Netbox – Creating patch panels and passive cabling

I have been using Netbox for a couple weeks and am really impressed with the product. It is an intuitive piece of software which flows well, however configuring passive infrastructure wasn’t immediately obvious. This post will over of the process of connecting two devices in separate racks via four patch panels. Before we begin I have already defined a new site ‘DEMO’ and three racks RACK00[1-3].

  1. Create a device to represent the patch panel. I have already defined the manufacturer.
  1. Add a new device to the top of RACK001.
  1. Create a new patch_panel instance RACK001_PP001.
  1. Once created, select R001_PP001 in RACK001, then Add Components -> Rear Panel . All the patch panels will have 24 port RJ45 connections, so will also require 24 connections at the rear.
  1. Going back to R001_PP001, then Add Components -> Front Panel. We are using the range command again to define the port numbers ([0-23]) and require a 1:1 mapping with the rear ports, so select all the rear ports in the list prior to clicking Create.
  1. Go back to R001_PP001 and scroll down to the port defintions and confirm the front port configuration. Each front port should be mapped to a rear port.
  1. Now repeat these steps for racks 002 and 003. In Rack002 we will create two patch panels as in our final topology we are going to run a cable between them just to make things interesting. Once done go back to R001_PP001 and scroll down to the Rear Ports section and click the green connection button and select Rear Port. The logic here is that we are connecting the rear port of R001_PP001 to the rear port of some other device.
  1. Configure the B Side dropdowns so that we are connecting R001_PP001 to R002_PP002 via their rear_port0. The additional cable details are arbitary.
  1. After a bit of clicking, the Rear ports on R001_PP001 should start looking like this.
  1. Now lets go back to RACK001 and add a device. For this example I am adding an ASA5506-X, but in reality it can be any device with some interfaces which we can cable to the patch panel.
  1. Still on the ASA, Add Components -> Interfaces, we want Gi1/[1-8]. Once created scroll down the device details and find the Interfaces section, select one interface, click the Connection button and select Front Panel.
  1. Lets connection D_FW001 Gi1/1 to R001_PP001 front_port0.
  1. Jump to RACK002 and connect our two patch panels together via their front ports.
  1. Behind the scenes I have created a Access Point D_AP001 and added it to RACK003. D_AP001 has been configured with a single interface Gi1 which we then connect to R003_PP001 front_port0.
  1. Edit D_AP001 and scroll down to the Interfaces. It now shows that D_AP001 Gi1 is connected to D_FW001 Gi1/1 !!
  1. Now click on the green cable trace button and behold the patching between the racks.

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