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.” 1 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.
Managing cable plant is simplified with consistent identification standards for rooms, racks, panels, faceplates, and network hardware. It is best practice to use the recommendations outlined the EIA/TIA606B naming standards guide. Using this approach to identify hardware, ports and cables throughout the cable plant infrastructure helps to easily pinpoint a device’s location and connection during maintenance or in emergency situations.
As an example, a faceplate may have a structure similar to:
Planet recently published our guide to Best Practices for Inside Plant Administration and Oversight. We’ve built a process that Planet consultants have used time and again to help clients manage their Inside Plant IT Infrastructure data. The document gives a general methodology to define goals, assemble teams, gather and normalize data, implement Infrastructure Management software, and create a process to maintain current and accurate records. Enjoy!