Emerging Tech

Lessons learned from a server room migration

My company went through a physical relocation in January this year. Here, I document some of the lessons learnt. I hope that they will be of help to you.

My company went through a physical relocation in January this year. The move itself was complicated and involved a consolidation of various departments to a brand new location as well as what amounted to a four-way reshuffle over another three branch offices.

As a result, the existing servers that were currently located at a central server room had to be shifted to new locations. To make it more challenging, the bulk of the actual move had to be completed on just one weekend to avoid disruption to operations.

I hope that some of the lessons I learned from this project will be of help to you.

Nothing beats an on-site visit

The decision for the relocation was a very late decision. An additional spanner in the works was that the site slated for the consolidation I mentioned earlier was not already an office. Because of that, everything from electrical and telephone points had to be set up from scratch.

Despite the number of matters that needed attending to, I was glad that I chose to pay a site visit on the day that the LAN wiring was being done. While examining the freshly pulled network cables cascading from the ceiling in the new server room, I realized to my horror that the contractor doing the infrastructure was pulling CAT-3 cables for the telephone points.

On investigation, I realized that the manager in charge of the infrastructure was unable to properly articulate to the vendor that we would be using an IP-PBX that requires a minimum specification of CAT-5e. Assuming that we were using a standard PBX system, the contractor then settled for CAT-3 cables - which were, after all, more than adequate based on his flawed assumption.

My on-site visit averted what could have turned out to be a very messy miscommunication. In the end, the contractor pulled a late night and managed to rectify the problem in time for the testing and commissioning of the IP-PBX the following day.

Be involved in everything that has the potential to be a show-stopper

Just days before the official move involving almost two hundred staff, I learned that the move might have to be rescheduled.

As I mentioned earlier, the new office was not formally an office. In fact, it was a relatively old school that was re-zoned and refurbished as an office compound. Needless to say, the infrastructure built to cater to the needs of a purely academic pursuit does not really fit the bill for a modern office well.

In this instance, the telecommunications provider based its commitment to the RFC (Ready For Service) date based on a survey on a soon-to-be defunct riser. Not everyone, at least those people to whom it mattered the most, was aware of this. As it is, the building management doing the refurbishing of the premises had every intention to demolish that which they found to be inadequate.

In fact, the old room was already half torn down just a few days before we were to move in. What of the new riser that was slated to replace the old one? It was not ready yet and the room allocated to it completely empty.

My mistake here was in assuming that since external infrastructure issues are not within my jurisdiction, they could safely be ignored. In this instance however, it nearly proved to be a show-stopper.

After some more twists and turns, the problem was fortunately rectified by having contractors run temporary wires to another riser that was somewhat nearer to the office.

Share the load among vendors

I had five different vendors covering various aspects of this move. Some might argue that this isn't efficient since it increases the overall time needed to give instructions to multiple groups. In the final analysis, however, I'm glad I spread the load among a few vendors and contractors.

It boils down to the fact that pulling in a few companies--versus just one--allows me to draw on a bigger pool of resources. The logic goes like this; the vendors that I typically work with generally have just five staff members or less. By splitting up the work among different vendors, I ensured a maximum pool of help on hand the one weekend where I absolutely needed them.

A single, smaller IT firm might try to promise the sky, but might be unable to muster the requisite personnel, or lack the capacity, to attend to problems or last-minute changes. As you can imagine, failure to deliver is definitely not something I could have lived with in this instance!

There are a few other lessons I learned that I feel would be useful, and which I'll share in my next blog. In the meantime, do you have any migration or relocation experiences that you might want to share?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

30 comments
jlmorris
jlmorris

I have to add my 2 cents (well, a plug if you will!) We work exclusively with companies that are relocating, and we are no stranger to the pain that Mr. Mah has had to deal with. That?s why at PcDisconnect we alleviate some of the stresses placed on internal I.T departments by handling the disconnect and reconnect of the employee infrastructure - desktop computers, printers, phones, faxes etc. By letting an outside PcDisconnect company handle the simpler tasks, Paul would have been able to focus on more important aspects of his companies infrastructure... Since I have been involved in thousands of office relocations, if anyone is going through one and needs some free advice, please let me know! I'd be more than happy to talk. Great article by the way! Jonathan http://www.pcdisconnect.com

