Networking, Iris Scenarios: Working with Jacks
For IT Pros: This page contains information about working with jacks and managing port to jack data in Iris.
A Jack is an RJ-45 socket labeled with a name such
Building wiring connects the Jack in your office to another RJ-45 receptacle on a Patch Panel located in a nearby Communications Equipment Room (CER). The second letter of the Jack name identifies which particular CER in that building it is wired into, the first number (before the dash) identifies a single Panel within that CER, and the second number (after the dash) identifies a single receptacle within that panel.
Example: Jack HCP3-14 is wired to CER C, Panel 3, receptacle 14.
In order for your computer to use the Jack as a network connection, this receptacle must be patched (i.e. connected by another Ethernet cable) to a Port on one of the switches in the CER, and that Port must be configured appropriately.
Information about which Ports are patched to which Jacks is stored and managed in Iris, and is commonly referred to as "port to jack" data.
There are two different ways to see port to jack data in Iris: from the port's point of view, and from the jack's point of view.
To see which Jack is currently patched to a particular Port:
Example: Port B22 on sw-dcl6
Do not confuse the Jack column with the Port Name column!
Although some network administrators may choose to include the jack name and/or room number in the Port Name, this is an arbitrary label and has no semantic significance to Iris. Only the Jack column contains authoritative port to jack mapping data.
- Navigate to the Patch Cords page for the desired switch (e.g. sw-dcl6).
- Look at the Port column values to find the desired port (e.g. B22).
- If Iris is aware of a port to jack mapping for this Port, the Jack name will appear in the Jack column, and the Room number (of the room where the Jack is located, e.g. your office) will appear in the Room column.
To see which Port is currently patched to a particular Jack:
Example: Jack HCP3-14 in building 0210
- Navigate to the Jacks page for the appropriate Building and CER.
Example: CER C in building 0210
- Navigate to the "My Switches" page.
- Look at the Bldg and CER column values to find a switch located in the desired CER. You can use Column Text Filters (see Search and Sort Tools) to aid in this step.
Example: type "0210" into the Bldg column filter and "c" into the CER column filter.
- The hyperlink in the CER column for this switch will take you straight to the appropriate Jacks page.
- Verify by looking at the message area near the top of the screen that Iris is now displaying all Jacks for your chosen CER.
- Look at the Jack column values to find the desired jack.
Example: type "3-14" into the Jack column filter.
- If Iris is aware of a port to jack mapping for this Jack, the switch name will appear in the Switch column, and the port name will appear in the Port column.
Hint: you can use the Room column filter on the Jacks page to quickly find Jacks located in a particular Room, provided that they are wired to the CER you're currently looking at.
Remember that the Port to Jack data stored in Iris is merely a record of the actual patch cable connections in the CER. Consequently, the data should only be modified when the actual patch cable connections are changed, or to correct existing discrepancies between the data and reality.
In order to edit port to jack data, you must have the appropriate authorization to manage that Port (see Who Can Use Iris?).
To associate a Port with a Jack:
- Find the Port in the Patch Cords page (as documented above).
- Type the Jack name into the Jack column, and press Enter.
Tip: since Iris already knows which CER the switch is in, you can abbreviate the Jack name to e.g. "3-14" instead of "HCP3-14".
- If the change is successful, the new Jack name will remain populated and a Disconnect button will appear in the Action column.
Otherwise, an error message will appear in the Action column signifying one of the following problems:
- The Jack you entered might already be associated with a
different Port (Iris will tell you which one). Correct the other Port
first, and then come back to this one.
If you don't have permission to manage the other Port, but you're sure that the Jack in question is actually patched to your Port, please submit a trouble ticket (including building, jack, switch, and port details) to firstname.lastname@example.org, and Technology Services will work with you and the other IT Professional to have the correct information added to Iris.
- The Jack you entered may not be known to Iris; see What should I do if Iris doesn't know about my Jack? below.
- The Jack you entered might already be associated with a different Port (Iris will tell you which one). Correct the other Port first, and then come back to this one.
- In most cases, Iris will automatically fill in the Room column with the location of the Jack you have chosen. If it does not, type the correct room number in the Room column and press Enter.
To disassociate a Port from a Jack:
- Find the Port in the Patch Cords page (as documented above).
- Click the Disconnect button.
- The Jack and Room columns should now be empty.
Iris automatically gets information about Jacks (including which Room each Jack is in) from Pinnacle. If you find that this information is incomplete or incorrect, please submit a trouble report by phone to Technology Services Service Request Management so that it can be corrected.
Meanwhile, there is a temporary workaround (as long as the Room is known). If you find yourself standing in an office looking at a Jack that clearly exists but is missing from the data, you can define it manually in Iris:
Example: Jack HCP87-13 in building 0210, room 2454
- Navigate to the Jacks page for the correct Building and CER (e.g. Building 0210 CER C). See Finding a Jack above.
- Click the New Jack button above the table.
- Type the Jack name (e.g. HCP87-13), and click OK. The Jacks page will refresh.
- If Iris was already aware of other Jacks in the same patch panel
(e.g. Panel HCP87), your new Jack should now appear in the table.
Otherwise, an error message (e.g. "No Panel 'HCP87'") will appear to the right of the row of buttons above the table, signifying that you will need to manually define the Panel as well:
- Click the New Panel button.
- Type the Panel name (e.g. HCP87), and click OK.
- Enter the number of Jacks in this panel (if you're not sure, use the default value of 48), and click OK.
- The Jacks page will refresh, and all of the newly created Jacks (e.g. HCP87-01 through HCP87-48) will appear in the table.
- Find your new Jack in the table, and type the correct Room number where the jack is located (e.g. 2454) into the Room column.
Hint: you can also enter the Room number on the Patch Cords page after associating a Port with the Jack.
If Iris displays an error message such as "Room '9999' not found" when you try to enter the Room number where a Jack is located, but you are certain that the room number is correct, please submit a trouble report by phone to Technology Services Service Request Management so that the data can be corrected in Pinnacle.
In this case, the temporary workaround above is not available; you must wait until the official Room data is updated before you can associate a Port with the Jack.