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BEGINNING AND INTERMEDIATE STEPS ON PREPARING BLACKBOARD SYSTEM CONNECTIVITY FOR AUTOMATED REDUNDANCY/FAIL-OVER CAPABILITY. STRATEGY, IMPLEMENTATION, DOCUMENTATION. ABOUT THIS PRESENTATION.

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slide1

BEGINNING AND INTERMEDIATE STEPS ON PREPARING BLACKBOARD SYSTEM CONNECTIVITY FOR AUTOMATED REDUNDANCY/FAIL-OVER CAPABILITY

STRATEGY, IMPLEMENTATION, DOCUMENTATION

about this presentation
ABOUT THIS PRESENTATION

This session will show you what GW has done to prepare its connectivity for redundancy and fail-over. Much of what we discuss can be applied at schools looking for more robust and modularized connectivity but who are not planning on implementing a fail-over strategy soon. We will go over different versions, permutations and reasoning behind our current setup as many of these can offer useful insight for the wide range of circumstances that Bb schools represent. This session is more or less a sequel to the fail-over server presentation given by GW last year.

the george washington university
The George Washington University

The “one-card” system had been in place for seven years with a large existing infrastructure, multiple privileges & accounts and approximately 1000 devices including IPCs, terminal servers

Security 379

Activity 43

POS68

Vending 57

MDTs120

Laundry 51

VTS 8

Copiers/Microfiche 48

Interfaces: Follett JDA Bookstore POS, Pharos Uniprint, MDT,

Catapult POS, Campus Video Solutions TIA

Blackboard Transaction System –UNIX Edition,

how much does your system take in in one day

Money Money Money

How much does your system take-in in one day.

Look at it backwards. What is real cost of precautions in terms of daily revenue.

What happens to that money if system is down- it doesn’t get spent through you.

Liability and safety concerns

slide8
Face

Imagine how you will look if you haven’t been pushing for upgrades, redundancy, stable and re-routable communications.Imagine how your boss will look.Do you want to be the one that didn’t seem to be concerned?

diversity of legacy communications and their problems1
DIVERSITY OF LEGACY COMMUNICATIONS AND THEIR PROBLEMS
  • Terminal Servers
  • Line Drivers
  • Dry pairs
  • Modems
  • RS 485
  • RS 232
  • Serial FDIs (BSI)
  • Private connections
diversity of legacy communications and their problems2
DIVERSITY OF LEGACY COMMUNICATIONS AND THEIR PROBLEMS
  • Special connectors- inventory and repair procedures
  • Proprietary devices – inventory and repair cycling
  • Multiple service cost models –
  • IP
  • dedicated unconditioned house pairs (dry pairs)
  • Dedicated unconditioned Phone Co. pairs (dry LADA circuits)
  • Analog house pairs (dial tone).
  • Analog Phone Co. pairs (dial tone).
  • Documentation/accounting difficulties.
  • Specialized Technical training/familiarization
  • Lots of single points of failure.
the quick disconnect1
THE QUICK DISCONNECT

This was our first step to making the system more modular. We had bought a second server and it was configured. Data migration, patching, database update intervals were big issues but not the focus here.

We realized that even though we had plans to cut down the times and uncertainty of these other issues, to swap out our server, even if we put it in the same place would take us a long time of plugging and unplugging.

The potential for mistakes was big.

the quick disconnect2
So we came up with this plan of consolidating all of the outside connections onto one point.

In order to do this we had to add something that is the bane of any technicians existence. We had to add extra connection points.

Normally this would have been a really bad thing, but in this case, it cleaned up all of our wiring and made out switchover time really short -- 10 minutes.

THE QUICK DISCONNECT

QUICK DISCONNECT CABLE TO INFRASTRUCTURE

- -----25 PR.----

LOCAL COPPER

COPPER

F I B E R

(AMPHENOL)

ANALOG

DATACARD

FIREWALL

UNIPRINT

UNCOND.

