Let's discuss data center design, specifically using a point-to-point versus a structured cabling method. Simply put, the point-to-point method is just hooking up ports directly when you need them, either using a copper patch cord or a duplex fiber jumper. The problem is you could end up with a lot of extra cable. Even though stock patch cords are readily available, over time all that excess length adds up, and it’s really difficult to remove.
Setting up a structured cabling system will require a lot more planning; in the end, you’ll reap a myriad of benefits. A great resource for planning a structured cabling system is the TIA-942 document. It’s also some great light reading. The main objective is to create a CPL (or Central Patching Location). All of your hardware and system ports can be emulated here, and the result is a space where you can immediately deal with your patch cords.
In the typical setup, the equipment is hooked up to the patch panels at the top of the rack, but the real magic happens behind the rack. Back here, we can utilize our multi-fiber and copper trunks to run back to our CPL. These trunks significantly reduce cabling bulk, improve airflow, reduce installation time, and offer optimum link protection.
Now with the cabling pulled, all we have to do is plug in our MTPs at the CPL, and we’re ready to rock.