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Informatics Forum network ports

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Within the Informatics Forum, connections to the wired network are made via network ports which are arranged in sets of six in the various floorboxes situated in both offices and public space. Each user's desk is generally fed from a single floorbox.

To avoid confusion, we configure all floorboxes which feed desks to the following standard pattern with 'port 1' being the lowest-numbered in the box, and 'port 6' the highest:

Port Patched to Cable colour VLAN
1 100 Mb/s phones switch Black phones
2 1 Gb/s data switch Blue As required
3 1 Gb/s data switch Red As required
4 - Violet (if present) -
5 - Light grey (if present) -
6 1 Gb/s data switch Dark grey As required

That is, in any set of six ports:

  • The first port is always configured for use with our VoIP phones.
  • The second, third and sixth ports are patched to 1 Gb/s data switches, and can be configured to be
    on any VLAN, as necessary.
  • The fourth and fifth ports are, by default, not patched to any switches.

A typical floorbox configuration for an 'average' user might therefore be:

Port Usage VLAN
1 Black cable for VoIP phone phones
2 Blue cable for laptop DHCP
3 Red cable for laptop DHCP
4 - -
5 - -
6 Dark grey cable for DICE desktop DICE

and this would allow the use of laptops (or other self-managed machines) on the blue and red cables, as well as a DICE desktop on the dark grey cable.

Of course, the sixth port can be configured to be on a VLAN other than DICE, if that's what's required. For example, someone with a self-managed machine to which a fixed IP has been allocated might want to use the sixth port for that purpose - in which case, it would be configured to either SM164 or SM197.

By default, the fourth and fifth ports in any floorbox are not patched to switches. Users who need more than three wired connections can ask for these ports to be patched by submitting a support request using the Computing Support form.

If you need the VLAN to which any port is currently configured to be changed (e.g. if you are changing your usage of that port), then Computing Support can make the necessary arrangements. To request this, please submit a support request using the Computing Support form.

Floorboxes in public spaces are configured in a similar (but not identical) pattern to that which is used for desk floorboxes.

Not all floorboxes (either those in offices, or those in public areas) in the Informatics Forum are physically patched in to network switches, but any particular floorbox can be patched in as necessary. If you do need a floorbox to be physically patched in, please submit a support request.

You can find out which VLAN any port is currently configured to be on by using the search facility on our Forum network monitoring page: just enter the label of the port (e.g. 1/A/D6/1/22) in the 'Room number or outlet label' search box.

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