Management link cutover

I’ve always believed there are moments in our lives which can be defined as a transition between the before and after, between the cause and the effect.”
Benjamin X. Wretlind

Many of you will be familiar with the after-hours or overnight cutovers where you make changes to your organisation’s infrastructure (eg applications, servers, networks, etc) while everyone else is blissfully unaware, curled up sleeping in bed.

But when it comes to moves or changes to management links (ie the links that are specifically established for carrying management traffic over your DCN to your OSS), it often makes more sense to do these changes during business hours for the following reasons:

  • During business hours, you’re more likely to have a greater number of support staff available and a correspondingly broader range of skill sets available to decipher and fix any anomalies that may appear during cutovers
  • Management links are often out-of-band, meaning that they’re isolated from customer links, or on separate VLANs (Virtual LANs), so changes “shouldn’t” be service effecting (not directly at least)
  • After-hours cutovers are generally arranged to avoid modifications whilst networks and servers are at peak load during business hours usage. Conversely, management links are often set up to have peak loads after midnight*, so cutovers during business hours avoid peak management load periods

* You may wonder why peak management loads might be after midnight. That’s often when scheduled activities such as inventory discovery / reconciliation, configuration checks, backups, file transfers and other bandwidth intensive activities are run. They’re often run after midnight because that’s when servers and network devices tend to have their lowest utilisation and will have least impact on customer services and SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

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