Can someone please help: I'd like to know what a patch panel is and how it is going to help me.
Our office consist of multiple stories with many partitions between rooms on a floor.
A lifetime ago I connect our servers to a series of unmanaged switches. I figure it is an easy way to extnd cable lengths and manage the cables. Just put a switch in each room that connects to a switch on the server room. And if there isnt enough port, simply daisy chain the switches. Then the network became really slow....
So we enlisted the help of a network guy who told me that instead of multiple switches, I need to install a bigger, managed switch in the server room. The cables from each individual clients should all connect directly to the big switch. It does seem to help.
But now we have daisy-chained the big switch (using a trunking of 8 cables between the two managed switch) to allow us more ports for additional clients. In addition to becoming slower, we found that the cables are becoming so messed up and difficult to manage. Every now and then, rats will find a way to damage the cables. Also, the wiring in the server room is becoming more like a jungle.
So this is where my question comes in. I have just recently learned the existence of patch panels. So my questions are:
1. Will patch panels add more hops to the network ? (I was told this is the reason my network was low in the first place).
2. What is the performance difference between using multiple patch panels vs multiple dumb switches?
3. Can I use patch panels to patch panels connection without decreasing speed? (i.e, basically go back to my original dumb switch design but instead use patch panels on every room, and connect the panels to another panel in the server room).
But how is this different from using dumb switches?
But I guess what I really wanted to know is: what is the best practice to using patch panels?
I'm not even sure how it will make the wiring INSIDE the server room more tidy, let alone the whole office.
And by the way... Can you please recommend a good patch panel?