NET SWITCH

PERMANENT INTERNAL CABINET INTERCONNECT WIRING

the quick disconnect3
THE QUICK DISCONNECT

QUICK CONNECTION WIRING DIAGRAM

Connection mounting board inside of Server 1and Server 2 cabinets

1 ANALOG CONNECTION BLOCK

2 DRY CIRCUIT CONNECTION BLOCK

3 MEDIA CONVERTER

4 MEDIA CONVERTER

5 DATACARD JACK

6 NETWORK SWITCH JACK

7 UNIPRINT GATEWAY (LOCAL-SERIAL)

8 SERVER1 FIREWALL CONNECTION

9 SERVER2 FIREWALL CONNECTION

QUICK DISCONNECT CABLE TO INFRASTRUCTURE

- -----25 PR.----

LOCAL COPPER

COPPER

F I B E R

(AMPHENOL)

ANALOG

ANALOG CONNECTION BLOCK (RJ12)

1-8 MDT MODEM

9 BLACKBOARD SUPPORT - SERVER1

10 BLACKBOARD SUPPORT - SERVER2

11 TEST MDT

12-13 OCP MODEM

DATACARD

FIREWALL

UNIPRINT

UNCOND.

NET SWITCH

PERMANENT INTERNAL CABINET INTERCONNECT WIRING

DRY CIRCUIT CONNECTION BLOCK (RJ12)

1-4 GWORLD LOOP LAD CIRCUITS

5 BSI

6 TEST LAD

what s so great about ip and why should i pay for it1
WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT IP AND WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR IT.

Your networking people will understand it.

Your connections can be repaired and replaced more easily

Many of your circuit paths may already exist.

Better reporting by Bb IP devices and network devices

You may be able to share costs with other departments for Techs, equipment and circuit paths.

what s so great about ip and why should i pay for it2
WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT IP AND WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR IT.

Fewer service cost models.

You can incorporate or help develop universally applied documentation.

Potential for redundancy and incorporation into Networking’s overall plans.

Potential for sharing exclusive connections with other vital services.

Get yourself in line with where most of the future development is going.

It’s all going that way anyway.

universal edition is coming to a campus near you

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT IP AND WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR IT.

Universal edition is coming to a Campus near you.

One of the great features of the coming Universal edition is the fact that you will no longer need an NP. The NP is an expensive, proprietary, hard to configure and connect, potential single point of failure. Bb, I’m sure, and GWU in any case will be working on redundancy and failover strategies for the Universal Edition’s new NP configuration. Dependency on serial communications can prevent you from being able to take advantage of some of these features.

incentives methods of attack

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT IP AND WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR IT.

Incentives- Methods of attack
  • Plans can coincide w/future upgrades of system
  • Propose and if needs be – let it get shot down
  • Mention other systems may be able to take advantage – get allies.
  • IP -Its all gonna go that way anyway.
  • Maybe you can start a wider initiative and make yourself look really good.
conversion to ipconverters1

SECURITY

SECURITY

SECURITY

CONVERSION TO IPCONVERTERS

BJK 09/29/01

QUICK SWITCH GWORLD IN-BUILDING CONNECTION SCHEME (GENERAL)

CAMPUS BUILDING

GWORLD HUB

LAUNDRY

COPIER

OTHER

485 CONV.

QUICK SWITCH INVOLVES REMOVING 485 CONVERTER’S RJ45 PLUGS FROM JACKS FROM AND INSERTING PLUGS FROM IP CONVERTER

LINE DRIVER

RJ45

JACK

RJ45

JACK

REMOTE IP CONV.

IP

RJ45

JACK

RJ45

JACK

RJ45

485

BLDG

NET

PATCH CABLES

MEDIA CONV.

