August, 2011:

Eaton Service Visit

We have an unplanned Eaton service visit today at 17:00 UTC-8. There was an odd behavior with the UPS the resulted in a utility feed side breaker trip, so we’re having them come inspect the equipment, download logs, etc. The result was that the affected UPS ran on battery for about 5 minutes while we investigated and reset the utility feed breaker; there was no impact to our facility operations.

This event is a good example of where batteries have an advantage over a flywheel system. Since the input breaker tripped, the UPS was relying on its DC supply (whether it’s batteries or flywheels) to support the protected load. A flywheel would not have lasted the 5 minutes it took us to check everything. Flywheels, of course, have a lower long term maintenance cost since batteries are consumable items that need to be replaced on a regular basis. The tradeoff is that flywheels do not have the run time endurance of batteries.

UPDATE: No anomalies were found in the UPS performance monitors.

IP Address Change for rollernetstatus.com

We had to do an unplanned change of the IP addresses for the rollernetstatus.com site due to chronic packet loss issues that were resulting in excessive false pages from NagiosĀ  (typically during the early morning hours). The VPS host says this should fix the problem, so we’ll see.

  • IPv4 176.58.89.17
  • IPv6 2a00:dd80:3c::1e

UPDATE: So far it’s been well behaved without the false pages.

Now Running PowerDNS 3.0 for Primary DNS

As previously mentioned, we planned to upgrade to PowerDNS 3.0 to support some outstanding requests. We’re pleased to announce that this upgrade has been completed. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Yes, We Have a Whole Facility UPS

We’ve given a surprising number of tours lately for colocation where one of the questions brought up was whether or not we provide UPS power to the racks. The simple answer is yes: Roller Network maintains and provides facility-wide UPS power. There is no requirement for a colocaiton customer to provide their own UPS. It’s actually our site policy that all switchgear, batteries, and UPS systems must be isolated in the electrical room separate from other equipment.

Apparently the motivation behind this question is that many of our local competitors do not provide UPS power for colocation. Well, we do, and we see it as part of our job in providing colocation services. If you have to maintain your own UPS and batteries, why colocate in the first place?

RollerNet Wireless Internet in Reno/Sparks

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to set up a radio tower to help out a tenant in a building situated in an industrial area about 6 miles north of us that’s under the same ownership as the building we lease space in. The area has extremely limited options for internet access – pretty much dialup and DSL that averaged around 2.5 meg. So we backhauled our network to them, set up a Metro Ethernet POP, and put up some sector antennas while we were at it. Although this isn’t something we originally set out to do, it’s well within our resources and skills to bring the same “rollernet experience” to internet access. This also allows us to offer some nifty features not normally found at your run-of-the-mill wireless ISP. Roller Network wireless features per-endpoint VLAN separation, native dual-stack IPv6, routed subnets (IPv4 and IPv6), static-only IP addressing, and even BGP peering/transit.

We’re not setting out to compete with the major incumbents in our area, but if you’re looking for something unique that a smaller outfit like us can offer we might be able to help. We don’t have city-wide coverage and we don’t plan to; don’t be alarmed that our Mail/DNS or colocation customers will receive anything less than the level of service we already offer. We’re most certainly not shifting our focus away from what we’ve been doing with Mail/DNS and colocation. We have no desire to turn Rollernet into one of those places that tries to offer everything while doing none of it well. Our service area is actually quite small with only two POPs, but it’s working out extremely well for those who are using it.

So, if you happen to be in our area and you’re interested in something new, give Roller Network a try.