Jaqui
Jaqui

I know one schooll building that would easily support moving business offices into it. It is a fairly new building, with cable guideways for electrical and fully wired with fibre optics for data transmission. adding some partiton walls is nothing when you have easy access guideways everywhere, and the building is networked ith fibre optic cable EVERYWHERE. :D

S,David
S,David

Be certain that the date and time selected to move is a date and time your vendors can support. In the past I have been able to arrange weekend work with equipment vendors and telcos so that the impact on company operations was limited. However, the last time I tried this I was told by the telco that they could do the work Monday through Friday, from 0600 to 1800. They would continue to work past 1800 only if the work was started before then. Our maintenance window is Sunday from 1400 to 1800, so this was a problem. Nothing would make the telco budge, so we had to do it their way. Well, they were willing to do it Sunday, but if anything were to go wrong, it would be Monday before Someone With Knowledge would be available to fix it. And, oh boy, did things go wrong. The point is, pin everyone down, in writing, on when they can, and can not, perform their assigned duties. Do not accept "ready when you are!" at face value.

jkienzle
jkienzle

It's been my experience that you have to be involved with everything that passes electrons. From electrical outlets to data wiring, you have to make sure all the ITS related areas are covered to meet your requirements. I have yet to meet a contractor or architect that can tell what you need.

vectra-v6
vectra-v6

A move of this nature needs the services of an experienced Project Manager. Finding problems 'by chance visits' on-site is a disaster waiting to happen. Having somebody who knows the job technically, sets the rules from day one to all involved and monitors progress throughout is money well spent. A contractor will always fall back on "nobody specified that to me" if given a vague description of work.

raisch
raisch

You need to plan for all possible failures as well because no matter how absurd the possibility, it will happen. So if you don't have a good answer to "what if X happens or doesn't happen?" for all possible values of X, you're in for a whole lot of heartache.

jdclyde
jdclyde

The non-IT personnel just takes having an electrical outlet that is clean, a phone line, and any network connections needed, for granted. I have gotten several calls where users decided to MAKE a new office for a stock manager out in the stock warehouse. They then move everything out there (desks/phones/pc's) and then call us asking to "turn their phone on". They are rarely happy with the response. "You moved who, where? We will have to order enough cable, and then be on site next week to run them". There was even one were they put the office in the MIDDLE of a production floor, with cement floors. And I am suppose to run cables to hit HOW? They felt REALLY stupid about that one.

bkinsey
bkinsey

Twice, in fact. Moved out of our old building to temp quarters while the old place got completely remodeled, then moved back about 17 months later. Our entire building holds only 30 people or so, but it's also IT headquarters for our entire organization, which is 130 users at half a dozen sites around the city. We did both moves over a weekend, and closed Friday each time to give us three days; but the other sites were open, some of them the entire time as 24x7x365 operations, so the services provided out of our central office had to be up as seamlessly as possible. Everything you outline in your article is an absolute must. The organization as a whole needs to have a move team set up weeks or months in advance, planning out everything possible, and IT had better be heavily involved. In my case, that involvement started with the intial engineering and design for the remodel, and touched not only cabling and service providers, but electrical (central UPS and dedicated computer circuits throughout the building), HVAC (dedicated heat pump unit for the server room), telecom (we put in a new IP PBX as part of our move back after the remodel), two-way radio base stations, FCC licensing, and audio-visual design and implementation for our new meeting and conference rooms. Since we had to keep things like e-mail, financial apps, and internet access up even during the move weekend, we leased fiber to connect the move site back to one of our other sites, moved our central ISP connection to that site, reconfigured some switches and routers, shifted a couple of servers to the move site early (once cabling and electric work was complete at the move site), and did everything we could to make the actual move weekend as quick and painless as we could. Went very well both times, mostly due to all the pre-work we'd put into it. We're a two-man staff, and worked a lot of hours over each weekend, but it wasn't 18 hour days three days straight, and we were essentially done and ready for business by Sunday. Not something I'd care to do every year, but a satisfying job once it was all over.

