A patch panel is a piece of hardware with multiple ports that helps organize a group of cables. Each of these ports contains a wire that goes to a different location. Patch panels can be quite small, with just a few ports, or very large, with many hundreds of ports. They can also be set up for fiber optic cables, cat5 cables, RJ45 cables, and many others.
Patch panels connect various IT devices together. They are in many different environments including communications closets, telephone company central offices, and data centers. Understanding the role they play can help to determine if your facility requires a patch panel, and if so, how to set it up.
Each port in a patch panel goes to a different device somewhere in the facility. Each panel bundles all the connections together in order to connect to another network. This is often how a LAN connects to a WAN, or to the Internet. Patch panels are also commonly used in facilities with a lot of telephone lines, in which one mainline is used for all phones.
For more information on the various types of patch panels available, get in touch with the team of Magenta.