[Beowulf] experiences with MRJ-21 'telco' connectors and patch panels

Bruce Allen ballen at gravity.phys.uwm.edu
Wed Dec 28 10:37:19 PST 2005

For our upcoming NEMO cluster, I would like to buy a Foundry Networks 
switch (RX-16) with 48-port copper GigE cards that use 'mini RJ-21' 
(telco) connectors rather than the more standard RJ-45 ones.

These MRJ-21 connectors carry the equivalent of six standard CAT5E 
ethernet lines.  So a 48-port card has eight MRJ-21 connectors plugged 
into it.  The 48-port cards are not available with RJ-45 connectors 
because the RJ-45 connectors are physically too large: one can't get 48 of 
them onto the front of the card.

Since the remainder of our cluster (hosts, edge switches, etc) will use 
standard RJ-45 connectors, we need to use 'patch panels' to convert the 
MRJ-21 to RJ-45.  Does anyone on the list have good or bad experiences 
with such patch panels and with MRJ-21?


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