techrepublic
techrepublic

I'll add one on.. Last year I moved our startup company from rented buildings to our new offices. I'd joined the company a month before, and had a full time job trying to get an infrastructure in place. Then, I got told we needed to move (which was completely the right thing, we'd outgrown the rented offices, couldnt access the comms room without being escorted etc). My details here are on more than just moving a comms room, I was moving the whole company. I'd thought I was only organising the IT, but very quickly I was involved in choosing furniture, colours, chairs, office wall layouts, everything. The nice side, was that I could completely design from the ground up and it was a lot of fun. Then downside was I only had 6-8 weeks for the move to happen (plan, implement and move), and I'm a one-man-band. I was never assigned most of the jobs, but because it didn't fall into anyone elses description it was assumed I'd do them anyway. I'd also done small moves before, so "was best qualified". Heres what I learned: - Get the new site comms running ASAP. Decided on whats needed as soon as, and dont skimp on the connectivity. My best decision was on using a full 2Mb link for the VoIP, dedicated for it. - I was lucky to only of had 3 servers to move at the time. So the overnight move was quite simple on the actual IT front. - Flood the desk areas with CAT5e as much as possible, and work out any inter-comms cabinet patches needed. - We were also building a lab into the new design, and at least there I got it right (flooding the lab with as much power and data as possible). - Colour code cables in the comms frame, or at least come up with a system. Colleagues insisted that putting labels on the cables was enough. I'd learnt that people are lazy and wont change labels, but just move endpoints around. I force everything via coloured cables (red for VoIP, blue for Corporate etc) and documentation. This forces them to check docs and use the right cables in the patch frames. I also limited access to the comms to myself and one other. - Get the management to agree a move date, and then stick to it. Its almost impossible to re-arrange with telcos and suppliers when so close to the move date. Especially BT. - Desks. I screwed up here... We visited 2 proposed desk layouts example sites, and thought it was good. We never saw a complete version of the final desks being used, made an assumption that the cable tidy was just as good, and when it came to install them, the cable tidy was non-existent. So make sure that the desks going in have good power and data cable tidy layout. Our desk areas now look a mess with power blocks daisychained etc. - Dont try to get involved in *everything*, but try to keep everything communicated between those involved. If I'd kept a closer eye on the furniture I wouldn't of had that headache, but equally, IT isn't really responsible for furniture. In my case, I just ran out of cycles to see it coming. - If you've a big enough team, make sure that those involved in the move actually have time to do it, and dont get dragged back into day-to-day ops. I was running between sites doing both and not achieving either :) - My biggest problems in the move was with the building owners and their demands. eg, we were installing a kitchen, and the plan showed a simple 50mm hole through a wall for plumbing. However, the building owners wanted full details on how the hole would be drilled, how the pipes would connect. Not something a usual plumber would document for you and we were only installing one sink. In the end we ran 25ft of piping, and had to install a pump, just to get around the corner.. So anything involving the building look at before the move. - Moving contractors - We had a company doing the fit-out. I got on really well with the guys on the ground, but we were working to a very tight budget, and at every step when my boss said "lets do this and this".. the contractor would then say "thats not in the budget.. and it'll cost x and y", then I'd get dragged into "how much if we do 'this' instead then?".. My advice, try to stay out of that if you can. I couldnt, but I hope you can. - Electrics - try to avoid ring-style electrics in the office area. Go with center-line striped electrics. This is more expensive, but if you need to add a desk later on, you dont need to break the ring to do it. - Be realistic on expansion. We had 40 people to move, and planned space for 60. We're now at 80 and had to squeeze new desks into our nice open deskplan to do it. I also wish I'd had a better idea of the # of servers we'd need. - Decide on the competency of your staff. Can they unplumb/replumb a PC themselves? Do they know what a "network cable" is? At the time my guys were 99% technical, so I was able to leave a lot of the unplumb/replumbing to then. The plus was one less job for me. The minus was that cables on the desks werent run as nicely as possible, so look messy (and no cable tidy didnt help). - I worked through the night of the move till 5AM running in the CAT5 patches. But doing this meant that the employees could come in the next day, put their PC together and plumb in. So dont underestimate how long it will take to plumb everything together properly. - I made a clear CAT5 port layout for the floorboxes. Lowest ID was Voice, next 3 ports were data. I left a big notice board in the entrance saying so, left two boxes of CAT5 cables out and headed home. When I came back in 5 hours later, all the clients were running ok as they guys plumbed things together themselves, phones were up and people were working. What would've taken 1 person a day to do, each employee sorted themselves out in 10 mins. I know in my case I was dealing with a lot of non-IT things *builders, plumbers, legal, etc), but I hope this helps any small company setup move (15-20, going onto 80 people back then) Don't underestimate the amount involved, and dont assume someone else is doing a job. In a small company, its more than likely going to be your job anyway. :)

paulmah
paulmah

In the meantime, do you have any migration or relocation experiences that you might want to share?

paulmah
paulmah

Thanks Jaqui, Unfortunately, the "school" that we moved into is more than 20 years old. CAT 5 isn't in much vogue then, much less fiber optics! :( Regards, Paul Mah.

