Prepare For and Recover From Winter Network Outages

It’s not technically winter yet, but ice and snow storms are already hitting many areas of North America hard! You may remember this article from last year, but we decided to post it again because we are receiving a number of weather-related calls, and this info is still timely and important.

Take these proactive steps today and you can quickly return to business as usual, instead of being down and out for an extended period due to storm damage.

 

Know your equipment.

  • Know the location of and be able to identify your networking equipment. This includes the switch, the router (usually a SonicWALL), the internet service provider’s (ISP) device (usually a modem), and, of course, the AS/400.
  •  Be familiar with the front panel of the AS/400. There are codes on the front panel; the normal code is “01BN”. The front panel may also be used to shutdown and startup the system.

 

Make sure the APC (battery backup) is fully charged and functioning.

  • The purpose of the APC is to provide a steady/even source of electricity when the power is up, and to provide electricity for a limited amount of time when the power is down. If the lights just flash or if the power is only out for short time, power to the connected equipment should not be disrupted.
  • In addition to the AS/400, you should also consider connecting the switch as well as the communications equipment (router and ISP device) to the APC. If the switch loses power but the AS/400 doesn’t, the network may still drop. Connecting the switch to the APC can prevent this from happening.


Have backup PEOPLE and make it easy for them.

Make sure several people are familiar with the basics of your network equipment so that there is always someone onsite who can take the lead when dealing with network issues.

  • Label equipment so everything is easy to identify
  • Make sure there is easy access to the equipment
  • Create a checklist

Keep a few  spare parts on hand.

  • An extra switch
  • A spare router (pre configured)
  • Extra Ethernet cables

The following section applies to our Keystone customers only. Please contact your specialized Business System Response line for outage recovery information and assistance.

If an outage does occur, what should you do?

1) Make sure the power is stable; you don’t want to try to bring the network, including the AS/400, back up if the power is up and down.

2) When the power is on and stable, make sure all equipment has power – router, switch, modem & AS/400.

3) Although the AS/400 may have power, it might not actually be running. How do you know if the AS/400 is running?

  • On models 520 and higher, the power light will be solid if its running and flashing if it isn’t running.
  • On model numbers below 520, the power light will be on if the AS/400 is running and off if it isn’t running.
  • If the AS/400 isn’t running, press and hold the power button for a count of 5 to start an IPL.

4) If you have determined that the AS/400 is running but the network is down – can’t access the business system from any of the PCs – go to the system console (a dumb terminal or a PC setup as an operational console) and follow the steps below:

Check for System Operator messages:

  • Type DSPMSG QSYSOPR on a command line. Answer any messages related to the DISNETWORK line with an R to retry.
  • Type WRKCFGSTS *LIN DISN* on a command line. It should be active, if it’s not, the network will need to be reset.
  • Work with the TCP/IP interface.Type CFGTCP, press enter and take option 1, Work with TCP/IP interface, then take option 10 on the DISNETWORK line to end the interface.
  • Type WRKCFGSTS *LIN DISN* on a command line. Take option 2 on the DISNETWORK line to vary the line off, then take option 1 on the DISNETWORK line to vary the line back on.
  • Type CFGTCP, press enter and take option 1, Work with TCP/IP interface.Take option 9 on the DISNETWORK line to start the interface.
  • Try connecting to the business system from one of the PCs. If you are still unable to connect, and the steps above didn’t resolve your networking issues, please contact the Network support group.

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