06 September, 2008

Week Three

This week the design process commenced in full swing.  Over the long weekend I had developed icons for all the equipment in Visio and made the shelf snappable making it easy to arrange the card icons when we designed.  It came in pretty handy.
I still want to find a more efficient way to label the patch panels on the diagram; the way it is done now takes up a lot of real estate for just that little bit of information.
We had to make room for two new kinds of cards but we only had an influx of one new set of modems, so we had to divert one of the streams from the last configuration.  That was done easily with a cable solution I had devised last week which adapted the WK cable to be used with the Combo cards.  I still have orphaned modems, but that cannot be avoided.
A lot of time was spent trying to discover a physical solution to the VDSL problem.  The WK cables break out three 32 port streams in to 4 24 port streams.  We have only 96 VDSL modems, but we have 4 cards with 32 ports.  The techs and I are still trying to find a way to orphan the ports as far upstream as possible.  We don’t want to order new modems because a new version is coming out at the end of the test cycle, and we don’t want to buy obsolete equipment.
To top it all off, the VDSL cards are not ported like normal cards are (in parallel) instead they are ported in series.  Luckily, upstairs had already prototyped a crossover cable that will allow us to adapt to our current configuration.
It did take some explaining to get them to understand the crossover cable had nothing to do with my cable solution for the combo cards.  A lot of questions were asked about pin diagrams as though the world hinged on them, when in reality everything was already thought through and was copacetic. 
But I’m a n00b, so it didn’t bother me that they were double checking my solution.  They will figure out that I can differentiate between the statement ‘This will work" and the question "Will this work?"   I have already done my homework before I propose my solution.
I got a crash course in MSPL architecture from both Jennifer and Alan.  I got a crash course in encapsulation protocols from Alex. 
There were some hurried meetings about whether or not we were going to turn our system into ATM fed or not.  That would require a ton of reconfiguring, and if they want us to do that, they need to say so like last month.
I learned how to provision the ports of each card using the network interface module and to populate the streams using the N2X interface.  I devised a visual scheme with which we could design our encapsulation and easily ensure all requirements were met, as well as make changes on the fly.  Pam thinks I am very organized.  I told her I just prefer to have stuff where I can see it instead of in my brain.  I am a visual person.
I provisioned all of the ADSL cards, but I couldn’t get the PPOE ports to bond.  I am not sure if I am supposed to manually populate a MAC table for the PPOE ports or if I did something wrong.  This took place  Friday afternoon, after Pam had left, so I just left it for Monday morning.  I finished out my week by installing all the new cards that have arrived into the system and updating my diagram.

Namasté,
Sisyphus

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