Yesterday marked the end of one of the most stressful work weeks I can ever remember. We were planning to start using our main software system on Tuesday, but technical problems reigned supreme. One critical piece of the application we’re using is its ability to communicate to a certain 3rd party’s software system through a secured VPN connection over the Internet. Unfortunately, the Cisco hardware we purchased for this purpose didn’t work reliably, causing all sorts of weird transmission problems that were very difficult to troubleshoot.

After two full days of testing and lots of phone calls, we called CDW and had a Cisco 871 router shipped to us overnight based on a recommendation from the technical staff of the 3rd party we were trying to connect to. It was delievered early Thursday morning, but had to be completely erased and reconfigured, a process that took a very long time. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not exactly all that easy either. Thankfully, I took several weeks of Cisco training when I first started working for EduTech, and even took the CCNA certification test three years ago (I was just a few points short of passing). So, while it’s been a few years, the training came rushing back quickly once I got started.

Early Friday morning, I finally got everything completely configured with some remote assistance. With our VPN connection established, we were finally able to start testing and sending transactions. The week-long atmosphere of stress and frustration instantly changed when we confirmed that everything was working perfectly. It was a great way to end the week, and will let us start again next Monday on a good note!