Just re-seat the patch cable.



  • I hadn't been working at this company for very long, when a user's computer lost its connection to the network - after testing, I was able to determine the drop was dead.  The head IT guy (a.k.a. the ONLY IT guy other than myself) told me it was probably just a loose patch cable, and to go down to the server room to reseat it.

     No problem.

     

    My little Kraken

     

    Of course, the drop was not labled.  But that's okay, nether were the ports on the switch.

    I decided to invest in a toner.  Best money I ever spent.



  • How was he re-seating the patch cables without a toner? Did he just ... yank every single one in sequence? Guh.



  • @KrakenLover said:

    I decided to invest in a toner.  Best money I ever spent.
     

    Could one of you explain to us software people what "toner" means in this context?




  • (Hotlinked-- forgive me)

    You clip the little box onto your cable (or plug it into a phone/network port) and it creates a distinct tone (sound) through the wire. Then you use the magic wand part, which detects and plays back the tone so you can trace the cable through the wall.

    In this case, he plugs the box into his user's network jack, then takes the wand into the server room and runs it over all of those wires until he hears a faint tone, then tries to separate the wires one by one until he finds the specific cable that runs to that user's jack. The wand has a sharp end specifically so you can jab it into thick bundles of wire.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @KrakenLover said:

    I decided to invest in a toner.  Best money I ever spent.
     

    Could one of you explain to us software people what "toner" means in this context?


    A toner, also called a Fox and Hound, is composed of two devices - one
    that sends a signal, a tone, of a certain frequency through a cable
    (called the "fox"), and the "hound" which is a wand-like device with an
    interal antenna that reacts to the frequencey generated by the "fox".

     So,
    you basically hook the fox up to any arbitrary cable, and you can use
    the hound to trace the cable to its other terminiation point.

     i.e.  what blakeyrat said.

     @blakeyrat said:

    How was he re-seating the patch cables without
    a toner? Did he just ... yank every single one in sequence?
    Guh.
    I should mention that the comapny out-sources various IT funcitons so that they don't have to keep an IT staff in-house.  So I have little idea how things were done before I got there.



  • @KrakenLover said:

     So, you basically hook the fox up to any arbitrary cable, and you can use the hound to trace the cable to its other terminiation point.

     i.e.  what blakeyrat said.

    +1 learn something every day.

    Also @ cables: OMG. Even I wouldn't do that.



  • @b-redeker said:

    @KrakenLover said:

     So, you basically hook the fox up to any arbitrary cable, and you can use the hound to trace the cable to its other terminiation point.

     i.e.  what blakeyrat said.

    +1 learn something every day.

    Also @ cables: OMG. Even I wouldn't do that.

    Yeah.  I was shocked.

    The hot water heater right across from the switches and next to the servers didn't exactly instill me with confidence either.



  • What an awesome device.

    Maybe we can use it to trace blakey's Ubuntu's 120dB square wave.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    <toner explanation>
    Nice. And I though I was high-tech for having my own LAN tester.

    The spike at the end worries me though. If I had that within reach I might be tempted to stab someone in the eye around here...



  • @DOA said:

    The spike at the end worries me though. If I had that within reach I might be tempted to stab someone in the eye around here...

     

    I Know that urge. Hooray for the paperless office! No scissors, staplers, pens or compasses laying around!



  • Over on the left, he's tied a knot in a red cable.  That's just itching for someone to trip over another wire, tighten the knot, create a kink, and have to rerun the cable.

    Have someone (NOT YOU) put in some overtime to fix this up.  Or stay home on Thursday and Friday and come in Saturday to fix it.  

    While you're at it, run big huge zip-tied bundles of cable all over the floor and pretend you're in Echo Base on Hoth.



  • I hope you also decided to invest in a label printer for the cables, so that you don't need to use the toner too often...

    Ugh, that picture is the reason that wireless was invented.

    ED: Quoting the entire OP makes baby Jesus cry.  -btk


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @The_Assimilator said:

    Ugh, that picture is the reason that wireless was invented.