Industrial Controller
Industrial Controller

All of our cat5 cable was routed into the wrong space in the new office so I had to locate the POE switch in there and run a link to the actual server closet. Never assume the subs understand what you need and double check well before the move. The electrician wired in the wrong outlet (due to our electrical ingnorance) for our UPS and we blew up our very big UPS unit on the Sunday of the install. I had to run to a retailer for a boatload of small UPSs and then string cables down the hall to distribute the power load of our server closet. It took months to get this remedied properly.

K12Linux
K12Linux

Make sure you know how network cabling should be done and as importantly, what things should never be done. When building a new building five years ago, a contractor decided to run an entire lab to a different closet because it was more convenient and the labor would be cheaper for us. All of the runs to the lab were around 150M and had to be re-pulled to the nearer closet the way the designs showed.

PineappleBob
PineappleBob

Then you gotta meet me. I am a Florida registered Architect and an MCSE, don't ask how that came to be. I have moved our office 4 times in 6 years and have not missed a thing yet, knock on wood. :-)

paulmah
paulmah

In an ideal setting, we would be sitting down more than three months before the move to thrash over the logistics and operational aspects of it. In my case, I had literally all of 1.5 months to get everything together. What is worse is that the date wasn't even fixed until at the end of Dec as it was a new premises and the building management himself wasn't sure if he could get the basic renovations done in time. (I planned using an earlier date) Also, everything is haphazard since absolutely NO inter-departmental meetings were called. Yup, none. There was no central budget, but purchases were evaluated on a case-by-case basis. I'm not talking about IT - but on the move as a whole. I would hardly call this ideal. But it is a situation that I strongly is no stranger to some of us working with smaller companies. Regards, Paul Mah.

toubis
toubis

I am laughing at this cause it just happened to me a few times. And they still dont learn.

william.j.douglass
william.j.douglass

I help manage the "IT" for an Army base in a hotzone overseas- thousands of PCs, two different networks (one secure, one not, but that adds a whole different aspect- you have to maintain physical and virtual separation) plus more than 500 phones (copper and VoIP). Previous units have come and gone, leaving fiber, cat5, phonelines, and power running in a spaghetti'd mess all over base.. Then you get someone who puts an office into a metal shipping container 400-500ft away from the nearest comms closet, across a major road, and keeps asking to get Internet service.. We are planning on updating our server room- we have to figure out how to turn existing racks for more space, add 7-9racks of equipment, replace some radios, and try to keep service on the whole time.. I'll help plan but get to be home before the move takes place. :-)

