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In the last few months, we have been preparing and testing new network equipment and a new network architecture, which brings a high redundancy level, an increased data traffic capacity and an additional protection against cyber attacks. We are about to replace the network equipment in the Bucharest data center by modern ones.

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/@brett-sayles

The benefits of the new network architecture, which will be delivered after May 26, 2021, include:

  • Redundancy at all levels. In the event of a network equipment failure, the websites will still be uninterruptedly connected and available. It will allow us to also perform the future reconfiguration, without interrupting the availability of the VPS hosting services. The main routers for internet access are located in different data rooms, with an entirely independent power supply redundancy chain: independent UPS systems, different Diesel power generators.
  • Increased data transfer capacity. The servers will be connected, in the local network, to 10G + 10G data ports in active-active system, thus allowing a 20 Gbps data transfer. Moreover, the new main routers pave the way for future uplink providers diversification.
  • Increased protection against cyber attacks. This is done by means of a higher data transfer capacity in the entire network, through a higher number of packages per second and through other protection services.

The maintenance window

In order to connect all the servers to the new network equipment, there will be an interruption of the IntoVPS services operation in the Bucharest data center.

May 26, 2021, 20:50 – 00:50 UTC: all IntoVPS servers in Bucharest will be disconnected from the internet and then connected to the new network equipment

To see the time in a different time zone, go to: http://bit.ly/buc-maintenance

We expect the hosting service interruption to last much less, but we have planned 4 hours to have enough time to solve any technical situation that might arise.

Several Hosterion/IntoVPS employees will be in the Bucharest data center to perform this operation, and their goal is to carry out a smooth transition, with the shortest downtime possible.

The other data centers where IntoVPS provides its services are not affected: Cluj-Napoca, Amsterdam, London, Dallas, Fremont.

Further actions

The technical testing has already been carried out successfully. In order to have the shortest downtime, we will perform all the possible preparation before the actual connection interruption.

The servers will be supplied with electricity during the entire reconfiguration and they will not be turned off or restarted, diminishing thus the maintenance window duration and the number of potential incidents.

We shall notify by e-mail all our customers, as follows: one month before, one week before, on May 26, 2021, the day of the operation respectively.

Since we expect an increased phone calls and support tickets flow, we will supplement the number of technical support staff available during this maintenance.

Technical details

For the people with an interest in the datacenter networking topic, we include here more information about the new architecture. We will practically replace all network equipment, including the ToR (Top of the Rack) switches and the main routers ensuring the internet connectivity. We will continue to use Cisco equipment, as we have so far, but we bring in a newer generation of devices.

The new architecture we built is less common among the VPS hosting providers and it consists of spine-leaf topology with technologies such as VXLAN, BGP and EVPN . As we have mentioned above, the new architecture will be resilient to the failure of any network equipment, without affecting the operation of the services, and the balancing will be done through the ECMP (equal-cost multi-path) routing.

An interesting detail of this architecture is the fact that even the internal communication, in LAN, between the servers and the network equipment, also works through the BGP routers, not only the internet connection, where the BGP protocol is already enshrined.

This text was first posted on the Hosterion blog.

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