Lisle Solution Center Network Refurb part I

Long time no post! After I became a field tech for EMC, my posting went by the wayside. Amazing how life goes, isn’t it? Well, just in time to not be a new years resolution I’m going to start posting some more stuff up at SMI. I have a ton of new stuff due to becoming Manager of the Lisle Solution Center. The LSC is a lab located at the Lisle EMC Office we actively demo from. It has a myriad of infrastructure from VPLEX to VMAX to XtremIO and software such as ViPR and VMware Site Recovery Manager.  The initial architecture is something that has fallen victim to atrophy that happens when we continuously build and adapt an environment. My goals when designing a network are really as follows:

Cleanliness-This is a biggie. Few like to work on a network that’s a rats nest and poorly organized, fewer still want to have anything to do with rebuilding it. This can be a big issue when service comes into play. Lack of standardization can be a huge issue. We’re actually going to be re-racking this environment at some point into a rack with better cable management (need power for the new rack first) so getting the base line in place is a big priority.

Standardization-There will always be some exceptions to standardization, but having it start to finish is a great thing. This means that when I’m done everything from the order the ports on the servers to the way the vSwitches are configured will have a method to them. This is also procedural standardization which means start to end certain things will be done with host adds.

Documentaion-Documentation is one of the critical steps of a build out that’s often overlooked. Ultimately I want the whole environment documented, but with networking being foundational it’s a very good place to start. Since I’m in charge, it will also make life easier on anyone who works in the LSC.

Lean-Less can easily be more. Some of the key purposes of this network restructure are to reduce switch count that’s needless and eliminate hundreds of feet of cabling. I know that there are many, many environments that could do the same very easily.

Reliable-Although redundancy of design is key, reliability to me is a few aspects. Reliability encompasses the aspects above as well. If you don’t know what goes where and can’t troubleshoot easily then it becomes far easier for human error to come into play.


Next time I will go over the initial environment, the resources at my disposal and the changes I’m looking to make. Stay Tuned!

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