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I'm working on a network project where the networking equipment is located in utility closets which aren't very secure.

I'd like to put all the networking equipment and servers in free-standing (ie, not mounted to the wall) locking rack cabinets.

The problem is that the networking patch panels are all on punch blocks (some are 1U others are 4U), rather than making use of keystone jacks.

What's the best way to get the patch panels into a cabinet? Most cabinets I've worked with only have holes for feeding cables through, with the expectation that you will terminate them after they have been fed into the cabinet. I'd like to feed the patch panels into the cabinet without having to re-terminate any wiring.

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2 Answers 2

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I did find some middle atlantic branded racks that come with open tops and covers to put into place after the fact. It looks like there should be enough room to slip the patch panels into the rack through the open top.

Rack: http://middleatlantic.com/enclosure/gang/wrkg.htm

Top and door options: http://middleatlantic.com/eoptions/page1.htm

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Unless by chance you have enough cable run to cut, re-run into the newly installed rack, and re-terminate, you're most likely going to have to run new cables. Depending on the rack manufacturer (and moreso whether it's Pre-assembled or "some assembly required"), you may be able to maneuver the patch panels into the rack without re-terminating.

If you do end up having to re-run your cables because they're too short to reuse, one way to make it easier to do your pulls is to tie and/or tape the new cable to the old one, an then pull the old cable from it's drop, bringing along the new cable along for the ride.

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Re-running and/or re-terminating is what I'm trying to avoid having to do. –  Force Flow Dec 27 '11 at 13:26
    
Which is why the second sentence is there. –  gWaldo Dec 27 '11 at 14:10
    
It might be worth a few bucks to do sort of an "extended" patch panel arrangement. Mount new patch panels in the cabinet, then punch down a series of patch cables. Punch down the other end of these cables directly to the old panels outside the cabinet. I really don't think much of my idea, but it might help achieve the limited objective of locking up your gear while preserving some amount of manageability - until the next budget cycle. :) –  B Knight Dec 29 '11 at 1:55

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