We have a bunch of 48-port terminal servers (they're Linux/ssh based, and quite good). Unfortunately, one of ours has a bad Ethernet port (intermittent connections -- no good for lights out management!)

Today (Friday), I spent from 4:15 to 5:30 labelling 48 Cat5 cables, replacing the old terminal server (a tight fit!), reconnecting the cables, and testing. It increased my respect for our Network group, as they do this type of thing all the time (although usually with less ports), and scheduling network downtime is much tougher than scheduling console downtime. Lots more people notice. Fortunately, the terminal servers are for our group, and used almost entirely by 4 particular people, so notification and scheduling was easy.

Still, it wasn't fun. At the end I had a label maker with dead batteries, a whole bunch of garbage from the labels, and grimy fingers, but we regained remote access for the weekend, which was my goal.

Next time I'll ask a hardware guy to do the cable swapping!