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labeling cables in a forest of Cat5e

By kawarimi ·
Hi, I am a newbie of my current company and gettting frustrated as I am assigned to restructers and labeling current network in my company. I have over 200 UTP points through out my office building without proper labels and cable physical allocation, can anyone help me on what is the easiest way to do labeling on these messed up cables.
Another prob. is the network is running long before my senior has joined this company, there is limited info on this network's cabling from him as well...
Anyone kind enough to share some knowledge on this?

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by Black Panther In reply to labeling cables in a fore ...

Turn all the PC's off and on a weekend start them up one at a time and see which light comes on at the switch/hub.

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Good idea. Tough job.

by stress junkie In reply to Labelling

This is a good idea that I hadn't thought of in the past. Well, I haven't had to figure out the cabling for an entire network for a long time but I have had to figure out what cables went from a switch to servers that I've administered. Anyway, turning off the computers and then turning them on one at a time is a very good idea.

Cable labels are important but they are also problematic. I have found that once the cables are labelled they don't get updated when changes are made. In my experience from the simpler viewpoint of keeping track of what cables from "my" servers went to what ports on what switches was difficult enough when the network administrators made changes. Trying to keep cable labels up to date for all of the network wiring on even a medium sized LAN could be a difficult problem.

There are some software packages that can do a lot of the work for you. I haven't used them because I run servers. Maybe others reading this can comment on products like HP Open View that can map a network automatically. Trying to manually keep LAN cabling properly labelled is definitely a huge, boring, and difficult job.

I wish that I had better news for you.

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Excuse me

by Roger99a In reply to Good idea. Tough job.

isn't that what the little numbers on the patch panels are for? The number written on the workstation end should match the number on the patch panel. If you don't have patch panels in the clost then get some. It will save much confusion in the future.

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Patch panel

by Skidoggeruk In reply to Excuse me

I hope that they will be doing this as part of this exercise, unless they like this sort of thing.

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Get a cable tester & coloured cable

by Skidoggeruk In reply to labeling cables in a fore ...

Get a cable tester, 2 people and a lot of time. 1 guy sits in the comms room with one end of the cable tester the other guy goes around the building connecting up, one of you pushes the button, "Is it one now?", "Is it one now?", "Is it one now?"

I like the other reply about switching on the PCs that would be good, still need 2 guys, unless you want to get healthy doing a lot of back and forth. Here is a sping on that idea, walk around with a laptop, plugging into each port as you go, this should hopefully show a link light going on and off, as you plug in and out of sockets. Again, 2 guys would make this a bit faster (and easier?).

Get coloured cable to differentiate at your patch panels. IE Blue for workstations, Green for telephone, Red for servers, etc

Think this could have been a Q&A question really, how bout some points? ha

Good Luck

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Tone Generator

by jmgarvin In reply to Get a cable tester & colo ...

You only need one guy and a tone generator. It will take some time and a bunch of AA batteries, but it will be worth it in the end.

I also suggest color coding AND you should probably color code rooms/floors/office groups. Make sure to get quality cable trays too, this could save you some hassle if you bundle the cables properly.

Another thing you might want to do is lable the drops with the MAC of the computer on that drop.

Most of all, set aside some good quality crawling time to check on the cables, fix bundles, and apply zip ties.

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Cable Labeling

by midwest1 In reply to labeling cables in a fore ...

Well first do you have a switched network with a good router. If so check the line CMD's, in most good switches and routers theres ways to get names and IPs for each port on the switch. But you need to start with labeling all new installs. There is alao few programs out that will do the same thing as the CMD line on the switchs and routers. Some give alot of detail other do not.

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signal thrower or call a user

by BHunsinger In reply to labeling cables in a fore ...

My first thought was to use a signal thrower like phone tech use, plug it in and test ist for tone.
Then I read the person who suggested turning on one computer at a time.
Try unpluging one computer at a time like at lunch. one person pulls one records.

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only the hard way works...

by kawarimi In reply to signal thrower or call a ...

Thanks guys, I think i would go for cable tester to do the job, mean while unplugging cables sounds ok with me either but turning on PC would be much easier
By the way, I heard patch panels on server rack can be use to do the labeling job, does anyone knows how? what I think is turn all workstations, routers, servers on with IP assigned, then use a laptop ping from patch panels to the assigned IPs, so please correct me if I'm wrong :)

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If you use a manageable switch then...

by Hockeyist In reply to labeling cables in a fore ...

...see what information you can glean from it. That is, what ip addresses are connected to each port. You can then determine what machines, if any, are connected to each port.
Just export all information to a spreadsheet and go from there. Using the spreadsheet to map pc's/ip addresses to each switch port you should be able to clean up very quickly.

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