| Moving the office network? How hard could it be? Anybody who's ever moved the office network knows the risks and challenges associated with this colossal task. This mighty endeavour is not merely a case of logging-off, shutting down and pulling the plug.
The move requires careful, systematic planning, forethought and a little luck. The following considerations provide valuable guide ropes for hauling serious office technology.
Think of the move as the evolutionary-growth to a better network
An office move can provide the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your IT systems, introduce new technology and upgrade your equipment.
Consider the future of your company and the flexibility your network will need as your company expands. Assess your needs and work out exactly what you will need to add to provide for your future growth.
Hire a network specialist to fine tune your systems
Obtaining expert advice helps cut corners, taking the guesswork out of what equipment you'll need, design and implementation of the network and the difficulties associated with troubleshooting.
“We take great pride in our work. As a reliable, efficient and highly specialised IT company in London, you'll be afforded the peace of mind that with us, your computers and network are in the hands of professionals” says Andrew Cruise, Managing Director of Hypercubic.
You also get an idea of what the costs will be, including the benefits of on-going maintenance and support. Planning the installation process with a professional takes the load off your shoulders and many thorns out of your side.
Save on downtime
Install the new system over the weekend, this way there will be minimal disruption to the business. Think about how many emails, phone calls and enquiries you will be missing if you move during the week. If the installation takes longer, inform clients or users in advance so they know what to expect.
One businessman reported, “Before we moved offices, we sent an email to all of our clients informing them about the move and provided all our clients with contact details. Our manager received valuable business related calls via his mobile phone thanks to this pre-planning”.
Moving valuable, sensitive equipment requires care
Moving several floor-standing servers or a couple of 42u racks may take more than a fat guy with a slipped disk. Depending on the size of the server lifting the equipment may require hoists, trolleys and ropes.
A removal truck is obviously an essential part of the office move, though extra care needs to be taken concerning packaging.
Prepare for impact
Your delicate robotics need to travel comfortably between cushioned barriers, preventing devices from jarring together. Wrapping the equipment in anti-static bubble wrap shields the equipment against magnetic fields, preventing the loss of valuable data.
Equipment should ideally be placed in computer crates. Each crate should be dedicated to one complete system that is labelled for easy identification.
Think seriously about Insurance
When it involves your bread and butter being stored in digital format, ensure you have a back-up plan in case something happens during the move. Most insurance companies offer various policies for insuring computers against theft and damage.
Find out if your new building has the facilities for your network
Be sure to conduct a site survey and evaluate what your network needs are. This helps to curb overspending on equipment and identifies the best possible locations for installing access points. It also ensures that cable runs meet the local building codes.
Things just work better when cabling is installed before the move
Before the move goes ahead, the new network's cabling and network infrastructure should be in place, conveniently ready for each labelled workstation crate to be placed next to the correct plugs, power leads and phone lines.
Power On: Booting-up the network
Expect a few glitches; problems are inevitable with a new network. Hiring a professional at this point is an invaluable asset. Installation support ensures that the company can deal with any unforeseen teething problems during the initial start-up period.
Lastly, don't even think about doing it yourself
Most companies, before seeking advice from professionals, go down the DIY networking route. Unless you have a qualified team, installing a network can turn ugly and about as frustrating as unravelling 3000 feet of fishing line with one hand.
About the Author
Hypercubic is a London based http://www.hypercubic.co.uk/>IT Support Company specialising in the installation and support of computer networks. Their IT support technologies help save time and effort, especially when moving a network to a new location.