Our IT Closet Is A Mess – Help!

As the IT person in your organization, you dread the thought of opening the IT closet. Every time you go in there, you’re confronted with a mess of tangled cables, outdated equipment, and a general feeling of disorganization. It’s like a spaghetti bowl of wires that seem to have a mind of their own. You know that this closet needs attention, but the thought of tackling it is overwhelming. The good news is that you’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to turn this IT nightmare into a streamlined, efficient system.

There comes a time when you just need to call in a professional. There’s no shame in it at all… besides you have a million other things to do. 

When preparing for a technician’s visit to assess and quote work on an unruly IT closet, understanding the root causes, effective preparation, future planning, and maintenance are crucial steps. Here’s a guide for office managers on how to navigate this process efficiently.

How IT Closets Get This Way

IT closets become cluttered and disorganized for several reasons:

Rapid growth

As businesses expand, the demand for more network connections and equipment grows, often outpacing the original design of the IT closet.

Lack of ongoing maintenance

Without regular upkeep, cables and equipment can quickly become disorganized.

Improvised solutions

Temporary fixes can lead to a tangle of cables and a mix of old and new technology that doesn’t integrate well.

How to Prepare for a Network Technician’s Visit

To ensure the technician can accurately assess your needs and provide a comprehensive quote, consider the following preparations:


Gather any existing documentation of your network setup, including diagrams or previous installation records.


Create a list of all equipment in the closet, noting what you know to be working, outdated, or redundant.


Clearly define what you want to achieve with the reorganization. This could include improving network reliability, expanding capacity, or simply tidying up.


Ensure the IT closet is accessible for the technician, with any unrelated items removed beforehand to allow for a thorough inspection.

How to Plan for the Future and Know What You Want Out of the Structured Cabling Company’s Work

Future-proofing your IT infrastructure is essential for supporting growth and technological advancements. 

When planning with a structured cabling company, consider:


Discuss options for easily adding capacity or capabilities in the future without major overhauls.


Consider solutions that accommodate different types of devices and future technologies.

Compliance and Standards

Ensure the proposed solution adheres to industry standards and any compliance requirements your business faces.


Have a clear understanding of your budget, but also be aware of the value of investing in a robust solution that will serve your needs longer.

How to Maintain a Clean, Streamlined IT Closet on an Ongoing Basis

Maintaining organization and efficiency in your IT closet requires ongoing effort:

Regular audits

Schedule periodic reviews of your IT closet to assess and address any emerging issues or inefficiencies.

Cable management

Invest in cable management solutions that keep cables organized and labelled, simplifying maintenance and future changes.


Keep documentation up-to-date, recording any changes or additions to your network infrastructure.


Ensure staff are trained on the importance of maintaining the organization of the IT closet and the correct procedures for making changes or additions.

Office managers can prepare effectively for a technician’s visit by following these guidelines. It is crucial to ensure that the IT closet meets current and future needs and is maintained, clean, and efficient. By taking a proactive approach, you can simplify the process of working with a structured cabling company and support the overall performance and reliability of your business’s IT infrastructure. As always if you have any questions about your IT Closet (or if you’re afraid to open yours), please reach out to us. We are happy to assist you! You can always Request A Quote to give us some details about your project and speak to a specialist.

Creating a Detailed Plan of Your Office or Warehouse Layout

As an office manager, one of the first things you’ll need to do when working with a structured cabling company is create a detailed plan of your office or warehouse layout. This plan will provide the cabling company with important information about the project’s scope and help them understand your business’s specific challenges and needs.

