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
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.