Plan Your Office Move

Ben Greiner -

Plan Early

At least two months prior to your move it’s best to request a consultation with us and our recommended network and cabling technician, Thom Lewis of Lewis Communications (630-690-4929). We also suggest getting a quote for Internet and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Send us your current Internet and phone bill, along with your new address and new phone number so we can provide a quote for Internet and VoIP service at your new location. (We currently use and recommend RingCentral for VoIP service.) Do not gamble on promises from ISPs that your Internet will be working on move day. Get Internet installed and tested BEFORE moving. It can take up to four weeks (or longer if the phone company finds any problems) for a new Internet installation, so plan ahead!

 

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Network Closet  

Be sure to plan a space for server and networking equipment. This stuff is unsightly, runs loud and needs to stay cool. Even if you don’t have a rack-mountable server today, it’s a good idea to build and plan for one should the need arise. A typical rack dimension is 37.70” (95.8 cm) deep and 25.64” (65.1 cm) wide (measure yours if you have one!). With front and back doors open it’s approximately 90” deep. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to walk around all sides of a server so the room needs to be a minimum of 6’ x 8’ (and that’s a little tight). The room must also be well ventilated or cooled. One alternative to building a server room is to buy an enclosed rack for about $2,000.

Tips for Moving a Server  

  • Document current server services, IP scheme and DHCP server settings (even if they need to change after the move.)
  • Perform a backup of the server before the move.
  • Will the current networking equipment move or be replaced in the new space?
  • What is the new ISP information?
  • Are you getting new patch cables (recommended)?
    • In general, 6-10’ in the server closet will cover all scenarios. (Ideally, get two different colors for Voice and Data, if you separate your network.) If you know for sure that your network rack will have a patch panel directly above or below a switch, then you might want 6-inch cables.
    • 4-6’ at the desks — you need to choose a color … gray, white, black, other for a bold look?

Moving Day

If your moving company is reliable and adequately insured then consider letting them move your computers. However, we typically see clients move the computers themselves and we often help move the server. Here's a suggested plan:

  • Each user packs their own workstation and related equipment (cables, external devices, displays, etc) in a clearly labeled box and drives it over to the new location placing it near their new desk.
  • It’s helpful to label items with either white artists tape or masking tape (not sticky notes – they fall off).
  • If labels and/or boxes are not used then there’s a good chance critical pieces will go missing.
  • It’s important that we take down the server and network equipment at the current location (otherwise critical pieces can go missing). We will then move it to the new location (assuming it will fit in a car – we cannot move large racks).
  • We will then setup, configure and test everything in the new space. All time is billed at your agreed upon hourly rate, unless evening or weekend time is requested.

Beware!

It's frustrating for everyone when time is wasted due to poor planning. Below are a few problems we see most often during a move. In addition, beware of changing or introducing new equipment. It is often most efficient to pickup as-is and move. Do NOT try to change anything more than you need to — a move introduces too much change to start testing new equipment. If it worked in the old space it should work in the new space (assuming no damage during the move).

  • Missing or broken pieces.
  • Too few electrical plugs or not enough circuits.
  • Too few networking jacks or inferior network wiring. (Use Thom Lewis and get more network jacks than you think you’ll need. Perform a floor plan or walkthrough. We can advise).
  • Ensure that the scheme used to identify/label both the wall jacks and patch panels are consistent.
  • Network jack locations that don’t reach the desks using the available patch cables will cause problems.
  • Have a list or diagram of where everyone will sit, and what type of computer they will be using.
  • Always ask more questions than you think will be necessary!
Have more questions? Submit a request

3 Comments

  • 0
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    Ben Greiner

    Need a Mover?

    Pickens-Kane is a recommended mover here in Chicago. Michael Bonnema was a contact for a client of ours who recently moved.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Ben Greiner

    Office Move Task List for IT [IN PROGRESS]:

    • Confirm office Internet options before signing the lease.
    • Confirm wiring options – existing or build new?
    • If wiring is existing, then confirm there are enough wall jacks properly located for everyone and every phone, computer, server and printer.
    • Confirm will the network will converge. (Network Closet)
    • Hire someone with data network experience to verify existing or install new Gigabit ready wiring (CAT5e or better cabling with good terminations).
    • Confirm phone system requirements — existing (to be moved) or new (consider VoIP)?
    • Get new Internet fixed IPs from new ISP.
    • Test the Internet before moving in. 
    • Schedule office move with your IT Team. You will want them to properly shutdown and dismantle shared devices (server, routers, switches) in the old space and set them up in the new space.
    • Schedule IT to be onsite the first day the office opens in the new space to work through any remaining issues.
  • 0
    Avatar
    Ben Greiner

    In addition to at least one router and switch, you'll need to know how many network drops are required in your new space. Although wireless is getting better each year, wired is still the fastest and most reliable connection. Plan for a few more connections than you need because adding wired connections after a build-out or move-in is a lot more expensive.

    Here's a list of wired (Ethernet) network devices needed in new space:

    • Smart TVs
    • Apple TVs
    • Servers
    • Desktops
    • Printers/Scanners

    Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Devices

    • VoIP Phones
    • Wireless Access Points (WAPs). 

    NOTE: You need a solid wireless network because of all the wireless devices on a network today ... notebooks, iPhones, iPads, Internet of Things (IoT) devices like thermostats, lighting, and who knows what is coming in the future!

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