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First ex­pe­ri­ence in net­work main­ten­an­ce: Switch rebuild

On Sa­tur­day, June 11, 2022, a net­work main­ten­an­ce took place in Wei­kers­heim. But it was not or­di­na­ry: among the main­ten­an­ce team mem­bers were also trai­nees and stu­dents. In to­tal, the team con­sis­ted of Joa­chim Rupp (elec­tri­ci­an), Ju­li­an Her­mann (IT spe­cia­list for sys­tem in­te­gra­ti­on), Ja­ros­la­va Re­me­za (ap­pli­ed com­pu­ter sci­ence stu­dent) and was led by Da­ni­el Bel­le (IT engineer).

The dai­ly sche­du­le in­cluded se­ve­ral tasks:

1. sol­ve cabling

2. re­mo­ve ob­so­le­te switches*.

3. check the func­tion­a­li­ty of new swit­ches and then in­stall them

4. to crea­te or­der, in­stall patch pa­nels (pa­nels with hooks, with the help of which ca­bles can be pla­ced in a struc­tu­red way) bet­ween all switches

5. res­to­re the cabling

6. check the cor­rect ope­ra­ti­on of the system

Ho­we­ver, the ac­tu­al work of the two trai­nees star­ted two weeks ear­lier. In pre­pa­ra­ti­on, the exis­ting wiring had to be log­ged so that it could be res­to­red la­ter. Af­ter a day and a half of work and se­ve­ral con­sis­ten­cy checks, main­ten­an­ce was al­lo­wed to get un­der­way. Screws were tigh­ten­ed and dust re­mo­ved, ca­bles were dis­con­nec­ted, sor­ted out and re­con­nec­ted. With mu­tu­al help but also equal dis­tri­bu­ti­on of ex­pe­ri­ence among the new­co­mers, the work was suc­cessful­ly com­ple­ted af­ter 8 hours.

For me per­so­nal­ly, this ac­tion was a won­derful op­por­tu­ni­ty to ex­pand my own le­vel of know­ledge wi­t­hout fear of ma­king a mista­ke, and still take on some of the re­spon­si­bi­li­ty. Ju­li­an and I had the chan­ce to try out dif­fe­rent ap­proa­ches to col­la­bo­ra­ti­on. In ad­di­ti­on to lots of jo­kes and fun at work, it was nice to work in an emp­ty office.

* The switch is a de­vice in the net­work tech­no­lo­gy, usual­ly in the form of a flat box with a cer­tain amount of slots for net­work ca­bles. If you have se­ve­ral com­pu­ters, espe­ci­al­ly in lar­ger net­works, and want to con­nect them, a Switch is wort­hwhile. This has not­hing to do with the Nin­ten­do Switch game console.

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