Unicorn on the wall Unicorn on the patch panel. The face plates are numbered 1 - 48 and the sockets are given a letter e. On the network drop side, throw back in the server closet location somewhere in the mix, like Closet Number-Room Number-Port Number. From a room numbering perspective, get a copy of the buildings blue prints and assign each area your own code. In our schema: Each switch room is assigned a number Each patch panel is assigned a letter We skip O, which is too easy to confuse with a 0 Each port on the patch panel naturally has a number The jacks are designated 1A01 which would be switch room 1 , panel A, Port 01 Our buildings are wired with exclusively CatV, so there is no designation between voice and data in the naming schema, these are indicated by coloured icons on the wall plate which are moved at time of installation, as well as cable color in the switch room: Blue is phone, red is data. So if a wall plate has 4 ports, one is yellow, green, black, orange.
At least, since your the one assigning your own code to each room, it doesn't matter if they change room numbers. Turtle on the wall Turtle on the patch panel. So for instance, I might have 4-13 and 8-23. So we label the wall jacks and corresponding patch panels ports with the rack letter, panel number and port number. We all know that accurate documentation saves us hours of frustration and extra effort. Panel 4 is a 48 port so it's 4-01 through 4-48. It's easy to follow, but we could also label the ports on the switch if needed.
From a room numbering perspective, get a copy of the buildings blue prints and assign each area your own code. So the first 'blade' of patch panel is ports 1-01 through 1-24. It's almost the same price to run 3 cables as 2; and having three gives you immediate extra capacity. So for example if I was at the conference room and a wall jack was labeled B-2-47 I knew that wired ended on Rack B second one from the left , on the second panel from the top on port 47. Fortunately, when we ran the drops we used different colors for each port.
What is your labeling system that works for you? You'd read along the patch panel 203A 203B 204A 204B, but then 7U down you'd have 203C 203D 203E 207I 207J 213E. Elephant on the wall Elephant on the patch panel. Then a hyphen followed by the patch panel letter followed by the port. So the cable from faceplate 1, port A, goes to patch panel A, port 1. One of my primary goals this year is having a central repository for all of our network documentation, accessible to myself and staff for troubleshooting and easy location of equipment and information associated with it.
As well if you have certain systems that need to be identified by color cables and you use all blue, kick yourself out as well. Since you can only reach 100 meters from a switch room with CatV, you can easily guess where in a building a port will be based on the switch room number, even without a map. I also have a spreadsheet with Switch Port - Patch Panel - Person. As well if you have certain systems that need to be identified by color cables and you use all blue, kick yourself out as well. The patch leads are all short and made to measure.
As for the reason; cable is cheap, fitting it is not and can take a while. It also provides resilience; if a switch fails, instead of losing a whole office, people can plug into a spare port on the faceplate and then get access. We then have maps showing the physical location of each wall Jack in each room. One layer is just the scan, layer two is network drops, layer three is a seating chart. .
Gerbil on the wall Gerbil on the patch panel. In the comms room, there are 3 patch panels. So we also created a map a scan of a floor plan and then created layers in paint. There's also colour coded bands of electrical tape on each cable that represents the numbering system so that I can tell at a glance what goes where. Not looking forward to that. I do things a bit differently; but I find that it works really well. This makes it a lot easier to troubleshoot cable or switch issues.
John, the only issue I have run into with this system and it's happened a few times, so I stopped using it was when they decided to renumber the rooms. In one place nothing was documented, data and voice where trunk together on most ports and we had several 2 post racks with patch panels and switches. We also tag each end of the patch cable. I use a number to designate the floor, followed by a letter to designate the closet. The cable from faceplate 1, port B, goes to patch panel B, port 1 and the cable from faceplate 1, port C, goes to patch panel C, port 1. So, 1B-C42 would the first floor closet 'B', patch panel 'C' port 42. Sadly, my predecessor like many probably knew that, but either kept it in his head, or didn't make it centrally available meaning much of it has been lost.