Nov 27, 2009

WAN Tips

Ten Steps to a Healthy and Easily Maintainable Wide Area Network

1.   Have a working modem attached to the maintenance port or console of your 
networking equipment, so your maintenance provider can quickly diagnose

2.   Maintain an up-to-date cable diagram and label all cables, wall jacks, etc., 
so that problems can be quickly isolated and cables can be quickly identified
and reconnected should they ever be disconnected.

3.   Have WAN circuit info documented and readily available (i.e. circuit id, vendor, contact, phone numbers) for sales and trouble calls.
4.   Mount equipment so it is easily accessible, front and rear.
5.   Have good power. Have your electrician put in ample outlets on a dedicated circuit. Consider a UPS or surge suppressor. Always provision additional power outlets for test equipment and for ease of expansion.
6.   Don't skimp on cables. Ensure that the cables and connectors you utilize 
meet the specifications for the application they are being used in. Never use a cable that does not meet the specification, even if it works in the short run. In the long run , you may very well have all kinds of problems. You may save
money in the short run, but lose a lot of time later trying to isolate a intermittent cable fault.

7.   Take anti-static precautions. If the floor in your comm. area is carpeted, install an anti-static mat.
8.   Have a telephone within easy reach of your equipment - this can be a big 
time saver in the event of a problem. Testing of WAN circuits often involves end-to-end tests, and point-to-network tests with the local RBOC and Common Carriers. These tests require a telephone near the equipment.

9.   Try to have your equipment in a dry, temperature-controlled, and well-lighted area.
10.  Have all cables and power cords firmly attached and/or tied down. Use plastic cable tie wraps to secure cables, and to ensure that the strain on the 
cable ends is minimized. Always keep cables from areas where they might be walked on, stepped on, or otherwise damaged. Improper cable strain relief and installation procedures are a common cause of network failures.


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