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    I hope you also decided to invest in a label printer for the cables, so that you don't need to use the toner too often...

    You mean like this?




  • @DOA said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    <toner explanation>
    Nice. And I though I was high-tech for having my own LAN tester.

    Oh we had a Fluke network tester with pass-through too, that thing was badass. And really, really helpful on our old crappy network equipment, especially when we somehow got two devices on the network who were trying to use the same IP simultaneously. Fluke is an Everett, Washington company, too, so buy local and all that.

    @DOA said:

    The spike at the end worries me though. If I had that within reach I might be tempted to stab someone in the eye around here...

    The only way you could poke them in the eye is if they tore out all the switches and were standing in the middle of the rack... and if they did that, you'd mostly likely want to poke them in the eye.



  • @PSWorx said:

    @The_Assimilator said:

    I hope you also decided to invest in a label printer for the cables, so that you don't need to use the toner too often...

    You mean like this?


     

    What's wrong with that? It's the cable for your France Telecom connection, right?



  • It's the hardware version of security through obfuscation.  Now nobody knows which cable to yank.



  • There's really no excuse for that, it's almost like someone was trying to make it as obfuscated as possible. And what's with the cables in knots?! You might as well just rip those out since they're probably dead anyways.

    Judging from the picture it looks like your budget is even lower than mine but if you can sneak it in you should check out the Neat-Patch kits. I managed to work a few of those into my budget a few years ago and it was amazing what a difference some simple little plastic things made.



  • @error_NoError said:

    There's really no excuse for that, it's almost like someone was trying to make it as obfuscated as possible.
    Since it was largely done by an out-sourced IT services vendor, the obfuscation explanation wouldn't surprise me.

    @error_NoError said:

    And what's with the cables in knots?! You might as well just rip those out since they're probably dead anyways.
    That might be why they were tied in knots (i.e. they were already dead).  The cables are so tightly wound and tangled together that it's nearly impossible to remove any one of them, so tying it in a knot was probably the tech's way of indicating a dead cable.

    @error_NoError said:

    Judging from the picture it looks like your budget is even lower than mine but if you can sneak it in you should check out the Neat-Patch kits. I managed to work a few of those into my budget a few years ago and it was amazing what a difference some simple little plastic things made.
    Never heard of Neat-Patch before, looks great.  Hopefully I'll be able to make a business case for that, and get the purchase approved.  The current set-up is just asking for a major outage.

    IT was pretty much an after thought around here until I started.  The computers didn't even have any anti-virus, and there was never a dedicated IT staff.  Actually, there still isn't - general IT isn't my job.



  • @error_NoError said:

    There's really no excuse for that, it's almost like someone was trying to make it as obfuscated as possible. And what's with the cables in knots?! You might as well just rip those out since they're probably dead anyways.

    Judging from the picture it looks like your budget is even lower than mine but if you can sneak it in you should check out the Neat-Patch kits. I managed to work a few of those into my budget a few years ago and it was amazing what a difference some simple little plastic things made.

    I can't speak for these guys, but we knotted bad runs so that we knew not to use them... the knots might be intentional. (Of course we'd remove the knotted runs from the rack and put them aside elsewhere.)

    As for organization, we just used dirt-cheap plastic zip-ties. (We even had a screwdriver so we could un-do them without cutting them.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @error_NoError said:
    There's really no excuse for that, it's almost like someone was trying to make it as obfuscated as possible. And what's with the cables in knots?! You might as well just rip those out since they're probably dead anyways.

    Judging from the picture it looks like your budget is even lower than mine but if you can sneak it in you should check out the Neat-Patch kits. I managed to work a few of those into my budget a few years ago and it was amazing what a difference some simple little plastic things made.

    I can't speak for these guys, but we knotted bad runs so that we knew not to use them... the knots might be intentional. (Of course we'd remove the knotted runs from the rack and put them aside elsewhere.)

    Yeah, I thought about that after posting. I usually just cut the cable off just after the connector (jack end). If you leave a cable hanging there, someone will eventually come along and try to use it.



