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Knowledgebase
Documenting Switch Port Connections
Posted by on 24 June 2015 05:06 AM

By Robert Keith

A discussion on documenting where each switch port is connected within the configuration of the switch to simplify managing racks of server hardware

Applies to:
Iron Networks Products: IronPOD Family of Products, Microsoft CPS
Hardware Components: Mellanox Switches, Cisco Switches, Cisco IOS Compliant Switches

 

Connection details where each switch port is connected can be difficult to maintain in all but the most static configurations.

A very useful place to have the switch cross-connection documentation is within the switch configuration itself.

When changes are made in the switch, the documentation can be updated at the same time with the same user interface used to manage the switch.

Each port has a “Description” field which can be used to document the usage of the switch port. This may include the server or device connected, or anything else desired.

When displaying the port details, the description will contain what device is connected.

COMMAND LINE INTERFACE

is the same for most switches which follow the Cisco IOS standard:

SHOW INTERFACE ETHERNET <port#>

IP1-SW2 [mlag-group-sw2sw3: standby] (config) # show int eth 1/3

Eth1/3

Admin state: Enabled
Operational state: Up
Description: Switchport 1/3 - IP1-Comp-1-8 Adt:2 LS
Mac address: 00:02:c9:90:fe:a9
MTU: 9014 …

In this case the description shows the switch port, the server name connected, and the port details on the server (Adapter 2 on the Left Side)

The SHOW INTERFACE command can also include filters.
So for example, displaying all the ports with details is cumbersome.

To list just the switch ports and corresponding connections, the CLI command does this:

SHOW INTERFACE ETHERNET | INCLUDE

IP1-SW2 [mlag-group-sw2sw3: standby] (config) # show int eth | include Comp
Description: Switchport 1/3 - IP1-Comp-1-8 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/4 - IP1-Comp-1-7 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/5 - IP1-Comp-1-6 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/6 - IP1-Comp-1-5 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/27 - IP1-Comp-2-4 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/28 - IP1-Comp-2-3 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/29 - IP1-Comp-2-2 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/30 - IP1-Comp-2-1 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/31 - IP1-Comp-1-4 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/32 - IP1-Comp-1-3 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/33 - IP1-Comp-1-2 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/34 - IP1-Comp-1-1 Adt:2 LS

In this example, we listed just the Compute Servers.
We could have listed every switch port by using the string “Description”.

Another Example
IP1-SW2 [mlag-group-sw2sw3: standby] (config) # show int eth | include Comp-2
Description: Switchport 1/27 - IP1-Comp-2-4 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/28 - IP1-Comp-2-3 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/29 - IP1-Comp-2-2 Adt:2 LS
Description: Switchport 1/30 - IP1-Comp-2-1 Adt:2 LS

Here we have listed only the connections on the servers on the second chassis cluster.

Naturally we can get creative and list only ports of specific device types, only devices plugged into Adapter #2, etc.

To enter this data manually from the CLI, use the following sequence:

  1. ENABLE
  2. CONFIG TERMINAL
  3. INTERFACE ETHERNET <port#>
  4. DESCRIPTION <user specified text>
  5. EXIT

IP1-SW2 [mlag-group-sw2sw3: standby] # config term
IP1-SW2 [mlag-group-sw2sw3: standby] (config) # int eth 1/3
IP1-SW2 [mlag-group-sw2sw3: standby] (config interface ethernet 1/3) # description
Switchport 1/3 - IP1-Comp-1-8 Adt:2 LS

IP1-SW2 [mlag-group-sw2sw3: standby] (config interface ethernet 1/3) # exit
IP1-SW2 [mlag-group-sw2sw3: standby] (config) # show int eth 1/3

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