Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ciena turnup

We've been discussing the Ciena node turnups a bit lately, with the majority of the coaching coming from John Graham. Recall that there are two types of sites that have a Ciena in them. Router-node sites, where the Ciena install will be timed to coincide with the router install, and Ciena-only sites that usually just have a single rack of equipment. Each turnup has three main phases

This is done by an Indiana University install team of at least two people. It will include getting the chassis into the racks, and terminating the power on the Ciena. Getting the chassis in the racks at a remote site can be challenging, given the weight issues. The Level3 standard racks have a bit of extra space at the bottom, between the lowest RU and the kickplate. That likely means that the screw holes won't line up properly with the Ciena rack ears. Getting those to go up with a two-man team can be a bit dodgy at times, so we're looking into some sort of front and back jack system that we can ship with the install kits to give that small 1/8" bump that it's hard to do without the Incredible Hulk as part of the install team.

Engineers will install the observatory and control PCs, the small racklan switch and the out-of-band dial-up router at this time, but there will be no data plane connectivity because we aren't turning the Ciena up. We'll pre-run the backbone fibers from the Level3 bulk FDP to the Ciena, but they will be clipped to the 10G cards and not inserted.

Test and Turnup
Turnup and configuration of the node is left to Ciena. They will arrive shortly after we've handled the chassis install and power and turnup all the cards. After each card is slotted, they'll run them through a series of traffic tests that would make even the most cautious of us feel somewhat like a network cowboy. Ciena has agreed to have their installers plug the pre-run backbone fibers into the OC-192 backbone cards when they've completed testing.

Node Certification
Once the card is installed, and an adjacency has been established between the new Ciena and an already-activated Ciena, it will become our playland. But first, John needs to do some quick checks of the system to make sure it's good to handle production traffic. A lot of that also has to do with documentation and monitoring. We don't want to put anyone on the Cienas without proper back-end support.

And there you have it. Ideally this will be a two-week process (one week spent getting it installed- only one day of which will actually be used to handle the install) with the next week for the test and turnup.