Here are a few key things to consider when creating a detailed plan for your office or warehouse layout:

  • Location of workstations: Make sure to clearly mark the location of each workstation on the plan, including any new workstations that will be added as part of the cabling project. Be sure to include the location of outlets and power sources, as well as any other important details such as windows and doors.
  • Location of networking equipment: Indicate the location of any existing network rooms (MDF Main Distribution Frame or IDF Independent Distribution Frames), and networking equipment, such as servers, switches, firewalls and routers, and hubs, on the plan. This will help the cabling company understand how the equipment is currently configured and what cables will need to be run to connect the new workstations.
  • Cable routing: Determine the best route for the cables to take from the networking equipment to the workstations. Consider factors such as the location of power sources, the layout of the office or warehouse, and any potential challenges or obstacles that the cabling company might encounter.
  • Network topology: Consider the overall network topology of your office or warehouse and how the new workstations and cables will fit into this configuration. Will the new workstations be connected to the existing network, or will they require a separate network? How will the new cables connect to the existing network infrastructure?
  • Accessibility: Identify any potential challenges or obstacles that the cabling company might encounter during the installation process, such as tight spaces or limited access to certain areas. This will help the cabling company plan for any potential issues and ensure that the installation process is as efficient as possible.

Formatting Your Office or Warehouse Plan

When providing a plan of your office or warehouse layout to a structured cabling company, it’s important to consider the format that will be most useful for them. Some common formats for office or warehouse network plans include:

  • CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drawings: CAD drawings are detailed, technical drawings that can be used to represent the layout of an office or warehouse accurately. If you have access to CAD software, you can create your own CAD drawings or hire a professional to create them for you.
  • PDF Drawings: PDFs can be easily shared and viewed without the need for specialized software. Ensure that your PDF drawings are clearly labelled and include all relevant details such as workstation locations, networking equipment, cable runs, and power sources, making it easy for the structured cabling company to understand and use your plans.
  • Hand-drawn diagrams: If you don’t have access to CAD software, you can create a detailed plan using hand-drawn diagrams. Be sure to include as much detail as possible, including the location of workstations, networking equipment, outlets, and power sources. 
  • Digital photos: If you prefer a more visual approach, you can take digital photos of your office or warehouse and create a detailed plan using those images. Be sure to label each image with relevant information, such as the location of workstations and networking equipment.

You may be wondering about some common questions to ask the structured cabling company that will be doing the work. 

Here are a few examples of common questions that office managers might ask:

Can the cabling company help with the design of the network plan? 

This is something that CORE Cabling can assist you with! Many structured cabling companies offer design services to help office managers create a detailed network plan. If you are not sure where to start or need help with the design process, consider working with a cabling company that offers these services. 

How detailed should the plan be? 

It’s important to provide as much detail as possible in your network plan to help the cabling company understand the scope of the project and plan accordingly. This might include the location of workstations, networking equipment, outlets, and power sources, as well as any potential challenges or obstacles that the cabling company might encounter during the installation process.

What format should the plan be in? 

As mentioned above, there are several formats that you can use to create a network plan, including CAD or PDF drawings, hand-drawn diagrams, and digital photos. The format that you choose will depend on your preferences and the specific needs of the structured cabling company you are working with.

How do I determine the best cable routing for my office or warehouse? 

When determining the best cable routing for your office or warehouse, consider factors such as the layout of the space, the location of power sources and outlets, and any potential challenges or obstacles that the cabling company might encounter. You may also consider the overall network topology and how the new cables will fit into the existing network infrastructure.

How can I ensure that the network plan is accurate and up-to-date? 

It’s important to review and update your network plan regularly to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date. This might include adding new workstations, updating the location of networking equipment, or making changes to the cable routing. By keeping your network plan current, you can help ensure that your office or warehouse is connected and running smoothly.

As always if you have any questions about the process, please reach out to us. We are happy to assist you throughout any part of the process. You can always Request A Quote to give us some details about your project and speak to a specialist. 


7 Things to Consider When Hiring a Structured Cabling Company for Your Office Network Upgrade

As an office manager, you know that having a reliable network and internet connection is crucial for the smooth operation of your business.

Let’s say you need to work with a structured cabling company to add workstations and run CAT6 Ethernet cable to all of them.

