Thursday, October 19, 2006

Timing is everything

Got the group together for Infinera training today. Started out early in Bloomington. A bit of a mad scramble before Mike Reilly got here to find 10G client optics that would work with the Infinera in Bloomington. Had to borrow an LR X2 module from the campus guys. Did some configuration in the Wrubel machine room and walked through the cabling. VERY simple to cable up. Basically just a line in/out and a loop up to the DCU. Nice and clean, no fuss.

We did run into a problem in Bloomington after we drove to Indy. Our fiber guys had left the jumpers dangling at the patch panel when they did their testing. Had one of the campus engineers go over and plug them back in and we were in business.

Along the way we learned that the Infinera dosn't provide clocking. It's essentially a transparent optical system that does 2R regen. It would be as if we plunked our Chicago T640 and our New York T640 right next to each other and hooked them up via a 3 meter fiber. Right now we derive SONET clocking from the Qwest long-haul network. There's a bit of disagreement internally over whether we need to worry about getting BITS timing to our Junipers. I'm not convinced its needed, but I need to do some digging before I start getting too emphatic on this point.

The GMPLS stuff on the Infinera looked good. Overall it was very easy to create circuits and monitor their path. It sounds like their EMS platform has some very good views into the network that will enable some rapid problem identification. I'm not sure how much we'll take advantage of that on Day 1 given the very simple metro rings in Chicago, Seattle and New York, but it's good experience on the platform as we move forward with the Level3 relationship.

It sounds like Rob found a few niggling items in the New York suite, but nothing that can't be overcome. I've got a few messages in my inbox from Level3 about circuit naming conventions that I need to bring up tomorrow. We're having a four hour video conference with representation from all corners of the project to discuss the gritty details. I've been working this evening on card projections and getting some diagrams updated. There's a lot of material to share.

As for communication, it sounds like I2 is game to let this blog keep rolling. The family may increase as they may start posting items, too. At least, that's one of the plans. They have a wiki-based blog that contains more formal communiques about the network status. I can't blame them for not wanting to mix in my ramblings about shipping logistics. :-)