[Offtopic] network diagrams

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri May 12 02:48:47 EST 2006

Hi Margaret, Glen and all,

The site you refer to, Margaret, is being discussed
on another list regarding large networks, and Glen's
email is an excellent read on the topic of networks:

Margaret writes regarding:


----- Original Message ----- 

From: "Glen Turner" <glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au>
Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 1:22 PM
Subject: Re: network diagrams

The problem for large networks is that diagrams don't
show anything useful.

The diagram of our backbone, which blinks nasty colours
should nasty things happen, bears no resemblance to the
physical layout (Tasmania being above Melbourne) since
we don't want links to cross too much.  Anything more
specific than that is just a list of site codes which go
nasty colours.

For on-the-ground work you really want maps (just where
is that pit?).  And for racks you want big matricies (this
cable from port 1/1/3 to 4/1/2 runs: A1 1/1/3 --patch--
A33 6+7 --fixed-- D25 6+7 --patch-- D28 10+11 --fixed--
F33 10+11 --patch-- F1 4/1/2) with rack layout diagrams
marked with typical patch cable lengths, unit power
consumption and weight, connector types, etc.  And
procedures -- who are the site contacts, what are the
access procedures, is their an initiation, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, we always get requests for diagrams of
our network, which isn't something we have as they're
of absolutely no use for day-to-day work. So now we
leave the creation of diagrams to our PR people.

For a small business network, go with a cabling matrix
in a spreadsheet.  Write a small procedure for each
external link on how to report a fault, including your
customer number and link IDs.  In another spreadsheet
record the equipment make, model, serial, date of purchase,
date of warranty expiry and power usage.  Install
cricket for capacity planning and bill reconciliation
and nagios for network monitoring.  Archive any fiber
test results. Take photos of each rack -- they're very

  Glen Turner         Tel: (08) 8303 3936 or +61 8 8303 3936
  Australia's Academic & Research Network  www.aarnet.edu.au

Cheers ppl ..
Stephen Loosley
Victoria, Australia

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