CAT7 patchpanel

Henri108

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Dec 6, 2013
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I'm looking for CAT7 patchpanels for mounting in a serverrack.
I cannot for the life of me find any legit CAT7 patchpanels that are reasonably priced.
Please help me find one.
I'll use it in a factory with attached offices that would like to have CAT7 everything.
 
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Why are you looking to install Cat 7? It's not specified for any ethernet spec. It's a niche product at best aimed at data centers (that are already using fiber anyways). It has no real future.

Cat 6a is the highest level of twisted-pair specified for any ethernet standard, and is good for up to 10 Gb/s to 100 M (I bet most of the connected systems will be 1 Gb/s for the forseeeable future). Unshielded is fine for pretty much all installs, but if the factory is putting out RM/EF interference shielded options are available (or consider fiber). Anything more is a waste of money and resources.
 
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Henri108

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Client specifies they want CAT7.
I tried talking them out of it. They still want it.
I deliver what they want :)
 

ryan_975

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You’re having a hard time finding a (cheap) Cat 7 panel because it was universally hated and practically no one used it for networking. EIA/TIA never even recognize the standard for any use.

Cat 7 requires each pair to be shielded from end to end, so special connectors (GG45, ARJ45, or TERA) are required. If terminated with traditional 8p8c (a.k.a. RJ45) ends, it’ll perform no better then Cat 6a. As with any shielded cable, performance can be severely impacted if not installed correctly.

Looks like your only real option is a keystone panel and jacks. You’re still going to have a hard time finding switches, routers, and NICs that are designed for Cat7. So they’ll still just end up with an expensive Cat 6a network.
 
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Nicklebon

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Client specifies they want CAT7.
I tried talking them out of it. They still want it.
I deliver what they want :)
I highly suspect your client has no idea what CAT7 cabling actually is. They just think a bigger number is better. Prior to it being fully ratified it was marketed under name all lan by T&B and pushed hard by Anixter. In 1999 I was involved in a project where about 12 miles of this shit was installed at IBM in a very large test lab. The users hated it because of the stupid connectors that required expensive special patch cabled to go from the bench jacks to the DUTS. The lead network admin that had been suckered into it hated it because of the constant nightmare caused the expensive connectors being fragile. Long story short the entire mess was riped out 3 years later and replaced with 5E.
 
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Client specifies they want CAT7.
I tried talking them out of it. They still want it.
I deliver what they want :)
The client is stupid, probably through no fault of their own. (Politely) tell them so.

(I get the impression this is one of those scenarios where an inexperienced netadmin or someone's kid is whispering into the buyer's ear and they want to do the equivalent of slapping "Type-R" stickers all over the network infrastructure. I'm a bit surprised they didn't request Cat 8)
 

Nicklebon

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I cannot for the life of me find any legit CAT7 patchpanels that are reasonably priced.
There is nothing about CAT7 that is reasonably priced. The cable is obscene, as are the ends. Finding a certified installer is difficult even in high tech areas likely impossible in many. When you do find one, don't expect dinner+movie or even lube. Do not even think about not paying for the final certification of the install because if it is done wrong you can expect:

1. No end to fried equipment
2. If installed anywhere near controlled airspace a visit from the FCC REAL soon
3. Flakey transient network behaviour you'll never figure out because you don't have the equipment to troubleshoot it.
 
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EniGmA1987

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Why are you looking to install Cat 7? It's not specified for any ethernet spec. It's a niche product at best aimed at data centers (that are already using fiber anyways). It has no real future.

Cat 6a is the highest level of twisted-pair specified for any ethernet standard, and is good for up to 10 Gb/s to 100 M (I bet most of the connected systems will be 1 Gb/s for the forseeeable future). Unshielded is fine for pretty much all installs, but if the factory is putting out RM/EF interference shielded options are available (or consider fiber). Anything more is a waste of money and resources.
Cat7 is an ISO standard but not a TIA standard. It was never designed to be a standard with RJ45 connectors, but rather FA connectors (though technically you also can use GG45 connectors which are backwards compatible with RJ45). Those two things combine to make it hard to find a Cat7 patch panel, since you shouldnt be able to find one with regular RJ45 connections anyway.
Also there is Cat8.1 and Cat8.2 TIA standards that are the current highest twisted-pair copper ethernet specs. Cat8.1 is designed to be used with Class 1 regular Ethernet RJ45 connectors we all know (and love?). Cat8.2 is designed to be used with class 2 FA connectors like the ISO Cat7 standard. Cat8.1 is better suited to 25gbps but *can* reach 40gbps. Cat8.2 is better suited for 40gbps connections.




I would either sell the client on Cat6A panel if they really want the high end stuff, on the grounds that cat7 RJ45 patch panel doesnt/shouldnt exist, or sell them on a Cat8 patch panel.

https://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-100...tch+panel&qid=1582132913&s=electronics&sr=1-4https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matter...Q4J2CFH0142&psc=1&refRID=F5B85X75FQ4J2CFH0142
https://www.amazon.com/Certicable-Shielded-Patch-Ethernet-Bracket/dp/B07J136JLC
https://www.leviton.com/en/products.../copper-systems/atlasx1/cat-8-shielded-system
 
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Meeho

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Cat 7 requires each pair to be shielded from end to end, so special connectors (GG45, ARJ45, or TERA) are required. If terminated with traditional 8p8c (a.k.a. RJ45) ends, it’ll perform no better then Cat 6a. As with any shielded cable, performance can be severely impacted if not installed correctly.
Has that been proven? The only testing I could find showed that it's a myth:

https://cdn.weka-fachmedien.de/whitepaper/files/055_wp_shieldedmyths_b.pdf
https://www.cablinginstall.com/home...hs-and-realities-of-shielded-screened-cabling
 

robvas

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Jun 30, 2011
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CAT6A is a big thick beast, PITA to run and annoying to terminate. The spools are farking huge!
 

EniGmA1987

Limp Gawd
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As far as the Cat7 spec goes, it must be shielded from end to end. Whether it is needed or not or other "myths" and such is an entirely different matter. Cat7 uses Class F cable type and that requires individual shield and overall shield. If you do not comply with Class F shielding then you cannot have Cat7 rated cable. Whether or not you can get the level of performance Cat7 specifies through other cable or cable done improperly is irrelevant, the specification itself is what it is.


Cat6A is a different spec and can achieve the same level of performance in Ethernet networking that a Cat7 cable can, and the Cat6A spec does not require you have a fully shielded connection from end to end. However, a shield may be needed in some environments to meet the specs. When the shield is used, it is supposed to have an electrical ground on both ends connecting the different chassis same as Cat7 spec.
 
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schizrade

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4,805
Beat some sense into your client and install fiber. Copper in dense server racks is an unnecessary mess and expense. My next move in my racks is to replace my iscsi switches with sfp+ switches... Start cutting more copper out over time.

Seriously, in a server rack, fiber. He can thank you later.
 

bman212121

[H]ard|Gawd
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Aug 18, 2011
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1,606
So what's the actual end game goal here? You're going to purchase CAT 7 panels, but then use them with RJ45 connectors?

Looking at the actual connectors, make sure you don't buy a CAT7 panel with ARJ45 connectors. Because it's missing pins 3 - 6, an RJ45 cable just flat out won't work with it. And it's not like you're going to be buying desktops or switches with ARJ ends in them, so you won't be able to use cat 7 ARJ cables either.


pennwell.web.400.230.png


The best I can tell from reading is that GG45 is supposed to be the magic, where you pay $$$$$ to get ends that have some switch in them that can change the pinout between RJ and ARJ styles. (Sounds like only Nexans is the one who actually makes these) That would likely explain part of the reason why they cost so much, because there are actual moving parts in the ends to make them work. It probably costs more to try to "futureproof" doing it that way they just replacing the cable and ends with ARJs if you ever actually end up with desktops supporting ARJ ends. (We've been waiting 15 years to just get 10 gig on RJ45, so I'd say you might be retired before 40G copper becomes a real concern for desktops) If you're doing cat7 or 7a using RJ45, then you're really just terminating a shielded 6a cable at that point. Using RJ45 jacks is not actually future proofing anything, because it won't run 40G. So even then you'd need to rip out any RJ45 panels and replace them with ARJ45 panels once both the client and the server have ARJ45 jacks on them. Another side note is that in most cases the shielding doesn't make a bit of difference in performance for 6a because they are already very good at eliminating interference without the need to be shielded, so having shielding is also a wash.
 
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