While working in the technology field for over 25 years I always have one saying I live by. If you can’t see it you can’t manage it. These pictures show that I always put that into practice on every job site.
This is a network I designed for a small company allowing for future growth. When I sit down to design a network I use Cisco Packet Tracer. This allows me to set up VLAN’s and IP Subnets and test that all of my IP addresses are talking to one another. Once I have everything set up and working I can copy my config files and TFTP them unto the actual hardware.
The first thing I had to do on this project was to determine where each of these wires went to. Once I knew what they were connected to I had to map out the VLAN’s I wanting the devices on the other end to connect to. The easiest way I found to do this is to change out the wires one at a time. This provides two solutions to this issue. First I kept the clients connected to the network until I was ready to move them to the new switches. And second, it allowed me to create a better cable management job at the end of the project.
As you can see by the end of the project I had a much better cleaner and more manageable rack. I also recommend that you create a spreadsheet with all of your port number and where each one of them goes. This will help in the end if you get a call from a user stating that something is not working correctly. If you know the port they are plugged into you can easily ssh into the switch and change the VLAN to the correct network.
I knew this would be an all day job and I was right. First, the rack had to be stripped and then the proper size patch cables had to be ordered.
Once I removed all of the unused patch cables I was able to really dig in and clean up this rack. I think the issue with networking is that it is a living breathing thing. What I really mean is that it sometimes grow out of necessity and if we don’t manage as we go it will get out of hand.
Designing and implementing a new IDF is a passion of mine. Engineering the perfect place in business to install a new IDF rack is the first step to a successful network layout. Also when it is new it’s easy to get it right.
Color coding is very important to everyone who may be into contact with a rack now and in the future. We also have documentation to backup all of the switches that we install. I also made sure to have documentation of each switch port and what it controls.
Remember if you can’t see it you can’t manage it. This might be another full day session but in the end, it is worth it. I always feel that no job is too small or large it just has to be done right.
Building a new network can be done in many ways. I like to begin with a well thought out plan. I use Cisco Packet Tracer to set up the entire network from the core switches to the end points. I also like to create a road map for all of my VLAN’s. When you map out your network and setup your VLAN’s and IP Subnets you will be able to see the connectivity. This also allows me to ensure that my subnets can talk to one another. This is a network I designed for a small company that will allow future growth.