Hardware

D-Day: Final Days of Our Building Move/New IT Infrastructure Build

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So much going on, so little time.

We are now in our final days before moving to our new building. With designing and building an entirely new IT system, planning/running the cables, and working with our vendors and contractors, the past few months have been chaotic, to say the least. We are now packing up everything we will be taking with us, pre-loading our new computers, and backing up our servers. To summarize what we have accomplished this past week, I have created a list of the most recent and significant items in our IT schedule.

Cox

Cox was supposed to get our utility phone line installed earlier last week but didn’t (shocking, I know).  Apparently, they wanted to connect it through cable even though we just had fiber installed. They were back at it Monday to evaluate using the fiber as we suggested to them; it is events such as this that make planning difficult. Due to the postponed internet connection, several of our IT-related tasks were pushed back.

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ADT

ADT finished their install yesterday, which included mounting their equipment in our server room and thoroughly testing everything. We made sure we were present during the install to ensure that the ADT equipment had a dedicated electrical connection.

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HVAC/Electrical

The hardware for the HVAC/electrical system is installed and ready to go. The new building will feature full smart-controls of the entire HVAC and electrical system; due to this, our IT team will need training on how to properly manage and control these systems.

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8×8

We had another meeting with 8×8 a few days ago to get more of our questions answered and then scheduled our final setup meeting for next Friday. We completed hooking up a test phone, which works excellent even with our slower connection at our current building and using our older equipment. I have finished building out 8×8 Virtual Office, including assigning numbers/hardware, creating auto-attendants, ring groups, and integrating it with Zendesk. The only step left is to record our greetings/voicemail messages. I also created a simple phone directory/device list which will allow us to quickly identify which phones are assigned to who, and to which desk.

Shipping Computers

I finished pre-loading our new shipping computers with all of the necessary software for use in our new building. I built-out the five HP ProDesk 400 G4 Desktop Mini PC’s so they are basically plug-and-play; hopefully, with this completed, we do not have any downtime for our shipping/receiving department. The only things left to do once the computers are at the new building is to connect to the new domain and printers and perform the same changes that I did using my admin account to the account of the person assigned to each computer. In the image below, you can see the size difference form our older shipping computers; this reduction in size (yet increase in performance), will make moving workstations a simple process.

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Rack Hardware

The new rack, a Rack Solutions Rack-151, has been installed and all necessary wiring has been finished. In the process of moving the rack from the outside of our building to our server room, I managed to get a black eye (don’t ever lift something heavy with the plastic wrap still on it).  The contractors have run the rack through initial testing and are currently trying to get the initial burn-in out of the way. The new switches still need some programming, which we will complete this week, but we were able to get them pre-addressed in the server, thus giving us one less step/issue to worry about. The rest of the rack equipment will have to be installed as well, including our server, cooling unit (Tripp Lite 7,000 BTU Rack-Mount), new UPS, phone equipment, and routers.

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Task Schedule

We will be working on the final version of the IT task schedule this week, which will outline our daily duties. There will be two versions; one will be designed to coincide with an hour-by-hour basis of each work day for the next two weeks and will be physically posted at both buildings. The other will be located on Google Drive for everyone to see and will be more of a checklist. By creating a detailed IT task schedule, we can ensure that our install times align well with our contractor’s jobs, as well as give a general understanding of how long each process will take.

Microsoft Audit

We got the completion date for the Microsoft audit pushed back a month (thank God). We told them that we’re in the middle of a buildout and move and don’t have the time right now; this will give us a little more time to transition some machines from Office to Google Docs so that we don’t get nailed on so many.

Furniture

As of right now, the delivery and install of our new furniture will start taking place on Wednesday and Thursday; since this included most of our desks, our workstation install will have to be scheduled accordingly.

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Summary

It is hard to believe how much we have accomplished in such a short time. I am genuinely thankful for my involvement in this build, as I can’t think of a better method of learning more about the various fields of an IT career. In future projects, I am sure I will look back on this complicated project with a fond memory, as the stress involved is sure to make future tasks look easy.

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