FIBER LINE TO CAMPUS FIBER NET

conversion to ipconverters2
CONVERSION TO IPCONVERTERS

For conversion of our serial, RS485 circuits over to IP connections using IP Converters, we used a staged approach where, with a very short down time, we first converted the existing connections to be modular . We created some inexpensive intermediate connector assemblies that allowed us to continue running over the old connectivity system until the pieces for the IP connectivity were in place. Then, with another very short downtime, we switched over. The hidden beauty of this conversion method is that if for any reason you have a problem with the switch over to IPConverters, you can fall back to your original hardware in seconds.

conversion to ipconverters3
CONVERSION TO IPCONVERTERS

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

485 CONVERTER’S TB10

DEVICE CABLES

GWORLD REMOTE HUBSITE RJ45 INSTALLATION

(PRE-CONVERSION)

485 CONVERTER’S SINGLE TB10 CAN HAVE MULTIPLE DEVICE CABLES CONNECTED.

TERMINALS 1-5 AND 6-10 ARE DUPLICATE SETS.

STANDARD WIRING

TB10 PIN CAT 5 COLOR BELDEN COLOR FUNCTION

1 / 6 WH/OR WHITE R-

2 / 7 OR/WH GREEN R+

3 / 8 GRN/WH SHEILD SHEILD

4 / 9 WH/BU RED T-

5 /10 BU/WH BLACK T+

CURRENT RS485 CONVERTER HOOK UP

conversion to ipconverters4
Create intermediate cable assemblies.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

485 CONVERTER’S TB10

RJ45

PLUGS

CONVERSION TO IPCONVERTERS

TB10 PIN CAT 5 WIRE COLOR FUNCTION

1 / 6 WH/OR R-

2 / 7 OR/WH R+

3 / 8 GRN/WH SHEILD

4 / 9 WH/BU T-

5 /10 BU/WH T+

conversion to ipconverters5
Make it modular.

DEVICE CABLES

RJ45 SCREW TERNINAL JACK

RJ45 SCREW TERNINAL JACK

1

2

3

4

8

7

6

5

CONVERSION TO IPCONVERTERS

RJ45 PIN CAT 5 BELDEN FUNCTION

1 WH/OR WHITE R-

2 OR/WH GREEN R+

4 BU/WH BLACK T+

5 WH/BU RED T-

6 GRN/WH SHEILD SHEILD

3* N/A N/A N/A

RJ45 jacks should be set as uniformly as possible (preferably in rows) and separated by loop and marked for loop number and address(s). Wires can be either cat 5 or Belden type. Color codes will have two standards.485 converter pins can hold more than one wire as depicted, RJ45 jacks should not (one cable per RJ45 jack).

conversion to ipconverters6

SECURITY

SECURITY

SECURITY

CONVERSION TO IPCONVERTERS

BJK 09/29/01

QUICK SWITCH GWORLD IN-BUILDING CONNECTION SCHEME (GENERAL)

CAMPUS BUILDING

GWORLD HUB

LAUNDRY

COPIER

OTHER

485 CONV.

QUICK SWITCH INVOLVES REMOVING 485 CONVERTER’S RJ45 PLUGS FROM JACKS FROM AND INSERTING PLUGS FROM IP CONVERTER

LINE DRIVER

RJ45

JACK

RJ45

JACK

REMOTE IP CONV.

IP

RJ45

JACK

RJ45

JACK

RJ45

485

BLDG

NET

PATCH CABLES

MEDIA CONV.

FIBER LINE TO CAMPUS FIBER NET

the meshed network2
The Meshed Network
  • Work around power outages and connectivity problems
  • Can be made to be self-re-routable
  • Allows relatively easy connectivity for location changes of components of you system (server, carding, administrations stations)
  • Network metrics, monitoring, balancing
the meshed network3
The Meshed Network

With repeaters for common leg runs

the meshed network4
The Meshed Network

With repeaters for common leg runs

the meshed network5
The Meshed Network

With repeaters for common leg runs

ip router switches with repeaters for common leg runs
IP Router switches with repeaters for common leg runs

Easy conversion process

Use one existing loop connection that has a common path as the trunk for the repeater.

system business continuance documentation strategies and pitfalls
SYSTEM/BUSINESS CONTINUANCE DOCUMENTATIONSTRATEGIES AND PITFALLS

When adding, giving back or fixing circuits, documentation can save you time and money.