Here are a few things you should prepare for the cabling company and some questions you should ask:

Prepare a detailed plan of your office or warehouse layout. 
Include the location of the new workstations and any existing networking equipment. This will help the cabling company understand the scope of the project and provide a more accurate quote. If this is something you need assistance with, ask the structured cabling company whether they could facilitate creating a detailed plan based on your needs.

Provide a list of the networking equipment that you will use. 
Lay out a plan for all the networked equipment that will run, and also do some future planning in this list. What does it need to account for today, versus in a year or more? Include switches, routers, and other devices. This will help the cabling company ensure that they are using the appropriate cables and connectors.

Identify any potential challenges or obstacles. 
Be sure to include anything that the cabling company might encounter during the installation process, such as tight spaces or limited access to certain areas. Are certain panel boxes only accessible via a ladder or a lift? That’s the type of information they will need.

Ask about the cabling company’s experience and expertise. 
Do they have experience working on projects similar to yours? What kind of training do they offer their technicians, and what certifications do they have? Do they have references? What are other clients saying about their work?

Inquire about the cabling company’s customer service and support policies. 
Do they offer technical support after the installation is complete? What is their process for handling issues or concerns that may arise during or after the installation process? How do they handle expansions and future growth for your project?

Ask about the cabling company’s pricing and payment policies. 
Do they offer competitive pricing? What is their process for billing and payment? Are there any recurring fees to be aware of?

Inquire about the cabling company’s policies for testing and quality assurance. 
How do they ensure that the cables are installed correctly and functioning properly? Do they have an ongoing service plan that involves routinely checking the space for optimal coverage and troubleshooting potential issues?

Overall, it’s important to thoroughly research and communicate with the cabling company you choose to ensure that your project is completed efficiently and effectively. By preparing a detailed plan, providing a list of networking equipment, and asking the right questions, you can help ensure that your office or warehouse is connected and running smoothly. After all, you want to select a company you can trust and one that you will have a long-standing relationship with, to help you now and also with your future growth.

Please reach out to a CORE Cabling network specialist if you have any questions about planning any workstation additions for your office or warehouse—we’re always here for you!

Conducting Wireless Site Surveys with the Ekahau Sidekick 2

Demand and performance expectations for WiFi are pretty simple: it has to work, it has to be fast, and it has to be reliable. 

Sometimes that’s easier said than done. You may not realize how much is going on behind the curtain to ensure smooth, uniform WiFi connectivity across an office location or warehouse space. 

At CORE, we conduct a thorough wireless site survey for your location. We need to do this so we know how many Access Points to install and where they need to go. Sometimes there are concrete walls, radio interference, heck there’s all kinds of surprises we’ve encountered. We have to know what we’re dealing with before we recommend a solution. 

To do this, we have invested in the proper training and skills for our wireless technicians, as well as the right tools. 

One tool that we’re proud to say we use consistently is the Ekahau Sidekick 2

What is the Ekahau Sidekick 2?

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 is a hardware device that is used to perform site surveys for wireless networking installations. It is a portable device that can be carried around a facility to measure the coverage and performance of a wireless network. 

The Sidekick 2 is equipped with a high-gain antenna and a range of other features that allow it to accurately measure the strength and quality of the wireless signal at various locations throughout a facility.

One of the key features of the Ekahau SideKick 2 is its ability to display real-time information about the wireless network, including signal strength, signal-to-noise ratio, and data rates. This feature can be used to identify areas of poor coverage or interference, and to determine the best location for access points or other wireless devices.

The device also has the ability to conduct site surveys, which are used to plan and design wireless networks. Site surveys involve walking around a building or area while the device scans for wireless signals and records information about them. This data can be used to identify the optimal location for access points, as well as to predict how the network will perform under different conditions.

In addition, the Ekahau Sidekick 2 can also be used to detect and locate wireless devices and access points, which can be useful for troubleshooting connectivity issues or identifying rogue devices on the network.

