15 Aug 2018

5 ways to keep your Network Cable Installation clean and organized

Structured Cabling
Use these tips to keep your network cable installation organized

5 ways to keep your Network Cable Installation clean and organized

As IT Pro’s we all have had experiences with “Network Cabling Chaos”.  You complete a wonderful Network Cable Installation project then in a few months the network cable installation you just did is not recognizable. The cables seem to be thrown all over the place. And what was once structured organized Category 6 cabling has become a mess.

Here are a few tips to make sure your network cable installation and structured cabling project remains organized. No one wants to walk into a data center that is a complete mess. It reflects badly on the IT department and no one wants the boss to see what should be an organized network cable installation turn into a mess. It also makes it very hard to troubleshoot problems and trace out lines in the event you have an issue.

  1. Have one person responsible for maintaining the cabling organization. This person should be the only one allowed to do or supervise moves, adds, or changes, to patch cables, labeling, and racks. This makes sense. Then this person will treat the structured cabling plant as their own. This person does not have to be a network cable installation expert. He can even manage the network cable installation team. They just need to have a basic understanding of structured cable organization, network cable installation bets practices. Consider BISCI as a resource they have a ton of information related to best practice network cable installation and structured cable installation.
  2. Another great tip is to use shorter patch cables. 1’ to 2’ patch cables are readily available and make ideal cross connect cables. Also order patch cables without the boot or the rubber tip on the end for your network cable installation. The boots on the end of the patch cables make them very hard to pull out of the switches and patch panels. The patch panel will look fantastic with the shorter patch cables. There will be no tangled patch cables. You will be able to see where the cables are plugged into. It’s a great finishing touch to your network cable installation project.
  3. Remove all unused and old cabling before running new cable, especially old telephone cable. This is not always the easiest thing to do but well worth it. Sometimes in the ceilings you may see cable that’s over 20 years old. But if it’s old flat cable or old Category 3 cable it’s worth removing. And many times, you can use the structured cabling components like the j hooks, and cable trays and other fasteners for your network cable installation project. Beware areas above ceiling drops are super dusty wear a protective dust mask.
  4. Take the time to have a standardized labeling method. Label the cables on both ends, label the patch panels, label the racks, and follow a standard. What I mean by standard is labeling the closet, the rack the patch panel port, and the faceplate side. On the face plate side, you may have a label 2-3-46 which may signify the cable to this faceplate or wall plate is run to closet 2, rack 3 and port 46. This will keep your network cable installation organized and easy to trace lines in the event you have to troubleshoot, add new Category 6 cable runs or move Category 6 cables.
  5. Velcro tape! Use it. It’s the duct tape of the cabling world. Flexible and easily opened and closed for patch cables and rack cables. You should also consider using it for your cable runs when you need to bundle a bunch of Category 6 cable runs. This will make your network cable installation project easy to manage and move cables when necessary. It’s also a safer to use on your cables versus regular tie wraps. Tie wraps can damage the Category 6 cable.

Hope this helps for the next time you have a network cable installation project or structured cabling project.

If you need help with a network cable installation project we can help. We do Category 6 Cabling, fiber optic cable installation, we clean up data centers and are specialists in structured cabling.

Here is some information on the  Seabiscuit of Fiber Optic Cable Installation

Please call Rick Bolda at 630.918.7370 for a consultation or email info@itriskmgrs.com for more information.

14 Aug 2018

IT Disaster Recovery Plan for your Chicago Business

Disaster Recovery Plans
IT Disaster Recovery Plans for your Chicago Business



How Much System Downtime Can Your Business Take?

Can you afford to have your business system break down? How much system downtime can your business take? Will you lose money? These are important questions for any business owner to ask themselves before they are faced with such a situation. Contingency planning is vital to the success of any business. And a big part of this is an IT Disaster Recovery Plan?

Let’s assume that you can’t afford to have your business system break down. Do you know what your options are? Do you know what events could happen to cause your system to suffer downtime? A good IT Disaster Recovery Plan will provide the framework to answer these questions.

System Break Down Survival: Creating an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

The first step towards creating a IT Disaster Recovery plan is to write down all of the possible events that could cause your business system to suffer downtime. Electrical outages are obvious, but what about earthquakes? Hurricanes? Fires? Floods? There is probably a few more situations you can think of that could happen. Write all of these down. You will need a plan for how to keep your business system up and running for each of them.

Of course, next you will need to start planning for each of these situations. Mounting your equipment up off of the ground will help protect it from water damage, but what about the electrical wiring? Or fires? Yes, this can be quite complicated! Chances are though that you can get most contingency planning done using a little creativity and research. Uninterruptible power supply units, as an example, are an easy and quick fix for any electrical outages that last several hours. You may want to consider getting a generator if you need your business system to stay up a lot longer than that. And surprisingly, there is fireproof servers and other equipment available for purchase that will help keep at least part of your systems safe in the event of flames taking down your building… although it is highly doubtful you’ll be doing much business in such an event!

This brings us to another part of and IT Disaster Recovery Plan: keep your expectations reasonable. There are a lot of disasters during which you will not be in a position to keep up business operations, and your best hope will be to keep your data safe from being destroyed. Don’t expect to keep business running in the event of a tornado or a hurricane, as an example. Not too many people will be expecting you to keep up operations as normal in such an event.

System Break Down Survival: Implementation

Once you have your IT Disaster Recovery plan set up, next will come implementing it. This is also something you can do yourself thanks to the wonders of the internet. There are tons of Youtube videos online that can show you how to set up your new equipment in a manner that is safe and disaster proof.

