The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A night of bogarts

While the T-1 may have been installed at XXXXXXXX, the router there (that we supplied) doesn't have a T-1 interface. So after work I drove over there to install one.

I had been in the process of setting up OSPF and installing some firewall rules (they are one of the few DSL customer that didn't have a firewall) when I lost the connection for a minute or so. It came back up before I left, but as I was driving over there, I received a call from F at XXXXXXXX saying the connection was down. I said I was on the way over and I'll take a look when I get there, so I didn't think too much on either incident.

Once there, I powered down the router, installed the interface and powered the router back up. A minute or two to let it boot up, and yes, they are down. I couldn't even ping the router, much less surf the Intarweb. I could see that the router was up and running, but without the special console cable, I couldn't diagnose the problem.

I then drove back to The Office. I couldn't reach their router from our side, so I grabbed the special console cable and headed back to their office.

Once back there with the ability to log into the router, I could see the problem—plugging the T-1 card in renumbered some other interfaces, including their DSL interface. When it powered back up, the configuration for interface ATM0/0 (the DSL interface) was ignored because interface ATM0/0 didn't exist. And consequently, interface ATM1/0 wasn't configured because there was no configuration data for interface ATM1/0.

And silly me, I didn't have a copy of the router configuration on hand, so it looked for a minute like I would have to drive back to The Office, print out the configuration for this router (I have backups of all our routers on my workstation) then drive back to the XXXXXXXX office, but then I had a better idea: I called Wlofie, had him log into my workstation and read off the DSL interface configuration.

That done, the connection came right back up. Then I could turn my attention to configuring the T-1 interface.

Only it didn't come up an interface, but a “controller.”


Didn't think much of it until I realized I couldn't assign an IP address to the T-1 interface controller. So I did what I always do in such a situation and called G, our Cisco consultant.

Turns out that the interface card we had was a voice T-1 card and not a data T-1 card.


Not much I can do until I get the right card (and we don't have a data T-1 card for this particular router at the office). But since the DSL was back up and running, I decided to call it a night.

Until half an hour later when I got a call from Smirk—they were still down. Fortunately, I was still in the area and had access to a computer. A quick test showed the DSL was up, but that anything else on their network was unaccessible. I called XXXXXXXX and talked to their IT manager C.

Now C is a nice guy and I'm sure he knows his computer stuff, but networking is not one of his strong points. And it because clear to me that I was going to have to go back and debug their network.

I knew the router was okay, since I could get to it from the Internet. And when I got to their office, I checked out their Linksys wireless unit (which does NATting) and found nothing wrong with it. That left the only thing sitting between the two—a switch.

On a lark, I power cycled the switch.

Their network started right back up.

It seems they've been having some power “issues” recently.


Everything else had been powercycled.

But the switch.

Of course.

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