What is an LOA for a cross-connect

LOA’s (Letters of Authority/Authorization) are a mystery to many.  We help many of our customers with LOA’s on a semi-regular basis.  If you are here you are probably wanting to find out what an LOA is and how to properly fill one out.

When you or a provider orders a cross-connect within a facility, such as a data-center, you have to generate an LOA that allows someone to run a cross-connect to your space from someplace else. This cross-connect could be fiber or copper.  The other side generates and LOA as well.

An LOA is simply a piece of paper with a few parts.  It usually starts on your company letterhead to make it more official. It states you are giving authority to the other party to land a cross-connect to your physical space.  Normally it reads something like this in the first paragraph.

The undersigned appoints ______________________________________________________ (“___________”) authority to act as an authorized agent to order cross connects to be delivered to YOUR_COMPANY (“YOUR_COMPANY”) collocation facilities.

Specifically, this letter authorizes ___________ to order services on the behalf of YOUR_COMPANY in order to engineer and deliver access and transport to the collocation designated below.

___________ is hereby released from any and all liabilities for making pertinent information available to necessary contractors and for following instructions provided by YOUR_COMPANY with reference to the following order:

The above establishes who, why, and somewhat the what and where. The meat of the LOA is usually in the next part.  This is where you define where the LOA is specifically going.  Most LOAs include the following information:
-Where your physical space is in the facility
-What cabinet or rack the connection is to land in
-What patch panel to go in, If you are not using patch panels you really should
-The port designation to plug into on the patch panel
-The type of media (single mode, Ethernet, etc.)
-If fiber what ends your side should be (LC,SC,etc)
-Any other pertinent instructions.

Depending on several factors you may or may not need to include all of the above.  Some data centers are totally hands off and just run the cable to a spot in your space and you are responsible for plugging it into your gear.  Others will plug into the patch panel ports you designate.  Others can do a full turnkey of actually patching it down to your equipment.  If they do this you will need to include additional information on where the switch is, what switch port, what cable needed, etc.

You may ask why can’t I just tell them what I need and they do it? Part of it is because the person doing the work needs to know exactly what they are doing. The person running it into your space may never have even seen your gear and set up before they get there. Secondly, it is a check and balance.  If you tell them to plug into ports 3/4 on patch panel 2 and there is already something there it helps to make sure your documentation is correct, and you meant to type the correct thing.  Thirdly, its a CYA for the data center or the contractor running the cable.  If you specified LC and the contractor put SC on it’s the contractor’s fault.

Lastly, the LOA includes signature, and title of someone who has been authorized by the facility on your behalf.  This is another check and balance.  Some LOA’s have additional wording about a time limit this LOA is valid for or additional notes.

LOAs are an important part of the documentation process.  Data centers are a place most people do not visit very often.  Having good documentation to generate a proper LOA is essential to things running smoothly.

Hope this helps.

MTIN is now a FLexOptic Reseller

MTIN typically is not a reseller for many product lines, for several reasons.  We like to be vendor agnostic and not chasing sales commissions on products, and we are not in the business of stocking product.

Having said this, we now have a reseller relationship with flexoptic.net.  They have optics you can code for a huge variety of manufacturers.  WISP clients will be intersted to know they support the following vendors:
-Brocade
-Cisco
-Ceragon
-Mikrotik
-Netgear
-Netonix
-Ubiquiti
and a whole bunch more. There are over 150 vendors supported.

The optics are coded with a product called Flexbox. The flexbox has several features to it such as coding, wavelength tuning of DWDM, distance analyzer, power measurement, and diagnostics.

FLEXBOX series - Configure Universal Transceivers | CSFP, SFP, SFP+, XFP, QSFP+, QSFP28, SFP28, CFP, CFP2, CFP4

We are working on some reviews, how-tos and other tutorials for these products. At the very least we are recommending everyone have a few optics of the form factors you use for compatibility troubleshooting.  If you have a device that you wonder if it is recognizing your optics correctly you can pull out this kit, code an optic for your device, and go on with troubleshooting.   Very handy for vendor optic issues.

If this is something you are interested in send us an e-mail for a quote on a starter kit and look for more information coming soon.

Helpful outages web-site for network admins

http://www.outages.org/

Direct from their web-site.

How to Report
By sending a tweet with any of the following hashtag/s:
#outages
#outage
#cablecut
#fibercut
#undersea

when reporting for a service outage. Once verified we will plot it on tracker.

