Network planning.

Since I was going to expand my layer 1 infrastructure significantly, I needed to come up with a way to identify my network jacks.  Previously I was using informal names for locations, but even with just 15 drops it was becoming unmanageable because the names I was using didn’t describe the location exactly.  Since I work in IT I decided on the following naming convention:

Building – Floor – Room – Wall – Wallplate# – Jack #

I’ve used naming conventions like this in the past professionally, and it works well, so long as you have a map. This is the “site map” for my house.

Network cable location naming convention.

I’ve designated 3 buildings.  Buildings 2 (guest house) and 3 (garage)

Garage 2nd floor – my office and extra guest room.

have two floors and Building 1 (main house) has 2 floors and an attic, so technically 3 floors since the attic is now inside the house envelope.  When I pull cables I label both ends with where they go.  This way I know exactly which port each location is punched down to on the patch panel.  It saves a lot of troubleshooting time when there are problems.

Once I had my naming convention, I began to decide where I wanted to have network jacks.  Yeah, yeah, I could just do almost everything wireless but, wireless is slower, wireless is less secure, wireless is more influenced by environmental variables and wireless doesn’t do full-duplex.  For many things I just prefer a wired connection.  That said, I do have a wireless router and 3 access points.  Most of my children’s devices only connect wirelessly so it’s necessary.  Anyway, this is how I planned on laying out patch panel 1.

Patch panel 1 – The actual patch panel has the jack locations above each port.

The wallplates are labelled the same as the patch panel and cables.  This is what they look like for the second floor in the main part of the house.

Main house (Building 1) Upstairs (Floor 2) Wall plates.  I have a few cables in the ceilings for security cameras which is where the “C” designation comes from.

I already had all the tools and much of the cable, but still had to order a bunch of keystone jacks wallplates, etc….  Here’s a picture of my telecom toolkit.  I put this together when I did more of this type of work, and have used it over the years.  Having the right tools and knowing how to use them often makes all the difference.

My Telecom toolkit. I keep connectors, tools, testers, etc…  It’s pretty handy to keep everything together, and makes punching down a location a breeze.