Can’t You Add An Adapter to Improve Signal Strength?

Sometimes people try to troubleshoot a WiFi coverage issue by adding adapters and dongles. However, people don’t realize that adding dongles or WiFi adapters adds layers of variance that can impede the performance of your network. Basically, if you’re not well-informed about the characteristics of your network, you may be causing more problems. 

It’s important to use a professional tool like the Sidekick 2 to ensure you get an accurate reading of performance and uniformity across the entire space. 

How Does the Ekahau Sidekick 2 Work?

To use the device, wireless technicians typically connect it to a laptop or tablet and use the accompanying software to control and display the data. The software allows wireless technicians to view the data in various forms, such as real-time graphs and heat maps, and to analyze the data to identify and solve problems with the wireless network.

Customarily, CORE will conduct a Pre-Deployment Survey as well as a Post-Deployment Survey of your space to ensure we have accounted for all the possible variables. 

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 assists with a Pre-Deployment Survey because it allows wireless technicians to assess the network from a mobile device (AP on a stick). In other words, the wireless technician can gather real-time information about network performance as they move about the physical space. 

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 can also assist with Post-Deployment Surveys by allowing wireless technicians to validate the models they create in the Pre-Deployment Survey phase. With its visualization functionality, technicians are able to conduct a thorough assessment of their models and validate their proposed solutions. 

For those who wish to learn more about the technicalities of the device, check out this great post on the Ekahau websiteIs your office space or warehouse in need of a proper Wireless Site Survey? CORE is ready to help you.

Contact us today to get started!

Renovating Your Office: Relocating and Installing new CAT6 Cabling

Renovating an office can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to relocating and installing new CAT6 cables. These cables are essential for providing high-speed internet and network connectivity, and it’s important to get the installation process right the first time.

If you’re planning to renovate your office and need to relocate and install new CAT6 cables, it’s important to plan. Before you start any renovations, plan out where you want your cables to go. This will help you determine how much cable you need and how it should be routed.

If you need help mapping out the cable plan for your space, it’s a good idea to work with a professional cable installer, like CORE Cabling, to ensure that your cables are installed properly and meet industry standards.

What To Have Ready Before Your Cable Installation Project

Here are some things you should consider having in place before working with your installer:

Floor plans: Providing the cable installation company with detailed floor plans of your office space will help them estimate the cost and plan the best route for the cables to ensure that they are installed in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Specifications: If you have specific requirements or specifications for your cable installation, be sure to provide these to the cable installation company. This may include details about the type of cables you want to use, the desired speed of your network, or any other specific needs.

Access to the space: Make sure the cable installation company has access to the areas where the cables will be installed. This may include providing keys or access codes, or arranging for someone to be present during the installation process.

Scheduling: Coordinating the installation process with the cable installation company will ensure that the work is completed efficiently and without disruption to your business. Be sure to provide the company with your schedule and any potential conflicts or constraints.

Payment: Have a plan in place for payment before the installation process begins. This may include a deposit or advance payment, as well as arrangements for final payment once the work is complete.

Communication: Good communication is essential when working with a cable installation company. Be sure to establish clear lines of communication and provide them with any necessary contact information.

Cabling Plan for A New Office versus an Existing Office Renovation

Here are some considerations for office managers who are planning an existing office renovation versus a new office installation.

Existing infrastructure: In an existing office renovation, you’ll need to consider the existing infrastructure, such as the location of power outlets and existing cables. This may impact the way that your new cables are installed and routed.

Downtime: An office renovation can result in some disruption to your business, so it’s important to plan for downtime and consider ways to minimize it. This may involve scheduling the renovation during non-business hours or setting up temporary workspace.

Budget: Renovating an existing office may be more cost-effective than building a new office from scratch. However, it’s important to carefully consider the budget for your renovation and ensure that you have the necessary resources to complete the project.

