[unisog] Intelligent Patch Panels

Peter Van Epp vanepp at sfu.ca
Tue Sep 20 15:39:53 GMT 2005

On Tue, Sep 20, 2005 at 09:57:29AM +0530, Information Security wrote:
> Hi All,
> Thanks for your feedback.
> Here are the existing solutions related to Patch Panels. Infact all of them 
> are excellent products.
> But none seems to solve our problem. We have testlab of approx. 200 machines 
> so frequent interconnections is a daily job. 
> http://www.systimax.com/products/ipatch/
> http://www.the-edirectory.info/newsitem.asp?EDEV_ID=3&EDNE_ID=444
> http://www.ecat.rittech.com/ProductShow.asp?id=1129&TemplateID=2
> http://www.ortronics.com/us/products/
> http://www.ampnetconnect.com/
> Regards,
> Sandip

	It isn't entirely clear to me what you are looking for. However we were
just talking with the MRV folks who make a crosspoint switch (with up to 
300+ ports). We were considering it as a replacement for multiport fibre taps
(because it is SPFed and can support SM, MM, and copper in the same chassis) for
monitoring rather than its intended use as a remote patch panel to avoid 
rolling a person for moves adds and changes. My main concern with this (unlike
the current taps) are twofold: it isn't passive so a power failure drops the
connections (but it is on a UPS so that isn't necessarily an issue except as
another single point of failure and we already have lots of those :-)). Finger 
trouble on the control panel is my big worry. Unlike the passive taps where I 
can (and do) get the wrong connection on the sniffer, such a mistake on an 
active patch panel could disrupt a live connection which is worth considering 
against a passive tap which can't disrupt the connection (although is more 
expensive than the switch). Its possible you could use the management software
to stop this (i.e. you can only move the monitor ports around not disrupt the
live connections unless you are on a different more powerful account), but we
haven't looked that far yet, still having free tap ports and no money :-).
	You would seem to be their main market segment which is test labs that
need to set up and tear down connections on a regular basis, but I think you
are looking for the mind reading version of this that knows what two points 
you want connected and automatically connects them (I don't know that such a
thing exists though). 


Peter Van Epp / Operations and Technical Support 
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. Canada

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