questions about wall cabinets and patch panels : networking

Hi All,

Since beginning work at my current job I’ve discovered that, apart from one building in particular on-site, all of the other area’s and buildings around site, which is quite a large campus, do not have patch panels installed in their wall cabinets. Instead, the cables in all of these wall cabinets around site have been run directly to the switches from the end devices, which I’ve come to understand is not what you’d normally see in most other enterprise organizations. This has meant that most of these cabinets without patch panels have become quite a mess and very unorganized. The cabinets themselves are also far too small meaning that if I were to push for budget to tidy them up, we’d need much bigger wall cabinets also to accommodate any new patch panels and cable tidy bars inside above the switches. I’m a network engineer yes. They hired me to refresh their network yes, but they allocated a cash budget only for upgrading the actual switches, and not for any additional work required to tidy up the cabinets. This is my first big project and I was fairly green before I started with regards to wall cabinets, patching and keeping things organized. What I’m hoping to do is install patch panels and have everything professional and tidy in every wall cabinet. I’ve already begun installing new switches to replace the old ones, but I think now if I had realized the extra work required to professionally sort all this out, I might have pushed back and told them we need to plan to address the mess in these cabinets. It really is just a mess and it makes swapping out the old switches extremely difficult and frustrating. In some cases I’ve refused to swap the switch out because the cabinet is so bad.

I’ve hired a contractor to begin work on one of the worst cabinets I’ve seen, a 6U wall cab crammed full two switches and three 24 port patch panels taking up 5 U’s of space without any cable management, no space for cable management and you can’t get to the switch at all because of all the jumbled up cables preventing access:

I’m having it swapped out for this new 9U wall cab today:

I was thinking of having a go at taking down the old cab and putting the new one up myself, but I’ve never done it before and I don’t know what tools I’d need. Can anyone tell me what tools I’d need? What are the screws, drills, drill bits, etc you’d typically use?

Also, notice that the old cabinet has three 24 port patch panels. I am thinking of having a go at patching myself, and what I thought I’d do to save space in the new cabinet is to take out two of the old 24 port 1U patch panels and install this new single 48 port 1U high density patch panel:

As I mentioned though, I have never done patching before. I asked the two contractors who are here today if they could take the two old 24 port 1U patch panels out and put this new 48 port 1U patch panel in, but they told me it will take at least a day or two, and they are only here for today to put the new wall cab up, because they said the new patch panel will require alot more work than I believed, because all the cables need to be fully tested etc. This is what I’d like to learn more about so that I can patch myself. Can anyone give me some pointers on how to proceed if I was to do this patching job myself? I already have the following tools for patching:

What other tools would I need, what tools do I need to test the connections after they have been punched down?

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