How do you manage the dense cabling at the front of a C6509 with 48-port
6748 cards? I'd like to put one C6509 with 288 ports at each end of a multi-rack patch field, and am wondering whether to connect patch cords directly from the patch field onto the ports of the 6748 cards; or to first connect every port on the 6748 cards to some less-dense patch panels (2U 48-jack panels, with 2U of horizontal management between each panel), and then connect patch cords between those patch panels and the patch field.
My experience has been that if you do add/remove/change maintenance with the patch cords direct to the front of the 6509, then it's difficult to keep the cabling neat over time.
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Install the 6509 wiring management brackets on both sides of the chassis. Part the ports down the middle and route it out through the side brackets. Never route all 48 ports over to one side. It just won't work out well. Route the cables on the side opposite the punchdown panels up through vertical management and over the top of the
6509 through 2U horizontal wire management to the panels. Don't stuff the wire management full. I'd not go over 48 cables in a 2U unit. Buy more wire management instead of cramming them all in one 2U unit. I'd recommend using velco (keep it loose) to create bundles of wires end to end. Somewhere you need to have a slack drop (unless you custom cut your cables. It will stay neat for the long-haul if you spend a few hours laying the foundation in the beginning.
The best way to keep the cables neat is to not use patch cables at all. We wire all of the ports on the switch to a 110-block. We install patch panels in the server cabinets and the other end of the patch panel is wired to a
110-block. All patching is then done with cross-connect wire. This is very expensive to install, but has big dividends in the end. This is very controversial, and not every one is a believer. Closets are wired in the same fashion. I have been doing it this way for about 10 years, and the many companies I have worked for, all thought I was crazy until it was implemented. Have to swap out a card? no problem, takes about 10 minutes because all the cables in the switch are velcroed together and numbered. Unclip the RJ45's pull the cable out of the way, pull the card, reinsert cables. Dividends are also paid when you need to move a connection from one switch to the other, you just move a cross-connect. The cross-connect method also makes tracing cables very, very easy, which can be next to impossible with patch cables after a couple of years and you have cable spaghetti. Again, as I said before, this is very expensive on the front end. Costs about $2k per 48-port card to wire, and you need to plan and reserve space for the cross-connect field. Cat5e and Cat6 has a distance limit of about 25-feet for cross-connections, so if you don't plan the cross-connect field properly, you can easily exceed this in a big data center. You also need big cabinets for the 6500's, but this is the case even if you patch directly to them. 24" cabinets are not wide enough for all the cables on the side and so 36" wide cabinets are the norm. In a big company the other advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it) is that all cabling is done when the card is installed for the switches, and all the cable for server cabinets is done when they are installed. The only thing that needs to be done for a new connection is to install a new cross-connect, which can be done in about 5 minutes.
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