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NETMAN  2013

NETMAN 2013

Subject:

Cable Verification/Certification

From:

Jason Healy <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 19 Aug 2013 08:33:14 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (40 lines)

Looking for some collective wisdom for testing cable runs.  I suspect we're like many campuses in that we have a mix of old and new copper, SM, and MM fiber.  We have small testers that do basic copper (pinout, distance to fault, remote mapping), but we're looking into getting something a little more advanced so we can troubleshoot performance issues instead of just "is this wired backwards".

There are of course the full certifiers:

  http://www.idealindustries.com/prodDetail.do?prodId=LanTEK2&div=

  http://www.jdsu.com/en-us/Test-and-Measurement/Products/a-z-product-list/Pages/Certifier40G.aspx?rcode=certifier40g

However, that's way out of our price range ($12k+) and we're only doing occasional troubleshooting, not installing thousands of new runs.

What we are looking for are device(s) that, at a minimum:

 - Confirm cable pinout, identify shorts/miswires, and give distance to fault
 - Verify copper performance (speeds 10/100/1000 or specs like Cat5e, 6, 6a)
 - Verify fiber performance (SM and ideally MM)
 - Perform at least basic L2/L3 operations (DHCP lease, ping, LLDP or port ID)
 - $1000 - $5000 as a ballpark price range (arbitrarily selected)

Other nice-to-haves would be higher-layer analysis (TCP/UDP performance, packet capture, wifi), but I can use my laptop for that if those features are too expensive.

If we forget about full-blown certification to TIA standards, there are "verifiers", which give an overview of the cable's performance (but not legally-binding test results):

  http://www.flukenetworks.com/enterprise-network/network-testing/CableIQ-Qualification-Tester

No fiber option on that, though, so I'd be looking for recommendations on a basic fiber kit to pair with a unit like this so I'm covered on copper and fiber.

While looking for that I also ran into this fluke:

  http://www.flukenetworks.com/enterprise-network/network-testing/OneTouch-AT-Network-Assistant

It appears to be one-stop shopping for testing cable (copper/fiber), and also does network-based performance testing.  Does anyone have experience with this unit, or similar ones that they recommend?  I couldn't find details on the cable verification stuff (no explicit speed or category tests mentioned on the info page).

If anyone has one of these models, or others that they like (the links above are mostly Fluke, but I'm OK with any manufacturer), I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks,

Jason

**********
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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