Let’s see the following illustration.
In the picture, the CMP plenum cables run horizontally in the structured ceiling and the dropped ceiling or under a raised floor where is typically considered plenum. This is largely due to the fact that this place is full of fast-moving air as it facilitates air circulation for heating and conditioning systems. The presence of fresh air can bring dander of rapid flame spreading or dangerous gases distribution, thus causing damage to the furniture and threatening people’s lives. Therefore, CMP must be used in air ducts or vents. Typically, it is the prime choice for cabling construction in train station, airport and other public people-intensive places where we must prevent hazards to human health and safety from wiring.

CMR riser cable runs between floors in non-plenum areas as the red line indicates. They are usually run vertically from the basement to the upper floor, so long as the cable does not need to run through an air duct.

CMR vs. CMP in house

CMP, CMR and the like are the NEC’s ratings for the cable jacket. Different types of copper cables like Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cables all have CM, CMR, CMP versions. They have the same exact copper inside. The difference is the outer casing or “jacket” that surrounds a cable’s internal wiring and insulation.


This article covers what is riser cable and plenum cable, when to use plenum cable and riser cable. Choosing the right CMR vs. CMP cable is really important. It not only helps prevent dangers but also avoid unnecessary interference by local authorities if you fail to meet the fire codes. If there are any problem or puzzle during cables selecting or application, FS excellent tech team and sales team would like to offer help.

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How to Choose MTP/MPO Cable for 10G/40G/100G Connections?

As the data center expands, the traditional fiber optic cables can hardly meet the high requirements for networking, as they not only occupy a large room, but also make it more difficult to manage cables. In contrast, MTP cable and MPO cable provide multi-fiber connectivity in one connector to support higher bandwidth and higher density applications, thus becoming popular. Generally, MTP/MPO cables are classified into three types: trunk cable, harness cable and conversion cable. See what they are and their applications.

Common MTP/MPO Cable Types

MTP/MPO Trunk Cable

MTP/MPO trunk cable is a cable with two MPO or MTP connectors at both ends, with nothing different from ordinary patch cables seen from outside. However, the truth is that the cable usually accommodates 12, 24, 48 and even 72 fibers, and the ends are terminated with 12-fiber or 24-fiber MTP/MPO connectors according to customer’s choice. FS MTP/MPO trunk cables are designed for high density applications which offers excellent benefits in terms on-site installation time and space saving. They are available in multiple lengths and in single mode, multimode OM1, OM2, OM3 or OM4 with LSZH or PVC Jackets. With BIF, FS MTP and MPO  cables are designed for improved bend performance in reduced-radius applications such as residential or office environments which have less bend sensitivity.

MPO cable trunk cable

MTP/MPO Harness Cable

MTP/MPO harness cable is also known as fanout cable or breakout cable as it has a single MTP connector on one end and on the other end it breaks out into 6 or 12 connectors (LC, SC, ST, etc.). As one fiber patch cord contains two fibers for receiving and transmitting, a 8-fiber MTP-LC harness cable, for example, has 4 LC connectors and an MTP connector at either end. Similarly, a 12-fiber MTP-LC harness cable has 6 LC connectors and a MTP connector. MTP/MPO harness cable is usually deployed for 40G to 10G transmission and 100G to 25G transmission.

MTP/MPO harness cable

MTP/MPO Conversion Cable

MTP/MPO conversion cable has the same fanout design like the MTP/MPO harness cable, but it is terminated with MTP/MPO connectors on both ends. However, the MTP connectors on each end are different in fiber counts and types, which can provide more possibilities for the existing 24-fiber cabling system. It eliminates the wasted fiber, and therefore can largely increase the capacity of the existing 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP network.

How to Deploy MTP/MPO Cables in 10G/40G/100G Connections?

Follow with the MTP/MPO fiber cables are the MTP/MPO cassettes, MTP/MPO fiber adapter panels and MTP/MPO breakout panels. Here are some typical applications of MTP/MPO fiber cables in 10G, 40G and 100G connections.

