What is a FOBOT?
Today, a data centre account manager asked which rack we wanted our FOBOT installed into. I’m just a humble network guy, and in my ignorance, I had to admit that I didn’t know what he was talking about. I’ve done some Googling, and dear reader, I hope to save you some time some day.
A FOBOT, shown to the right, is a Fibre Optic Break Out Tray. I took a look at the picture and thought “Sure, but why couldn’t you just say patch panel?”. They may look similar, but as it turns out, there are a few differences.
A FOBOT is a bit more advanced than a simple patch panel. A patch panel usually offers at 12 or more holes where the cables are terminated. As a data centre customer required a cross connect, the data centre will terminate it in the patch panel. The patch panel may also have mixed cable types (for example, some fibre and some CAT6 cabling). The FOBOT will be pre-provisioned with 12-core fibre when it’s installed in the top of the rack. Upon ordering cross-connects, the data centre staff then patch it through as required.
The FOBOT is also a bit more organised, and more rugged. The cables aren’t just patched through to the back of the panel, they’re secured in the housing.
Click the image to the right for more information.