With an extensive IT documentation, sooner or later, you will have to deal with the question of how to map the cabling. This article offers an introduction and describes how to wire hardware objects to each other.
The mapping of cablings in i-doit is as versatile as in reality: Ethernet, fiberglass, electricity supply, connection of peripheral equipment - everything that has a connector and can be connected with a cable finds its place in the IT documentation.
i-doit provides a strict separation between the documentation of connections and the physical wiring. A good example is the network wiring via Ethernet. For one thing, the connections between active network components (switches, routers, firewalls) can be recorded in the category
Network → Port. By this means, you can recognize which switch is connected with which server. Connection routes between several components become visible. On the other hand, passive components often play an important role: Patch panels and network outlets help to get things in line to avoid tangled cables. However, when the connections between active components cover your needs, you can ignore the passive components and their corresponding cables. i-doit is able to carry out the documentation of the cabling in the background; the user does not have to take out additional steps. If detailed knowledge of the cabling becomes necessary at a later time, the present documentation can just be complemented and the user does not have to start from scratch.
As usual in i-doit, the documentation of the cabling is executed with the help of objects and attributes. Beside numerous forms, i-doit supplies functions for visualization, evaluation and import. The following text describes these functions.
Category Folder for
The category folder does not only serve as a superordinate level for the specified subcategories, but also offers some interesting visualization options for the cabling:
Every connection (see
In contrast to the above mentioned list view, all objects are additionally shown with pictures.
The cable route is displayed as a tree structure for each connector.
The category folder is suited for all objects which contribute an active or passive part to the cabling.
Category Folder for
If the selected object has a physical connector of any kind, it can be documented in the
Every connection is defined either as an
Input or as an
Output. You can establish an n-to-n relation between inputs and outputs:
- Connection between an input and an output
- Connection between an input and several outputs
- Connection between several inputs and an output
This connection between input and output is optional and makes only sense under certain conditions. An example is a patch panel with the possibility for placing cables which lead into ports. This is the origin of a 1-to-1 relation between input and output.
Connectors category is automatically filled with entries by other categories:
Network → Port: If a new port is created, it is automatically defined as a new
Power consumer: If a new power supply is created, its power connection is automatically defined as a new
Cabling → Interface: If a new interface is created, it is automatically defined as a new
Storage Area Network → FC Port: If a new fiber channel port is created, it is automatically defined as a new
Interface category is for the creation of further connections which do not concern the wiring for the network or power cabling. This could be connections of peripheral devices, such as monitors via HDMI or printers via USB.
Cable object type contains all objects which represent a cable. In i-doit it is mandatory that a cable has a beginning and an end. Y cables or similar cables are not supported. Here, the user has content himself with an auxiliary object at
Cabling → Connectors that contains an input with two outputs which are connected to each other (1-to-2 relation).
The characteristics of a cable are defined in several categories which are explained as follows.
Category Folder for
The category folder for the
Cable connection contains the
Cable category and is therefore typically assigned to the
Cable object type. The folder shows to which device the cable is connected.
The essential properties of a cable are recorded in the category
Cable connection → Cable:
|Specification of the cable, for example, "CAT7" or "LWL"|
|Length of the cable – not only in centimeters|
|Color of the outer sheath|
|How many fibers/ leads does the cable contain?|
How many fibers/ leads are to be used as a maximum?
If you want to/ have to document even the smallest detail, you will love the
Fiber/Lead category. You can specify further properties for each fiber of a fiber optic cable or for each lead of a copper cable:
|Relevant for LWL (OM1-4, OS1-2)|
|Connection to receive data|
|Connection to send data|
Patch panels are documented in i-doit as objects of the type
Patch Panel. Typically, the category folder
Cabling is assigned to this passive component. In the category
Cabling → Connectors you can define the ports: An
Input represents the network port; an
Output represents the cable. Input and output are connected with each other.
Connection browser (see below) is helpful if you require a quick connection of patch panels.
Cable trays are a standard in server rooms and computer centres. They bundle up several cables and provide for ordered ways. Hence, the object type
Cable Tray contains the categories
locally assigned objects to take up cables. In turn, objects of the type
Cable are assigned to the
Along the same lines as the
Cable Tray object type (see above) is the
Conduit object type.
The category folder for
Cabling already contains several visualization options. Additionally, there is another view under
Extras → CMDB → Wiring → Single wirings with further functions. After selecting a cabled object, all incoming and outgoing cable routes are displayed. In addition, names of the connections and the cables can be displayed or hidden. By means of filtering you can display only selected routes.
With check boxes you can change the type of several connections simultaneously.
The cable routes can be exported in CSV format.
This function enables an easier quick connection of two objects. This item can be found under the category
Cabling → Connectors via the
Connection browser button. A precondition is the existence of already documented connections of both objects.
Connection browser offers a two-part view: The object which was selected by the user is indicated on the left side with all available connections. Inputs and outputs are displayed separately. A second object is loaded with all its connections on the right side, so that both objects can be connected with each other.
You can link the connections of the first object displayed on the right to the connections of the second object displayed on the left. The view of the inputs and outputs can be mirrored, so that you can show inputs as well as outputs either on the left or on the right side.
With the button
Load next object you can trace the existing connection routes of an object.
Select the connector check boxes to connect the connectors between both objects. With the top checkbox you choose all available connectors. You can select a range of connectors by using the
Shift key. It is important that the number of connectors of the first object corresponds to the number of connectors of the second object.
With the corresponding button (
Connect connectors) you connect the selected connectors of both objects with each other. The logical approach is to connect the selected connections from top to botton, one after the other, until you reach the end of the list.
For every new connection i-doit plans a
Cable object. With the checkbox
Automatic cabling new
Cable objects are created without further questions. Otherwise, you have to select an existing
Cable object for every connection in a new window.
With the button
Change selected cable you can choose an alternative cable object for the selected connections.
Disconnect connectors effects that the connections of the selected connectors are deleted irrevocably.
You can create cabling routes in i-doit via the import of a file in CSV format. The required steps can be found at
Extras → CMDB → Import → Cabling.
The following options are available:
In which category do you want to create entries? You can choose between:
The category is considered only with the first and with the last object of the respective cabling route. With all other objects in between the entries are imported in the category
Which connection is involved? You can select all entries of the
If this option is activated, you can create non-existing documented objects between start object and end object automatically during import.
If the above mentioned option is active, you have to define additionally to which object type the newly created objects shall be assigned.
Load CSV file button you can load a selected file and analyse it. The result can be found in the
The lines and columns of the CSV file are displayed in the
Content tab. You can define new lines and columns with the respective buttons. Every line represents a cabling route with a start object and end object as well as any number of objects in between.
The start object consists of an object title and an output, the end object of an object title and an input. The objects in between each have an input and an output. Between the connectors are objects of the type
Cable and they also receive an object title. The inputs and outputs of the objects in between can be exchanged subsequently. When the connectors and cables do not receive names, they will be numbered consecutively.
The assignment of the object titles and connectors is carried out either with the CSV file or with the text fields. An automatic name assignment for every column individually is possible.
Also usable without CSV file
You do not necessarily need a CSV file for the import. Instead, you can use the
Content tab to create cable routes manually.
Non-existing objects are displayed in red, objects to be created automatically are shown in yellow and already existing objects are highlighted in green. These are identified with the help of the object title and object type.
You can import the cabling routes with the
Start cabling button.