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11th Systems Administration Conference (LISA '97)

Creating a Network for Lucent Bell Labs Research South

Tom Limoncelli, Tom Reingold, Ravi Narayan, and Ralph Loura
Lucent Bell Labs


This paper describes the tools and techniques used to split the AT&T Bell Labs Research networks in Holmdel and Crawford Hill into separate networks for Lucent Bell Labs and AT&T Labs as part of the ``tri-vestiture'' of AT&T in 1996. The environment did not permit us to keep the system down for an extended period of time. Legacy systems and old configurations were supported while new systems were introduced. We did not have direct control over many machines on our network. This paper describes the old network and what we were trying to build (or split), but focuses mostly on the specific techniques we used or developed. What made our network unique is the amount of self- administered machines and networks in our environment. We took unmanaged chaos and created two clean networks. This paper is from the perspective of the Lucent Bell Labs system administrators (SAs), not the AT&T Labs SAs. The transition did not go smoothly, and if we could have read this paper before we began we would have avoided many of the problems.

The beauty of it all is that we did not take one mess and create two separate ones, we split and cleansed the networks at the same time.

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