  • Accounting
  • Work description
  • Diagnostic aid
system business continuance documentation strategies and pitfalls1
SYSTEM/BUSINESS CONTINUANCE DOCUMENTATIONSTRATEGIES AND PITFALLS

For disaster recovery, documentation could make a huge difference in the time it takes to get your system back into a working condition

system business continuance documentation strategies and pitfalls2
SYSTEM/BUSINESS CONTINUANCE DOCUMENTATIONSTRATEGIES AND PITFALLS

For justifying decisions or defending decisions, documentation can really make stating your case a lot easier.

system business continuance documentation strategies and pitfalls3
SYSTEM/BUSINESS CONTINUANCE DOCUMENTATIONSTRATEGIES AND PITFALLS

DISADVANTAGES

  • Time consuming to create and maintain
system business continuance documentation strategies and pitfalls4
SYSTEM/BUSINESS CONTINUANCE DOCUMENTATIONSTRATEGIES AND PITFALLS

Three types of drawing documentation used by GW

MSWORD

  • Drawings very portable to just about anyone.
  • Not widely used for drawing.
  • Easy to use but somewhat methods are somewhat arcane.
  • Exportable into Visio (some objects translate better than others).
  • Moderate learning curve.
system business continuance documentation strategies and pitfalls5
SYSTEM/BUSINESS CONTINUANCE DOCUMENTATIONSTRATEGIES AND PITFALLS

Three types of drawing documentation used by GW

MSVISIO

  • Requires that you purchase Visio
  • Not everyone has it (not as portable)
  • Focus of software is drawing (more features).
  • Moderate learning curve.
system business continuance documentation strategies and pitfalls6
SYSTEM/BUSINESS CONTINUANCE DOCUMENTATIONSTRATEGIES AND PITFALLS

Three types of drawing documentation used by GW

AUTOCAD

  • Drawings portable only to other Autocad

users or through viewers with varying editing features.

  • Very expensive
  • Big learning curve.
  • Used by many Architecture/engineering firms
summary1
SUMMARY

A few years ago we had a system that

  • could not be moved
  • had all sorts of special connections
  • was understood by very few people
summary2
SUMMARY

These steps we have taken have made it so that, with a little preparation, we can put critical system devices in a number of places.

summary3
SUMMARY

Documentation has given us recognition as a team that can play well with others.

summary4
SUMMARY

We cut down on down time for several kinds of transitions.

QUICK DISCONNECT CABLE TO INFRASTRUCTURE

- -----25 PR.----

LOCAL COPPER

COPPER

F I B E R

(AMPHENOL)

ANALOG

DATACARD

FIREWALL

UNIPRINT

UNCOND.

NET SWITCH

summary5
SUMMARY

We are poised to take advantage of many of the features that will come with the Universal Edition.

NP

funny clothes
FUNNY CLOTHES

GWORLD DIR. KEN PIMENTEL

GWORLD ASST. DIR. JAMES WHITE

thank you

Thank You!

Suzanne Werner202-994-1297werner@gwu.eduBio: Has been working at The George Washington University for three years as the Senior Applications Administrator for the GWorld Card program.  She has a BA in Computer Science from Rutgers University and has over 8+ years experience working with various Unix systems.  She is a New Jersey native with a passion for writing and playing her own music and has traveled across the country playing in several bands.  Steve Nichols202-994-0421snichols@gwu.eduBio: Has been working at The George Washington University for three years as an Applications Administrator for the GWorld Card program.  An alumnus of the Virginia Military Institute, he has over 8+ years working in various IT fields for both the government and private sector.  A Virginia native, he enjoys the outdoors and is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

Brendan Kelly202-994-1711bkelly@gwu.eduBio: Has been working at The George Washington University for seven years in various technical positions for the GWorld Card program.  He attended Northeastern University’s Electrical Engineering program and has over 20 years experience working with various device control and computer systems.  He is a Connecticut native and spent 15 years in and around Boston. He enjoys skiing and starting projects.