What are the steps involved with setting up a Metropolitan Area Network w/ EXTREME Networking Products?

Posted on 2004-10-30
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Ok, let's say hypothetically we have 10 buildings spreadout over a fewmiles and we want to setup a "MAN"?  Can someone help me come up with somewhat detailed steps involved with the configuration?  You can assume that all of the fibre was terminated at one location.  

I am trying to help someone with a statement of work.

You can use whatever line of Extreme(or comparable products) you'd like.  I can give 500 points for your help!!!

Question by:HubTechnical
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    Lets add some ideas off the top of the head.

    1) Since all the fibre terminates at one site, this becomes by definition a hub and spoke design, the hub being the building where all the fibre terminates.  The inherent weakness is going to be redundancy - if you lose a connection you lose a building, so you might want to consider backup channels of communication?  Depending on traffic loads expected across your MAN, maybe you want to put in a secondary hub elsewhere of T1s or some other lower bandwidth method of maintaining a connection?  Obviously, you'd put this hub in a different data center in a different building.

    2) Spread out over a few miles.  Okay, was the fibre in the trenches multimode or single mode, ie think about carrying capacity/bandwidth expectations.  Also, how much redundancy in the trench itself?  if you lose a trench you lose a building, but what if you only lose a fibre pair?  How many pairs do ya have?

    3) Extreme is an interesting word.  What do you mean by it?  Extreme cost, reliability, supportability, familiarity, bandwidth, throuput, layer 2 speed?  Extremely nice looking cabinets?  (I always thought Foundry products looked kewl :))

    4) So for my network core, I'd either use something like a fully tricked out pair of Cisco 7609 Routers if I wanted to be traditional.  But I'm not a traditional guy.  So how about a intermixed layer 2/3 core with 4 (yes 4) Cisco 6509 switches with whatever the lastest Dual Supervisor Modules.  Run 10Gbit GBICS all over the place.  Perhaps 10Gb/s site-to site with redundancy? The core would make an excellent attachment point for centralized services, like a SAN or an AppServerFarm.  

    5) But I'm blowing smoke up your tush here, cause I have no idea what these 10 Buildings look many users per floor, how many floors, what are the local/intra/inter-building traffic characteristics  (if its just email, web servers/databases and backups, I'm way overdesigned heh heh).

    6)Back to dreaming, I'd probably terminate the MAN at each building in redundant 6505s for a small building of 6 floors (or maybe even something smaller in the catalyst-world) or a pair of 6507/6509s if it's a big building of 20-30 floors.  Try to work my LANS out to VLAN-in-a-box type of design.  It's a scaling issue, and the big question is does traffic volume aggregate to the backbone or aggregate to the local LANs?

    7) Back to the backup datacenter.  Is it lower bandwidth or some other schema that you cam up with and I didn't? :)  if it's similar in structure, then you build a similar center.  If it's T1 land, you use a 7613 (or a redundant pair of 7609s or somesuch).  

    8)of course, everything has dual power supplies, as much memory as possible, a STABLE Enterprise IOS version with the bare minimum of features you need.  All the datacenters/dataclosest have full UPS systems running on DC, etceteras.  You're gonna want remote sniffers and dedicated VLANs for that traffic.  Dedicated management VLANs. Etcteras.

    9) Okay, throw everything out and redesign for multicast (just kidding, this will hold up:))!

    Is this what you are looking for or did I just have fun at my own expense?

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Then we have to talk about the IP design, ie addressing and routing and such.  What are your 10 building doing now?

    Author Comment

    by extreme, I mean "extreme" hardware.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    lol....never used their product line, color me embarassed :)
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I'm going to go out further on my limb here.  I was a senior networks architect until December 2000, when I basically left the industry on medical disability.  Now, on the infrastructure side, I'm very familiar with Cisco, Foundry, Juniper...and more or less familiar with AT&T, 3Com, Airespace, Proxim....ya know, various stuff.  But I've never heard of Extreme.

    So I looked at their link, and they look interesting to me, lots of awards, interesting designs, seems like a decent shop.  Except.  This is the first time I'm hearing of them.  The vertical I was most involved in was financial/banking/investment shops, but I did other stuff too and I never heard of them before.....weird.


    Author Comment

    Can you give me the steps involved with a cisco solution?
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Well, you really need to define some of the architectural basics before I can be of much help

    1) what do these 10 sites look like in terms of user community size and what services are they going to want from the MAN  for instance:
         A) just connection at the server level for email and database synchronization or
         B) very centralized services, including Server Farms with Mail servers, Application servers, Intranet and Database servers, Radius and Security -  Storage Area Networks, Backup Facilities. Or
         C) more likely something in the middle?

    In other words, we really need to characterize the traffic to decide what equipment to use and how to populate that equipment.

    2) Physical architecture also plays a role: you need to size out the space because you have equipment racks going in (and how much equipment depends on #1, and patch bays and the room UPS, desks for operators and techs, what  have you.  Will operatilons be in the same room as the MAN or in a different room?  Same floor?

    3)What kind of networks are we connecting up to the MAN?  Do they use consistent IP addressing?  are we transporting other protocols besides IP, such as sna or netware or appletalk or vines?  What about routing protocols in use?  Do we extend a sane routing topology already in use or do we have to do crazy things to hide IP addresses and aggregate routes into a different protocol or something else?

    I'm trying to say you just can't sit down and write an SOW out of thin air, we really need to define some basics.  And some form of this process has to happen at all 10 buildings, because the MAN has a presence in all these places.


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