Monday, February 17, 2014

PART II: Preparing For A Physical Network Move Of A Company From One Site To Another

I thought I would write about some things that are usually encountered during a company move (from the network guy's perspective), since I just did one and its fresh on my mind.  My last post dealt with some preparations, but I wanted really to make a continuation of that post.  So Ill name this post part II.  Part I is located here.
When your do a move, expect some long hours.  Usually its over a weekend.  So I wouldn't really plan anything in your personal life for that weekend at all, except being at the move.  Excluding drive time (4 hours total for me), me and another one of my coworkers did 21 hours onsite for the move in two days.  Most of that was on day one.  Day two was more 'fixing' things that needed attention (the unexpected).
So here is a list of things that you should really keep in mind.  These are things you want to prepare for before the move.  Here is a list that a network guy usually will encounter.
1.  DNS changes - Your email, www servers, etc probably have access from the outside world.  Outsiders rely on DNS to get to you, unless they know your public IP address.  Make sure you change that to your new IP address scheme IF it changes with the new circuit.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not.
2.  VPNs (site to site) - Make sure you change your site to site VPNs (on the remote end) by giving them your new IP address of your firewall.  If you dont, the VPN wont come up when you move.  Again, that is IF your public IP address range changes.
3.  VPNs (remote-access) - Same as #2, but for your remote-access clients.  They need to know the new IP address.  You may need to change your PCF file (in Cisco's case).
4.  Notify any services you have outside the company that will only accept connections only from your IP address.  IF your IP address changes on the public side with the move, you have to let the 3rd party companies know ahead of time and when this is going to happen.  You don't want this serviced denied because you didn't let them know.
5.  If there are topology changes, keep in mind other things that might be affected.  Things like IPS, Web filters, etc.  I had this happen this past weekend.  Make sure you get everything in where it needs to go.  Topology changes can certainly bring some challenges, but make sure you do the best you can to get everything where it needs to go.

When the move is done, test everything.  Test voice (local calls, 911, 411, toll free, long distance, international).  Test data (all VLAN access).  Test applications.  Test failover (things configured for HA).  Literally, test everything you can think of.

Some other thoughts about move day that I have.
1.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Its likely going to be a long day/night.  Be comfortable.
2.  Pack some snacks in your bag.  Not everyone eats the same time you do, and bailing when everyone else is working is usually frowned upon.  If you need caffeine, pack a soda.
3.  When its late and everyone is tired, you may easily see tempers get roused more easily.  Just remember everyone is tired.  Its not the normal circumstances.  They want to be at home just like you do.  Stay professional and courteous.
4.  If other vendors are involved in the move, work with them.  Its a move for the customer, and the goal is to get the customer moved and back up.  Everyone just wants to get their job done and get the customer going.  Sometimes it takes two vendors working together to troubleshoot something.  Dont just say "Its not my problem."  (<--- That statement ALWAYS pisses me off)  Work with the other vendors to get resolution.  Remember, they do think its your problem, so work through it together.  It makes the night go a lot smoother, even though it takes some time away from what your immediate accomplishments may be.  Plus, you never know, you may learn something.
5.  Help your teammates when they ask you to.  You will likely need their help too at some point.
6.  Dont be surprised when the unexpected happens.  You just rebuilt the whole network.  Sometimes things just happen, so be prepared for the unexpected.


  1. Thanks for sharing a wonderful post. It will be really helpful

    1. Glad it's helpful. Take a look at this post also,
      Also keep in mind things like power considerations, etc. If you are concerned about anything, make sure you address it.


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