Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Year in Review

Since it's been nearly a year between updates here, I should point out what's transpired.

Most significantly, I was promoted to Director of IS&T Infrastructure Services late last year. This essentially means I have full custody of the teams responsible for all desktop, server, and LAN/WAN environments - in addition to our support services. I hope eventually to back-fill my position, but much of that will depend on organizational issues above my pay grade (to borrow a term from some of my former military employees).

We're returning to Dell as a customer, after being so frustrated by the behemoth of IBM that we can simply no longer deal with them. To wit, we're replacing a 3 year old BladeCenter system with three Dell 2950's configured to run VMWare Infrastructure 3. We've also upgraded our Network Appliance FAS-270 to a FAS-3020, including the addition of 7TB of new disk - a process that was a bit more turbulent than we'd have hoped; vet your service providers carefully. That should give us plenty of capacity, and opens up a host of brilliant DR capabilities which we're excited to pursue this year.

We've also decided to put literally everything we do on the table for discussion. Decisions to either change or stay the course will need to be defensible, but everything is fair game. E-mail, file and print, networking services, etc. It's very exciting actually. Exiting this process, we'll have full and complete confidence that we're doing what's best for the business.

A more exciting development is the uncertainty surrounding some of the systems which have been outside my control. I'd have been far happier if we could have made the sale so to speak, and fully leveraged the investment in our ERP solution - the reality is that we didn't, and I think we're starting to face that fact by asking "how else can we tackle the problem"? It's a great opportunity to get much more closely involved with the business we support, and that type of experience is what I'm very much looking forward to in order to further my own professional development.

Finally, it was a great shame to see Martin Buckley leave Novell recently. I certainly do not fault him for doing so, and not just because I've made his acquaintance. Novell has deserved every bit of the intellectual capital loss they've experienced over the past few years. They are an organization which appears devoid of new ideas, leadership, and increasingly, relevance. The few bright spots within Provo are growing dimmer by the day. Plenty of blame to go around, for sure - Novell represents a master class in how not to run a technology company.

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