How tidy is your comms rack?
Like everything in life, a comms rack can generally become chaotic over time. This is often due to a lack of time, emergency patching, no documentation and possibly some entropy.
itQED were recently involved in a project to provision a new VOIP phone system. As part of this, the network had to be re-vamped to ensure it was able to support prioritised voice traffic end to end. To this end, a number of Cisco PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches were installed in a redundant configuration to provide a stable and resilient network.
The picture below shows the comms rack at the beginning of the work:
As you can see, the patching had organically grown over time! This can cause a number of problems, including:
- Patch panel numbering is obscured
- Changing any patching requires spending significant time tracing each cable
- Rack doors will not close
- Documentation is impossible to produce
- Issues can be difficult to diagnose and solutions can be delayed.
As part of the work the entire cabinet was re-patched allowing:
- Full documentation
- Colour coded cables for each resource
- Full visibility of the patch panel numbering and switches
- Patching changes are now much easier, taking seconds rather than 15 minutes
(Bearing in mind there was no access to the sides or back of the rack)