12U Network Rack Design

Hello experts,

We are moving to a new office soon, so I need your advice. I will install a 12U wall mounted cabinet which will include the following:

1. 2U Surveillant system DVR
2. 1U shelf which will carry three Thomson ST608 routers.
3. One 2U 48 ports patch panel or two 1U 24 ports patch panels.
4. One of these two options (please advice):
       a. One 48 ports Cisco SRW248P (1U)
       b. One 24 ports Cisco SRW224G4 (1U) and one 24 ports Cisco SRW2024P (1U)
5. 1U PDU

My questions:

1. Which is better to use in points 3 above? Is it better to use two pieces of patch panels 24 ports each or one piece of 48 ports?

2. What about switches? Is it better to use only one 48 port switch or two 24 port ones?

3. If you advice to use two patch panels with two switches, two patch panels with one switch, ore one patch panel with two switches..., in which order is it better to install them? patch- switch- patch- switch? or patch- switch- switch- patch? or .... ??

4. Finally, what is the best order for all of the devices in the cabinet?

The office will have about 20 desks, each one has a doubled network outlets, total of about 40 points. Each desk needs one POE point for IP phone and PC, the other port is for future needs.

There are three users which should have GBit ethernet. For other users, GBit is not required but recommended.

Who is Participating?
pmannoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I prefer to keep all the patch panels at the top of the rack, then use wire management between the units (and down the sides of the rack in standing racks) to route the cables.  I like the APC racks.  Here's a 13U model that wall mounts:


1. 24 port patch panel
2. wire management
3. 24 port patch panel
4. wire management
5. 48 port switch
6. wire management
7. space for routers
8. shelf for routers
9. vented BLANK
10. PDU
11. vented BLANK
12. DVR
13. DVR

Leaving space around the PDU makes it easier to plug/unplug things.
1) Use 1U 24 port patch panels with 1U wire management in between them.
2) Use 1 X 48 port switch instead of 2 X 24 port switches since you'll run into bottlenecks across the switch links.  For example, if you have 2 X 24 port switches, traffic that flows from one switch to the other will have to travel over a single 100Mbps link.  Unless you are very careful in controlling this traffic, it could over-saturate the link.  If you use a single 48 port switch, all traffic will be able to utilize the full bandwith of the switch fabric.

As far as order of devices, you'll want to put the items that are heaviest on the bottom.  That is typical of any rackmount installation.  You'll also need to consider heat dispersion so  I would recommend installing fans in the top of the rack that blow air up and out.  Leaving a 1U space open at the bottom of the rack with a vented panel is also suggested so that cool air from the front of the rack can flow into, up and out of the rack.  The sides of the rack should also allow air in.
MuhajreenAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the comment.

Finally, as I understand, you advice me to install in the following order:

1. 1U 24 port patch panel
2. 1U wire management
3. 1U 24 port patch panel
4. 1U 48 port switch

As I imagine now, the switch will have a lot of cables (48) coming from above only.

What is you opinion about this diagram:

1. 1U 24 port patch panel
2. 1U blank panel
3. 1U 48 port switch
4. 1U blank panel
5. 1U 24 port patch panel

And then connecting short UTP cables directly from each of the above patch panel ports to the first ports row of the switch, and the same for the down one.

My question in other words:

Why don't they usually connect direct short cables (about 7cm) between patch panels and switches? I need your experience to make best model for ease of maintenance in the future.
I will advice you to install in the following order:-

1)On 12U-24 port patch panel
2)On 11U-Cable management
3)On 10U-24 ports Cisco Switch
4)On 09U-24 port patch panel
5)On 08U-Cable management
6)On 07U-24 ports Cisco Switch
7)On 06U-Blank
8)On 05U-Shelf for routers
9)On 04U-Blank
10)On 03-02U-DVR
11)On 01U-PDU to be mounted to provide power supply to all switches,DVR and routers.

Hope , This design will be the best for your rack installation.
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