I’m actively involved in a few different greenfield network builds right now. While one is a new Data Center another is a new business office where we’ll have more than a few power users – including yours truly.
We’ve been using stackable switches, specifically Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 5520s, for quite a few years now but it’s only been in the past 2-3 years that we realized we could make things much neater in the closet if we actually put the switches in between the patch panels and utilized 1′ patch cables. In this configuration you can easily accommodate a 2:1 or 1.5:1 or even 1:1 ratio between data jacks and switch ports. You can easily trace cables and you can leave space for future expansion or to help ease the burden of replacing a faulty/failed switch.
I’ve provided a few different example pictures here… and since I’m a big Clint Eastwood fan I’ve aptly named them the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. We no longer place servers in wiring closets, isn’t that why we have server rooms and data centers? You’ll be challenged to actually find the switch in the last picture (there’s a few behind that mass of cables).
Feel free to share your pictures.