Cabinet Clean Up

Welcome back and happy new year!

We have been busy over the break working on things that we cannot normally work on…namely our physical data connections.

Wonder whats going on in that before-and-after pic?  Lets geek out for a sec!  The internet (coming from the District Office) comes into the MDF (main distribution frame) or ‘core’ router in the Office.  The network is then split into internal fiber that goes to one of several IDF (or intermediate distribution frame) cabinets scattered across campus, one of these is what you are looking at above.  All of the computer data ports in your rooms go into cables that end up in these cabinets, terminated into female ports organized in rows on panels, known as patch-panels (the black panels in the photos above).  These are then connected to the switches by a short data cable sometimes referred to as a jumper.

Ever had a port in your room that doesn’t work?  This is likely because the corresponding patch-panel port has not been connected to a switch port (see the before photo above, notice all the empty ports?).  This could be for a number of reasons, most often it is because either the switch is already full, or there simply weren’t enough jumper cables available during implementation.  We have been busy at both sites working to both ensure that all ports are connected to a switch port and ensure that the cabinets are organized and clean.  The above before-and-after is the Arcata High School Library Lab IDF, we plan to have all cabinets looking like this before 2019.

Feeling Wired

The fiber leg between the Office and the Auto Shop at MHS has been repaired!  With the new 12-strand fiber we were able to light 3 pairs to provide direct fiber connections to 3 outlying buildings: the South Gym, Building Trades and the Snack Bar in the Football Field.  Previously these had been daisy-chained from one building to another.  While it certainly works, the fault tolerance is relatively low as a problem on any leg could have brought down the whole chain…now a single point of failure will only bring down one segment.  Furthermore, there is increased bandwidth to each building as they do not need to all pass through the same cable to get to the main hub.

This is one of the many infrastructure improvements that will be done over the next few years.  Next up will be the Science network drop at AHS!