July 11th, 2013


It must be the Yankee in me...

Click for larger image

This is our bone yard. Also sometimes called the "way back storage." Viz, all of our storage is on one side of our office area, so there is "storage", "in back" or "the cage" and "the way back storage". But I am digressing.

This side of the room is filled with Nortel ERS8600s, their power supplies and line cards. Back in the BayNetworks days they were "Passport 8600s", but the marketing clods at Nortel decided that everything needed a standardized name, so the memorable "Passport" became the "Ethernet Routing Switch". This is a mix of six-slot 8606s and 8306s, with a flock of three-slot 8603s. They have come out of service after six to seven years of core switching duty in our network.

The "eight-Ks" are technically obsolete. The don't support SFPs, only GBICs. You can only get 16 gigabit copper ports on a card (the 48-port cards are all 10/100 Ethernet, not gig), and they can only support one 10 Gigabit Ethernet port per slot. Surely dinosaurs in the land of cheap 10 GbE ports, 48-port 10/100/1000 copper and SFP cards, and switches with backplane speeds approaching 1 Terabit.

And yet, it just seems wrong to toss them out. They still have life in them - potentially lots of life. These things are tanks. I looked at one 48-port 10/100 card on the shelf and had a good chuckle seeing the thick layer of brick dust that covered the chips: it had been in a school that went through renovation and expansion. It had to stay running the entire time, and it did.

So they sit. And I ponder. The recycling area is just up the hall in main storage. But we might need these some day!