Me and a couple of friends have shared a server in a colocation space for
quite a few years now, but I've been wanting to rent a few more units
(unit = data center term for space, basically) to put in some network
equipment and do some other fun stuff with it.
However, based on what it costs, it just hasn't made sense. At all. But
now I've made it work out.
I've started a company with the goal of providing colocation services
myself, ish, but with some other fun stuff on top of it. Small services
that make a big difference. Like some network connectivity stuff so the
client doesn't need to expose IPMI on the internet but still have it
available, for instance.
I've got a client already, so the cost of this one-third rack (~14 units)
I've just gotten access to will be covered, and I can do all the stuff
I've wanted to do now! Amazing.
### Fiber fun
Today's goal was just to put in a router (Ubiquiti Edgerouter 6P), connect
it via fiber and see if it works. I didn't get quite that far though,
because even if I'm kind of comfortable in datacenters and working with
servers - including some network stuff - when it comes to working with
fiber and network setup datacenter network engineers work with I'm at
a total loss.
#### Assumption 1: SFPs and 10G -> 1G compatibility
First thing: When I ordered the SFPs I assumed that fiber modules were
backward compatible to lower speeds just as you can use a CAT6 network
cable for CAT5 speeds.
This is apparently not true. Not in all cases, anyway. There are probably
ways to make it work, but it's not as simple as for "typical network
cables". Why, I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it has to do with silly
things like physics and light and stuff. Right now I'm happy just knowing
that this is a thing.
#### Assumption 2: Multi-mode and single mode
So, SFPs and fiber tech in general comes in two types when it comes to
wavelengths, if not more; The ones I know about in this regard are
multi-mode and single mode.
I bought MM-modules, when I needed SM modules. I'm not sure what I was
thinking when I ordered them a few weeks ago, but maybe I thought "back in
the day" single mode was what was available (like when I cut and crimped
[is that the word for fiber? I'm at such a loss] connectors to fiber
cables in school 15 years ago). And MM was then newer thing.
Maybe I thought that SM was two fiber wires sending in one direction, and
MM was when one sent in each direction.
I'm not sure. Anyway, I got the wrong one, but the people working in the
datacenter were very kind to lend me a SFP module for the time being.
I'll make a follow-up post about what SFP modules I'll end up using.
#### End of the day
At least i got LC connectors on the modules, so I got that right. Ubiquiti
doesn't apparently sell 1GB SM connectors though, so I need to source them
from somewhere else. Brands are not super important for SFP modules as
I understand it, unless you're using something like Cisco, where they want
you to buy their modules. Juniper is nicer than Cisco in that regard,
according to the engineer I talked to. I'm guessing and hoping Ubiquiti is
on the nicer end as well.
I also forgot the rack mounting kit for the router at home... so... it's
just lying in the bottom of the rack now. I'm both looking forward to and
not looking forward to the fun cable management that comes later.
So my router is connected now, and running, anyway, but they discovered
a configuration issue they're going to fix tomorrow. I said no worries,
I'm in no rush.
Let's see if it responds to ping tomorrow.
Ps. I just want to write "SPF" instead of "SFP" aaaall the time, maybe
because "SFP" looks way to much like "sftp" (as in SSH FTP) for me.