This is part 1 of a multi-part series of blog posts about the COLO move we made last Sunday. Part 1 is just the all staff email I sent to our staff about the change. Normally my all staff emails are pretty brief and to the point, but I decided to be more verbose about this change since it was so monumental. Parts 2 and beyond will have more juicy details and specifics about the project. Happy reading!
Beloved staff friends,
Just a heads up that tomorrow/Sunday afternoon we're making one of THE largest IT transitions in GCC's history … and hopefully you'll hardly notice it at all :-) What cha doin'? Well, we're moving the bulk of all our servers and storage gear to a state of the art Data Center/Colocation Center (aka the COLO) at Union Station in downtown South Bend! (yes, across the street from The Cove)
Uh, dude? Wha??? It's a long story that started last Spring and has some fun God stories :-) The short of it is we now have space in … get this … the same facility that houses the Notre Dame Supercomputer Cluster, some of the Amazon.com servers, and many other large companies local and US. We also have a dark fiber connection from Union Station to GCC (think of it as a really flippin' long network cable) which will make accessing GCC servers no different really than if they're housed at GCC. Cool eh? You've actually already been using the dark fiber and some of our gear already at the COLO. Our uber fast internet connection originates at Union Station and our email server was moved over there last Weds night. Booyah!
Why do this? We don't really have the type of space we'd like at GCC to house our critical gear. From security access, to backup power needs, to AC, to fire suppression (sprinklers and servers don't mix), etc. Union Station gives us all that and more … and we got a killer deal on it. Basically, we'll sleep better at night when storms roll through and tornado warnings go off knowing our gear and YOUR DATA is in a secure hardened building with lots of redundancies.
So after months of planning, late night work at GCC and Union Station (aka the COLO) we're finally ready to move most of our gear…and yes we are excited!!!
What stays at GCC? A few things will stay at GCC like the bookstore/café server, print server, and filezilla (aka the media drive). These, along with internet access, will remain available while we're moving stuff downtown.
So after the last expo is over (1pm-ish) we'll start powering down all the servers that are moving. You still get email access during this time.We then CAREFULLY unrack, box and load the gear for drive over to Union Station. Installing the gear at the COLO will be the longest part as we have to cable things compactly and neatly due to space constraints. During this time we'll have to drop email access periodically.Then we'll power things back up and start testing systems. Begin the office pool now on what time we actually leave the COLO and head home :-)
We'll be live streaming much of the activity (because we're geeky that way) here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jpowellcam