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Discussion Starter #1
Guess this is kind of a rant. I'm an information technology consultant for a state agency. Essentially my job consists of keeping over 100 Windows 2000 and 2003 servers up and running. I started here 6-1/2 years ago and the agency had 7 servers. That gives you an idea about the growth rate. During this time period I have done all the planning on where the equipment is placed and how it's set up. This entails checking existing racks for space and a/c power requirements. If no space is available, I order a new rack(s), have Facilities Management run new circuits from the UPS and have Dept of Information Systems and Communication install 24 pairs of cat 6 cable, and a new patch panel in the rack. I review new projects and order new servers of a suitable size to match the performance requirements of the project. About half of these servers are connected to a storage area network instead of having hard drives. I order and run the fibre cable from the servers to a director switch, create new zones on the switch, and create and size virtual disks on the storage device. I physically install the servers in the racks, connect all the network, KVM and a/c power cables and try to dress the cables so they look neat and organized. I install the operating systems on the servers and configure them according to the project; web servers, database servers, file servers, etc.

This is really where the rant begins. I am also responsible for the backups on all of our data. Why is it that management gladly doles out tens of thousands of dollars for new server hardware, disk storage and software, but don't seem to think that the backup systems require any additions or updates? I'm about to add 2 new projects that require 16 additional servers and an unknown amount of data. I asked for funding to add another tape library and additional licenses for the backup software, but it was turned down. Everyone agrees that disaster recovery is crucial, but they don't want to spend any money on it. My backup systems are stretched beyond the limit now. Sometimes one of the jobs doesn't complete until 9:00 a.m. If we have a catastrophic failure, guess who will be to blame if the data can't be restored.

Sorry for the complaining - I just can't get anyone to listen here and it gets frustrating.
Tom:(
 

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You sound like the kind of guy who puts his butt on the line for the good of the mission-and expects others to care about it as much as you do-most don't. When I've had supervisory types or customers refuse to take the reins and do their part-I just write up what, in my opinion, could happen-state the solution, and have them sign that they didn't approve doing it the right way---when the pen hits their hand-they usually capitulate-don't want the heat on them if what I say happens....don't know how you'd interface that idea with your corporate structure but it works for me. People will spend 10x the money fixing a screwup as to prevent it-that may be exponentially true in your situation-makes for grey hair and early retirement.
 

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I know how you feel rman, although not the same situation as yours. I underatand the frustration of upper managment stupidity. It drives me nuts some times cause most cases these guys dont know there head for a hole in th ground, but yet they call the final shots, Makes no sense to me?
 

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Hey! I resemble that remark, but am innocent!

I am an IT Director... Gone by are my days as a information technology consultant.

rman: Just bide your time... When the data turns to "scrambled eggs" and they can't recover the lost data, point to your well documented request and the "Disapproved by:" and shake your head, say "I told them so..." [8D]
 

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I remember, I just had set up a new computer system for my Boss and he was showing it off to his friends. He showed it to the computer instructer at college and he ask me what kind of backup I had. I told him and he said that any computer system is only as good as the backup. If you lose it you can lose everthing. I have always remembered that and backup everything thats important. I can sympathize with you on them not wanting to provide you with adequate facilities to back everything up. It could be a big mistake on their part.
 

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I would document everything and keep copies. What else can you do? I would turn in request for upgrades about ever two months. When the doo-doo hits the fan, I would bring out my request and see what happens. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No offense intended Mr. Nettles. Not all IT Directors are the same. In most cases mine is great to work for and usually does the right thing. For some reason, every director (6) that I've worked for over the years just hate to spend the money for backup instead of new tech toys. I'm just lucky I guess.

Everything I read lately emphasizes the importance of data protection and disaster recovery. It seems downright ludicrous that something this crucial is ignored. It's a good thing that I order every server with redundant power supplies, connect these to separate circuits and configure the servers with RAID arrays and hot spares. If it weren't for having very reliable equipment, this disaster recovery scenario would pop up fairly frequently. Unfortunately there are other types of disasters that destroy data regardless of quality hardware.

Well enough bitching! You guys are all correct. I document everything I do - guess it's time to start documenting everything I am not allowed to do.

Thanks for letting me vent, Tom
 

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Rman,

I know where you're coming from! Worked almost 18 years for the state of Wisconsin Dept of Human Services/Bureau of Information Systems. My last job title there was Management Information Specialist III.

I know all about how state bureacracy works. I don't know how it is in Kansas, but Wisconsin's works on a budget thats for a 2 year duration. The state senate/assembly cobbles together and spits out a budget every even numbered year.

Sooooo...... we gotta stretch that budget for 2 years! No emergency funding either!

I've often been left wondering just what peoples (managements) priorities are sometimes!

Anyway, I know all about what you're dealing with. And I have seen good people take the fall for managements bad decisions. So, as has been suggested, DOCUMENT everything! Keep yer own butt covered! (And yer head down when da poop hits da fan!)

Hang in there! Weekend is a coming! :D
 

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quote:Originally posted by rman

No offense intended Mr. Nettles. Not all IT Directors are the same. In most cases mine is great to work for and usually does the right thing. For some reason, every director (6) that I've worked for over the years just hate to spend the money for backup instead of new tech toys. I'm just lucky I guess.
None taken... I guess the Directors have not been through the "disaster recovery" process, yet! It only takes once, then you'll have enough funds for tripple the backups... Maybe one of your superiors has already been down that "path" and can share with the "text book" young guns that declined "best Practice" options that you presented and demonstrate the need for your recommendations... Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
quote:Originally posted by Ruger Packer

Rman,

I know where you're coming from! Worked almost 18 years for the state of Wisconsin Dept of Human Services/Bureau of Information Systems. My last job title there was Management Information Specialist III.

I know all about how state bureacracy works. I don't know how it is in Kansas, but Wisconsin's works on a budget thats for a 2 year duration. The state senate/assembly cobbles together and spits out a budget every even numbered year.

Sooooo...... we gotta stretch that budget for 2 years! No emergency funding either!

I've often been left wondering just what peoples (managements) priorities are sometimes!

Anyway, I know all about what you're dealing with. And I have seen good people take the fall for managements bad decisions. So, as has been suggested, DOCUMENT everything! Keep yer own butt covered! (And yer head down when da poop hits da fan!)

Hang in there! Weekend is a coming! :D
Ours may be even worse. Information Technology Services falls directly under the Secretary's Office, Department of Health and Environment. We have no budget at all. We fund projects using one of two methods. Submit a request to the Secretary's finance and budget bureau or receive federal grants from the CDC, EPA and Homeland Security. That's where the vast majority of our funding comes from. Members of the staff here are first responders in case of a natural disaster, nuclear power plant accident, terrorist attack (not likely here) or a serious, wide-spread epidemic.

These grants come at various times during the year. Usually I am advised that there are X dollars available and asked for quotes on hardware and software that I feel are essential. Most of the time this is one or two days before the money has to be committed. I scramble like crazy gathering this information and submitting it to the IT Director. Because this grant money is controlled by doctors or environmental engineers, the requests are reviewed by non-technical people. The IT Director tries to explain why we need these items and how it benefits these bureaus. If he isn't convincing, then the gee-whiz new tech stuff gets purchased and the practical infrastructure items get left out.

I will heed your advice:
1. Document
2. Try to keep head out of poop
3. Look forward to the weekend

YIPEE! Tonight is range night.:D
Tom
 
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