With the current expansion in eqiad to a second cage, and the facility-provided fiber runs between cages, there is an increased requirement for us to document the patch panel usage and connections in Netbox. The new scenario means having devices directly connected to patch panels either side, which is unlike previous requirements where all panels terminated outside circuits.
Netbox has functionality to model patch panels, basically passive devices in a fiber path, which have "front" and "rear" ports which can be used to document the connections to equipment one side, and equivalent patch-panel connection on the other.
For instance I have created two example patch panels in netbox-next:
I've connected the 12 'rear' ports on these back-to-back (these represent the DC-provided runs between the panels in either cage).
We can then connect devices to the 'front' ports of each, to document the device->device connection, but also record where the fibers go and usage of the panels. For instance I've created a new dummy rack (E1) and device (SPINE E1 Dummy), and connected a port on it to cr2-eqiad via the panels:
You can then trace the cable and see the runs either side from device to panel:
Creating this task to facilitate discussion and gather thoughts on this approach. Seems fine from my point of view, was a major improvement in my last place when Netbox introduced this functionality. But I'd especially like to see what DC-Ops make of the proposal as it probably relates most to them.