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OK, I'm by no means a seasoned networking pro and I had no say so in the design of our current server room which is in dire need of an extreme makeover. Basically, in our server room we have 12 wall plates with 4 RJ-45 ports on each - 48 total RJ-45 ports. From these 48 ports is a spaghetti bowl of network cables feeding our servers located in a rack - there is no patch panel currently, just straight from the wall jack to each server. We really don't have the funds to mount the patch panel and have it fed directly from the switches in the telcom closet which is several hundred feet away.

What I was wondering is, is it feasible to mount a 48 port patch panel in our server rack and feed into this patch panel from the wall jacks (of course nicely routing this cable through some new cable trays)?

Current: Switch (Telcom Closet) -> Wall Jacks -> Servers

Proposed: Switch (Telcom Closet) -> Wall Jacks -> Patch Panel -> Servers

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This question desperately cries out for pictures. – Michael Hampton Sep 3 '12 at 7:02
Now that you've described the problem, what is your question? Are you looking for advice on how this should be done? Do you want to hire one of us to fix it for you? Or what? – John Gardeniers Sep 3 '12 at 7:28

Yes - if I understand you correctly.

Nothing stopping you purchasing a patch-panel then running 48 CAT5's out of the back of the panel (punched in to the panel of course) in a bundle. You then just crimp RJ45 on the end of each of the 48 cables.

If you want to keep the job to a minimum you could purchase 48 patch cables and hack the ends off of them, then just buy a punch-down tool. Crimping RJ45 connectors (in my opinion) is not to be tackled by someone inexperienced as a marginal cable plugged in to a server = disaster. You have less change of getting a punch-down wrong.

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There's a slight win having a 48-port patch panel in the rack, in that you have less distance to trace a cable (and less distance for cables to tangle in). However, 48-portpatch pal eats 1-2 U of space and if you only have a single rack, do you really need 48 ports (it may be that you have multiple machines with dual network connections).

In short, yes, it may make sense, but without knowing what you actually want to accomplish, we have to speculate.

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