IT Disaster Of The Week (02-07-20)

Cabling Tim Sauer Feb 7, 2020
TST IT Disaster of the Week Photo_PHOTO CREDIT to Bryan Sevener-Professor of Cyber Security at Lakeland University

Today's photo caption: Top 5 Visual Indications that Your Network is a DISASTER. 

Welcome back to Tech Service Today's IT Disaster of the Week series. Each week we use this venue to poke fun at some of our customers' networks that need a little TLC, while offering advice & tips on how to bring those networks up to respectable networking standards. But this week is a little different.

Rather than featuring one of the ugly network environments that our own Technicians encountered, this week's featured photo is one recently posted by Bryan Sevener, Professor of Cyber Security at Lakeland University. We chose this picture for one reason: It may be the worst IT Disaster we've ever seen.....and it's a real, operational network!

Fortunately, this means our technicians weren't tasked with servicing this network because they'd probably still be working on this several weeks from now. Plus, unless they left a trail of bread crumbs behind or took rescue dogs with them, I'm not sure they would ever find their way out.

Regardless of whose network this is, we're using this photo as a teaching tool for all those IT professionals out there who still don't think there's anything wrong with how they set up their networks even though some of their peers get heart-palpitations just looking at their network.

So, IT professionals, here are the Top 5 Visual Indications that your Network is a Disaster (and in need of serious help):

  1. If you must walk on top of patch cables that are connected to your equipment just to get close to your racks, then your network is a disaster.

  2. If you regularly use 50-foot-long patch cables to make connections between devices that are mounted within the same rack, then your network is a disaster.

  3. If you have so many unmanaged cables that you can't even see the equipment mounted in your racks, then your network is a disaster.

  4. If you put an oscillating fan on the floor of your data center in the hopes that it will keep your equipment cool, then your network is a disaster.

  5. If your data center or network closet looks like a spaghetti factory where an explosion just occurred, then your network is a disaster.

It goes without saying that someone failed to include any vertical or horizontal cable management products when they first designed and installed this network. This is an unfortunate and common error made by the folks who design networks because the design drawings they plot out in AutoCAD or Visio only show each of their network devices (servers, switches, patch panels, routers, UPS, etc.) and where they should be mounted in each rack. What none of those drawings include are both the data cables that will eventually get connected to all those devices, and all of the power cords for their active equipment.

It's because of this common oversight that VELCRO® (aka Hook & Loop Wrap when sold as the generic equivalent) has become a popular cable management solution.

So, for those of you planning new networks, don't forget to include cable management products in your network designs. And for those of you whose networks are already setup and are exhibiting symptoms of the kind of crazy cabling chaos we showcase here almost every week, take action before you find yourself standing ankle-deep in cables trying to reach your rack-mounted equipment. And before you find a picture of your network featured in this blog.

Remember, it's never too late to do the right thing, or to do things the right way.



Check back every Friday for TST's latest IT Disaster of the Week photo

which represents one of the thousands of customer sites our technicians visit every year as they install and service IT, networking, and telecom equipment & cabling for our clients. (You can also enter your email address in the Subscribe box to the right and we'll send you an email every time a new IT Disaster photo gets posted.)

Click here to see last week's IT Disaster photo.


Do you already have an IT disaster that needs to be cleaned up?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to install a network. But to ensure that your equipment, racks and cabling are installed properly in an organized, efficient fashion, it does require the talents of a skilled IT technician. If you need help installing or cleaning up your network, contact Tech Service Today to have a skilled, seasoned Technician dispatched to your site.

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