Plans For December and January
First, I'm going to finish reconfiguring the Linux-based catalog PC from Oscoda. It had some problems that are finally being addressed.
Second, the next round of software updates will take place the second week of January 2007. It'll be the usual round of minor updates. I will be at each branch in person; but eventually I will be testing the ability to perform updates via remote. The only stumbling block is that I can't WOL packets through Merit's routers yet.
Third, we haven't forgotten about moving the router and switch from the shelf on the wall in East Tawas. It simply hasn't been approved yet. The delay is due to a higher-than-expected cost.
Let me assure you that I have at least three legitimate reasons for doing this and they are:
1. Physical security. At this time, the equipment is out in the open. Unlikely as it may seem, all someone has to do to merely tamper with the equipment is to use a footstool to reach up and touch the equipment. Since we've had a full steel and locked equipment cabinet in headquarters for the past several months, this is an unacceptable situation.
2. Fault Tolerance. With the exception of this router and switch, all staff computers, servers, and routers and switches at the other branch libraries are equipped with Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS).
The purpose of a UPS is to prevent data loss and provide a graceful way to "get out." In the event of a power failure, our Internet connection also has power and allows any last-minute operations to be completed.
However, since the router at East Tawas has no UPS, when we lose power, we lose our connection to the Internet. Since our content filtering server is also located here, the other branches are affected.
3. Access. East Tawas Library and Administrative Headquarters share the same building. Our critical computer equipment is located in an equipment cabinet in the headquarters side of the building. However, the router and switch are located on the library side, which we do not have access to during off hours. If there was a problem that required physical access to the router to diagnose and the library was closed, at the least it would be a sizable delay; at the worst, we would have no access at all until the library opened.
So, I hope I've made my points clear about why we want to move this equipment. This is not merely an aesthetics issue, but a move that would benefit the entire district.