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That mess wasn't common in any environment I worked at during the same time period. Pretty sure that would have got someone sacked in the various datacenters I happen to have worked in.

It was common in many customer cages. I even saw cages setup in 2000 where a cage contained 500k of sun and cisco hardware still in their box after 8 months. I guess that startup was growing so fast they hadn't gotten around to plugging things in yet /s.

More likely they either ran out of funding or never got the growth they expected. Back then there was often a large disconnect between H/w bought and H/w needed/used. But money was there and hypergrowth was "just around the corner."

My conspiracy theory was VC funding required companies to spend X% on Sun/Cisco equipment, whether they needed it or not. In any case expensive, unused Sun servers were lying around everywhere during that period. And you'd hear thing like people bragging about their spare E10K.

They did eventually fix it, see the newer racks:


That's not fair!

Patchpanel backs are cabled only once by electricians. All is connected to another patchpanel that's near the catalyst and it is the place the mess starts growing.

Memories :-)

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