Tybolito
Tybolito

We moved our company (which is actually a biotech research site) from 19th century university buildings to a brand-new site in 2004. At the time there were ?175 employees, an overgrown university spin-off. What we did was move the (30+) servers and our SAN to the new site first. That made it necessary to have a temporary leased line between the old site and the new site. We warned our users that connectivity was going to be really slow at the old site. This had the advantage that as people were moving connection-speed at the old site actually became better because there was less traffic over the line. Next to that, people arrived on the new site and the speed of the network was making them dizzy in their seats. (psychology rules!) We normally replace a number of our PC?s each year. We did not buy new machines the year before the move but bought new equipment installed it onsite before the users moved (we replaced 80% of all desktops during the move). They arrived in the new building, found a new computer on their desk and only had to sit down and start working. Their old computers were just wiped and trashed ? I gave users the opportunity to buy their own old computer and made them responsible for removing it (I made sure it was wiped and disconnected). We also replaced our file server at the time of the move. Tested it on the old-site, moved it to the new site and had it test-run for a week. The first thing we brought online was our SAN, connected it to the fileserver on the new site. We were up and running within the hour and way before the first users arrived at work (on the old site). We had 30+ servers (unix, linux, windows) up and running before noon? We went offline on a thursday evening, back online by Friday at noon and that gave us a weekend to keep on testing and ironing out minor problems. Friday afternoon was a buffer so we could contact our telco/ISP and other vendors to solve problems before the weekend ;-) We did not have to pay expensive vendor support during the weekend that way and if things went wrong we had two extra days without users hassling us to fix it! As you I was involved in pretty much everything (there was a 10 person committee to help organize the whole thing). The first thing I insisted upon was to make the move IT driven. We decided when people where moving (we moved all the employees in about 15 working days from the old site to the new one). This was well planned and communicated long before the actual move. We started moving the administrative departments (legal, intellectual property...) as they had more simple needs (basically a PC, Office, a printer and telephone). The labs were more complex. The draw-back of this approach is that you have to keep two sites up and running. The big advantage is that if you plan and test well you shouldn?t have too much problems at the new site? The one regret I had was the server enclosures. I knew a number of different brands and had a clear favorite brand I had had good experiences with (cable tidies, strength etc.). I took our supplier?s word for it that his own (east-european.cheap) brand was up to the same standards. It wasn?t. Having different brands of servers in a single enclosure is hell now !!! - I used the same approach to the floorboxes (and wall outlets). Lowest ID for Voice, the rest for data although we always use the highest ID for data first. - Voice patching in the datarooms is always blue cable, for data we use yellow. - I had a finger in literally everything and a lot of the things I did not know about went wrong. The furniture e.g. was chosen by two secretaries and I specifically warned them to take a good look at the cable-tidies and openings in table/desktop to run cables through. Guess what ? But those desks are really nice to look at? Some important pointers : 1/ Communicate !!! Let your users know what's going on. People are amazingly forgiving if they know what to expect. 2/ Make sure that the move is IT driven, IT sets the time-table about who is moving when ! Get support from management to do it your way. 3/ Move management first, they?re the ones who are going to nag and cause you problems when you are up to your eye-balls in work. Just get them out of your way  4/ Avoid moving stuff whenever possible, buy new stuff and install (and TEST !!!) it on-site before your users move. 5/ Planning is everything. Make sure you include as many buffer-days as possible in case you hit unexpected trouble. (trust me, you will !!!) Enforce deadlines and only use bufferdays when there is no other way out. 6/ Delegate but supervise, check and double check? (this is not a sign that you do not trust people but you?ll probably be the one with the clearest overview of what needs to happen). 7/ If you have friends or colleagues who have done this kind of thing before in your region, talk to them. Pick their brain. We did (the university department we were spun off from moved a year before we did, they nearly had the same setup as we did and boy did we learn a lot from their mistakes? We didn?t have a single big problem during the move (and I was rewarded a very nice financial bonus for it ? it?s nice to work for a company that is willing to reward good work).

wiggledbits
wiggledbits

- Get the management to agree a move date, and then stick to it. Its almost impossible to re-arrange with telcos and suppliers when so close to the move date. Especially BT. I had a move where the owner was WAY to optimistic on the date the building was to be ready for a move in. She thought by saying it was this or that day would make the contractors hurry up. Anyway the point is once you get to a point in time it is impossiable to move the big telcos.

paulmah
paulmah

Wow, looks like you had a bigger handful of tasks than me. Though I did practically all the planning and negotiations with vendors/providers, I had two other IT staff on my team helping out on the actual move. Thankfully, we were not involved in choosing the furniture at least! :) But looks like your company certainly hired the right person for the job. It sounds like your under-provisioned in terms anticipated servers - but who could blame you, only 6-8 weeks on the job! How many servers do you have in your server room now anyway? Regards, Paul Mah. Perh

robert.sebastian
robert.sebastian

Successfully migrated data center with 70 + servers, phone system for 100+ employees and supporting routers and switches for LAN, Internet and WAN connectivity. With assistance from Local Exchange Carrier established an Ethernet bridge between the two locations. Equipment was migrated over the course of two regular Thursday night maintenance windows. Roughly half of the systems were migrated on first maintenance window, remainder second maintenance window. ISP and WAN connections were coordinated to relocate on same evenings is similar fashion. Move/migration was seamless to end users (save for the 100+ corporate employees) and 72+ nationwide offices.

karen
karen

The main site move was smooth. I planned everything down to the nth degree. Did it in 4 hours, six servers, main office, two trailors (one indoors, one outdoors). I was involved in every detail. I had to deal with two vendors. The second site was held hostage by the ISP/Telephone service provider. It was in a remote location so there was very limited vendor choice. I finally threatened to file a complaint to the Public Utility Commission. That got their attention. You are right, though, you cannot plan or be too detailed when you are moving a companies IT systems.

cpetroce
cpetroce

I had been promised numerous times and a date set for our relocation. A few weeks before when i started my testing in the other office the ISP never had lit up the T's in the new office and i later found out they never even placed the order appropriately.....VERIZON.

