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We are looking to (finally) implement a cable labeling procedure.

We already have a labler. Now we need a system to maintain unique IDs not related to anything.

I thought of getting a tally counter but perhaps there's another solution that does not involve two devices (a labler that prints out a number then increments it?).

Anyone have any suggestions?

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To clarify, are these purely cross-connect cables? If they go out onto the floor (or "go" anywhere), I'd think you'd want the ID related to something. – Adrien Jan 13 '12 at 0:56
If you're using numeric endpoint IDs what you really need is a database to store them in. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet (you can even populate it with a macro, or use the row number as the ID) – voretaq7 Jan 13 '12 at 5:00
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you aren't looking to obfuscate the identifiers for security reasons may I suggest a naming convention that tells you at a glance what's going where?

For example:
SW001/1/12 - TR1-11-24 - Immediately tells me this cable is SWitch 001, Blade 1, Port 12, and connects to Telecom Room 1, Patch Panel 11, Port 24

TR1-11-24 - 3-313-2 - Immediately tells me this cable goes from the panel identified above to the third floor, room 313, port (wall jack) 2.

If you use datacenter-style connectors that take a whole port group from your switch and connect it to a patch panel you would label the connector at the switch end with the panel it corresponds to(TR1-11), and label the panel / ports with the SWxxx/blade/port style labeling.

There are a few big drawbacks to this (major infrastructure reorgs require a lot more relabeling than a blind number system), but also some big advantages (a server dropped off the network? You can locate the dead port/blade without needing to pull up your database of connection IDs).

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where aaa and bbb are the endpoint connection id's
xxxx and yyyy are the rack/location id's
label the same labels on both ends so you read it in both directions as startpoint and endpoint.

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Well, this is to ease tracing of cables. After some research, I'm of the opinion that the most maintainable system would be to use unique IDs and not tie it to anything physical. Servers and switches are retired or moved frequently. – Belmin Fernandez Jan 13 '12 at 8:18

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