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.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Them ol' router blues …

Getting up early makes me surly and not pleasant to be around. Stress also makes me surly and not pleasant to be around.

So of course, I'm getting up early to walk into a stressful situation.

I thought the plan was to simply drop in the Cisco 3550 (which I had configured for use yesterday) until we could get a full replacement router, but alas, that was not to be. Smirk called just before I left and told me to grab the Cisco 7206 and salvage a few cards from the 7500 series (I forget the exact model) over at the customer site.

So much for “get in, get out, nobody gets hurt” routine.

So I have to swing by The Data Center in Boca Raton first and grab the 40# beast, thus making me a bit late over at the Customer Site.

It didn't matter much because this is what greeted me when I arrived:

[You have GOT to be kidding me!]

Thankfully, Smirk is used to my surliness at the crack of dawn [It was 11:03 am. –Editor][For me, 11:00 am is the crack of dawn. —Sean] and ignored my yelling on the phone. I was told to sit tight and I'd be let in momentarily.

I'll spare you the next three hours, but basically, they weren't happy with the Cisco 3550 (“What? You expect us to use that? Cisco ‘end-of-lifed’ that! That's not acceptible”) nor were they (or I) happy with the speed the Cisco 7206 was getting (directly connected, I was getting 90Mbps upload and only 10Mbps download speed—they were getting worse across their network. The Cisco 3550 (despite being “end-of-lifed” by Cisco) was faster. Smirk told me to take a break at 2:00, and meet him back at the customer site at 5:00 pm.

Some food and relaxation smoothed out the surliness on my part. I met Smirk back at the customer site at 5:00 pm and over the next three and a half hours:

  1. we wasted probably half an hour or more because a cable went bad;
  2. even though the bottom interface (the main CPU card) on the 7206 was labeled “FastEthernet” (Ciscospeak for “100Mbps port) it wasn't. Sure, it could communicate with a device at 100Mbps but it couldn't sustain that speed (which explains the huge discrepency with the earlier speed tests);
  3. cards without a handle are next to impossible to pull out of a Cisco (oh, that was an ugly scene);
  4. you need to load the cards into a Cisco 7206 in slot order;
  5. the customer's network disallowed pinging (nice one—remove one of the best network diagnostic tools why don't you?);
  6. spent an additional hour with the customer crew when we proved the connection was getting 90Mbps up and down so they could track down the speed bottleneck on their network.

Hopefully now they'll listen and get the redundant routers Smirk has been telling them they should get.

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