Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Our company planned to move their hundreds of servers (virtual and physical) to a brand new datacenter infrastructure.

First, we have created a spreadsheet which lists the configuration of all the links and between servers and networks equipements, including MAC and IP addresses. Second, we have inventoried all the current physical network jacks. We're now searching a solution to match those jacks with the relevant interface displayed on the differents operating systems (both virtual and physical). We have already found some matchs, but for some it seems impossible to get information without unplug the cable or shutdown the server.

Is there a way to indentify the logical and physical interfaces names without any interruption of service ? (except by tracing cables on site).

Thanks for any help.

share|improve this question
  1. A virtual NIC is connected to a physical NIC so I don't see how it's relevant to gather any information regarding the virtual NIC.

  2. Each server has one or more NIC's. Each NIC is connected to a patch panel port or switch port. Document which NIC (1, 2, left, right, upper, lower, etc., however you want to refer to them) is connected to which switch port or patch panel port.

  3. You know which switches and patch panels link to other switches and patch panels and what they're purpose is (which network segment, which servers are connected, etc).

  4. By the power of logic and deductive reasoning you need nothing more than this "physical" inventory to connect everything appropriately at the new datacenter.

share|improve this answer

Firstly I have to say, and I don't mean to be nasty here, but you don't sound like an IT professional here - and that's who this site is for ok - but let's carry on.

You don't mention what make/model of switches you have but all switches have something called a CAM table on them - if your switch is 'unmanaged' you may not be able to see this table but it's still in there working away. It's a list of what MACs are on what ports, it's as simple as that, so gaining access to that table (if possible) will tell you exactly what's connected to what ports.

You don't mention what's doing your routing (could be a router, could be L3 switches or a combination of both) but either way you should be able to look at your router's ARP table - this is a table that shows what IP addresses are known and the MAC addresses that match those known IPs.

I have literally no idea what you're trying to achieve here to be honest (maybe you could add some extra objective details?) but these two tables will at least let you know for a fact what's attached to what, and with zero downtime. You probably have some form of DNS service too that may help but don't necessarily take what it says in terms of IPs-to-hostnames as gospel as these can easily get out of step.

Overall however I do have to recommend that you get hold of someone who knows this stuff as it's very basic for pro sysadmins but not that simple if you're not one.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.