First SMB cleanup job

Hi All

So I recently setup a small business on the side of my Enterprise IT job as I really enjoy getting my hands dirty still.

This week I landed what is now potentially a small job to become much larger in the future. I quoted for a tidy up of a small business center data room, and now they want to know if I want to tender for their larger infrastructure refresh too!

Anyway I wanted to start a discussion on how people would tackle the following … Well mess.

This is what I’m looking at right now

And yes it’s a pretty rainbow, but in there somewhere there is a whole business center network and phone system :joy::+1:

This is a mixture of client switches and business center switches, routers, etc etc. No shelving, multiple extension leads for power. I’m sure we have all seen something like this in our time.
My suggestion to the client was first to separate the building infrastructure from client hardware into two racks, however today I find there isn’t room to add another rack due to the phone system mounted on the wall and other wall mounted equipment.
Clearly cable management is required here and at least some shelves for the small boxes hanging from their power cords.

So how would you tackle this? Clearly it needs to be documented as to where it all patches too and then a rip out and re-patch. Would you change the whole rack, trying to get everything untangled and reinstalled, or would you just tidy the existing rack to make it better. I can pretty much go either way on this project so lets discuss people’s views on this.

I forgot to mention. The tech guy looking after this is actually quite neat in his admin of the network, each client is on a separate vlan etc etc but he inherited the mess, and at 57 years old clearly can’t be bothered to tidy it up.

The big problem for the guy is taking things down during business hours, I’m guessing he doesn’t get paid enough to come in during the night to fix this mess.

And seeing that picture actually makes me happy, mine isn’t that bad! But most of you would scream. Most of my mess, and probably his, is lack of time and lack of space as things grow. Boss says get it in and working, don’t care what it looks like. You have an hour to do a four hour job so you better get on it! Been swearing at my system for years because I never have the time or materials to get things put together better.

Sorry, very off topic. Since there is a person that is still there, probably should discuss what he wants and follow that course. I know I’d be pissed if someone just came in and ripped my system apart and changed it, no matter how well it was documented. Some things may be done the way they are out of necessity just to make it function. Never doubt that the mess has a reason, but there are also some things that through discussion could be made MUCH better. A bunch of rack shelves, sounds like they are required.

I will say that a temporary rack to move things back and forth might be useful. Much better than stacking stuff on the floor. I had to do the stacking stuff on the floor the last time I rebuilt the equipment side of our TV studio, there was stuff EVERYWHERE and it did make it harder to put things back together. And I was only doing the video side of things. I need to get our audio side updated, and I need to change the networking around and in this case add another rack to move things into. Never going to get the time to do the network, or at least not until I need to replace the switches.