IT Trenches

Aug 18 2008   7:04PM GMT

Moving a datacenter – one weekend – DONE!

Troy Tate Profile: Troy Tate

Well, another busy month here. Last month we moved more than 2000 users from 6 different e-mail systems to a single e-mail platform. This month we moved a factory facility about 5 miles. The original facility was too small for our needs and we are also integrating a recent acquisition that was in a separate facility.

This event had been in the planning and implementation stages for months. The building had to be outfitted for occupancy and services had to be ready for use on day one.

Fortunately we had implemented a Cisco CallManager solution at the old facility and it was easy enough to move into the new facility. However, some challenges existed with that implementation. First of all, our original implementation was not a full CallManager implementation. It was a Survivable Remote System Telephony (SRST) implementation. The actual CallManager cluster for this site is located in southern California. This site is in northern California, several hundred miles away.

Another issue was that the site was experiencing growth due to the merged office. Our current gateway solution was not large enough to handle the additional handsets. We implemented a larger gateway with capacity to handle the current user population plus some additional growth.

I say “We” because we had a partner helping us with the implementation. This is not something we have in our staff skillset. Our partner helped us with the original implementation at the site. They provided outstanding support and were available to help with other network issues as they arose during the move and day one of business. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief with this partner onsite.

Our servers moved over without a glitch. Our structured cabling plant looks really nice (for the moment, I’m sure) . Our users enjoy the new facility. So, it’s a win-win!

My only real issue happened unfortunately on day one of business in the new facility. For some reason, both the primary and secondary network links went down. This was definitely not a good thing especially since the site used the remote CallManager to manage calls. During this period, the WAN link was unreliable and calls were dropped and phones reset. Another item that you should note is that there was another tenant moving into the building next door. My company and this other shared a telecom closet where all communication circuits entered the facilities. I have major concerns about cross-connects as well as the danger of miscommunication with the carriers about circuits being terminated or orders placed.

My WAN provider went right to work though and had the carriers investigating why both our primary (T1) link and backup (DSL) link went down. The circuits are provided by different carriers so they could work unrestricted on their issues while we waited for resolution. The T1 issue was due to some problem at the carrier central office (hmmmm…. likely story since I had a new neighbor moving in at the same time.) The DSL issue turned out to be some kind of problem with inside wiring.

Our circuits became stable later on day one and have been stable ever since. I’m really glad the event is over! Now we are planning for a new site implementation coming online in January and the facility has not even been built yet. The new facility is not even in the USA so this will be even more of a challenge.

Thanks for your time. Let’s be good network citizens together & practice safe networking!

2  Comments on this Post

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  • ITKE
    1,152,950 pointsBadges:
  • Labnuke99
    This could not have happened without a good support team and skilled staff members. These are key elements to ensure that a project like this is well executed.
    32,960 pointsBadges:

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