Redundant Connectivity for a Server Management Network

CPSC 550 Project
By J. Ryan Woo
and Mark Leonard

(Originally written April 2010)


Both servers and networks experience problems with configuration and ongoing operation.  It is the role of the network and system administration team to be able to determine the nature of these problems and resolve them as quickly as possible.  To this end, many organizations have deployed “management networks” that allow operators to manage their servers and network infrastructure without the need for physical access to the equipment.  In some cases, access to these management networks is provided through a VPN service over the Internet.  This begs the question – what does an administrator do if the problem interferes with connectivity to the management network?  Is the only option available to fall back to physical access to the infrastructure?  If your network connection is offline, how can you receive alerts about a problem?

The first goal of this project is to evaluate a couple different methods of accessing a management network without needing physical access.  The second goal was to establish a method of delivering Nagios alerts in the event that upstream network connectivity is offline.  It should be stated that on neither of these fronts is this document to be considered complete, authoritative, nor exhaustive.  There are no doubt many other methods of doing both of the above without using the methods described herein.

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The old standby.

This is a test post – I’m just trying to get the hang of WordPress.  In this photo, I’m working on replacing my rear shock.  You may notice the rear of the bike is actually suspended from the ceiling of the garage..

sv650s shock install

In the end, the shock was installed without too much grief.

My mom took the picture, and I really like the composition.