Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Unfortunately yesterday dealt us mostly the latter two !! After 12 years in the networking field, I've found some days everything seems to just go your way and some days...well...some days everything that can go wrong does and you wish you'd just stayed in bed !

For example, what's the chance of a compact flash card - one that worked perfectly fine all day long the day before - being corrupted when you try to boot a switch from it the next morning ??!! What's the chance of an upgrade to one switch causing another switch across campus to crash - repeatedly ??!! Sometimes even when you've taken every preparation possible, things just don't go your way ! The only consolation after a day like that is that the next one HAS to be better !

Looking on the bright side though, when we finally left that office about 8pm last night, 3 or the 4 core switches had been upgraded and 2 of them had their routing configuration about 75% complete. If you remember, we're converting our layer-2 only aggregation switches into layer-3 switches that will be the default gateway routers for the subnets on campus. Once the global routing configuration is completed on these switches and tested, we will transition the routing for each building to these switches. This routing transition for each building needs to happen first thing in the morning on the day the wireless in the building is upgraded. Therefore, the upgrade of these switches and the configuring of routing on them is a prerequisite for starting the wireless upgrade.

We should have the routing configuration completed this morning and routing for the VLANs that support the network engineers transitioned this morning. We will test throughout that day to make sure everything is working properly. The next step is to transition routing for the UITS buildings in Bloomington tomorrow morning. This will be the first test of the process of converting a building's routing followed by the wireless upgrade of the building and will give us a chance to work out kinks in the process before we start on the first 8 "pilot" buildings next week. By the time we finish the first 8 pilot buildings next week, we should have the process running like a well oiled machine !

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