Existing features: When renovating an existing office, you’ll need to consider the existing features of the space and how they can be incorporated into your new design. This may include things like windows, doors, and built-in storage.

Environmental impact: Renovating an existing office can be more environmentally friendly than building a new one, as it reduces the use of new materials and reduces waste. Consider ways to make your renovation as sustainable as possible, such as using recycled materials and energy-efficient appliances.

Timeframe: A new office installation will typically take longer to complete than an office renovation, as it involves building the office from scratch. Be sure to consider the time it will take to complete your project and plan accordingly.

Location: If you’re planning a new office installation, you’ll need to consider the location of your office and how it will impact your business. This may include things like access to transportation, proximity to suppliers and customers, and local zoning laws.

Customization: Building a new office allows you to customize the space to meet your specific needs and requirements. This can be a major advantage, but it also requires careful planning and attention to detail.

If you are renovating your office and need to relocate and install new CAT6 cables, CORE Cabling can assist you with the installation process. Our team of experienced professionals is equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to ensure that your cables are installed correctly and meet industry standards. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your office renovation project.

Embracing Change at CORE Cabling

I want to bring you up to speed with a development here at CORE Cabling.

As many of you know, our company has grown incredibly since our inception in 2009. It has been a wonderful journey so far. We’re very thankful to have the opportunity to work with so many incredible organizations on so many fascinating projects. Having said that, we’re ready to take the next step in our evolution and tackle our new path forward with confidence and open communication with the same continued CORE professionalism and proven workmanship.

Everyone in the communications industry knows how quickly things can shift and how important it is to adapt to change.

One of the most significant recent changes that I’d like to announce: CORE Cabling has joined with the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 353.

I strongly feel that by making this transition, we are opening a whole new chapter in CORE’s successful development.

So, what are some of the advantages of this decision?

Employee Training and Certification

The communications industry is not regulated by training and certifications in the same way as other trades. In other words, you don’t need to be “certified” to be a network technician. However, the complexity of communications projects continues to intensify, along with the expectations and requirements of staff. And, given that Information and Communication Technologies are deemed as essential services by the Federal Government, a baseline of staff education and certification makes complete sense.

CORE technicians are already well-trained and have years of collective experience to draw from. By joining the IBEW, CORE technicians are ensured to expand on this expertise with the most up-to-date and essential training.

We also see the increased education in the market by way of technician up-skilling as an advantage to the entire industry. The more we all collectively know, the more everyone will benefit. This includes wider adoption of safety protocols, adherence to technical standards, and increased awareness of product innovations and developments.

Additional High-Profile Projects

This move opens CORE up to projects with organizations that will only hire unionized contractors. This gives CORE the chance to bid on projects that would otherwise have not been available.

CORE Staff Will Have Additional Perks

By being part of the IBEW, CORE team members will have access to more perks. They will have access to top-tier industry training materials. They will have representation for pay increases. They will have consolidated benefits packages. They will also be able to work on additional high-profile projects that broaden their skill sets and push their career development forward.

For everyone in the CORE family, this move is a win-win.

What this means to CORE Clients

Nothing is changing. You will still have the same exceptional quality of service you have come to rely on over the years. In addition, we do not intend to change our very competitive labour rate at least for the time being, which keeps us well-positioned for bids on projects today and into the future.

What may change, if anything, will be the increased scope of work we can offer our new and existing clients.

This Evens the Playing Field

With CORE joining the IBEW, we are evening out the playing field when it comes to hiring quality professionals for important communications work.

Electrical companies that are mandated to sub work to union companies will have CORE Cabling as an option now, which gives the market more flexibility when bidding on work.

The Bigger Picture

Our mission is to help companies that don’t have communications divisions succeed. Now that mission includes companies that are mandated to work with union companies.

This is a big step for us, and we are extremely excited about what’s to come. Thanks for being here on the journey with us, we look forward to connecting with you soon.

Edwin Darlington – President; CORE Cabling Inc.