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Thread: Locating a port on a switch

  1. #1
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    Oct 2002

    Locating a port on a switch

    I work for a fairly large company doing all forms of IT support and am looking for a utility to ease my mind...

    There are 26 different drops around a plant floor that run to one of 3 switch cabinets a long ways away up three flights of stairs

    I need to figure out which switch these are running to, which blade on the switch and then which port they are on in order to make sure each IP is on the proper VLAN.

    I have the IP address' but most of which I can't ping because they are more than likely on an unassigned VLAN.

    What I am looking for is a program or utility that I can hook my laptop up to the cable and see which port on which switch each cable is connected to.

    I know I can physically tone out each port but that requires me to hook up the fluke hike over to the stairs climb 3 flights hike to each switch cabinet (each are 100 yards apart) and try to figure out which of the 200 drops in each cabinet is the right one.

    Please help and getting proper licenses is no problems since this will probably be an application I can use in the future.

    EDIT: if its any help or makes a difference they are Cisco 4006 series
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2004
    i really dont know of a program that would do that for you but what you should do is after you do it is to mark the cables so that you dont run into this problem again.

  3. #3
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    There is two ways to go about doing this and neither are all that great. (1) physically track the cables down. This is time consuming and sometimes, depending on the length of the run and which light ballasts the cable is wrapped around, innaccurate. (2) If it's a managed switch, which the 4000 series is, then you can get a print out of the MAC addresses on each port then go from machine to machine checking their MAC addresses and matching them up.

    As far as there being an application for that, I'm not aware of it. Any proggy for the switch will only see what's at the switch, any proggy for the PC would only see it from that side. This should be done when the devices are installed, not after. This is called network administration nd unforutnately it isn't done correctly, nearly enough.
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  4. #4
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Washington D.C. area
    then you can get a print out of the MAC addresses on each port then go from machine to machine checking their MAC addresses and matching them up.
    Yep this is one option that will work but you will still be hiking desktop to desktop. The other, as you know, involves a tone generator which I think is a little more labor intensive because you have to hookup a sensor at each drop as you go along. Depending upon if you're doing this alone or with others, this can take a lot longer than simply using the MAC table (CAM table in Cisco-speak) from the switch.

    If you think about it, there is no shortcut in performing the task.

    Not to sound like a smartass but whoever installed the cable runs should have documented this on a site map and turned it over to you. If a cable vendor ever attempted to run wire without giving me a diagram I'd have to kill em.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2001
    Other places you might find the MAC address of the connected computers might be
    - the DHCP servers's ip leases database
    - if all in the same subnet (ie no routers in the way), ping the whole subnet and check you ARP table (arp -a).

    Of course if there's no computer connected and running (or with no IP) at the other end, well.... you get a great toneing work-out!

    PS: excuses for the bad pun! *shame*!

    Credit travels up, blame travels down -- The Boss

  6. #6
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    These are some form of propriotary boxes ill take a look at them and hope they have MAC address labeled on them. if not I may hook up my laptop to each individually and see if I get a connection, I was informed today that not all of these are punched down to the switch so it would appear I am going to be getting a workout and putting in a request for one more body...
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2001
    Calgary, AB Canada
    Well, I'm not sure if this will help, but just in case:

    Could you set up a script on the server, that would run a small batch file or something on the client machines that would do this:

    1) Open a network drive to a network share on a server
    2) Run 'ipconfig /all >> x:\machines.txt' or something like that (Assuming they are windows clients)

    You would then have the host-name, IP, and MAC address of all the computers that can log in. Perhaps it would be easier to use the hostnames if there is a hostname record somewhere? Then again, if the IT guys before you weren't smart enough to label a few hundred cables, they likely don't have such a list either.

    Just a hint. We did something like that in an OS lab at school once, though it was the 'systeminfo' command.

    Like I said, I'm not sure if that will work, but it might help a bit. At least you wouldn't have to go to every single machine trying to match a MAC address, you could hopefully just stick with matching hostnames, which may or may not be easier....

    Why, oh why am I studying for Network Engineering??? lol

    Take care everyone,

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  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hey Hey,

    For the devices that are on the other end of these connections... Do they have names or anything (IP) that makes them recognizable from across the network? If so then Fluke Network Inspector would probably do the trick for you. We were playing with it in the Lab the other day.. and it would find our Windows and Linux Machines and our Managed Hubs and tell us which switch (by name and IP) and which port on that switch the Device was plugged into..

    You can check it out at http://www.flukenetworks.com/us/LAN/...e/Overview.htm

    There's also a link for a demo version on the page...

    If you've never used the software or you have any problems., send me a PM and I'll let ya know where to find the information.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    dstevens1958: These are Proprietary devices that do different scans and data mining based off things on the product line. So I cant add a script to them... good Idea though

    HTRegz: They do have IP's the only problem is I cant ping them because they are on the wrong VLAN, I am not sure if this will limit my ability to use that tool but I just tried to download it and work has a lot of FTP sites blocked so I will download it when I get home and give it whirl... I actually have the fluke that is in that picture but for some reason it doesnt see the switches when I run it... Ill have to look into that as well.

    Thanks and Ill keep you up-to-date as I move forward on this project

    Edit: Apparently can't make literate sentances
    Duct tape.....A whole lot of Duct Tape
    Spyware/Adaware problem click

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Have you tried

    I understand your pain. As a network administrator the hardest thing to do is to come back and fix something on a production system when the person that set it up cut corners.

    No one has yet mentioned logging into the switches. If I may suggest:

    1. Get the Mac Addresses from each machine connected to your network. You're dealing with switches so they don't care about IP.

    2. Log onto each Switch individually and perform these two commands

    sh arp - this will give you your arp table and you will be able to map your ports to mac addresses. (you already will know the machine Mac addresses so you can map them easily)

    sh int - this will show you information about your ports to include the types of VLANs assigned to them.

    3. sift through all the information and ensure that you mark the ports connected to the machines that you map so that you don't ever have to do this again.

    Hope this helps/makes sense.
    "Experience is the hardest teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after." Anonymous

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