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Cable Management Enterprise Level


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#1 Cyran

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:32 PM

Hey all,

 

I have a question, and could use some helpful criticism as well as advice.

 

Trying to clean up some network closets that.... Look, not so good.

 

I want to clean up these closes and manage the network Cables so that they look pretty and clean. I know how to do it if it was from scratch, however, the networking equipment is already setup by someone from way before my time, and I would like to know.

 

How can I clean it up?

 

What are the main steps that I need to take in order to achieve optimum efficiency and cleanliness, as well as have MINIMUM TO NO DISRUPTION (sorry for the caps, but its important).

 

How can I find out which port is going to what device while remote in the switch via CLI. I want to make a Cable Layout Key for my team that says, Port 1 on SW 1 is going to the Janitors office.

 

Any advice would be appreciated, or if you can lead me to a YouTube video that explains it would be good too.

 

NO- I cannot give you pictures- Just FYI.

 

All helpful information appreciated.

 



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#2 mjd420nova

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:42 PM

This takes a lot of patience , loads of layout paper , some cabling and crimp tools to replace those cables too short to route properly and orderly.  Sometimes its easier to move some equipment around in a rack to reduce some clutter.  Dressing      network and digital cables to one side and coax and power cables to the other will help separate preventing some of the possible interferece. Tie wraps help keep it neat and the foremost item is LABELING.  Makes the rest easier.



#3 Cyran

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:51 PM

So, I have the label maker, and I have the equipment needed to run, pull and crimp different kinds of cables. That's not currently the issue. The issues is that the equipment is already setup, the network is already made and has been made for a good while now, my job is going to be how do I clean it up and make it look nice neat and tidy, as well as organized and optimized.



#4 Kilroy

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:50 PM

How bad is it?  Does it look like some of these?

 

Take a look at what you have and make a plan.  The last time I did a restack we did:

 

cable management

switch

cable management

switch

cable management

switch

cable management

UPS

 

I had a whole bunch of brand new patch cables of different lengths and colors.  Different things had different colors:

 

WAPs - Blue

Specially configured Ports - RED

Guest LAN - Green

Security Cameras - Yellow

 

and so on.  It really depends on how fancy you want to get, how much time you spend in the closets, and how much money you can spend.



#5 Cyran

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:34 PM

I understand that it will take time. The main issue is how can I achieve the following tasks:

 

  1. Find out which Ethernet cable is going to what Ethernet port once it leaves the switch. So from the Switch Port to XXX1 computer. Without having to take out the ethernet cable and trying to figure out what port it is going to in the building.
  2. How can I do this without having much disruption on the network, if at all possible.

I know how to clean it up, and I'm positive I'll spend about 100+ hours getting it done, I just want to do this without having my users experience lack of access to their databases as well as the internet if at all possible. I know that they may experience disconnected services. But I want to try and avoid as much disruption as possible.



#6 MasterNe0

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:54 PM

You basically need to first draw out a network diagram for yourself. It good to know what everything does, you don't need to know this thought to accomplish creating a diagram.

 

I use paper/pen and then create microsoft visio diagram using pictures from the internet to lay out everything, see where CABLE A STARTS FROM AND LEADS TO, example "CABLE A connects to SWITCH A, Port 2 to ROUTER LAN Port 1". Cable A can be any color, length, doesn't matter as long as you can connect the two devices.

 

Use a label maker to label SWITCH A, SWITCH B, ROUTER A, FIREWALL, Etc.

 

Double check before you start unplugging anything that you have a understanding how everything connects to each other.

 

Also take pictures for yourself.

 

I use this for new clients and existing clients when cleaning their IT closet that we didn't do any form of setup with. Did this the other day after unplugging everything, I had pictures and a diagram I drew up a while back that I used to reconnect everything.

 

Afterwards you can see about using the same size cables, colors, etc to lay out the network for you and the location. You can plan it out using visio or some other network diagram program.


Edited by MasterNe0, 14 February 2018 - 04:55 PM.


#7 Orecomm

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 09:14 PM

if your switches are intelligent you should be able to dump the switch table (aka ARP, MAC, or similar; "show mac-address-table" on a Cisco.) that will give you the MAC address of whatever is attached to the port. Then from your router's ARP table or DHCP table you can find the IP (and sometimes interesting names and such) that matches the MAC. A well planned Excel session with lots of sorts and merges later you will have a pretty good idea of what goes where. If it's still sparse an NMAP run will collect a lot more data. The key is getting the port-to-MAC mapping from your switches. If they are unmanaged you may be in for a bit of a challenge, but then it doesn't really matter what goes to which port. All you need is a few extra ports to start your migration to and you can work your way - slowly - though the nest. 

 

I did work at one company where, after working to migrate one closet, they decided to upgrade their cable plant to the next "Cat" and removed the remaining five old closet backboards - with a chainsaw - to make room to install patch panel racks and re-cable. Not without disruption, but a good cabling company dropped in over 400 new cable drops across the building wired to new racks over a weekend. Most of the next weekend was spent extracting two large dumpsters of the old cable from ceilings and walls (we did that ourselves). The plus was the scrap value was sufficient for a decent pizza and beer celebration once we finished. The upgraded cable and cleaned up closets greatly improved network stability and cut downtime, not to mention tech frustration levels.






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