16 April 2012

Yeah, it's a Monday ...

Last week, I made a trip up to the local computer store, the mothership of MicroCenter, and finally broke down and bought a USB/VGA four port KVM switch for my lead worksstation .... not DVI or HDMI on the video, but still VGA. The PS/2 mouse and keyboards were scheduled to be phased out, and a move to USB devices slated for this week

Well, the components to be affected .. the old KVM, the panel monitor, and so on must have held a pow-wow across the weekend, because when I came in this morning the panel monitor's backlight (a Westinghouse L2210NW, 1680x1050, datecode of April 2008) seems to be completely dead. This is of course the absolutely MOST inconvenient part of the display chain to die, because I need to run custom 'modeline' detail under X to squeeze the maximum resolution and sharpness out of the display. I had also purchased the three year 'no questions' replacement warranty on that four year old unit, so no help there

I grabbed a 'retired to the front bench' NEC AcuSync LCD223wxm, also nominally 1680x1050, off one of the benches and have been fiddling with the modeline settings to have a backup to limp through the day, but the horizontal height is wrong, the pixels puddgy, and the video muddled

No doubt I _could_ get it to stand up and dance, but the NEC has a datecode from early 2007 so that is a suckers game

Yeah, its a Monday

13 April 2012

LOPSA at the PMman DC

I went up to a meeting at our North datacenter for PMMan, where local group of system admins held a meeting, starting up a local LOPSA chapter. Food and soda were provided by the DC operator, along with salad ... since when did sysadmins starting more healthy food, rather than a diet of high sugar, high caffeine junk food?

The presentation slide deck was fine, and the presenter (a 'long timer' at a local credit-card clearance operation) ran through his bullet list of what to look for in the 'build vs. buy (lease space)' decision, and then a number of siting concerns.

Now I am familiar with his firm's site from prior visits, and it is adjacent to a major highway with regular closures for accidents; adjacent to a major rail yard where chemical spills have caused evacuations; and sole serviced into the power company grid

Our North site was chosen after a survey of all offerings within a radius we were willing to drive to for 'end of the world' 'hands on' intervention; is jacked into two independent power grids along with the on-site generators, is a premier demonstration location for the former Liebert (now owned by Emerson) power and site conditioning

I happen do drink coffee daily at Staufs with Liebert's representative here in town. My evaluation team suggested the location as a finalist, and when I checked, it turned out that I already knew the owner / developer from long, long ago telephony days, and when I have time, I'll go up and 'shoot the bull' with him on Saturday mornings at the DC

We have had a grand total of ZERO power related outages, and only one network connectivity issue in the last three years, that lasting less than 15 minutes, and that, due to human error in not handling a BGP fail-across migration properly [the cut-over protocol was changes, as I noticed the drop from my monitoring and called the owner's cell phone at once ;) ]. Well suited to our 'enterprise' customers

It is 'carrier neutral' and hugely connected -- multiple entrances of up to 88 x 100 G fiber spread across six or seven principal carriers. Native IPv6 to all drops we run through multiple carriers, along with the IPv4. I helped with the IPv6 design and cut-over some 18 months ago, and it has been seamless. The facility, and our services, just do not have outages except that human error causes

It is not the cheapest in town ... but it is fairly priced for the value we have received

I had not sat down and reflected on how satisfied I was with that shift of our center of operations to the DC, but as I think about it, I am well pleased