Switchport name and description – Be aware

There are numerous occasions where we would like to utilize a more “human” name to view our physical switchport and router port connections; however, I find that most people don’t maintain these names/descriptions in a proper manner. While this configuration has no bearing on the operation of the switch it will create confusion for those who have to read through the documentation.

You see, when you have intimate knowledge of your network you could very easily just overlook the name/description field when you’re trying to get stuff finished quickly or you need to get a network back up and working. However, what happens when you need to bring in outside help and they’re attempting to document the network? For switchports this is where it can get confusing if you don’t have accurate and up-to-date documentation because you could be verbally saying one thing, your documentation another and then to boot the name/description is wrong and not coinciding with any information you have given!

This is clearly a major issue and one that I find a lot of network admins and engineers overlook because it simply “has no effect on the network”. This is purely an excuse for lack of configuration control and procedure on making configuration changes and documentation. In any SOP that I create for maintaining a network I clearly state that switchport/router port name/descriptions be updated along with the rest of configuration is the information is no longer valid. This is a very simple task and one that should NEVER be avoided. If you want to be lazy and not care then do yourself (and others) a favor and DO NOT utilize the description or name field in any port configuration and you’ll never have this issue; however, be prepared to have good documentation to follow.