Browse Prior Art Database

Managed Cabling

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000232581D
Publication Date: 2013-Nov-19
Document File: 5 page(s) / 64K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A system for adding electronic circuitry to data or power cables, which would allow them to be integrated into a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and become managed Configuration Items (CIs). Software agents on the connected devices would allow unique IDs and other attributes to be read directly from the cables for audit and troubleshooting purposes, and visible lights on the connectors (plugs) would allow technicians to visually identify cabling during approved changes.

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Managed Cabling

Today it is possible to manage most IT assets in a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), but this does not currently apply to cabling. Cables have been traditionally viewed as simply pieces of wire which connect devices. The devices themselves are managed and tracked, but cables can easily become messy and tangled causing restricted air flow for data centre cooling. Removing old cables can increase operational risk as accidentally removing the wrong cable can impact critical IT systems.

This invention adds a small amount of circuitry to the plugs of data cables. This allows the cables to store a unique identification number and to communicate with the devices it is connecting. Software agents on these devices in turn can register the cable and it's attributes in the CMDB so that specific cables can be asset tracked and referred to as part of change records. In addition, by adding an LED to the back of the connector, it becomes possible to visually identify a particular cable, and confirm if it is subject to a valid change window.

The key to this invention is adding an integrated circuit (IC) to the plug at each end of the cable. This circuit would run on power supplied by the host device in a similar manner to the Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) standard. Once powered at either end, the plugs can be electronically queried by software or firmware running on the host devices. These devices can then report back to IT management systems
the status of va...