Are you tracking your passive IT infrastructure assets?
Comprehensive IT infrastructure management includes tracking both the active and passive* components.
Active equipment, from a documentation standpoint, is much more likely to already be tracked within an organization’s property system. Active devices are typically much more expensive, and as such are afforded a spotlight in most IT asset management planning scenarios. For the purpose of thorough infrastructure documentation, however, passive equipment shouldn’t be left behind.
Passive IT infrastructure devices form the permanent structure upon which active devices send signals and route network traffic. They are the foundation of a successfully functioning network, yet tend to be neglected for lack of glamor until something breaks. This category of devices includes cables, faceplates, patch panels, fiber shelves, pull boxes, blocks, splitters, taps, and many other types of relatively inexpensive components. Because these devices are generally treated as commodities, and have less likely been inventoried, labeled with asset tags or have visible serial numbers (or even visible model numbers). This can make tracking and documenting passive infrastructure more of a challenge.
Having an accurate and thorough inventory of passive devices is not only critical during disaster recovery and cyber security situations, but it also plays an important role in daily operations for moves and build-outs.
Planet is offering a free guide to Best Practices for Outside Plant Administration and Oversight that discusses the passive documentation challenge, along with guidance on the best approaches to getting a handle on your entire OSP IT infrastructure.
* Just in case you weren’t sure, active components are defined as devices that must have external power in order to function (switches, routers, etc.). Passive devices do not require electrical power to work; they connect to active components and transmit the electrical or optical signals (cables, patch panels, etc., as noted above).