As part of our longer term effort to increase our network dependability, we have added a 4th c-Bridge. PNW-S is a “hot spare” which can become a stand-in for A, D or E within 30-90 minutes once the decision is made and it is implemented. If the tech team determines that a primary c-Bridge will be down or off-network for some unknown or extended time, we can change the personality of S to that of A, D or E.
This is not (yet) a perfect solution but it can be over time through a combination of repeater upgrades, DNS and some potential IP-IP forwarding (not yet in place). But it will enable PNWDigital to continue to provide some repeater and MMDVM services as well as BM talkgroup connectivity for a primary c-Bridge.
To help us to be able to make this spare to become a “hot swap” and as seamless as possible, all users, repeater owners and BM connections must use DNS addressing rather than IP. As an example, for PNW-D, all users should use pnw-d.pnwdigital.net:42420 rather than the IP: 126.96.36.199 for CallWatch or PeerWatch. Repeater owners and Brandmeister connections should use: pnw-d.pnwdigital.net, Older MotoTRBO repeaters do not support DNS directly while the newer TRBO repeaters and all of our MMDVM repeaters do support DNS. So for now, many repeaters will drop into standalone mode unless the owners choose to change the IP to that of what PNW-S happens to be (ping S to locate the current IP). Garage or low level repeaters might come back online if the outage is long enough that repeater owners wish to make that independent effort rather than wait for the primary c-Bridge to be restored.
Once the IP-IP forwarding can be effectively implemented, then the old repeaters with follow along automatically. We do not wish to use tunneling or other methods that create additional paths, latency, delay or break points if it can be avoided. Repeater owners may do as they wish to maintain or restore lost connectivity.
BTW: PNW-S CallWatch makes a dandy monitoring tool as it does not include most of the BM talkgroups nor that traffic. Currently you can see about 3 days of PNWDigital traffic on S, while A is about 12 hours.
As PNW-S is a spare it will likely be used to experiment, evaluate new c-Bridge software or even be down or off-network