Rewiring 100 port Network Closet, Help!

Posted on 2006-05-11
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
Hey everyone.

I've recently taken over the IT duties for a reasonably large (100 user) office.  The person who wired our network closet a couple years ago didn't do a great job...  Since we're upgrading our switches, the upper-ups figured it'd be a good time to rewire everything to make it easier to manage.  This wonderful task has fallen to me.

Here's what I'll have:

1 - Rack.  Sturdy, with columns that appear to be for wiring
2 - 48 Port Cisco Switches (they're brand new, but I don't know exactly what model, they'll be coming from firmwide later)
100 - Ports on a patch panel.  All of the "backend" wiring is done.
infinate - Lengths of patch cable.  Not really infinate, but plenty.

Now, my backround is as a LAN gamer and NOT as a network admin.  So I know the basics.  But this is a lot more complex than a 16 port switch with some guys shooting each other in Quake 2.  I figure that wiring at this scale probably requires some strategy of some type to be done effectively.  I am seeking that strategy.  My preferred answer to this question would be a webpage.  A "howto" of sorts with pictures and descriptions that sound like this:

"Plug into the patch panels first, then run the patch cable up the length of the rack to the switch, plug in.  repeat until you have a group of 20-25 cords.  Take your cable ties, and bunch this group together."

Barring such a wonderful website, I'll take pretty much whatever advice I can get.  

I've linked 3 photos I took of our closet.  These are large photos, approx 2MB each.  IGNORE THE ORANGE CABLES.  They're for the phone system which I'm not touching.  I have to re-wire only the green cables.
-This is the whole rack.  The two white switches in the bottom right will be replaced by the new ones.  The Cisco switch at the upper left will be removed.  All green cables will run from the patch panels above to the two new switches, which will be placed in the lower right.  Note the columns between the rack for running cable.
-Closeup of a patch panel.  Each cubicle has 3 ports with cables running to them.  In this case, cube 749 has patch panel ports 1,2,3.  1 is vacant.  2 is phone.  3 is computer.  Cube 750 has patch panel ports 4, 5, and 6.  As you can see, Cube 749 has no phone.  That's OK.  I'm only dealing with green (data) ports.
-This is similar to how our new Cisco switches will look.  At the moment, this switch is our "backup" and will be removed once the new switches come in.  In the end, I'll have two switches that look like this in the bottom right (see first photo) replacing the two white switches that are there now.

Thanks for your help!
Question by:werddrew
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    Hi Werddrew,

    Here is a page that has tons of guides  

    if you have any more questions, please let us know...

    Good luck to you,

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Stupid answer:

    Unplug everything (all the greens).

    If you really want to be good about this, get ahold of a wire marking device and label the ends.  The switch end should indicate the patch panel # (e.g. 749C) and the
    patch panel # should indicate the switch info (e.g. SW1-PORT1).

    To do the actual wiring, start at the top left and run wire from each data port to the new switches (use the fingers on the sides to route the cables into and out of the space between the two racks so you don't have cables in the way.)

    This will put all your network wires neatly in front.  That way the poor sod who has to replace the phone systems gets all the fun later.


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