Lesson 3: Moving a Network

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Moving a network is a challenging task and a major one, requiring careful and systematic planning. This lesson discusses how to plan, conduct, and test a network move.

After this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Plan a network move.
  • Identify the factors required to successfully move a network.
  • Describe how to confirm a network move.

Estimated lesson time: 20 minutes

Planning the Move

Moving a network uses your skills in network planning, installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. While this lesson offers a general outline of how to plan and move a network, depending on the complexity of the network and the length of the move, it might be best to use professional movers.

Planning is the key to moving a network successfully. However, that plan has to be communicated to the users in advance so that they know what to expect, especially if the network will be down for several days. How long the network can afford to be down is an important factor in planning and timing the move. If the network cannot afford any downtime, it will be necessary for the new network to be operational before the old one is disconnected. In such a scenario, there will need to be duplication of equipment at the old and new sites. The new network components will need to be set up and tested before the network goes live.

It can help to prepare a checklist of questions to identify tasks and establish an orderly and sequential timetable for the move. The person responsible for carrying out each task should be identified.

Questions to ask during the planning phase include:

  • When will the new site be available?
  • When is the target move date?
  • When will the data be backed up before the move?
  • Who will back up the data?
  • Is the existing equipment attached to the floor or a wall?
  • At what time will all users be disconnected from the old network?
  • Who will be responsible for turning off the old system?
  • How much cable is needed?
  • Who will install the new cable? Are professional computer uninstallers/installers needed?
  • Who will confirm that the cable runs meet local building codes?
  • Will lifting equipment be needed to move the server?
  • Are vehicles available to transport the equipment?
  • Is the power supply adequate in the new building?
  • Are the appropriate power outlets installed?
  • Will there be someone on call to troubleshoot if the network fails to start?
  • Is there a source from which equipment replacements can be purchased if anything is damaged?
  • Who will turn on the new network?
  • Who will test the workstations?
  • How will the network be tested after the move?

Making the Move

To move a network as efficiently as possible requires coordination of people and equipment. If the network can afford to be down for two or three days, it will not be necessary to have an identical system running at the new location during the move.

The following tasks outline the steps that need to be taken to move a network. An assumption has been made that the new facility has the new network media in place.

  • Notify users in advance of when the system will not be available.
  • Encourage end users to make backups of their hard drives. The backups should be made to removable media or to a server that will not be involved with the initial relocation.
  • Ask end users to label the peripheral device cables connected to the back of their workstations with the type of devices to which they are attached—for example, the printer, scanner, modem, and network cable.
  • Ask end users to disconnect their workstations from the power source and to disconnect peripheral device cables from the backs of their workstations.
  • Ask end users to leave the peripheral device cables attached to devices and place the cables on top of the devices.
  • Arrange for the equipment movers to supply a table on wheels on which to place the workstations and devices during the move from the desktop to the truck.
  • Secure the equipment to be moved with plenty of shipping blankets and cushioning between devices. Do not stack more than a couple of devices high, especially if the original shipping containers are not available.
  • Place the devices and backup media in an area away from magnetic fields and motors.
  • Upon arrival at the new facility, use the table on wheels to transport the devices from the truck to the desktop.
  • Install the peripheral device cables to the workstation.
  • Turn on the peripheral devices and network connection.
  • Turn on the workstations.
  • Install the server.
  • Inform the end users when the system will be available.

When moving a network for which down time is not possible, the new facility must be fully operational before the old network is turned off.

Verifying the Network After the Move

Computers and peripheral devices operate well for years when they are left in place. When devices are moved, however, the danger that internal and external components will be damaged increases.

After the network has been moved and the devices have been installed, the next step is to confirm that the network and all the devices are communicating.

Where Downtime Is Acceptable

For a network that can afford to be nonoperational for several days, the following guidelines apply for verifying the move:

Servers

The server can be backed up, turned off, disconnected, packed, shipped, unpacked, connected, turned on, restored and tested in a few hours. The boot sequence diagnostics and the control-panel settings should be used to confirm that the server has the same configuration as before the move. A remote host should be pinged to confirm the network is operational, and a network monitor should be used to confirm that the throughput of data is adequate.

Workstations

The workstation should be connected to all peripherals and to the network. Another computer on the network and a different subnet of the network, if there is one, should be "pinged." Workstation control-panel settings should be confirmed as correct.

NICs

The NICs can be checked during installation of the server and workstation. Check the network-interface settings within the network operating system software. Ping a remote host. Check the network monitor for data throughput problems.

Network Media

It is likely that the new network media will be in place before the hardware is relocated. Therefore, you have an opportunity to test the media by installing two workstations and pinging them from various locations within the new network. Use the network monitor before and after the relocation to confirm that the network is operating correctly.

Where Downtime Is Unacceptable

The procedures described in the following section should be followed for a network that cannot afford downtime.

Servers

The server on the new network must be staged, installed, configured, and tested before the old network is turned off. The old and new networks will run in tandem for a brief period. When the performance of the new servers and network is satisfactory, the old server can be turned off and migrated to the new network as needed.

Workstations

All workstation components in the new network must be set up and tested before the old network is turned off. The old network workstations should be migrated to the new network as needed.

NICs

The new network must be set up and tested before the old network can be turned off. The NIC for the workstation and the server should be tested before the old and new networks run in tandem.

Network Media

The network media should be installed and tested before the relocation date. The network monitor should be used before, during, and after the move to confirm that the network is operating correctly.

Exercise 12.2: Case Study Problem

You have been assigned to move your company's file server, 10 workstations and two printers to a new office 500 miles away. The new office has been wired for the new network. Management has told you that the new network must be operational before the old one is turned off, because the business cannot afford any downtime. However, there will be no additional equipment purchased for the new office.

Can this network be moved without any downtime? If so, how? If not, what is your plan for relocating this network?

Answers

Lesson Summary

The following points summarize the main elements of this lesson:

  • Planning is the key to successfully moving a network.
  • For a long or complicated move, it can be best to use professional movers.
  • When a network will be down for several days, it is important to communicate to the users the plans for the move and what they can expect and when.
  • If the network cannot afford any downtime, the new network will have to be fully operational before the old network is turned off.
  • All hardware and software must be verified before the network is turned over to the users.


MCSE Training Kit Networking Essentials Plus 1999
MCSE Training Kit: Networking Essentials Plus, Third Edition (IT Professional)
ISBN: 157231902X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 106

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