Zpunky
Zpunky

1) Have an ally to support your requests for access 2) Push to be included in any aspect that may have impact on your IT infrastructure or space 3) Insist on meeting face-to-face with the contractor and get his/her card. It helps in situations where there are emergencies/errors, and they appreciate dealing with someone who can communicate the problem clearly and calmly, non-technical management often cannot. My experience: I went through an almost identical move in Nov 2006. I'm the only IT person in the company and although the principals had been searching for a new location for almost a year, the lease signing was mid-August, 3 1/2 months before the move (Dec 2nd). They almost made it Thanksgiving weekend, but the Office Manager and I threatened to quit if they did... we are the only two staff who would be involved in moving the entire office. Mid-September, it was decided we needed a new phone system instead of moving the one we had. This meant interviewing and vetting phone system vendors while trying to develop a network wiring plan for the space build out. Mid-October the principals, both landscape designers, suddenly objected to my network plan, specifically, using wireless, with redundant routers, to provide network access to the administrative side of the office. I had to re-design the entire network and source new switches to accommodate their fears of 'new technology'. Our Office Manager is a real star. He and I worked very closely together, backing each other up in our requests to the CFO and the principal involved to have access to the site (they had previously forbade anyone from visiting it) and to be kept in the loop and involved in any changes made to the build out plan. On our walk-throughs he and I found numerous over-sights and contractor mistakes that we were able to remedy. To their credit, I was fortunate enough to have a great wiring contractor who actually knew what CAT 6 was and understood the notion of building out for the future (10GB Ethernet)

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

that you can never underestimate the PITA the telco will cause trying to move an existing account and IP information to a new location. When they tell you "Your Up!" And you can see the fault light on the T1 card clearly.... Or they think you are using some ip range they pulled out of a hat, ignoring the IP range you've had with them for over 5 years... Allow a lot of time, and plan in advance to make sure the telco has the correct information. It took us six hours to get a DID span moved over and turned on for a 24x7 call center 9Telco estimated 35 to 65 minutes to do this). Not good.

Jaqui
Jaqui

this particular school is now about 13 years old. it was built with the latest and greatest available, and designed to be updatable easily. [ just before BCTel was bought out by the larger, but inferior quality Telus. BCTel had reached an incredible 90% fiber optic in the infrastructure by the mid 1990s, Telus stopped before it was complete. ] they were doing webcasts to other schools within 6 months of opening. A friend was the newly appointed supervisor for the school district on the construction. He listened to what some had to say and made sure it was implemented. It's not going to be common even now to have a school built that way.

dehak
dehak

You also have to look at the furniture interface. Couple of years ago we added a mezzanine to move our office personnel and gain floor space for production. I told Facilities to consult with me on network connections but the did not so we had restrooms with data and telephone jacks as well as a well wired office area. The problem was that the cubes where solid wall wood with no cut-out for cable routing. We ended up with jacks behind cube walls with no access except drill through the cube walls (not allowed by management) or pull the cube out from the wall a bit and try to fish through and blind plug the cables. Duane

paulmah
paulmah

I think what many companies/bosses don't realize is that while the company is important as a customer, that there is a point in time where the Telco will give an outright "no" no matter how you plead. It might also be bureaucracies, in which it takes a minimum number of days to arrange for their own staff/contractors and such, and which they will not bend over regardless of how much cash you want to pay them.

-PM-
-PM-

I had a similar experience as well. We were just moving across the road, but there were several divisions within the same company with separate comms links to be moved. I more or less had to get involved in furniture selection, power and a/c issues as well. I did have a good cabling contractor - a guy whom we have employed in the past. We got all the physical comms links and structured cabling in place and fully tested 3 days before the actual move. The move had to be done during daylight hours on a Saturday - 2 racks, 2 UPS, 10 servers and 60 PCs. Users were given clear instructions on disconnection and reconnection of PCs. I had to work with only two contractors, one assisting us in the physical move and the other the PABX vendor who carried out the configuring. The move was fairly smooth except that one of the ISPs 'forgot' to switch the internet links till we reminded them. The office was fully functional by Saturday evening. We had an audit on Monday and the IT department was got special mention from the auditors who could not believe how seamless the move was.

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