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Working life
By technician (Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:35:41 PM EST) (all tags)
of things.


So here I am at work, the only IT guy in the joint, waiting for the inevitable interruption.  Time was, the interruptions were easy to deal with; the company had 70 people, two IT guys who were more or less full time, and savvy users with deep understanding of the limitations our technology infrastructure faced due to time, cash, and security. In three years we've added 100 people and 200 devices, we've started rolling out a whole new data center with new servers, new OS support levels, and finally a real SAN, we added in row cooling and extra power, two 10000-series UPSs, a new firewall, and the whole thing is shaping up to be an enterprise-level data center with two glaring exceptions:

1) we're a tiny company.  This is something everyone here forgets.
2) we only have two full time admins.

That last bit is annoying.  We have me and C, and though C is worth two people in sheer horsepower and hours worked, it would be a far, far better thing to have more people.  There are problems with this, though...see, we're fully staffed.  Just not with system admins.  We have one guy who is part time IT and part time Facilities Maintenance (AC, electrical, and everything else) who has entry level tech skills.  He does OOB on new systems.  We have one guy who is part time IT and part time Lab Manager.  He's a Solaris admin but not very much, and he's probably never going to be part time I, since the labs require a full time manager.  We have my old boss now co-worker S, who is part time (two full time days a week, a few hours on other days) as he transitions from his IT career to a new career outside of IT.  And we have our manager, B, who is a manager.  He's probably the most technically proficient among us, but he's swamped with minutia that he brings on himself.  Right now he's in a facilities meeting helping to drive the new first floor build out as we take more space in the building.  Does that sound like something IT should be doing?  We should be involved, not running it.

So, myself and C are the only two full time IT people.  We can't hire anyone else because we're fully staffed.  My workdays used to be monday thru sunday, 6am to 10pm.  Now I'm Monday thru Saturday, 9am to 6:30-ish unless I'm on call.  So that has improved.  And with all the added power and cooling, last summer will remain a distant evil nightmare that had better not ever happen again, ever.

We are a tiny company, but we push more data than companies five times our size.  How many IT people can safely say that their six 4000-series switches run at 80 percent with only 170 users?  How many companies have up to a terabyte of data per functional group?  How many people does it take to normally push 100TB across a LAN in the course of a workday?  Because we can do it with half our people missing, sick, or dead.

My projections last year were that we'd need 10TB of SAN and up to 10TB of "localized" distributed storage.  We just bought a 20TB SAN that will need a second shelf of drives next year, because we're at 18TB. Our decentralized "local" storage is roughly 15TB.  I suspect we'll need a petabyte in the coming year.  We can't back it up, so we're only backing up the stuff that is critical.  8TB of data backed up every 24 hours..and by that I mean, our two libraries of tapes run 24 hours a day.

And here I am.  Gettng interrupted in my interrupt driven job.  I have to go fix a Linux display issue (gee THANKS ATI for keeping me employed another hour!) and then maybe I'll take lunch at 1500 or 1600.

Bah.
< I decided to take a day off. | Tuesday is the new Monday >
Handfuls | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
do you enjoy it? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:03:11 PM EST
do they pay you well enough for it ?

I enjoy by technician (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:19:09 PM EST
aspects of it, but it is slowly turning into a very different thing than I'd like.

I do get paid pretty well.


[ Parent ]
speaking of which: by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #2 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:17:11 PM EST
this girl next to me on the bus has some magical quivering titties. OMG

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Do they grant wishes? by technician (4.00 / 3) #4 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:19:39 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Yeah by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:22:29 PM EST
Please let me see some magical quivering titties.


[ Parent ]
Another superpower by technician (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:24:58 PM EST
made useless by the internet.

Oh internet, is there anything you cannot bring us?


[ Parent ]
Sadly, I cannot discretely take pics. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:28:05 PM EST
Also, it would be WRONG.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Don't be discrete by me0w (4.00 / 2) #10 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:29:27 PM EST
Girls love that shit.


"the only reason we PMS is because our uterus is screaming at our brain to go out, get fucked, and have a baby ... and it makes us angry."

[ Parent ]
I can't look away! by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:31:17 PM EST
This pervy moment is sponsored by Jesus and the Mobile Intarwebs.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Don't bother looking away. by me0w (4.00 / 2) #12 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:33:14 PM EST
In this situation I would ask, "What would Jebus do?" Jebus would tell me to continue looking.