10G-10G Connection

In the following two scenarios, two MTP/MPO cassettes installed in the fiber enclosures are connected by MTP/MPO trunk cables, making the core of the cabling simpler. The front panel of the cassettes is connected upwards to server and downwards to 10G ports of FS S5800-48F4S via OM4 fiber optic cable and 10G transceiver.



40G-10G Connection

In this scenario, a 40G QSFP+ port on the FS S5850 48S6Q switch is split up into 4 10G channels. An 8-fiber MTP-LC harness cable connects the 40G side with its MTP connector and the four LC connectors link with the 10G side.


40G-40G Connection

As shown below, a 12-fiber MTP trunk cable is used to connect two 40G optical transceivers to realize the 40G to 40G connection between the two switches. The connection method can also be applied to 100G-100G connection.

120G to 3x40G Connection

In this figure, a MTP/MPO conversion cable connects a CXP 120G SR12 and three 40G QSFP+ SR4 fiber optic transceiver modules to realize the migration from 120G to 40G networking.



High performance, high-density MTP cable, and MPO cable solutions can swap up to 12 traditional fiber connectors with one single small form factor connector, reducing installation time and labor costs. They are suitable for a variety of applications including data centers, telecommunications, broadcast communication, and server rooms. FS strives to provide you with best products with reasonable price and best service.

Related articles: Understanding Polarity in MPO System

                              Type A MTP Cassette and Type B MTP Cassette: When and Where to Use?

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Switch Stacking Tutorial of 48-port Stackable Switch

As switch stacking, the premium feature of few network switches, evolves as a core competence of Ethernet switches in the market, vendors strives to release varies stackable switches and produce switch stacking tutorials for customers. This post will take FS S3900-48T4S 48-port stackable switch as an example to explore how to stack switches together.

Introduction to FS S3900 48T4S 48-port Stackable Switch

Port density and Scalability

S3900 48T4S 48-port gigabit switch comes with 48 downlink RJ45 ports that are triple speed copper ports connecting with end-devices and four 10Gbps SFP+ uplink ports that connect toward the core of the network. With 176Gbps switching capacity. This network switch delivers wire-speed switching performance on all Gigabit ports which support auto-negotiation for port speed and duplex mode. The 4 built-in 10G SFP+ ports provide uplink flexibility, allowing the insertion of fiber or copper, Gigabit or 10G transceivers. These 10Gbps SFP+ port can work as both uplinks and stacking links to servers or service provider, corporate, or campus networks, reducing bottlenecks and increasing the performance of the access network.

S3900 48T4S

Reliability and Energy Efficiency

The dual power supply can ensure the effectiveness of mission-critical network. If one power supply fails for some reason, the other one will take over seamlessly to sustain the normal running of network. Moreover, the design of the S3900 48-port stackable switches incorporates high energy efficiency in order to reduce the impact on the environment. The fan is smart controlled by the traffic. When the switch runs busy, the fan inevitably generates much noise which, however, won’t cause distress. The Green Ethernet power-saving features can be translated into that, on an inactive link, the port moves into inactive mode and saves power while keeping the administrative status of the port up.

How to Stack 48-Port Gigabit Switch?

The S3900 48T4S 48-port network switch can allow up to six switch being stacked together, in which it excels S3800 series switches. Use DAC, AOC or transceiver modules plus fiber optic cable can simply join the switches together. Only the rightmost two SFP+ ports on the switch can be used to stack, and should be cross linked, as shown in the following video about 24-port S3900 switch stacking.

How to Manage Switch Stacks Effectively?

Managing switch stacks is also not an easy work because there is a set of network switches in one stack unit. As for the S3900-48T4S stackable switch, an industry-standard command-line interface (CLI), accessed through the console port or Telnet*, provides a familiar web user interface and command set for users to manage the switch. Moreover, just one command and a reboot* can realize switch stacking, more convenient than common switch stacking. An embedded user-friendly web interface helps users to quickly check and manage the 48-port managed switch.

*Note 1: in stacking process, you need to pull and plug the console cable into each 48-port managed stackable switch repeatedly. By contrast, keep telnet cable connected with one switch is enough.

*Note 2: the one being restarted firstly is the stack master.


The S3900 48T4S 48-port stackable switch, born in this era where high speed network is badly needed, is an ideal Gigabit access switch for SMB, enterprise, and campus networks to boost productivity. And it is ideal for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Multiple System Operators (MSOs) to provide home users with triple-play services with up to Gigabit bandwidth.

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Stackable Switch or Chassis Switch On the Network Edge?

Network edge infrastructures can collect, transmit and record data passing the network. The infrastructures include gateways, routers, and switches. The switches on the network edge are located at the meeting point of two networks. The edge switches are closer to end-user than the backbone of the network. When it comes to choosing between stackable switch and chassis switch for the network edge, it may be difficult for you to make a decision. This article will provide you some points about choosing between stackable switches and chassis switches on the network edge.

What is a Stackable Switch?

As the name suggests, a stackable switch not only can operate alone but also can be connected with another stackable network switch. Stack cables, transceivers & patch cables, and DAC cables play important roles in connecting stackable switches. Generally speaking, the maximum number of switches in a stack depends on the brand and the type of stackable switches. For example, FS S3900 stackable switches support up to 6 switches stacking. The group of switches can be configured as one unit for they all share the same IP address. By setting up a group of stackable switches, you can add extra available ports on your switches. And they can operate like one single switch. So stackable switch solution is popular for its flexibility and simplicity.


With stackable switches, you don’t need to keep large amount redundant ports at very first. For example, you just need to add a new stackable Gigabit Ethernet switch on the stack when you require more 1G ports. Besides, various types and speeds of stackable switches can meet your different needs of ports.


Adding a new stackable switch to a stack is not a big deal. By using stack cables, transceivers & patch cables, and DAC cables, you can connect the individual switches as one entity in several minutes. More than that, the stack of switches can be managed as one single switch for they share the same IP address.

What is a Chassis Switch?

Different from a stackable switch, a chassis switch works with various line cards. So it can provide different types and large amounts of ports that are required. A chassis switch has a certain number of fixed slots which are used to place line card of different types. By inserting extra line cards into a chassis switch, you can have more available ports. For example, you can insert both a line card with 100G ports and a line card with 10G ports in one chassis switch. Then the chassis switch has both the function of a 100GbE switch and the function a 10GbE switch. Besides, both the line cards with copper ports and that with fiber optical ports can be inserted into one chassis switch. Chassis switches are widely used for its consolidation and unified management.


Stackable switches are individual switches connected by cables and transceivers. While a chassis switch is one switch with various line cards and modules. It has its own system and even a firewall. A stackable switch has its common backplane, power supply modules, common processing modules and etc.

Unified Management

You can use only one application to manage all the line cards in a chassis switch. Besides, if you want to update the program of a chassis switch, you just need to update the only one application of the chassis. The unified management of chassis switches makes management more convenient and time-saving.

Stackable Switch vs Chassis Switch: Which to Choose on the Network Edge?

The switches using on the network edge connect directly to the end user devices. So they need to have high port density and low costs. Stackable switches and chassis switches have many characters in common. They both have many available ports, centralized management, and the possibility of adding ports in the future. But when it comes to choosing between them, there are three factors you need to consider, including reliability, flexibility, and longevity.


Reliability is a significant character of an edge switch. When a stackable switch in one stack comes to a problem and goes out of order, you need to unhook the connection and take it out of the rack. Then you need to put a new one on the rack and connect the new one with other stackable switches. It is more time consuming than using a chassis switch. Because many line cards in a chassis switch are hot-swappable. When it comes to the breakdown of one line card, you just need to pull the line card out and insert a new one in. And then the chassis switch will operate normally again. Besides, a chassis switch has better air flow and bigger power supply than stackable switches. So a chassis switch may be less possible to break down than stackable switches.


The edge of a network is like the branches of a tree. So the flexibility of edge switches is important. Both stackable switches and chassis switches can offer the combination of different port speed and transmission types. But chassis switches can only be used with the equipment produced by a certain vendor. While stackable switches are more flexible on brands. Besides, unlike a stackable switch, there is no self-sufficient operation for individual line cards in a chassis switch. Last but not least, a chassis switch may occupy more rack space than stackable switches when the number of used ports is not that much.


The longevity of edge switches may influence the costs in the long run. Chassis based switches tend to have a longer lifespan than stackable switches. When you want to improve the speed of one port from 1 Gigabit to 10 Gigabit on a stackable switch, you have no choice but to buy a new switch. If you use a chassis switch, you just need to remove a Gigabit port line card and insert a 10 Gigabit port line card. Then you go with the same old chassis switch. Although chassis switches have higher initial investment than stackable switches, chassis switches have a longer lifespan.


This article focuses on the introduction of stackable switches and chassis switches, and some considerations about choosing between stackable switches and chassis switches on the network edge, including reliability, flexibility, and longevity. If you need a little more help and advice with stackable switch and chassis switch, then please do not hesitate to let us know. For purchasing high-quality switches with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

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Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

Modems, routers, hubs and network switches are widely used in building a network. When it comes to setting up a Wi-Fi network, it’s necessary to know what kind of network equipment you need. A modem and a router are the foundation of your Wi-Fi network. A modem can connect you to the Internet, while a router can connect your devices to Wi-Fi. This article will focus on what is a modem, what is a router, and modem vs router: what’s the difference.

Modem: a Bridge Connecting Your Local Network and the Internet

Short for modulator-demodulator, a modem serves as a bridge between your local network and the Internet. It encodes and decodes data. So the data can be transmitted between the home network and the Internet Service Provider (ISP). A modem connects to a router or directly to a computer, by using an Ethernet cable. Thus you can get an Internet connection. Besides, most modems have two ports: one connects to the Internet and another connects to a router or a computer.

Router: a Device Taking the Web Wireless

A router directs the Internet connection to all your computers, mobile phones and other connected devices you have. It connects to a modem through an Ethernet cable. And then the router passes that Internet connection to other devices in your house through an Ethernet cable or over a Wi-Fi network. It creates a private wireless network in a home, office, or place of business. For example, when you connect your cell phone to Wi-Fi, the cell phone is connected to a local router. A router lets all your devices communicate with one another over the local network. Besides, a router can protect your devices from being exposed directly to the Internet. To the Internet, all the traffic coming from your private network looks like it’s coming from a single device.

Modem vs Router

Figure 1: router to modem connection

Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to connecting your home devices to the Internet, we can’t miss modems and routers. A modem brings the information in, and a router distributes it to different devices like computers and phones. The following chart will show you the differences between modem vs router in detail.

Data link layer
Network Layer
A modem is a translator between the public Internet and a private network.
A router creates a private network and allows multiple devices to connect to this network.
2 ports. One connects to the Internet and another connects to a router or a computer.
Big routers for carriers and providers can have more than 100ports, while little routers for small office or home have 2 to 8 ports.
Device Type
Inter-networking device
Networking device
A modem can only connect to one device: either a home PC or a router.
A router can connect to multiple devices in a network, either through Ethernet cables or through WiFi.
Necessary for Internet Connection?
No, but can provide additional security and allow for multiple connections.
No security measures. Modems don’t screen the data it encodes or decodes, and so it passes on any potential threat to connected computers.
Provides security measures. Routers examine data packets to determine their destination, and so can contain firewalls to screen out attacks on the network.
Independent or Dependent
Independent. A modem can work without a router and deliver information directly to a single PC.
Dependent. A router can share information between computers, but cannot connect to the Internet without a modem.


A modem can connect you to the Internet, while a router can connect your devices to Wi-Fi. Modems and routers are both involved in connecting your home devices to the Internet. The differences between modem vs router include many aspects, such as layer, function, the number of ports, data transmission form, device type, etc. Except for modems and routers, switches such as Gigabit Ethernet switch and 10GbE switch also play an important role in building a network.

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How to Choose a Structured Wiring Panel?

As a popular data transmission system, the structured wiring system supports data, multiple voices, video, and various management systems. It consists of a number of standardized smaller elements such as structured wiring panel, network switch, cables, etc. This article will address the introduction of structured wiring panel and how to choose it.

What Is a Structured Wiring Panel?

The structured wiring panel plays an essential role in the network cabling. It consists of multiple ports to connect and manage the input and output fiber or copper cables. The structured wiring panel is usually attached to a structured wiring cabinet or a server rack. That rack can offer a certain location to make all your structured wiring panels, cables and other hardware connected neatly.

structured wiring panel

Figure 1: Structured wiring panel

Why Use a Structured Wiring Panel?

As an ideal solution in the cable management, the structured wiring panel has some key advantages:

Easy for cable management – With structured wiring panels, all cables can be collected in one place. This allows for easy and organized management.

Reducing wear of devices – Users can accomplish the connections on the patch panel, and there is no need to plug or unplug the cables directly and frequently from the devices. Thus, using the structured wiring panel helps reduce the wear of network devices.

Convenient for reconfiguration – Because multiple cables are terminated on the patch panel, the devices like switches won’t be disturbed when adding or removing some cables. And the patch panel’s ports are usually labeled. Therefore, it is convenient for you to make some changes of the cable.

How to Choose a Structured Wiring Panel?

Based on different application environments, structured wiring panel can be classified into various types.

1U Fiber Patch Panel

1U fiber optic patch panel is a flexible management solution for high-density cabling. This kind of structured wiring panel is the bridge of fiber patch cables. And it usually serves as 1U 19’’ rack, ODF and cabinets. Moreover, it can be loaded with LC duplex single mode or OM3/OM4 multimode adapters with 24 ports or even more ports. You also can find that the 1U 19″ rack blank panel is used in the structured wiring system.

1U Fiber Patch Panel

Figure 2: 1U 48 fibers, 24 ports LC SMF adapter panel

Ethernet Structured Wiring Panel

Sharing some similarities with the fiber optic patch panel in the structured wiring system, network patch panel can be provided with 24 ports, 48 ports, and even more if necessary. It is designed for both shield and unshielded copper cables such as Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and so on.

Modular Patch Panel

There are two types of the modular patch panel. One is the multimedia adapter panel, which is getting more and more popular in the home structured wiring. It supports up to 6 modules for standard keystone jacks and LC, SC or MTP adapter. What’s more, the 6-port blank multimedia modular panel in FS is the most commonly used one in the market. Our blank multimedia patch panel is much flexible in copper and fiber mixed implementations. It allows users to aggregate up to six different types of ports at one time. The video below provides you with more details.

The other type of modular patch panel is the 1U rack mount modular fiber enclosure panel. It can hold up to 4 MTP cassettes or fiber adapter panels. Typically, it is designed for both front and rear-mounting capabilities. Besides, with a creative compatible design, this type of structured wiring panel is cost-effective for 10G/40G/100G cabling with both multimode and single mode options.

1U rack mount modular fiber enclosure panel

Figure 3: 1U rack mount modular fiber enclosure panel


Structured wiring panel is an indispensable component for a well-organized cable management. When choosing a structured wiring panel, you’d better take styles, cable types, count of ports, etc. into consideration. And you can choose the appropriate one based on the function and performance you actually need. FS provides high-quality structured wiring panels, racks, fiber optic enclosures, etc. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: How to Install Patch Panel and Switch?

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Vertical Cable Management vs Horizontal Cable Management: Which One to Choose?

With the increasing of cable counts and devices, cable management is becoming more and more complicated. An efficient network cable management not only assistants increase the flexibility of cabling, but also helps improve the operation in the data center. Therefore, a well-organized cabling has been a hot spot now. In fact, the cable management solution can be generally classified into vertical cable management and horizontal cable management. However, faced with two options, which one to choose?

What Is Vertical Cable Management?

Vertical cable management refers to a solution to secure, bundle and route the cables in a vertical pathway within the server rack. In this rack vertical cable management system, vertical cable managers offer a vertical pathway for numerous cables from switches to patch panel. These vertical wire managers are available in the height sizes up to 48U and wide up to 10 inches.

Vertical Cable Manager Types

A range of vertical cable managers is provided in the market. Among them, three styles enjoy great popularity.

5U Plastic vertical cable manager with bend radius finger – The 5U cable management bend radius finger comes with rack mount enclosure, copper or fiber patch panel. It is designed to maintain cable bend radius effectively. What’s more, it enables mounting in all 19 in or 23 in EIA 2- and 4-post racks.

Single D-Ring vertical cable manager – Single D-Ring vertical cable manager features a one-piece design. It is easy to access to cables for MACs (moves, adds and changes). Besides, the 1.7’’ and 3’’ are the commonly used width size for single D-Ring vertical cable manager.

High-density vertical cable manager – The high-density vertical cable manager can be divided into single-sided version and dual-sided version. It can be mounted on the sides of open frame racks. And the 45U 4.9’’ dual-sided vertical cable manager is the most prevalent types in the market.

vertical cable management

Figure 1: Vertical cable managers

What Is Horizontal Cable Management?

The horizontal cable management is often installed within racks or cabinets. It allows for cables to be managed on front racks or drawn away from equipment tidily. Typically, the horizontal cable management is one or two rack high, or even higher if necessary. What’s more, it enables cable managers to manage all types of cables, including fiber, coax, patch cable, etc.

Horizontal cable management

Figure 2: Horizontal cable management

Horizontal Cable Manager Types

In the market, there are various types of horizontal cable managers, and each has its strengths for corresponding applications. In general, there are three commonly used types:

Horizontal cable manager with D-Ring – The horizontal cable manager with D-Ring is an open-access management tool. Moreover, it provides great flexibility as well. Therefore, components and cables can be easily added or removed depending on system requirements. For more information about it, please refer to How to Use D-Ring Cable Manager?

Horizontal cable manager with finger duct – When it comes to horizontal cable manager with finger duct, it is one of the most popular types of horizontal cable management solution. It provides a series of fingers and pass-through holes, which can route rack cables and reduce cable strains.

Horizontal cable manager with brush strip – Horizontal cable manager with brush strip is usually made of nylon bristles and steel. It enables cables to be passed from the front of the rack to that of the rear.

1U Horizontal Cable Managers

Figure 3: 1U Horizontal Cable Managers

Vertical Cable Management and Horizontal Cable Management Comparison

In terms of cable management, no matter a vertical or horizontal variety, they have some similarities. For instance, both of them contribute to network performance by enhancing airflow and cooling efficiency. And they protect cables from damages such as improper bends or dust. Moreover, the aesthetics of a data center can be improved by these managements. Actually, the two management varieties still own their individual advantages.

Advantages of Vertical Cable Management

Reduce signal interference – The vertical cable management can separate power and data cables within the racks. Therefore, the chance for crosstalk and interference between them can be reduced greatly.

Cost effective – If vertical rack cable management with bend radius fingers is used with angled patch panel directly, you don’t have to use the horizontal cable management panel. It will reduce the cost.

Advantages of Horizontal Cable Management

Minimize downtime – When something goes wrong, it will cost hours for technicians to tracing the unorganized wires. But the downtime can’t be afforded in most cases. With horizontal cable management, cables can be arranged neatly. This makes technicians identify and maintain devices easily and quickly.

Promote growth – By using horizontal cable management, cables will no longer be messed up. It is convenient for technicians to consolidate equipment within racks or add additional racks. In addition, new ports and cables also can be added without creating problems.


Vertical cable management and horizontal cable management each makes a unique contribution to the data center setups. Which to choose depends on the actual needs. Sometimes, they are used as a combination. FS.COM provides all the devices mentioned above. Whatever you need to tidy up your server rack cables, welcome to visit www.fs.com.

Related Article: Guidelines for Organizing Server Rack

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Rack Mount Patch Panel Wiki: What’s It? Why Use It? How to Use It?

The patch panel is an indispensable component of the network system. It serves as a static switchboard which connects a lot of devices to the central or critical hardware. Based on different application environment, patch panel can be classified into rack mount patch panel and wall mount patch panel. This article will focus on exploring the former: rack mount patch panel.

What Is a Rack Mount Patch Panel?

As a branch of the patch panel, rack mount patch panel is a mounted hardware assembly as well. It is generally constructed of steel, mental or plastic used in a home, enterprise networks and data center. What’s more, the rack mount patch panel consists of multiple ports to connect and manage the input and output fiber or copper cables. So it can provide a centralized location for users to manage connections.

rack mount patch panel cabling

Figure 1: rack mount patch panel cabling

Rack Mount Patch Panel Types

Generally, the rack mount patch panel is available in two versions: rack mount fiber optic patch panel and rack mount Ethernet patch panel.

Rack mount fiber optic panel is commonly designed for standard 19-inch rack mounting. According to the number of connections required, it is usually available in 1U, 2U, 4U configurations with flat or angled design. For unloaded rack mount fiber optic panel, LC or SC fiber adapter panels or cassettes can be installed preferentially or during the deployment. While, for loaded rack mount fiber optic panel, fiber cables can be installed directly. According to the requirements of your project, you can choose a proper one flexibly.

The other type is the Ethernet Patch Panel, which is also called RJ45 rack mount patch panel or rack mount copper patch panel. It can be inserted with both shielded or unshielded copper cables such as Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7. Besides, RJ45 rack mount patch panels are commonly available in 24 ports and 48ports.

rack mount patch panel

Figure 2: 24 ports 1U rack mount fiber patch panel (left)
and 24 ports 1U shielded Cat6 rack mount patch panel (right)

Why Use a Rack Mount Patch Panel?

As mentioned above, the rack mount patch panel plays an important role in network setups. The following highlights some of the advantages.

  • Simple for cable management – With rack mount patch panels, all cables can be collected in one location. It offers the easy and organized management of the network cabling.
  • Convenient for reconfiguration – Since cables are terminated on the patch panel, the networking hardware like switches won’t be disturbed when adding or removing some cables. And the patch panel’s ports are often labeled, which is easy for you to find the right slots. Therefore, it is convenient to make some changes of the cabling.
  • Saving wear and tear – Because all of the connections are made with the patch panel that there is no need to plug or unplug the cables directly from the devices. Thus, using a rack mount patch panel also saves wear and tear on the input ports of expensive networking devices.

How to Use a Rack Mount Patch Panel?

Generally, there are three main steps for you to install a rack mount patch panel.


Before installation, the user should make some preparations:

  • Evaluate the number of rack units that will be used.
  • Determine the number and the size of the patch panel.
  • Choose the jacks that you are going to utilize.
  • Make sure the patch cords are matched to the installed cables.

When a pre-loaded rack mount is held, you can start installing a patch panel.

Installing a rack mount patch panel

Figure 3: Installing a rack mount patch panel

  1. Hold the drawer of patch panel in an upwards position and push it forwardly.
  2. Attach the patch panel assembly to the rack with the appropriate machine screws.
  3. Insert each cable into the matching port and then use a strap to secure the cables. (Notice: For fiber optical cables, a Velcro cable tie is suggested to strap. While for copper cables, a Nylon cable tie is recommended.)
  4. Write specific information on labels for identification if you need.

After completing the second step, you still need to make a visual inspection to ensure all devices are in a safe environment. Then, the installation is finished.


