I. Title

A. Name: Unused PennNet Wallplates

B. Number: 2014-09-20-unusedwallplates

C. Author: J. Ballentine (ISC Technology Services), J. Berry (ISC Client Care), P. Butler (Division of Public Safety), D. Domico (Student Registration and Financial Services), M. Lazenka (Business Services), P. Lewis (School of Arts and Sciences), J. Shannon (Division of Finance)

D. Status:

[ ] proposed [ ] under review [X] approved [ ] rejected [ ] obsolete

E. Date proposed: 2014-09-20

F. Date revised: N/A

G. Date approved: 2016-05-20

H. Effective date: 2016-05-20


II. Authority and Responsibility

Information Systems and Computing is responsible for the operation of Penn's data networks (PennNet) as well as the establishment of information security policies, guidelines, and standards. It therefore has the authority and responsibility to specify requirements for access to PennNet.

III. Executive Summary

This policy describes the circumstances under which PennNet wall plates (jacks) may be considered unused and the process by which they can be disabled and deactivated in an effort to reduce customer costs, improve accuracy of billing, and improve the security of PennNet in a programatic way.

IV. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that customers are billed only for PennNet wall plate (jacks) that they are using while ensuring the best use of capital assets such as switches and router interfaces that are necessary to support active wall plates.

V. Risk of Non-compliance

Without a programatic way to detect and deactivate unused PennNet wall plate jacks, customers will be paying for unneeded and unused PennNet services. Unused PennNet services result in higher capital costs because of over provisioning Ethernet switch ports and router uplink ports in building networks.

VI. Definitions

Administrative Disable (or Disable)
Shutting down a network interface on a PennNet Ethernet switch to disable all functions on the specified interface and rendering the interface unavailable for use.
Deactivate
Physically disconnecting the wall plate from an Ethernet switch port.
PennNet Wall Plate (or Wall Plate)
A demarcation point where PennNet wiring is terminated, typically located in a work space or computer room. See PennNet wallplate.
PennNet wall plate jack
An individual component attached to a PennNet wall plate that the end device connects. There can be up to 8 jacks in a PennNet wall plate.
PennNet wallplate ID
A unique identifier that is located on all PennNet wallplates. See PennNet wallplate.

VII. Scope

This policy applies to all PennNet wall plates associated with switches managed by ISC with the exception of switch ports associated with ISC-managed or customer-managed data centers unless requested by the local school or center since most of these locations are now billed using a "per switch" model.

VIII. Statement of policy

  1. Switch ports that have not had a network link detected for 45 or more calendar days (according to ISC's current network management and reporting tools) will be considered unused and may be disabled.
  2. This process may be run up to twice per academic year in the middle of the spring and fall semesters to ensure the fewest number of false positives.
  3. Campus IT staff will receive notification from ISC at least 10 business days prior to the unused port analysis process being run.
    1. Individual ports can be identified in advance to ISC Client Care via a ticket and the exclusion will be noted in the configuration. This port will be exempt until a client asks for it to be removed.
    2. Blanket exemptions for large areas of a campus building may be requested by a local school/center IT Director. To cover all of these ports, ISC may elect to exclude all ports wired to a single wiring closet.
  4. While the switch port remains in a disabled state, a customer may report a dead port to ISC Client Care and it will be re-enabled at no charge.
  5. Switch ports that are in a disabled state for an additional 10 business days will be scheduled for deactivation.
  6. Billing for these ports will be discontinued on the date the ports become deactivated.

    IX. Recommendations and Best Practices

    1. Local Support Providers should request deactivations when their customers are moving to a new location or one of their buildings is undergoing renovations.
    2. It is prudent that rarely used wall plates are tested prior to a school/center event (at least 1 week to avoid rush activation charges) as they may have been disabled under this policy. The normal service charges for activations and rush activations will still apply after this policy has been implemented.

      X. Compliance

      A. Verification: ISC will process customer requests for moves, adds, and changes to the network. This policy is only to ensure that customers are being billed for services that they are using.
      B. Notification: Customers will receive notifications from ISC:

      1. At least 10 business days prior to when ISC plans to analyze and administratively disable unused switch ports in their building(s).
      2. Once ISC has administrative disabled unused switch ports in their building(s).
      3. When a list of wall plates has been developed from this disabled switch ports after a technician is dispatched to process the deactivations.

      C. Remedy: Misidentified ports will be re-activated at no charge to the customer.
      D. Financial Implications: Unused ports that were deactivated under this policy can be re-activated at the current ISC activation labor rate. The department or network user will be responsible for the associated costs, if any, for labor and materials.
      E. Responsibility:Local support providers are responsible for activating and deactivating PennNet ports and periodically auditing their billing. Responsibility for remedy (and associated costs) lies with the area department or LSP.
      F. Time Frame: Ports without activity for 45 days in the middle of the spring and fall semesters may be deactivated unless they are exempted from this policy.
      G. Enforcement: Unless exempted, this policy will be applied to all PennNet ports connected to ISC-managed switches.
      H. Appeals: Appeals to service or material charges will be handled through the standard Billing Dispute Process of the ISC Business Office.

      XI. References