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    Network Mapping Help


    I inherited the admin of a small campus remote location. The LAN closet of the network is completely a mess, with no documentation. The COMCAST ISP modem goes into a Cisco VPN router which feeds 4 switches, 1 HP Procurve 2524, and 3 HP Procurve 1800s. The server is Windows 2003, this is the DHCP server and AD server. This is a big building with a lot of teacher stations and 2 big computer labs.

    The problem is that there is no documentation, so I have no idea where any of the patch panel jacks go. My question is, Is there some sort of Network mapping software or trick that would help me figure out where these unlabeled Ethernet cables go? I need to upgrade the hardware and plug it all into my new switch and server but I have no idea what goes where???
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    A couple thoughts

    There are cable tracer devices that you can use to identify which cable is which. I've not used them but I've seen them advertised for under $100.00 US. They send some kind of signal down wires and can identify which cable was pinged.

    The port lights on ethernet jacks can be helpful. If you have a helper they can momentarily unplug a computer ethernetcable and you can see which light goes out on the switch.

    I don't know of software that can help you identify unlabeled cables but that doesn't mean such software doesn't exist.
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    Doug G
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    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
    --Mark Twain
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    Good suggestions from Doug.

    I've been in similar situations. The bad news is that there really isn't an easy shortcut to use. Get some of the cable testers and/or locators; that will help. I don't know of a software package (especially not a free one) that will do that in one easy step.

    One thought I just had might be if you can get the ARP tables from the switches, you can at least match which MAC address is tied to each port. That could help reduce your need to unplug each cable to find out.
    Adam TT
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    Yea using a tone tracer could help you with this problem, if all your devices are connected straight to your switches,
    You could perhaps write a script to turn on and off all the interfaces of the computers in your network one at a time, say every 30 seconds, note the order in which they are scripted to run, and watch the lights turning on and off on your switches, noting each as it goes.

    Actually might be a bit more effort than its worth.

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