The rack mount patch panel provides an ideal solution to optimize your network setups. When choosing rack mount patch panels, port density, rack size and space should be considered. FS provides various types of patch panels such as rack mount coax patch panel, RJ45 rack mount patch panel, etc. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: How to Use Fiber Patch Panel for Better Cable Management

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LC Fiber Connector Definition, Types And User Guide

Fiber optic connector is a flexible device that can connect and disconnect fiber optic cable quickly. A large variety of fiber connector types are available, including LC fiber connector, SC fiber connector, FC fiber connector, ST fiber connector and so on. Among them, LC fiber optic connector is one of the most common types of fiber optic connectors. This article will give a clear explanation to LC fiber connector and how to use it.

What Is an LC Fiber Connector?

The LC connector is a small form factor (SFF) connector, which is designed to join LC fibers where a connection or disconnection is required. The LC connector was first developed by Lucent Technology for TelCo environment uses. Hence, LC stands for Lucent Connector mostly. In addition, LC can also stand for Little Connector and Local Connector. These LC connectors utilize traditional components of the standard connector but with a 1.25mm ceramic ferrule.

LC fiber connector

Figure 1: LC fiber connector

LC Fiber Connector Types

LC connectors have single mode and multimode tolerances. The polishing types of the LC connector are available in UPC and APC. LC APC fiber connector has an eight-degree angle to minimize back reflection and can be recognized by its green colored housing and strain relief boot. While LC UPC fiber connector can be easily recognized by blue color. Generally, two versions of LC connectors are available: jumper connector and BTW connector.

LC fiber connector

Figure 2: LC APC and UPC fiber connector

The jumper connector can be used to terminate simplex and duplex 1.6 to 2.0 mm cordage. It is convenient to engage and disengage because of a trigger and the standard latch. What’s more, jumper connector is intended for use in LAN, central offices, and in patch cords for premise distribution systems.

The BTW (behind-the-wall) connector is a shorter version of the LC intended for mounting on 0.9 mm fiber. It is typically utilized on the back side of equipment. Besides, BTW connector usually uses finger catch and extended latch, which makes the BTW connector engage and disengage easily.

What Are the Advantages of LC Fiber Connector?

Nowadays, LC fiber optic connectors are very popular in the market. The following are several advantages of LC connector:

  •  With LC connector, the cost of the system can be reduced. LC connector is half the size of the traditional SC connector. Therefore it can doubles fiber density in shelves and outlets.
  • The polarized feature of LC connector helps maintain the transmitting or receiving direction and assures high repeatability.
  • LC connector has an anti-snag latch, which can improve durability and reduce the rearrangement work caused by the cross connection.
  • It is time-saving for installation, because there is no need to install the field mountable connectors.

LC Fiber Connector Family Brief Introduction

The LC connector family consists of adapters, attenuator, Jumpers, an assortment of connector modules and panels, etc. They are generally applied in telecommunications networks, LANs, data processing networks, device terminations, premises distributions, etc. There are several major LC-related devices:

LC adapter is designed to work together with the complete LC fiber optic family to offer an optimal, high-density solution for the network. It features a self-adjusting mechanism, which accommodates patch panels of thickness between 1.55 to 1.75 mm. And it is available in single mode, multimode, simplex and duplex options. LC simplex adapter connects one LC connector pair in one module space. While LC duplex adapter connects two LC connector pairs in one module space.

LC fiber adapters

Figure 2: LC fiber adapters

LC fiber cable with two LC connectors terminated on either ends, is the most commonly used fiber optic cable type. The LC connector used on the LC fiber cable has a trigger mechanism,  which allows the connector to be easily engaged and disengaged.

LC attenuator uses LC connector, which is a commonly used LC-related device as well. It is used in fiber optic communications to reduce the optical fiber power by a certain level. Usually, it has a male plug connector on one side, and has a female fiber optic adapter on the other side. In addition, its typical attenuation values are between 1 and 30 dB.


LC fiber connector provides the connection between two LC fiber cables, or a fiber optic cable and another optical component. Besides the above mentioned LC fiber connectors, adapters, attenuator, jumpers, FS.COM provides technical support for you as well. Kindly contact FS.COM for more details if you are interested.

Related Article: How Much Do You Know About Fiber Connector Cleaning?

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