The above photo was taken last night. I don’t know how everyone else feels but seeing that stack of Cisco Switches gave me goose bumps, so I was inclined to include the photo with this blog post.
Over the next few weeks, TotalChoice will begin a mass upgrade to much of its network hardware. We have been busy negotiating with our vendors and have taken delivery of all the gear needed to make the upgrades that our customers deserve!
We will start by replacing every Rack Distribution Switch with new Cisco Switches. These switches are a large upgrade from our current switches and will give us a nice boost in performance and should provide years of reliable service. A rack by rack announcement will be made via our Social Media outlets and via email to affected clients. We anticipate very little downtime per rack as we work our way thru the switch replacements.
In addition , we are adding another layer of redundancy to our network. We are in the process of adding additional up-links to each distribution switch from a redundant secondary gigE line card. This means we will be able to sustain a line card outage on our router without any downtime to the switches. Over the past few days we have been installing the secondary up-links from the routers to the distribution switches. So as we put up new the switches we will bundle the secondary redundant link to the new switch.
Last week we installed an additional fiber drop from our upstream providers. This installation is part of our bigger plan for increased fiber redundancy and an improved automatic fail over system. Automatic fail over occurs when loss of connectivity occurs from our main fiber connection. We had a brief network outage a few weeks ago and when the system automatically failed over to our redundant fiber path the fail over simply did not work. After some investigation this failure was determined to be caused by a bad optical device at our upstream provider. The optical device has since been replaced and lessons learned. However, by adding this third fiber it gives us another path to our upstream and gives us more redundancy in our network and that means better uptime for everyone. We have also set up a monthly test that will be conducted to test our redundant/backup fiber connections.
I will be posting more about these upgrades as we progress along. I know this was a long, technically winded post. If you got this far in reading it, thank you.