Monday, 9 December 2013

Catch up

Well it's been 3 months since my last post and, inspired by my friend's posts about his days working in school, I thought it was about time I put something on the blog.

It's been a busy few months and one of the reasons is I have sat and passed my CWNA. I am now a certified wireless administrator, and as a result it seems I have a lot more responsibility at work... but not more pay sadly.

We also have a number of new buildings coming online at the same time and the usual departments moving over Christmas (and expecting the magical elves to come in when the University is closed and set up their machines, phones, faxes and so on to be ready for the day they return to work). As a result a few of us have been working weekends to get all the equipment set up and ready, but even then some of the timescales are ridiculous. Not sure how we are supposed to set stuff up when the sites are locked for Christmas (?).

Wireless access points going in the Graduate School

Over 30 switches going in 3 cabinets in the Grad School

75 IP phones to be deployed

As well as the Graduate School, that is due to be completed 6th January, we also have a training centre that should have been handed over already but is still not finished. We have two cabs in there we are waiting to be cleaned before installing a further 19 wireless access points, almost as many switches and media gateways.

We are upgrading our main student study building to gigabit port switches and will soon also be trialling 802.11ac in there. We have been reducing the number of patched ports and saving money on the amount of kit required and the power that is used. This has involved some early morning work to avoid disruption as best as we can (this is a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year open building).

The Student Union has just had a £20million refurbishment that involved installing two new data cabinets and wireless throughout. After numerous problems with contractors we may nearly be there on completing the install for this one.

That almost brings us up to date, with the exception of all the normal day to day faults and jobs going on. However, we had an 'interesting' day last week. When the Union's decided to call a strike so we were short of staff the students, as a sign of solidarity, decided to occupy one of the main buildings on campus, forcing all staff to relocate and causing us to urgently network empty buildings and providing phone services, laptops, PC's and wireless.

I was also informed that the project to install wireless 'everywhere' by summer 2015 was actually expected, by some of our department heads, to be completed by the start of the next academic year. September 2014. It will probably involve deploying around 2000 more access points, installing at least another 2 controllers and somehow finding the time to survey every room and space on campus over the next few months.

Well, at least they're keeping us busy. I wouldn't want to be bored.

Forgive me if, over the next term, I don't post as often as I would like. For more frequent updates I can be found on Twitter.

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