We're in a situation at our new building where we have 58 drops but only 48 ports on our switch. Roughly 40 of our drops will be in use, but it's a random selection ranging from 1 to 58.

Typically I would run it 1:1, so 32 on the panel is patched into 32 on the switch, but that's obviously not possible in this case.

What is the standard way of handling this? I'm assuming something like 1:1, 2:2, 5:3, 6:4, etc, etc. Is this correct?


There's no need to match patch panel numbers with switch port numbers. It's not a scalable solution, and really doesn't add management value for an environment this size.

Populate the drops that you intend to use and ensure that you have some free ports on the switch for expansion.

You can label the cable ends if necessary. Buy a wire marker booklet or print adhesive labels from a labeler.

Bonus points: Add a small cable management unit to keep things tidy as you add/change patch cables.

Here's 40 of 48 patch panel ports populating a 48-port switch. enter image description here


This is all about how you choose to view/organize/manage the connections. Neither the patch panel nor the switch know or care which port is connected to which other port.

That being said, I totally get and agree with your method and idea. It makes it much easier from an administrative/management standpoint. One suggestion might be to purchase a second switch (24 or 48 port) and populate these switch ports starting with port number 1 on the second switch connected to port number 49 on the patch panel, so 48 (first switch) + 1 (second switch) = 49 (patch panel). 48 +2 = 50, etc.

It may seem simplistic but I think it would certainly make sense to me if I were looking at it and managing it.

  • One hundred percent on board with your second switch idea. That is what I originally planned on doing, but it turns out our existing 24 port switch is being repurposed in another location and my budget for this new building is laughable. I understand that patch panel and switch don't care what's what, I was thinking from a management/upgrade standpoint. I think I will just print out a table showing what's patched into where for future reference. – Charles Apr 24 '15 at 4:08

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