what sort of contractor to de-mobilize a datacenter cage?
October 19, 2023 10:03 AM   Subscribe

I need to get rid of thousands of feet of structured (think ethernet punched down to patch panels) and unstructured cabling, running along overhead wire guides and so on, in a data center cage.

What kind of contractor should I look for to do this work? Would it be a low-voltage electrical company? Or is there some other genre of contractor that is more suitable for this kind of work?

Our usual, trusted e-waste disposal vendor has already said that they can't do such work, and I'm kind of lost as to what search terms I should even be using.
posted by german_bight to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Best answer: The company I work for just did this recently. We used an all in one "relocation" service for our office decommission and move. The specific service to strike all our miles of low voltage cabling all the way from the server room to the workstations was called "technology disconnect and reconnect support."

It was expensive.
posted by phunniemee at 10:24 AM on October 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

a LV electrical contractor, or a temp labor agency is probably what you want.
posted by Dr. Twist at 10:36 AM on October 19, 2023

Best answer: i've worked in the structured cabling trade for about 5 years and any of the companies i've worked for would potentially be interested in this sort of job. i don't work on the billing side of things but as far as i understand, my current company would just charge our normal rate for our time, same as if we were running cable. i am in a relatively low cost-of-living area compared to the national average, tho.

we did something similar to what you described back in the spring, removing about 1200 pounds of various generations of data cabling shotgunning out in every direction from a company's 30-year-old, still in-service MDF. we worked carefully and fastidiously, making sure the cables we were removing were, in fact, not in service, by checking the patch panels, switch ports, and endpoints as necessary. no knock against electricians in general, but i wouldn't trust a lot of the electrical contractors operating in my area to be able to rigorously discern what cables are to be kept and what are to be removed in a mixed, disorganized environment like that was, nor possess the equipment to plug into a random rj45 out on the floor and determine that it's patched into switch 4, port 37. also on this job we collected the removed cable and recycled it for copper scrap, and we kept the money. the client didn't care, they just wanted it gone.

so my advice is to try contacting the same companies that would be contacted if you were trying to get this done as an install. 'structured cabling' + your location would be a fine search term to start from. often these sorts of companies will have a bit of a laundry list of services offered: security systems, business telephones, cabling (maybe called 'premise wiring'), access control, fire systems, cameras, IT consulting & support, etc. regulation and compartmentalization varies by state.
posted by glonous keming at 3:50 PM on October 19, 2023 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: Followup: I learned almost by accident that the datacenter in question has an e-waste removal vendor who acts as their in-house vendor of choice for operations like the one I described. So, for future folks faced with this sort of operation, it may be worthwhile to ask whoever hosts your cages who they recommend.
posted by german_bight at 9:37 AM on November 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

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