A Backup a Day Keeps the Technical Support Away (by Josh Stephens)
Beware of Vendors Promising 802.11n (by Tony Fortunato)

What Is Hiding In Your Closet? (by Josh Stephens)

Calling All IT Pros: Show Us What’s Hiding in Your Closet  

How do you determine which device is connected to which switch?

Do you have to crawl through multiple cabling closets to figure out where the defective device is hiding?
Really messy cabinet             Neat network

Or, are you a bit neurotic and have a ridiculously clean closet with color-coded cables?

We at SolarWinds want to see how you manage your network devices!

Submit photos or videos of your network closet for a chance to win some geeky, yet cool swag (not to mention bragging rights with your boss)! Winners will be picked for the cleanest, messiest and most creative closets.

Hurry Up! The deadline to submit is March 9 for your photos! Do not miss out on this FUN adventure.

More details are described in our Video and on our Facebook page.

Now that we had some fun, it’s time to get down to real business…


No matter what your cabling closet looks like, sooner or later you’re going to find yourself tracing cables. And literally navigating through wiring closets is probably not the best use of your time.

Remember: Your time = Money. Don’t just throw it away.

The historically cumbersome process of locating connections to switches, tracing cables and manually identifying speed and duplex mismatches is over.

Today, SolarWinds announced a new, low-cost standalone version of Switch Port Mapper, one of the most popular tools in its Engineer’s Toolset.

Engineer's Toolset,  an awesome collection of valuable everyday network tools - http://www.solarwinds.com/products/toolsets/

With Switch Port Mapper, administrators can remotely discover devices connected to each port on Ethernet switches, obtain detailed connected device info for each port, and identify port speed and duplex mismatches. Check out more highlights and value to you here.

Learning to effectively manage your network with the right tools is key to your success.

Keep it simple!

And don’t forget to submit your photos. You may not feel so bad about your environment after you see what others have submitted... 

Josh Stephens Solarwinds Author Profile - Josh Stephens is the Head Geek and VP of technology at SolarWinds, a leading provider of network management software based in Austin Texas. Solarwinds logo Josh has extensive experience in network management systems, network engineering, and software development. His 15-plus years of experience in technology include designing and deploying advanced networks and network management systems within organizations including the US Air Force, Sprint, MCI/UUNET, and WalMart. He has received several industry certifications including those from Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and HP.