To begin this FAQ , I would like to thank the members of the Avaya forum for their help in putting this together. This is a community effort to help others.
Planning out the serverÆs installation has to be the single most important place to consider on taking care of your servers. If this installation is done incorrectly look to have problems throughout the life of your equipment. What you do during the installation phase will be the most important piece of maintenance you will ever be able to do for your servers. At this time the equipment is NON production . Now will be the last time you can do with it what you want to without the possibility of downtime. I feel one of the most important parts of planning should be your power.
This is really where to start. LetÆs face it. We are telecomm people not electricians. The more we have to reply on someone else to keep our equipment up and running the more problems/downtime we can expect to have. Without power our systems are down regardless of what we do. The more redundancy you give your servers in the way of power, the less worries about the servers going down. With duplicated servers and gateways why not duplicate the power?
Avaya recommends that you install a separate UPS for each server. These UPSÆs should also be on their own circuits. Sharing one single 15 or 20 amp circuit for both servers and UPS gives you one single point of failure. I have my S8710 servers set up with two APC 1500 XLM UPSÆs. These units give me around 55 minutes of runtime each, have built in temperature sensors (internal and external), and you can set these up for email notification in the event these go into alarm. Each UPS has its own 20 amp dedicated circuit. To take this one step further I have two separate sources of power for these circuits. One normal power and the other emergency power with a manual transfer switch. Should their ever be a need to have an outage, I swap power to the other source. You will have to determine what you have available to you and what you can do within those limitations.
How can this be important? As with any type of electronic equipment dust and heat are the two single most factors in equipment failures. I have seen open 4 post racks full of servers, gateways, fiber and data patch panels and dust. Not having these installed in enclosed racks IMO is not the best way to take care of your equipment. I installed our servers in the B-Line enclosed rack with a 960 CFM fan in the top, and a changeable filter in the bottom of the cabinet. This allows me to cool our equipment with clean filtered air. I wonÆt even mention that this also makes for a cleaner, more cosmetically appealing installation.
One last thing in this racks section. Label every cable and devise now. If you do have a server or gateway go down, thatÆs not really going to be the best time to trace and find where your cables go. Label them now as you are doing your install and you will not have to trace them later in the middle of an emergency situation.
Now that you have these in, with ample power and in a clean environment you can now get to the actual maintenance on these units.
If you come away from reading this and do not remember but one thing remember this. If you loose your translations you have lost everything that has been programmed into the switch. This could be years of programming lost, so a good backup plan and schedules are a must.
While putting this together and asking questions from others here, it seems that I am not using the best method. I have been just backing up to the flash cards. I do have an every day schedule set in the servers and do these manually every week to a spare flash. But it appears the preferred and probably the best method is to use FTP backups and store your translations on and off site. In talking with the others that contributed on this, they feel about translations like I am on power. The more the better and do not take the chance in loosing these. After loosing just one week worth of translations once, it took me three weeks to get them all back into the switch. Having been there, I totally agree.
I also take this one step further and use a program call Utilcall. This gives me basically an electronic copy of all the translations in our switch. Should everything else fail, I can rebuild off this copy. I run this program about once a week and store a CD with the information in a fire proof safe out of the switch room. For more information on this product, go to their site. www.utilcall.com
Rebooting the servers
This is a question that has been asked since the servers were first released. Do I reboot my servers and how often should I? I think you will hear different opinions from just about everyone you ask. One person that helped with this is responsible for maintaining groupÆs of sites and switches. Their reply was that if they reboot the servers from time to time, they would be able to locate a problem and fix the server. Others never rebooted their switches. From talking with Tier 3 at Avaya, this is not something that needs to be done. This opinion is even from some of the people in Denver who helped the original designers of the servers.
It happens with every new release. A patch to fix bugs in a new load. Should I download this one or the next? I think you will find as many answers to this question as there are patches. IMO, If itÆs not broken then donÆt fix it. If you have a major problem and Avaya has a patch out for it, then by all means load up the new patch to fix your problem. But if you want to go to the next load just to do so, you could just be asking for trouble and find yourself with problems that you didnÆt have on the load before. If you are running a clean, trouble free load then donÆt upgrade until you need/have to.
Something that should be checked everyday is the alarms. If you find a warning now you may be able to fix the problem(s) before they become a Minor, Major and possibly even service affecting. So make this a habit as well and you may be able to prevent some of your major problems.
1. Install them correctly with redundant power 2. Keep them cool and clean 3. Make and keep your backup schedules 4. Patch only as needed 5. Check your alarm logs
Again this was put together with the help of our Avaya forum community. Without their input and help, I would not have been able to produce this.
Special thanks for their time and help phoneguy55 captainnick666 definityandcmuk lever And Friends In Denver