Make Rip-and-Replace a bit less Creepy

It was a dark and stormy Halloween night and a networking engineer was stuck in a data center facing a Mission Impossible project: replace a failing Cat6500 with a brand-new Nexus 7000. Shouldn’t have been a problem, if only the cables were labeled.

Ever faced a project like that? I was fortunate – I never did, but I can easily imagine the nightmare of disconnecting hundreds of cables (even when they’re properly labeled) and reconnecting them to a new box (and they don’t run LLDP on the attached servers for a good reason, right?)

A while ago I got an email from Mark Costigan, a UK inventor who claimed to have a solution for that problem: the Sergeant Clip. It seemed too good to be true, so I asked by NFD friends about their opinions, and it turns out Matthew Norwood already used the clip and loved the results. Did you use the clip? Do you think it might be useful? Share your opinion in the comments!


  1. We used the poor man's version of it: old, unused patch panels.
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  3. I used tape - one long piece for top row another for bottom row, made sure to push it together between each cable. But Heath Robinson, but did the job. Long time since I've had to mess with cables myself though.
  4. The worst thing is not cables being unlabelled, the worst thing is cables being connected in a totally random order, without any description anywhere, coming from all directions and occasionally not having enough extra length to move it a few cm right or left. Situation otherwise known as mess or disorder :)

    For people refusing to label cables there's "PatchSee".
    For everybody, there's "documentation" (if concept is known in the shop).
  5. That's a pretty neat idea! I've always just used a fine point pen to write the port number on the patch lead.
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