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7 Benefits of Patch-by-Exception

Enterprise Infrastructure
Posted by James Donovan on 4 January 2017 Connect with James on LinkedIn Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

From operational and cost savings to advantages in manageability, security, and aesthetics, Patch-by-Exception delivers a range of benefits as a structured cabling solution.

Below we explore 7 additional areas that benefit from PBE.

7 Patch-by-Exception Benefits

  1. Added Security

In PBE, all active equipment can be safely locked away in cabinets, as cabling technicians do not require access to perform moves, adds, and changes. Any unauthorized patching will stand out from the normally clean front faces on the modules.

Sometimes a patch cord can be incorrectly positioned on a patch panel system but difficult to locate. This problem is eliminated in a Patch-by-Exception system; all temporary patch cords and plugs stand out from the normally clean module faces so you can quickly see an incorrect patch.

  1. Security Isolation

If you have ever had an employee make unauthorized long distance phone calls from a vacant office, send anonymous e-mail from someone else’s computer, or log onto the Internet and incur service charges, you know how important it is to be able to disconnect services temporarily.

To disable services to a work area, simply place a disconnection plug into the center port for that connection. Because the plug fits a single pair, it allows for very selective management. The entire work area may be disabled or just one or two services, whichever is necessary.

In a Patch-by-Exception system, isolation management of the network, phones, and Internet service requires no special tools or training – just a simple disconnection plug.

  1. Protection for IDC Contacts

All Insulation Displacement Connection (IDC) contacts work on the principle of displacing the insulation on the wire and displacing a small amount of the copper wire to form a gas-tight joint. For example, CommScope’s IDC contacts are set at 45° and are isolated from mechanical vibration by the clamping ribs on both sides of the IDC slot.

It is vitally important that the gas-tight IDC junction with the copper wire remains free from vibration and disturbance otherwise it will start a corrosion process that over time will increase circuit resistance and can cause an open circuit inside the connection. This would have to be a technician’s worst nightmare because it is virtually impossible to detect during fault finding.

However, in a Patch-by-Exception solution, the use of disconnection modules with the central spring contacts for the plug means that the IDC-wire junctions are not disturbed in any way during the plugging in and removal of patch plugs.

This ensures disconnection modules have unparalleled protection for the IDC contacts. This is a more desirable patch plug process than those plug systems like the through-connect style that make contact with the IDC at the wire junction area.

CommScope’s contacts can accept up to 200 re-terminations, allowing for repeated use.

  1. Colorful Slots

In a Patch-by-Exception solution, all disconnection modules are marked on the top of each turret with either a color code or a number to show the correct location of the wires when terminating. When modules are used in a cross-connect arrangement, all network equipment system leads are terminated on the top row of the module.

In addition, all horizontal cables from the work areas are terminated on the top row of their modules. The cross-connecting jumper cables are terminated onto the bottom of both modules.

  1. Easy To Follow Labeling

In PBE, labels are larger and easier to follow for each wire either by color code or number. Colored tags are easy to apply to PBE disconnection modules enabling fast identification of groups of circuits. Records are more easily kept for PBE sites because once initially entered, any subsequent exception patching is easy to see on the modules. Patch cords will no longer obscure your view of labeling information on modules.

Hinged label holders for 8-pair modules can be applied to every module if desired or in groups of 10 with push-in numbers for the intervening modules. Conventional numbering in a vertical stack is left to right, starting from the bottom left module and numbering up the vertical.

  1. Aesthetic Installed Appearance

The Patch-by-Exception installations use disconnect modules that mount directly onto the wall mounted back-mount frames. Equipment rack mounting frames are available however it is highly recommended that the wall mount option is utilized.

In all newly installed PBE systems, there are no patch cords or jumper cables visible to the front.

The system is totally hard wired from network equipment to work area, providing a secure, reliable, high-performance infrastructure from switch to work area. Neat, uncluttered, eliminating patch cord mess, aesthetically pleasing, and a breeze to operate and maintain.

  1. Improved Performance

International telecommunications standards recognize there is a difference in insertion loss between solid (horizontal) cable and stranded (patch) cable.

Solid cable is 20 to 50 percent better. So by using solid jumpers at the cross-connect, not only are you saving money, you are getting better performance. This translates directly into fewer problems in the network, more data throughput, and less fault-finding issues.

Disconnection modules used for PBE solutions provide the highest performance available. This ensures not only high bandwidth now but also spare bandwidth capacity for future upgrades.

These benefits and more are why Patch-by-Exception is a great consideration for improved performance, costs, security and management in structured cabling infrastructure.