How many times have you had a switch fail and found out that none of the cables were labeled? How do you make sure the cables get placed back into the correct port? You could take the time to label all of them, I have done that.
A simple solution to this mess is a 48 port patch panel. This works great for replacing a fixed unit switch or a single line card in a chassis. Before removing the switch or line card, move all of the cables to the patch panel in the same port number as they were in on the switch or line card. Port 1 on the switch to port 1 on the patch panel. Port 2 on the switch to port 2 on the patch panel and so on until all of the cables are off of the switch and onto the patch panel.
After replacing the failed unit, simply move the cables off of the patch panel onto the new switch in the corresponding ports.
What other tricks do you have when replacing failed equipment? Let me know, I would like to get your feedback!