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Network and Classroom Management Thread, What goes where? in Technical; Start again I need to map my network as it is in a real mess I have tried the software ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    What goes where?

    Start again
    I need to map my network as it is in a real mess
    I have tried the software recommended on this forum and cannot get most of it to work or do what I want.
    Is there any free, easily used and obvious software that will help me make sense of what is, essentially, a dog's breakfast of a network. I have done the best I can but there are still big holes and it is not really possible to run around the school using a cable tester single handedly.
    I have done as much as I can by eyeballing the system but I have a whole block who can access the internet without going through the proxy server (WTF?) and I have new whiteboards with network connections that don't work and go goodness knows where.
    I really need help here
    Thanks

  2. #2
    richard
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    Re: What goes where?

    So I am not the only one in this situation

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: What goes where?

    The Dude (http://www.mikrotik.com/thedude.php) is what you need, and free too. Simply use a floorplan\siteplan as the background and off you go.

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    Re: What goes where?

    Reminds me of our wiring nightmare. So many add-ones to the system not labelled properly. Spent alomost an hour trying to find the other end of network points labelled F/B/26-27 today. Where were they, well of course they terminated at F/A/45-46 where else!

    The vast quantity of un-labelled network points also worries me a bit. Luckily we know what cabinet the goto by the faceplate style, but one of the cabinets has over 300 connections going to it, and over half of them aren't labelled! Bloody contractors!

    Mike.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: What goes where?

    @WITCH: Unfortunately, the only way to really find out was is going on is to label your points I realise that this is not an option though.

    If you have a managed 3COM switch you can grab a free copy of COM Network Supervisor which does a really good job of showing what connects to where (although you will need managed switches - not necessarily 3COM ones - to get the maximum out of it).

    Once you get to a stage of knowing where everything is you can move on to monitoring tools such as Nagios but these won't help you at the moment.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Re: What goes where?

    you could use a Microsoft Office Visio trail but obviously that will expire

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    Re: What goes where?

    Quote Originally Posted by WITCH
    ... I have new whiteboards with network connections that don't work and go goodness knows where.
    If they're new ports that you didn't put in yourself, I'd recommend popping the faceplates off and checking the wiring has been done correctly.

    I came across one last week where a port had been 'installed' - one end of the lead was left dangling in the wiring cabinet because they didn't know where it had to go, and on inspecting the supposedly terminated end, only about 2 of the terminals had been punched down!

    I have found over the last year that if something doesn't work, especially if you didn't do it, never assume that whoever did it has done it properly - whoever they may be!

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    witch's Avatar
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    Re: What goes where?

    Yes, well that is similar - it turns out that after a lot of detective work to find out where things went - three of the five cables were in one cabinet - two on the patch panel attached to nothing, and one just dangling.
    The other problem turned out to be badly made cables which terminated on a new switch attached to an old switch in a different location! I was confused because I had the same problem which turns out to be for two different reasons at opposite ends of the school
    I will try the dude thingy as I still have no idea where some things come from or indeed go to!

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    Re: What goes where?

    There are some quite scary jobs being done by cabling people. We've just got a new building and all sorts of things are crawling out of the woodwork. The cable installers have left neat patch leads next to the security camera mounts. Plug them into the cameras and nothing happens (PoE cameras). Peer into the ceiling void to discover that the patch lead doesn't go anywhere - even though there are sockets provided!

    We've also finally managed to get the door control systems plugged into the network. Everything's programmed but the doors don't unlock - it turns out that they've used the wrong card readers. I rather suspect that the architect has chosen one which looks pretty rather than one which reads our cards. their suggestion is to change cards; well, maybe, but we've just issued about 15,000 of them :-) (Students need them to access lifts and staircases)

    There's also a building management system which could be impressive; the only thing is that the screens on the control boxes are currently saying "can't get IP address" - this will probably be because the contractors haven't provided any means to connect them to the network!!

    I could go on but I have to go and throw myself off the roof in despair (except I can't get out because the door won't unlock :-))

  10. #10

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    Re: What goes where?

    Agree with using the 'The Dude' - excellent bit of free software.

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    Re: What goes where?

    Quote Originally Posted by srochford
    There's also a building management system which could be impressive; the only thing is that the screens on the control boxes are currently saying "can't get IP address" - this will probably be because the contractors haven't provided any means to connect them to the network!!
    hehe, I wonder if the word Satchwell is familiar in your place, i've seen various ones and they look nice but god they are annoying when they go wrong and won't shut off. I think you can't beat a normal stat and controller on the boiler and hvac system should have knobs and simple clicky dials to make it work, much easier.


    Quote Originally Posted by srochford
    I could go on but I have to go and throw myself off the roof in despair (except I can't get out because the door won't unlock :-))
    LOL Sounds very familiar to a place I visited once.

  12. #12

    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Re: What goes where?

    Sounds like I'm not alone in inheriting the network from hell. When I started we had no schematics. No labels. We had decommisioned computer suites (cat5e simply chopped and stuffed up in the ceiling). There were multiple unlabelled comm cabinets choo-choo-trained together. Multiple hubs choo-choo-trained together (eight in one case). Cat5e runs exceeding 100m. Fibre going God-Knows-Where. It's all mainly sorted now.

    We've got an old 11b wireless network. A new 11g wireless network. And a RM 11a wireless network. Why?!

    Everybody has had their tuppence worth and now I'm the one who's supposed to make it work....

    ;-)

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    Joedetic's Avatar
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    Re: What goes where?

    Awwww. I genuinly (i wish i could spell that) feel sorry for you. I hate troubleshooting networks that have no schematics and the best description someone can give you is "well...that plugs into there then it goes to that and then there and then is routed to these which then go to the LEA"

    I have an uncle who's a head teacher, and he took his son's PC into school and got the techie to look at it...he spent ages trying to find out why the PC wasnt working at home...turns out the techie had left the proxy server in the ie settings. That has to be the easiest problem i've ever trouble shooted

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