Network Management Software Isn’t Enough

It’s been documented that “…nearly 70 percent of all network-related problems can be traced to either poor cabling installation or problems with the cabling components.  The likelihood for live cabling and components to sustain damage is high as cable technicians gradually enforce the National Electric Code’s declaration to have abandoned cables removed.  And even in daily operational activities within telecom closets and computer rooms, it’s possible to damage cables and terminations as equipment and connections are moved.

When damage is sustained, an organization cannot solely rely on Network Management Systems (NMS) to manage the network and troubleshoot problems.  Here’s a possible scenario:

  • An NMS signals an alert or a user calls the Service Desk complaining of connectivity issues.
  • The service desk checks the local switch to see if it is down or if a port has been disabled – everything is working.
  • Next they check the user’s station device to try to ping the switch –  no response.

If there is no cable management system in place, the service desk cannot provide any further detail to assist the engineer with troubleshooting. As a result, pinpointing the issue can be time-consuming for the engineer and frustrating for the affected customer(s).

With an integrated cable management system, the Service Desk can trace the switch port and identify the passive cable plant connections all the way to the faceplate to determine all device ports that need to be checked.  The active and passive  port connection data allows the engineer to focus his efforts on those designated areas, which expedites the fault identification process and minimizes any disturbance to the other cables and ports (and users) sharing the same devices.

The following screenshot shows an example of a circuit path trace, which indicates every port on every piece of equipment the circuit transits. The preliminary detective work is done, allowing the engineer to focus his immediate attention on only those areas where the fault is possible.  The results?  Faster resolution, less frustrated engineer, happier end user.

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