Hello there! Some of you may have noticed. Okay, maybe not. I've intentionally not posted anything on the blog the last few weeks. It's not that I don't love you - the 3 or 4 of you that will actually read this. Nope, that's not it. It's me. I just honestly haven't had the opportunity. I'm right in the middle of several projects and they are that critical 75-80% "done" phase. As we all know, the last 20-25% of a project can be the killer. I'm stuck at the last 20-25% on many of these projects. Let me give you a rundown on the major projects happening right now:
- Disaster Recovery / Circuits - As I've blogged about before, we've done some significant network redesign over the last year. Last Wednesday we brought up the 3rd 100Meg AT&T circuit - to replace a failed "redundant" circuit. This is great. Now, it's time to get BGP working. I'm stuck waiting on some internal decisions before I can move forward.
- Disaster Recovery / Replication - Also as I've blogged about before, we're undertaking the challenge to replicate hundreds of TB of data from our primary Datacenter (Edmond, OK) to our secondary Datacenter (Oklahoma City, OK) via our AT&T Gigaman (1 gigabit) MetroE connection. We are using the Nexenta SAN solution as our secondary SAN. This is "ready" but we've run into a spaces & places snag at the DR location. Turns out - heat causes bad things. So, we've had to shut off the gear and wait for additional cooling capacity.
- As an aside - I'm also still working out the details for our Veeam Backup solution - whether to "backup" or "replicate" our VMWare ESX clusters. I think I'll settle for a mix of the two. But, I cannot work on this now - because the gear is powered off.
- IP Address re-numbering - well, you see, I made a bad decision at LifeChurch.tv about 5 years ago. When I started changing some subnets, I did not properly summarize the addresses. I worked to fix it about 3 years ago, but then that project died along the way when I transitioned off the time for a while. Since coming back I've re-inherited the project. I have made significant progress on 5 campuses - but still need to move from A/V gear, printers, and a few random static-IP devices. For our primary/backup broadcast campuses - well - this move may never happen. There is a LOT of legacy equipment out there and I don't have a plan to get it moved yet. So, for now, I'm stuck. As my friend Ed says - you should "P-lan before you V-lan" - and I sufferred #FAIL on that one.
In the meantime, I've got a few other projects on the horizon:
- Remote Websense - we use Websense on our Central internet circuits. Our campus circuits have been using IPCop for many years. It's time to reconfigure to have a single/common web filtering solution. I'm working on that.
- SIP - this one is VERY exciting for me. We've been playing with SIP for a while now. We have a couple campuses - and all our remote users - that are currently using SIP DIDs from either DIDww.com (International) or Bandwidth.com (United States). We also still have about 300 or so DIDs from a traditional AT&T PRI. As we started discussing Disaster Recovery - the sticking point always turned to voice service. Sure, using our Cisco Unified CallManager solution - we could have nodes at multiple locations. But, that doesn't give us SERVICE at multiple locations. So, we're going to port our primary DID blocks from PRI to SIP - and instead of servicing based on IP address - we'll service based on DNS address so we can port-around the service as needed.
- Cisco testing - this one is a personal thing. I've had my Cisco CCNA for a long time. I've had my Cisco CCDA for a while too. I've often debated the usefulness of these certifications - because it's not like a Church IT guy really "needs" certifications. However, I've had the privilege of assisting many organizations - both for-profit and non-profit - over the years. And, the certifications DO bring a certain amount of credibility to me. So, I'm commited to finishing another certification by the end of the year. I'm currently working toward Cisco CCDP - the secondary/professional level "design" certification. It requires 3 tests. I've passed the first - Cisco BCMSN - 642-812. I'm now working on the second - Cisco BSCI - 642-901. I hope to take it this month (August) - we'll see.
And, I know you're not going to believe this, but I actually took some "me" time over the last few weeks. I flew back to Oklahoma to do some "work stuff" but then came back and had some "me" time. I spent a couple days with just my wife and kids - we went to parks and playgrounds and museums and it was awesome. I then spent a couple days at the Willow Leadership Summit and that's always a treat hearing from leaders and getting my batteries re-charged. Then, after the Summit, my wife and kiddos piled in the van and we drove to Terre Haute, Indiana for a few days. My parents are retired and live there and it was a GREAT trip visiting with them. We don't get up there very often. It was good. All this to say, I actually took a "stay-cation" and then a "family road trip" - away from here. It doesn't happen often, but it is great when it does.
So, that's my Manic Monday. Not super-manic, but it sure is Monday. This seems to be the day, every week, where I want to roll back over and go to bed. Surely I'm not the only one?