Abstracts - 12th Systems Administration Conference
What to Do When the Lease Expires: A Moving Experience
Lloyd Cha, Chris Motta, Syed Babar, and Mukul Agarwal
- Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Jack Ma and Waseem Shaikh - Taos Mountain, Inc.
Istvan Marko - Volt Services Group
Moving a division of approximately 200 employees from one building
to another across town can be a daunting task. It involves
coordination among teams from systems administration, networking,
facilities, and security as well as support from management and
cooperation of the employees being relocated. Contractors and
subcontractors are frequently hired to handle physical relocation of
goods from one location to another, construction of new server rooms,
electrical rewiring, installation of new cooling systems, etc. This
paper is the story of how we handled the move and reconfiguration of a
network of approximately 1000 nodes over a long weekend in May 1998.
Previously published work has discussed some of the issues that
challenged us here. The reconfiguration of large numbers of machines
has been discussed in [Manning93, Riddle94, Shaddock95]. "Forklift"
upgrades of new hardware [Harrison92] share some but not all of the
problems we faced in our move. Implementation of new networking
topology without the problems or schedules imposed by physical
relocation has been discussed in [Limoncelli97].
We believe our
work is unique in requiring all these tasks to happen on a large scale
in a relatively short time. We were allocated only one workday in
addition to a weekend to shutdown and relocate our computing
environment. We were expected to have a fully functioning network at
our new location the following Monday. Ordinarily the complete
reconfiguration of a network this size would be a challenge in itself.
For our project, we had to account for the time required to disconnect
and pack machines, load them into trucks, transport them across town,
unload, and reconnect them at the new building. As we will detail, the
resulting window of time available to handle the reconfiguration of
all these machines was very small.
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