[AusNOG] Electronic MDF Record Keeping

Juan Zenos juan at fatuous.org
Fri Mar 29 03:31:05 EST 2013

If it was an old site, I just used to stand there holding the keys and the
book with an angry look on my face whenever there were contractors in the
MDF. Most were professional but you have to give them the right kind of
pencil sometimes :)

I once transcribed a 300 pair book with active, up to date entries going
back to the 80s, because the thing had basically disintegrated after 30
years of use and many re-used pairs had been erased and re-written so much
that pages had holes in them with stickers on etc... blech.

For new sites where I was the first one who touched the MDF, spreadsheets
AND books were used, but template-wise, you really have to re-invent the
wheel for your own needs. When there's a fault and you have to ring a
number, you need circuit id's at your fingertips.



On 29 March 2013 02:16, Tom Storey <tom at snnap.net> wrote:

> Could you offer some alternative simple methods for reporting changes?
> Something that can be done in the field with minimal effort I am thinking
> of.
> Such as:
> SMS details of change to x number
> email details of change to x at y.com
> Phone x number to advise of changes
> All of which dont really require much effort from the tech, so they cant
> really complain that they didn't have time, or it was too difficult or what
> not? And you get a centralised method to process and record changes.
> But still, probably nothing will beat a good old fashion audit.
> On 28 March 2013 02:19, Juan Zenos <juan at fatuous.org> wrote:
>> Hi Chris, it's an excellent point. And at sites with high turnover of
>> links, and copper mains often being the cheaper option, what good is pencil
>> and an eraser when the paper in the book has rubbed through to the other
>> side?
>> I think a spreadsheet is sufficient for the majority of krone/110 style
>> vertical termination blocks and fiber termination points, but the difficult
>> part is getting human beings to update it. In some cases, like when you
>> have operators from 36 different subcontractors representing 7 different
>> telcos working on the MDF on a weekly basis, it is impossible. Sorry, I
>> know that doesn't help much.
>> If you're looking for a spreadsheet template, you'd best start with the
>> krone 1000 pair record book, krone product # 6462 3 010-03. I know it
>> sounds unhelpful but it's the way it has been done for decades. Don't throw
>> out that F-set just yet, you're gonna need it :)
>> Regards,
>> Juan
>> On 28 March 2013 12:28, Chris Lee <chris at datachaos.com.au> wrote:
>>> Looking through the Warrnambool Exchange investigation report has just
>>> got me thinking how we'd recover in the event of fire in an MDF / IDF
>>> throughout our infrastructure... we have several MDF's around and like most
>>> we have paper based record books (and I realise some of these are probably
>>> well out of date anyway in terms of services being cancelled).
>>> Does anyone keep electronic records of their MDF / IDF infrastructure,
>>> and if so what particular software or do you just use an excel spreadsheet
>>> perhaps, and if so does anyone have a template they might be willing to
>>> share ?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Chris
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