SYSTEM MANAGER’S REPORT 2015
The calendar year 2015 was another busy one for LION tech support staff. Beyond all the usual fixes and installations such as new PCs, Wifi Routers/Access points, Barcode Scanners, Receipt Printers, Printers, and just about anything else you can think of, we had some larger projects that I will briefly touch on.
On January 19th, Matt, Justin, and I went to East Haddam – Moodus to move them over to LION. I had the CEN point their DSL connection to LION and then we spent the day changing IP Addresses on all their equipment and installing Sierra, etc. They went “LIVE” the next day when they opened.
Over the course of the year, 3 more libraries had Comcast install their free Internet. I then updated their routers to newer ones that could accommodate VLAN’s. I was then able to make it so all Internet Traffic would go out Comcast and only Sierra Traffic would use the CEN DSL. This greatly improves Sierra performance and practically eliminates those periods where Sierra comes to a crawl due to Internet Traffic.
Those 3 libraries were Haddam, Old Saybrook, and Old Lyme.
I worked with the CEN and PSDN (Public Safety Department Network) to get Woodbridge Town Library up on Fiber. This was a unique challenge as we had never done it over a PSDN line and there is only one fiber pair between the Police Department (where the Fiber comes in to the area) and the Library. After several false starts, bad fiber pair between buildings and PSDN misconfigurations, we were able to use Virtual LANS to bring a 100 Mbps Staff Connection and a 100 Mbps Public Internet Connection to the library.
They went LIVE on the Fiber July 31st, 2015.
The biggest challenge we faced this year was getting our branches off DSL and onto something faster and more reliable. We decided to apply for E-Rate funding so we had to go out to bid. We had countless meetings and phone calls with the likes of Comcast, Frontier, Carousel, and Earthlink.
After much discussion, we decided on going with Comcast High Speed Internet (100 Mbps) and using an Always On VPN to connect to LION. After much investigating, I choose to go with Sophos brand equipment for the VPN hardware. I spent a couple weeks going to all the branches and installing and setting up the new equipment. Some branches were more challenging than others as special requirements forced me to be “inventive” on the configurations. I am proud to say that it has worked extremely well as a replacement for the DSL. The branches were Yalesville, Ora Mason, Piantino, Gales Ferry, Stony Creek, and Ivoryton.
E.C. Scranton Memorial Library switched their Tech Support from the Town to LION this summer. We installed a New High Speed Internet Connection from Comcast to replace the slower Town connection. It took some doing to get their e-mail and web site switched to LION servers but they are now cut over completely.
I attended several Workshops this year. The CEN Membership Meeting was held on May 15th. With 2 keynote speakers and multiple breakout sessions, it was a very informative meeting. The meeting for 2016 will be held on May 13th at the Connecticut Convention Center. I am hoping to hear their plans for installing Fiber at the Libraries that are still on DSL. That will be 18 LION Libraries. Please note that attendee registration opened on Friday, December 4, 2015
In August I attended a Protecting Patron Privacy seminar. After that meeting I decided it would be best to implement HTTPS on our e-mail server. I upgraded our server, the E-Mail software, and installed a SSL certificate so that our E-Mail Server is now secured using HTTPS.
Justin and I attended a meeting sponsored by the CEN regarding Minecraft servers.
Several LION libraries also attended this meeting. LION members have requested that LION set up a Minecraft server for their Patrons. A committee was formed to come up with policies for use. Justin has been hard at work setting up the Minecraft Software on our server. The Minecraft Committee recently held its first meeting and with a little luck the Minecraft Server should go live in January or February.
The year 2016 should be another busy one. Middlefield will be rejoining LION with a Network cutover date of December 30th 2015, with them going live after January 1st.
I highly expect the CEN will begin moving the DSL libraries over to fiber sometime this year. There is a lot of prep work I will need to do in advance of this happening. The last time I talked with Scott Taylor, the Director of the CEN, he told me they talked to the FCC to try and get matching funds to do infrastructure upgrades and perhaps wireless upgrades as well. He also thinks that there may be money to do the branches. He is not sure when they will start because the Governor has asked that they postpone spending the 3.6 Million dollars that was earmarked for this project. I anticipate them starting after July 1st 2016.
Another thing that may happen this year is implementing (at least partially) IPv6. North America officially ran out of IPv4 IP Addresses on September 24th 2015. I would assume that the CEN will need to use IPv6 for any new installations, ie. when we move to Fiber, so we can expect a move toward IPv6 at that time. What does this mean? IPv4 had 4 billion addresses, not nearly enough for the world. IPv6 has 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses. What does this mean for LION. Equipment may need to be upgraded as old routers cannot handle IPv6. We will need to learn an entirely new format for addresses. Gone are the 207.210.128.XX numbers that you are used to. The new IP’s will look something like 2001:0db8:0000:0042:0000:8a2e:0370:7334
It’s a steep learning curve for us as well. It should be interesting as we migrate toward this new IP Address scheme.
Richard Widlansky / Systems Manager