I am having trouble sleeping so I thought I’d jot down a few pointers of the week that was. I’m hoping that by writing this down, it will stop it from going round and round in my head.
Monday was a slow day, but mainly due to self inflicted reasons and the Post Christmas/New Year recovery taking longer as I get older. I was in at work early to move our Servers as we are gutting the Server Room and fitting it out with a nice new Rack Cabinet. Starting to move forward and getting the place properly organised. Servers out, benches out, carpet off the floor (who puts Carpet in a Server Room anyway?), shelves off the wall, and so on.
Tuesday we (my no.1 Son is doing some casual work for me) gutted the IT Department Office. We were using student tables as a work bench, and as the Server Room has been dismantled, the benches are being moved to our Office. We moved all of the Supports and other associated bracketry (is that a word LG?) to the IT dept. Started laying it out loosely to see how its going to fit (and it is). LG came in to do some of her preparations, and thus much Coffee was drunk as we worked towards the countdown into Term 1 2009.
Wednesday more planning, laptop repairs (kids bring them in during the Holidays too), and constructive discussions over lunch with the head of Senior School and the ICT Learning Co-ordinator. Meanwhile our Data Cabling Guru’s have installed the new Rack into the Server room with a nice CAT6 Tie to our Lab Rack and 15A Power dropped from the ceiling for our UPS’s.
Thursday new equipment starts arriving. New active equipment for our recently completed Stage 2 building. Configured, mounted in Rack, plugged in, fault lights, say what?? Our Core Switch, a HP ProCurve 5300xl, doesn’t recognise the new Mini GBIC’s when installed. Did a quick check on minimum requirements, firmware 10.xx. Ok so ours is 5.xx!! WIll need to upgrade firmware on switch but this is best done out of hours as it will take the whole network down, job for tomorrow.
New Servers arrive, unpack boxes (should read crates) and check all is ok. Later that day whilst working in our MS IT Lab I noticed that our Mail Server is flashing bright orange lights at me. Seems one drive in our RAID5 array has failed. I rang the vendor and after some diagnosis and checking she mentions that the Warranty expired 21-12-2008, Darn! The new Server is sitting on the floor, needs OS loading and configuring, and our Intranet moving onto it, which involves input from our Vendor in Melbourne. Probably cant get that done in a hurry, so call around our other campuses to see who has what. Late in the afternoon it is discovered that one campus has a Hot Spare in a Server that they are willing to lend me. It will be sent up on Friday. Whew, load of stress somewhat averted, don’t think I would have rested knowing there was no redundancy on our Mail Server Data volume.
Friday back in early to update the switch firmware. This has to be done in 3 stages 5.xx to 7.xx, 7.xx to 10.xx, then 10.xx to 11.xx. Step one, all seems to go fine, and doing it via Telnet and TFTP, loads ok, reboot the switch and No Network. OK, go to Server room and see fault light flashing, but can access the switch from there. I found that 2 Modules had faults after rebooting, so I turned off the switch and removed these modules and restarted, all OK. Carried out steps 2 and 3 without errors, then put the modules back in and bingo we have connections to all our buildings again. Data Cabling Guru’s returned to install a Data Projector in a classroom. DG rode up especially with the HDD for our Server, and DG and I installed it whilst hold our Breath, but all went well and it rebuilt the RAID5 without error. New JS Computer Lab was set up and all patched in, ready for re-imaging.
So all in all it has been an interesting week with a spattering of win’s and some very near misses, but that’s what keeping a College Network running, and preparing for the new School Year is all about, and we’ve got through week 1 with it al still running. I hope all is going well for you in your preparations for 2009 too.