On the Lambda

Programming, Technology, and Systems Administration

On the Lambda

What I did Last Night

January 26th, 2013 · No Comments · networking

Last night (or, rather, much too early this morning) I had the privilege to change out the old core network switch (a stacked pair of 3Com 4900SX’s) at the college where I work for a shiny new HP 5406zl. I started at about 2am, and as I sit in Starbucks typing this it’s now past 10am and I haven’t slept yet. I’m very tired, and so I’m going to tell this mostly with pictures.

The shot below is shortly after I began. At 2am there are still a lot of students using the network, but I have a lot to do in terms of setting things out so that he actual down-time is as short as possible.


At last everything is ready. It’s almost 3:30, and the system still shows activity indicating too many students are awake, but I can get started anyway moving over administrative buildings… as long as I save the residence halls and server switch for last, I’ll be okay.


Here’s a “before” shot of the wiring board. This is an area that’s been in desperate need of improvement for some time, so it’s nice to have an excuse to re-run all this.


And the after photo. I could get things neater, but I’m also hoping to get a new rack for the servers this summer, and so anything more would be overkill right now.


This is what $10,000 looks like. Actually, more, because there are some consulting dollars invested in this as well. The new switch is all up and running… well, almost. One fiber link is being stubborn, but we’ll work it out. If necessary, I should be able to bridge the link in question from another switch in the same building, but I don’t think it will come to that.



I think it was about 7:00 when I took that picture. I had everything put together by around 5:30, but there were two configuration issues with the switch: there was not default route(!) and the ip helper entries for our dhcp server were not all set right. They were both the kind of things should be have been obvious and quick fixes, but when it’s 5:30am of an all-nighter, sometimes it takes a while to find that kind of thing.

Last up is the old equipment, waiting to be boxed up and stored against the unlikely event of a disaster that would take out its replacement. I think if we ever have to actually put this back in service I’ll probably go cry.



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