  • @error_NoError said:

    Yeah, I thought about that after posting. I usually just cut the cable off just after the connector (jack end). If you leave a cable hanging there, someone will eventually come along and try to use it.

    If that's all we did, I'd probably have ended up accidentally crimping a new end on it next time we did new runs, then having to retrace the bad cable all over again.



  • @error_NoError said:

    Judging from the picture it looks like your budget is even lower than mine but if you can sneak it in you should check out the Neat-Patch kits. I managed to work a few of those into my budget a few years ago and it was amazing what a difference some simple little plastic things made.
    The one thing I don't like about Neat-Patch is that you can't use them with a chassis-type switch.  We recently went to a 10U switch with a 640Gb/s backplane.  We simply cabled every patch panel port (even the unused ones) to a switch port in a very methodical way and tied them down very neatly with zip ties.  We never have to move any cables, we simply use the switch software if we need to assign something to a different VLAN.  With a good chassis switch, there is never a legitimate reason to physically move a patch cable.



  • Fire is the only solution if you need to be sure.



  •  @PJH said:

    @The_Assimilator said:
    Ugh, that picture is the reason that wireless was invented.

    Looks like you've got a bit of a spider problem in the data centre.

     

     



  • @Xyro said:

    Fire is the only solution Nuke the site from orbit if you need to be sure.
     

    ATFY.



  • @Jaime said:

    @error_NoError said:

    Judging from the picture it looks like your budget is even lower than mine but if you can sneak it in you should check out the Neat-Patch kits. I managed to work a few of those into my budget a few years ago and it was amazing what a difference some simple little plastic things made.
    The one thing I don't like about Neat-Patch is that you can't use them with a chassis-type switch.  We recently went to a 10U switch with a 640Gb/s backplane.  We simply cabled every patch panel port (even the unused ones) to a switch port in a very methodical way and tied them down very neatly with zip ties.  We never have to move any cables, we simply use the switch software if we need to assign something to a different VLAN.  With a good chassis switch, there is never a legitimate reason to physically move a patch cable.

    What makes it so they don't work with the chassis-type switches (I've never tried)? Is it because there are too many ports for them to handle neatly? I guess for patching between servers and other odd devices they're not that much better but when you have a rack of patch-switch-patch and all the ports line up they can make things very tidy. Here's an example before/after of a closet panel I cleaned up: [img]http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/6719/closetbeforeafter.jpg[/img]


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @DCRoss said:

    @PJH said:
    @The_Assimilator said:
    Ugh, that picture is the reason that wireless was invented.
    Looks like you've got a bit of a spider problem in the data centre.
    Nah - that's the back room of the local chinese's WiFi network - it's cheaper than buying the noodles in.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @PSWorx said:

    @The_Assimilator said:

    I hope you also decided to invest in a label printer for the cables, so that you don't need to use the toner too often...

    You mean like this?


     

    What's wrong with that? It's the cable for your France Telecom connection, right?

     

    It's not as bad as you think.  The next bay over has tags that say "strawberry cable" and "açai-pomegranate cable".



  • @error_NoError said:

    What makes it so they don't work with the chassis-type switches (I've never tried)?
    You end up with a "wall of blue", kinda like the bottom switch in your picture, but with five times as many cables.  Your ports are lined up in neat columns, but if they were rows, and there were 20 of them, it would be a problem.

    Our switch is split vertically, with two modules side-by-side for each rack unit.  We run all the cables from the right unit to the right side of the rack, and from the left unit to the left side of the rack.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Over on the left, he's tied a knot in a red cable.  That's just itching for someone to trip over another wire, tighten the knot, create a kink, and have to rerun the cable.

    Have someone (NOT YOU) put in some overtime to fix this up.  Or stay home on Thursday and Friday and come in Saturday to fix it.  

    While you're at it, run big huge zip-tied bundles of cable all over the floor and pretend you're in Echo Base on Hoth.

     

    I thought if you kinked cables the data would go thru them faster (like a garden hose).


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