Do you remember the days or you may be still using the method of managing your cabling infrastructure with notes, excel spread sheets or just your memory.
Reasons for IIM solution
So without the use of a strict change control process, wiring administration points (such as those found in cabinets or on frames patch panels), can quickly become difficult to trace and impossible to document. So when it comes to troubleshooting or carrying out Moves, Adds and Changes (MACs) become time consuming, costly and at times difficult to plan.
Patch panels within cabinets or on frames do provide by their nature unparalleled flexibility to quickly route patch cords for voice and data services throughout a building and are extremely cost effective compared to other alternatives such as hardwiring. Patch cords are used in the routing of IT services in 99.99% of all commercial buildings.
The lack of resources such as (time, man power, and budget), including unauthorised changes and the failure to use a change control processes are most often the reasons why the network cabling infrastructure documentation are inaccurate and incomplete!
From studies it appears that over 50% of network problems are related to the physical infrastructure. Therefore accurate documentation and management of the physical layer should be one of the highest priorities. Especially if budgets are tight and lack of resources, however as mentioned earlier every IT technician knows, manual methods of documentation can be time consuming, unreliable and at best, a pain to implement.
The challenge was for someone come up with an automated solution that automatically discovers and monitors connectivity of all vendors equipment found in wiring closets, self-documents and provides real time and remote access over the Internet. This ideal solution should reduce the amount of time and money required to manage and maintain the physical infrastructure
A Cable Management Systems that can keep an automatic record of connectivity in real-time and provide a facility to plan and execute Moves, Adds and Changes in a controlled and efficient manner are now available. These systems offered work by detecting the physical connections in the cabling infrastructure and reporting the information to a management station on the network. This allows the Network manager to monitor and manage the infrastructure without having to visit the Communication rooms.
There are now several systems available on the market whose features are common in design including;
Some systems can indicate the location of the equipment at fault on a CAD floor plan, and indicate when it has been successfully connected.
Improved MAC process
Moves, Adds and Changes are simplified by the use of computer generated work order. These work orders can be monitored anywhere in the world via a web connection.
Improved Asset Utilisation
Identifying the active connections to network equipment, the Patching System will provide the network manager with visibility of equipment utilisation. This way spare network capacity can be tracked, preventing un- necessary spending on expensive network hardware.
The ability to integrate with a camera within the communication room you needn’t worry about who is conducting unauthorised Moves, Adds and Changes. You can have their picture e-mailed to you!
Faster Disaster Recovery
The ability to know the current state of your network at any given point in time, including all the users and their associated services and equipment is useful. In a disaster recovery situation such information is indispensable. The patching system database can provide this.
By significantly improving the efficiency and accuracy of your Moves, Adds and Changes (MACS), and by reducing un-necessary expenditure elsewhere on your network hardware, significant cost savings can be brought.
Essentially there are three method of automatic detection of patch leads used by the leading intelligent patching systems:
- Has an additional wire in the RJ45 socket and panel as used in the Brand-Rex SmartPatch, Excel systems
- Has a sprung loaded pin on the RJ45 patch lead plug which makes contact with a metal contact above the outlet on the panel as used in the ITRACS, Nexan RealTime and Ortronics systems.
- Has a micro-switch in the patch panel’s socket which switches when a patch lead is plugged in.
1 and 2. have a distinct advantage over 3; they inherently provide confirmation of which two ports are connected by a lead. Where a micro-switch is used, there is no physical detection from one end of a lead to the other for and so it is possible for a user to plug in two un-connected patch lead ends and for the system to think they are connected together.
Question is an Intelligent Patching right for you?
These systems can provide a return on investment for organisations that have frequently carry out moves and changes, requiring the need to manage remote locations, multiple buildings on a site or manage a cabling system in excess of more than 1,000 outlets.
As authorised partner of these leading systems on the market, ACCL are able to advice on the system best suited to you.