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Network Update

Posted By: Jeff Shafer (Webmaster) <webmaster@aquaweb.pair.com>
Date: Friday, 14 July 2000, at 8:01 p.m.

For those who have some reading time, here's the latest information I have on various network slowdowns. It looks like all the techies are having a busy week... Any one of these problems could have caused the slow downs, and any one of the planned upgrades could solve whatever problems some users are experiencing. My apologies for any performance problems.



-- From 7/13/2000 -- Delays continue to plague the activation of new circuits ordered for our datacenter. Fortunately, planning ahead and redistributing traffic has allowed us to meet our customer needs with no degradation in performance. There are currently five circuit orders pending for our datacenter.

Our OC-3c upgrade for UUnet is expected to be available by Friday, July 21. As UUnet carries more of our traffic than any other provider, we have also elected to add a long-distance shadow DS-3 circuit, which will connect our facility to UUnet's POP in Cleveland, Ohio (120 miles away). This shadow circuit will only carry traffic when there is a major outage on the primary circuit. This should be ready within 60 days.

Our OC-3c upgrade to Sprint is on a fast track to completion, and we expect to have a firm target date to announce in the August newsletter. Our DS-3 circuit to Genuity is complete and awaiting final testing and activation. This should take place within the next two weeks. Finally, our fifth pending circuit is new DS-3 service to AT&T. This is in the early stages of provisioning, and should be ready for service within the next 60 days.

The pending circuit upgrades will nearly triple our outgoing traffic capacity, while another new project will improve Internet traffic performance in our local area. The Pittsburgh Internet Exchange (PitX) is a project managed by pair Networks, which aims to interconnect Internet Service Providers, corporations, universities, and other networks in the Pittsburgh region, to reduce bandwidth costs and latency.

-- From 7/14/2000 -- Our UUnet traffic has taken a sudden downward spike five times in the past twelve hours. Upon contacting UUnet, they are reporting difficulties with a linecard in one of their core routers. The problem does not appear to be yet resolved, but we will continue to monitor the situation and report any further problems.

-- From 7/14/2000 -- One of our Extreme Networks switches went offline at approximately 5:50am today. The switch was completely non-responsive and had apparently lost power. The switch was swapped with one of our emergency spares, and is currently back in normal operation. Total downtime for the affected servers was approximately 50 minutes.

The power supply of the switch has apparently failed; the A/C fuse was completely vaporized. Yesterday's switch problem appears to be related to faulty Flash memory. The power supply problem on a different switch this morning appears to be completely unrelated. We do not believe that either failure is related to the recent software upgrades performed on the switches; both failures seem to be hardware-related.

We apologize for this repeated incident. We continue to have the greatest faith in the Extreme hardware, and will be replacing the failed hardware promptly.

-- From 7/14/2000 -- UUnet continues to have serious problems with one of their core routers in the Washington, DC area. Although we are assured that the matter has been escalated, and it appears to affect all of their traffic on the East Coast, there is still no projected window of repair, nor is there any updated information on the official UUnet Status page at http://www.noc.uu.net/

pair Networks, Inc prides itself on informing its customers honestly and directly, even in the case of significant failures such as the two incidents with switch failures in the past 24 hours. We are severely disappointed that UUnet cannot acknowledge the severity of any problem, provide proper escalation and feedback, and notify the public, or at least their customers, through the channels they have setup for that purpose.


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