For e.g. #outage #loc (street, city – location name) #start (time), followed by #back (time)#planned or #unplanned (if its a planned or unexpected outage).

Download the iOS/iPhone/iPad App “Ushahidi” and add http://tracker.outages.org/ to “Settings” to start reporting.
Download the Android App “Ushahidi” and add http://tracker.outages.org/ to “Settings” to start reporting.
By sending an email:
outages@outages.org
Click to View Reports

Send comments/feedback/feature requests tovirendra[dot]rode[at]outages.org

Follow us on Twitter @outagesdotorg

Help spread the word!

Broadband Applications & Construction Manual

If you are like me and enjoy technical manuals here is a good one from Commscope for you installers out there. It is a good overall manual, with some Commscope specific products thrown in.

From the manual
The Drop Cable Applications and Construction Guide is written for the cable installation professional who, due to the diverse services offered by CATV and telecommunication service providers, needs a quick and handy reference to practical installation information, especially in the case of retrofitting.
We’ve tried to simplify the decision-making process as to which cables to choose for what installation, taking into account factors such as performance over distance, preventing RF interference and fire/safety codes.

Drop_Const_Manual_CO-107145

MTIN WISPA Announcement

MTIN would like to announce some exciting new services for ISPs and network operators

The first is Midwest Internet Exchange ( www.midwest-ix.com )

MidWest-IX has created a peering fabric we are expanding to data centers focused on the needs of WISPs and network operators such as yourself. Peering can be a valuable, and cost-effective solution for your ISP. MidWest-IX has created a solution based around those needs.

We are tailoring and providing these services to the WISP community as a way of making everyone stronger. WISP operators need advantages. MidWest-IX can provide lower latency to content providers such as Netflix. MidWest-IX can cut down on transit costs through peering. We are also creating an ever-growing marketplace for members to provide redundancy, market goods and services to each other, and create a WISP peering cloud. We have many more benefits of an exchange listed at: http://www.midwest-ix.com/benefits.html

We have exchange services available at:

350 East Cermak Chicago Illinois
733 West Henry Street Indianapolis Indiana
401 North Shadeland, Indianapolis Indiana
900 Walnut St. Louis Missouri
535 Scherers Court Columbus, Ohio

If you are a WISP in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, or Missouri contact us on how we can leverage the exchange to help your business. Other locations planned for 2015.

Our next announcement includes services in several Data Centers.

MTIN in cooperation with Midwest Internet Exchange (M-IX) offers co-Location, bandwidth, peering, transport, and managed services.

Do you have a need for circuit termination, server/router space, or peering in any of the above locations? Let us put together a managed solution for you. MTIN can handle the ins and outs of cross-connects, facilitating ports to the exchange fabric, and other data center needs. A data center can be an intimidating thing. Let us take the guesswork out of it for you.

Services Include
-Bandwidth (let our experts provide unique and out-of-the-box solutions)
-Transport
-Cross connects and cable landings
-Off-site backup and DR
-Co-location (TierIV and basic Co-location)
-Connections to 3rd Party networks such as Internet2
-BGP Peering

MTIN provides xISP consulting and backend solutions. BGP, OSPF, routing, DNS, network engineering, and other services. Talk to us how we can put together a complete solution to optimize your network. Our Engineers can design a cost-efficte solution that fits you and your needs.

Contact us:

Web: www.mtin.net
Web: www.midwest-ix.com
e-mail: support@mtin.net
Tel: 317.644.2224

News from the WEB – ISP Edition

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/NewWave-Latest-ISP-to-Promise-1-Gbps-Speeds-130228
Add NewWave Communications
 to the growing list of ISPs large and small that are promising to soon offer 1 Gbps speeds — albeit to a tiny portion of their overall subscribers. The company has announced that they’re planning to offer 1 Gbps to a handful of rural markets starting next year

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/California-Governor-Signs-Cell-Phone-Kill-Switch-Law-130207
California this week became the first state in the country to pass a law requiring that cell phones include so-called “kill switch” functionality to deter theft, enabled by default

http://venturebeat.com/2014/08/26/intel-reveals-worlds-smallest-wireless-modem-for-the-internet-of-things/
Intel is revealing what it calls the world’s smallest standalone wireless modem for connecting the Internet of things, or everyday things that are connected to the web like coffee machines that you can turn on with a mobile app.