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First Light Milestone

It's been a multi-year, multi-million-dollar project, and the last few weeks of it have dragged on with one minor little piss-ant problem after another, but today we finally got our state-wide dark fiber network running. We have a fiber ring that stretches from the Chicago campus, through some "interesting" locations in Chicago where we can pick up research network and Internet connectivity, down to the Urbana campus, over to the Springfield campus, and back up to Chicago. We're still working on the design for the "real" layer-3 deployment, which will be a pair of interlocking 10 Gb/s rings on two wavelengths; the initial "demonstration" deployment is a "keep it simple" 10 Gb/s Ethernet star topology centered on the MREN facility at 710 N. Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, on wavelengths reaching linearly to the three campuses.

We got some pieces of this up the other day, but due to some mistakes the technicians had to go back to Chicago today to finish things. But the map is all green, including those switch boxes. I'm sure that now the directors will start insisting that we, like, start USING this for something, but I don't want to get too settled into this initial demonstration.

There still shows a fault in one of the two Urbana nodes; one of the optical amplifiers is whining about something that it shouldn't be, so the conclusion is that it's a bad part and the vendor will replace it. But hey, green map pretty!

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