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UNRAVELLING A CABLING BIRDS NEST

 

The Netconfig team are often called on by clients to unravel cables that don’t seem to make sense to them – and put everything back together in an orderly fashion.  A case in point was the task they were given to do a Server Cabinet Cleanup at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Kloof over a weekend recently. Explaining what they were faced with, Infrastructure Manager at Netconfig, Darryn Bold explained “There was a 1 x 43u Cabinet that had all the network cabling, fibre optic Links, switches and servers mounted in it. All the cabling looked like a big birds nest and it made life difficult for the IT Engineers to trace cables and plug-in new equipment. There was also a lot of unused equipment racked and not getting used, but no one could gain access to remove it without bumping something that would drop the network. In most cases, you have a separated Network Cabinet with the cabling points and switches in and then you have a separate cabinet for the servers, firewalls, router and core switch.”

 

“We supplied St Mary’s with 2 x new 43u – 1 meter deep Perforated Server Cabinets for the Server Room. We also disassembled the old Network Cabinet and had to follow each cable to see where it was plugged into on the Patch Panels and which switch or server they went to.

 

Installation of all the fibres came next followed by the mounting of the switches and cable tying it all neatly. The second cabinet was introduced and I started racking all the routers, Firewalls and Servers into it. We installed the links between the two cabinets and labelled them and all the network leads, and started patching them into the switches & servers.

 

Finally, we moved the UPS’s to one side of the room and we slowly started seeing the Server Room take shape with all the cables and equipment mounted in the new cabinets. We double-checked that what we documented was plugged in correctly and we powered up the cabinets.  It took about 30 minutes for all Switches and Servers to be online and then we walked around the school making sure that all the different blocks were getting connectivity, along with WIFI and that the IP Cameras were working.  On Monday we were given the green light that the network for the school was up and running again. It was fantastic to see the School IT department ‘s faces when they saw their new server room. Needless to say, they were happy with the result and we were excited to leave them with an uncluttered, orderly IT set up.” Concluded Darren.

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