Network troubleshooting tool

Rayneedssomehelp used Ask the Experts™
Plan to purchase a network troubleshooting tool. This tool is one of the more popular brands on the market. It is the inline version. Our company is  using a Cisco switch network environment. Our switches are configured for port security using “Sticky Macs” with a maximum of 2 addresses allowed. One for computers and the second for IP phones.

My question is are these inline testers useful or useless in a Cisco port security network. I have been told that these type testers have MAC addresses that will “trip” port security  and render the tester virtually useless. My main purpose for inquiring about this tester is when I attempt to trace cables runs to identify and display what interface the cable is connected to on the switch.

Also, another issue is, that because some of these switch are configured with port security and ACL list, the port under investigation may be  “ shut down or inactive”. Will this popular network tester indentify and locate interfaces on the switch that are INACTIVE?
The cable run from the patch panel to the switches in out closets are a complete mess!
It looks like a giant plate of spaghetti!!! I am quite sure you know what I am talking about!
As a result it is very difficult to trace the Ethernet patch cable “all the way” to the end point on the switch panel. Most times I have to take an educated guess when trying “see” where exactly the cable goes into the interface.

And finally, is there a network tool on the market that will,do what I need it to do and not cost me and arm and a leg?
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AntzsInfrastructure Services

If your main purpose is to trace cables, maybe you need something like this.

I use something similar in my office as well.  You plug one end to the device to a network port on the user's workstation and then you go to your patch or switch room with the other device and it will beep when you are pointing to the correct cable.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Like Antzs mentioned, all you need is a tone generator. Start from the switch and go to the patch panel. (I have seen many tone generators die because people left the switch end plugged in when it was POE)


Thanks gentlemen for your responses. I do have a tone generator and receiver and I have no problem tracing the horizontal cable from the end point floor jack to the patch panel in the switch closet. The problem I have is tracing the patch cable from the patch panel to the switch ports on the front facing of the switch itself. The cabling is so badly run it is almost impossible to see or get my hands to indentify the actual interface the patch cable is being connected to. I have tried to separate the cables so as to get a better view of the front panel of the switch, but I am dreadful of “disturbing” the other connections to switch. The wires are already stressed out to a point to where there is virtually no “slack to play with”.
             Bottom line is I have no problem indentifying the horizontal run up to the panel. The problems begin from the patch panel to the facing of the switch. I can’t even see the switch interfacing because of discombobulated cables. I need a meter that will indentify a switche’s interface by connectinting this tool at the patch panel end.

             This particular tool I want to purchase will perform exactly what I need it to do in a normal network environment. My concern is will the tool perform in a Cisco port security network. I am aware of  how much this network tool will cost (1200 to 2400 dollars). I am willing to spend that much if it gets the job done. I just do not want to spend more than that!
Distinguished Expert 2018

Well, another option is to temporarily up the MAC address limit to 3. But you also may want to bit the bullet one day and completely reorganize the cabling....
Our org’s policy prevents us from increasing the mac# allowed on the port. We purchased a popular high end commercial network meter that hides it’s max address during testing. We have been using the meter for over four months now without issue. I am not sure if I am allowed to give the name of the meter and it’s manufacturer.

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