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Structured Cabling for Access Switches.


Hi everyone,

I am always looking at new ways of doing things, although some are experimental and some may have it's faults. But I am willing to try and take a risk of doing things easier. I have been an architect since my Service Provider days, being into enterprise a lot focus has change. Instead of being on the edge of Technologies, we are way behind. And mostly because of risk involve. I am a doing, i have engineered MPLS-TE on M320 then multi links.. That's a piece of work that are still in place with my feature of using ratio.

Anyway, today topic is about structure cabling, and i had a chance to do it a few years ago to do tech refresh for 300 over Access switches. And i was going thru the process of doing it myself over the existing setup and it was a pain to change 20 switches in one location over 3 days weekends.


Instead having to try to label every single cable, i took a snap shot of the configuration and mark the interesting/Special port on the cable and make sure it goes back. I was thinking it would be good to have a system to track the devices on the switch port - so i have - i build Cacti's Plugin Mac Track. Terrific tools that tells me if they have swap the Server cable wrongly - it basically track the Mac Address on the Machine into the switch, switch port, which vlan and has a time stamp.


But that isn't good enough, I need to change the way how we do cabling, why don't i get rid of labels, do a direct connection since the a 48ports switches are matched at 24 ports patch panel, I will put the switch in between the panel and use short cables - it's Drop Down. easy!

Not only I think this is a good way for my campus team also it's immediately became dummy proof.(sorry no pun intended).  of course depending on space we can space the empty spacing between the switch and the patch panels.


In Asia, here we don't believe everyone requires two ports, in Singapore alone i have 800 ports and users are required to have valid reasons to have dual ports, just like me! and we would cost it!  Having dual ports at 1600 cables, the cost@$100 per port that's expensive. and we have a great facilities supports which will come in NBD to replace any fault cable asap.


In Europe, it's a different game, electrician are difficult to come by and they seldom so we would need to have dual/2 ports as standard. Almost all the 1st ports are static we don't change that often, it's flexibility and sparing what they are aftering and time to recover. So even though 2 ports per user doesn't seems a lot, but you increase it to 792 ports that's a huge amount of cost. In my last diagram rack Layout, we split the ports top active and bottom spares for dual port user requirements and as well as for redundancy in case of a switch failure we have another port on another switch. Also we have Wifi on all the segments placing them in strategic location will help improve service up time vs interruption.


Here is some of the pictures before an


Any comments are welcome, I am open for improvements!




Everyone's tags (1)
Hall of Fame Super Gold

From 2001 until 2005, I was

From 2001 until 2005, I was employed with SITA/Equant under the joint-venture.   I was part of the Proactive Surveillance and Monitoring team based out of Sydney and I deal with a lot of people from GNMC Singapore.  I was also the source of Pacific tropical cyclone alert.  


A lot has changed since then.  I used to check up on all the Nortal DPN 100 and Passport cabinets.  


My comment is this:  It's a waste to see 1RU "gaps" above and below your switch.  This is true when you want to deploy stacking.  You will need to get additional (and longer) stacking cables.  One thing to consider is access to the data cabinets.  I've worked in several organization and I've seen my hard work of tidying up of the data cabinet going to waste in a matter of hours.  This is because ANYONE had access to the data cabinets.  The very minute I took the keys away, the patching because neater.  However, the amount of calls and/or complaints I got for access (particularly FREE reign) increased sharply.   Another reason why patch cabinets remained disorganized is due to the lack of adequate supplies of cables.  I've seen people use a five metre cable when a two metre is more-than-enough and this was used because no adequate-length cable was found/sourced/stocked.