"the only reason we PMS is because our uterus is screaming at our brain to go out, get fucked, and have a baby ... and it makes us angry."

[ Parent ]
I certainly fucking hope so. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:26:22 PM EST
I've been wishing they'd pop out and chat me up at each and every pothole.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
buses and trains by anonimouse (4.00 / 2) #16 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:56:25 PM EST
bring out the best in boobies.

I saw a similar pair on the way to work yesterday, but unfortunately whenever I looked for a close examination, so did she....


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
I'm sitting at my desk .. by me0w (4.00 / 2) #8 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:27:33 PM EST
Surrounded by shit I have to do, and really I'm just fucking the dawg until I feel I should leave.


"the only reason we PMS is because our uterus is screaming at our brain to go out, get fucked, and have a baby ... and it makes us angry."

I have a set by technician (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:47:16 PM EST
of discreet and annoying tasks that are actually...get this...tied around my neck.  We get these little laminate badges that signify our physical areas of responsibility, and today I inherited two labs and a secret closet.

I can't leave until those three spaces are empty of people, properly shut down, and properly secured.  So hopefully by 6:30 I'll be leaving?  Maybe?


[ Parent ]
point yer gun at 'em by sasquatchan (4.00 / 2) #19 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:36:02 PM EST
and tell 'em the store's f'in closed, GTFO.

[ Parent ]
more seriously.. by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 10:28:58 AM EST
Isn't that the job of the security officer, not the IT guy ? I mean, they can train you to be a security officer, but man, I don't know anyone who'd want that job .. The audits aren't fun either..

[ Parent ]
Sort of, by technician (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:46:28 AM EST
in that I have to engage and shut down systems deemed too complex for that paygrade.  But any of us (literally any of us) can be saddled with the responsibility...it just often ends up being me, my manager, or the other guy who stays past 6pm.

It is a very strange place, for sure.


[ Parent ]
That should be security's job, not IT's. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #25 Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 03:47:02 PM EST


[ Parent ]
We don't have the by technician (2.00 / 0) #26 Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:38:05 PM EST
"not my job" thing here.


[ Parent ]
Wow. by chuckles (4.00 / 1) #13 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:21:45 PM EST
You guys move a lot of pr0n.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
Only a tiny, tiny amount of it by technician (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:44:31 PM EST
is pr0n. The rest of it is everything everyone else says on a cell phone in the United States.


[ Parent ]
The silkworms we bought in China by chuckles (4.00 / 2) #17 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:59:11 PM EST
are ready to be given as gifts to the infidels, inshallah. Hopefully no one in the higher echelons of the infidels reads this message and spoils the surprise.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
Funny thing is by technician (4.00 / 2) #18 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:10:42 PM EST
chaff like that is easily filterable based on the selectively high frequency of catchphrases.

Use only one or two in context to really get the black SUVs interested.


[ Parent ]
curious by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #20 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:58:41 PM EST
Why do you do backups via tape? Is that actually the best approach? (I'm all concept and no execution, so I really don't know.)

I'm having an ambivalent relationship with interruption vis-a-vis work, lately. Some of it is good, and necessary, but I'm also losing the ability to do anything between interruptions. Sometimes I find myself wondering why there is not a blinking neon SOMETHING in my face right now, and trying to remember what to do in such situations.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

tape backups by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 2) #21 Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 09:35:30 PM EST
tape is still the cheapest way to do backups.  tapes hold a TON of information these days (i'm 2 years out of the biz, so i can't remember the numbers but it's in the neighborhood of 1 TB/tape).  tapes can also be moved to a better location, easily - you don't want your backups in the same physical location as your data.  better yet, you can have 1 set of tapes here and another there.  tapes are also cheap to buy, cheap to replace, and cheap to run - they don't cost anything in cooling or electricity when they're not in use (disk drives taht you aren't using still use electricity and make heat).

[ Parent ]
Yes by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 07:50:26 AM EST
I'm way behind the times with my 320GB tapes.  Stuffing tapes in a case is way cheaper than getting the bandwidth necessary to move that much data offsite every day. 

[ Parent ]
Handfuls | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback