Eric Leichter, Manager for Training and Technology within the CommScope Enterprise division (, says:

Recently I wrote about new ultra high density shelves that offer density of 144 LC connections within 1U of rack space. This density has been of great benefit to end users working within cabinets where directors are taking up almost all of the usable rack space. CommScope and many vendors are pursuing high density solutions to meet market demand and attempt to make it as easy as possible to manage patching.

However, higher density solutions, by definition, may create a tighter working space. I often hear that although connectors are getting smaller and more fibers are being packed into a tighter space, peoples’ hands are still the same size. It may be more difficult to handle a higher number of connectors within a smaller space.

Choose an ultra high density shelf when
o Four units or less of rack space are available for patching
o The shelf must support the entire cabinet of electronics
o Densities greater than 96 fibers per unit of rack space are required

Choose shelves with 24-fiber MPO modules or panels installed to
o Obtain a density of 96 fibers per unit of rack space
o Accommodate connectivity for three 40-Gigabit director cards without having to split a card across fiber panels

Choose shelves with lower density panels—6 or 12 fibers per panel—to
o Provide more space for the technician to work in
o Provide more space for field termination or pigtail splicing

For some networks, high density is critical. For other networks or parts of a network, space may not be as limited and you may prefer to provide more working room for the technicians. The key is to choose a solution that supports the appropriate density at each location within your network. And ultra high density choices to provide the appropriate density for your network.