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Keeping You House In Order

I have been involved in a lot of network migration, installation and cleanup projects.

I can appreciate having equipment labeled and areas organized since I am involved in all aspects of the network life cycle of design, Installation and support.

For example, network designers rely on accurate information to figure out how much rack space, power outlets and cables they need for an install. Installers need the same information to properly install equipment. Then the installers update the documentation with any changes and the same applies to the support staff.

One thing I get picky – almost OCD, is keeping your eyes open for potential issues. Some examples are rerouting or replacing ‘temporary’ cables. I have a laundry list of items I look out for when working anywhere. I like to think of it as a ‘value’ I add to my services.

Here is a sample of what I look for:

  • Cables that are routed across the front of the equipment

  • Cables that are too short and too long

  • Damaged cabling

  • Extra cables lying around – do they work?

  • Error lights or beeps that are ignored

  • No equipment or rack labels

  • Ethernet cable couplers

  • Inability to close rack doors

  • Power bars ‘daisy chained from one another’

  • Excess dust on equipment and rack ventilation

  • POE injector match port speed

  • Grounding

In most cases, the client agrees with me and we make any suggested changes immediately, when possible. In other cases, the recommendations are noted and scheduled during the next maintenance window.

Sometimes the client doesn’t agree and goes with the odd adage, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”. Based on my experience, I know that some of the issues are higher priority and its just a matter of time before it becomes an issue.

Last year I showed a client that there was a damaged power and Ethernet cable that should be replaced. He thanked me for pointing it out and I found out later that he did nothing about it.

Recently his staff called me for some network performance issues and I was told that manager no longer works there.

I went on site and was surprised that one of the wireless issues traced back to that frayed cable I pointed out a year ago.

Here is a photo of the cables I pointed out and you can determine if it should have been replaced.

There's your problem

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