DSL Lives! It Liiiives!

Whew. My DSL is back and, more importantly, my servers are back too. It took some doing, though.

After getting home from Tahoe, I took a trip to Fry’s a picked up a DSL gateway for about $90. Getting the basic internet connection took only a few minutes: I was able to get online both wired and wirelessly easily enough.

Unfortunately, while my servers were technically online, none of the services were working because they were pulling the wrong IP addresses: the servers needed certain public static IP addresses, and they were being given private (non-routing) addresses. I couldn’t find anywhere in the gateway’s configuration software to say “Machine A gets IP address A”.

It took another hour, plus an online chat with AT&T’s customer service, to get me thinking the right way. See, I was used to my old gateway, which not only distributed the dynamic IP addresses, but also the static IPs, automatically. I would plug in the range of static IPs I was allocated into the gateway, tell it “Machine A gets IP address A”, and set my servers to DHCP; for machines with “static” addresses, they always got that address, and for any other machine, they got a private address, and the gateway did the right thing internally.

The replacement gateway isn’t that sophisticated. It could handle either static IPs or dynamic IPs, but not both. Turns out I needed to set it up with just the range of static IPs I was allocated by AT&T, and plug those numbers into my servers manually (the way you’re supposed to do it!); there was no way to handle both static, public IPs and dynamic, private IPs.

Once I got that figured out, I was able to get everything back up in relatively short order. It feels good to have my servers back.

Next up, putting in a router behind the DSL gateway so I can get my non-server machines online quickly if my cable connection fails. Maybe I’ll buy one of Apple’s new 802.11n Airport base stations.