If you feel overwhelmed in creating a IT Disaster Recovery plan for your business systems or setting the equipment up, don’t be afraid to give us a call. We create IT Disaster Recovery plans and set up disaster proofed business systems every day. We can easily do the same for you, and take the guesswork and headache out of the planning and setup for you!

You can also go here to see how are IT Managed Services can help you Managed IT Service Provider IT Risk Managers llc

You can also call or email info@itriskmgrs.com or 630-918-7370


13 Aug 2018

5 Things to Know about Keeping your Card Access Control Systems healthy

Door Access Control Systems
Card Access Control Systems, Keyless Door Entry, Door Access Control

5 Things to Know about Keeping your Card Access Control Systems healthy


Keep your Card Access Control Systems Updated

The heart of your Card Access Control Systems is the computer hosting the card access control operating system and database. Sometimes these computers are hardened systems provided by the vendor or regular windows PCs where the Card Access Control Systems software is loaded. If the computer system hosting the card access control systems software is not up to date and maintained properly it could shut your door entrance system down. If the door controller’s firmware is not updated it could shut down the system. Ask your vendor how often they update and review the health of the computer system and access control door controller’s operating systems.


Have the Right Power Protection for your Card Access Control Systems

Having the right power protection in place is key to maintaining a healthy Card access control system for your building. A properly sized Un-Interruptible Power Supply (UPS) will protect your systems from power surges and keep the system functioning in the event of a power failure or other catastrophic power event. Have your vendor explain the power protection solution they have in place for your systems, so you can make sure you are protected. Also ask them how often the UPS batteries are inspected because the batteries have a 2 to 3-year lifespan.


Audit the Data Base of the Card Access Control System

It is recommended that a quarterly audit be done of the access control data base. The data base is where all the user information is hosted. Who has key cards and fobs. What access they have and when do they have access. Are there tenants who have left the building that still have access? Are there ex-employees who still have access? Is there any strange activity going on where access is being granted where it shouldn’t be? A simple report may be available that can be reviewed quarterly.

Check the controllers

Where the computer hosting your solution is the heart of the system the controller boards are its eyes and ears. These boards communicate with the main card access control system to open the door for this card! Yes, this key card is valid let the person in. It’s important that these boards be visually inspected for wear at least annually. The controller boards also need to be updated annually with the latest firmware to insure they are functioning properly and the system remains software bug free. It’s also a good idea to know the age of your controller boards and to have your vendor keep replacements on hand in case of a failure.

Maintain the Door Strikes of the Card Access Control Systems

Door strikes must be maintained properly to keep your door access control system functioning correctly. The door strike plate is affixed to the doorjamb. When the door is closed the bolt extends into the hole in the strike plate and holds the doors closed. If a door strike is not engaging properly your doors will not lock and anyone can gain entrance. The strikes can also be lubricated and cleaned to extend life. A visual inspection monthly is a good idea. A work order system making the door strike a priority need is also a good idea.

For more information email info@itriskmgrs.com or call Rick Bolda 630-918-7370

If you would like more info on Access Control Systems go here: Video Access Control systems

12 Aug 2018

Video Intercom System for your Chicago Property

Intercoms for Chicago
Price effective Video Intercoms

Video Intercom Systems for Apartment Buildings and Office Buildings

Seeing is Believing

The major benefit of having a properly deployed Video Intercom System is the ability to see people on a video display before you grant them access to your property or building. A multi-tenant video intercom system will also give your tenants the ability to see who they are letting into the building before they give them access.

Personal touch Video Intercom System

Aside from the obvious benefits of seeing who is being granted access to the building Video Intercom Systems are elegant and add a professional look to your entrance and provides added value to your tenants. Go to a building with a video Intercom system and you won’t be disappointed. With today’s IP based Video Intercom System technology, the video display is large and has great resolution. The video intercom systems are also reliable, easy to program, and maintain. There are also recording features and management features not available in regular intercoms.

Being able to visually interact provides a personal touch when you interact with guests, tenants, and visitors. It also gives your tenants a better personalized experience when they are interacting with guests and staff.

IP Based Video Intercom System

Today’s newer video intercom systems are also IP based. What does IP based video intercom mean? Well it means it sits on a network and uses the universal network communications protocol IP. Most of today’s surveillance cameras, network video recorders, access control systems are all IP enabled also. This means you can integrate the systems and tie them together to give you a broader, more secure, and feature rich security and building entrance and management system. Our Chicago based video Intercom systems benefit your tenants, property managers and guests.

The IP enable video intercom system also is easier to install. Because it uses network technology you don’t need to wire as much as a traditional voice intercom. You don’t have to hardwire phone extensions into every apartment you use a SIP interface which is a virtual phone line used in IP. What this means is less wiring costs, easier to support multiple buildings and the ability to support many more devices. IP enabled video Intercom systems also give you a ton of features, you can put the systems in different modes where calls go to the security desk first, this is nice for overnight do not disturb scenarios

Where to use Video Intercom Systems for your Chicago property


Give your staff the ability to confirm the identity of visitors and vendors before giving them access. Today’s video intercom systems have great video images, and clear audio.

Inter-Office Communication

With a properly deployed Video Intercom access system you can locate and speak with employees in any part of the building. You can page individuals make emergency announcements or tie into paging systems

Internal Security

You can also integrate and have a video intercom system with access control. Video Intercoms have built in card access readers and access control pads.

Parking & Garages

Video Intercom systems can also be used at gate entrances and stanchions, so the attendants can speak with the visitor

Loading Dock and Open areas

You can also use video intercom systems on loading docks and other garaged areas where you would like to have face to face communication versus just a voice interaction.

For more information on Video Intercom Systems email info@itriskmgrs.com or call 630.918.7370

You can also go here to see other services www.itriskmgrs.com/surveillance

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