2010/08/31 - Scheduled Internet Outage
Neotel and TENET will be making some changes to Rhodes' Internet connection this Sunday (29 August 2010), starting at 10.30PM. Their work is expected to take several hours, but in the worst case should be completed before 6AM on Monday.

Whilst this work is in progress, you can expect intermittent or no Internet access. You will likely experience this outage as an ERR_DNS_FAIL or ERR_CONNECT_FAIL error when trying to access websites. When accessing secure (https://) web sites, your browser may report that the connection has timed out or the site is unreachable.

During the maintenance, Rhodes' Internet connection will be changed from an MPLS link terminating at Neotel's point-of-presence in Cape Town to a Metro-Ethernet link terminating at SANReN's point-of-presence in Port Elizabeth. This is a revised version of Neotel's previously scheduled and attempted change -- rather than connecting to Neotel's PoP in PE, we'll use SANReN's instead.
This work has been postponed due to problems established during in the planning phase.

The intention now is to establish a parallel circuit, independently of the one currently carrying our Internet traffic. Only once we're happy the new circuit is correctly functional will we transition to it.

Work on the new circuit will commence during the course of Monday afternoon (30 August) at about 3PM. Whilst this work is not expected to interfere with normal Internet access, there is a small chance that it will. We should therefore consider ourselves at risk of an Internet outage.

Once the circuit is completed and tested, we may decide to transition to it immediately or we may decide to wait for a while. If we do transition immediately, it will happen at or after 10.30PM on Monday. Doing so will involve a brief (~ 10 minute) Internet outage.
Whilst Neotel completed their work without interruption this afternoon, it became clear that the new link was not performing as expected. After some investigation it was established that this was because it was still going via Cape Town, rather than direct to Port Elizabeth.

As a result, we will not be cutting over to this link tonight.

Instead, we'll be working on it tomorrow evening (Tuesday 31 August) starting at 10.30PM. This is expected to result in an Internet outage -- in order to correct the problem, Neotel will need to tear down our existing circuit to Cape Town and re-establish it directly to Port Elizabeth. The outage should last no more than two hours.