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publié le 1er novembre 2017 Beauté › Soins

Numerous phone calls with the CEO – still no action on shifting data centre operations, and I updated the company website homepage with non-504 contact numbers. We were struggling to locate all the employees.At 07:00 I get the word to come to Texas and set-up a new data centre. At 08:30 I leave Memphis. Then the fun begins.09:30 – I get a phone call from our office manager. She's in Baton Rouge but can't get a flight to Texas for a couple of days. The CEO is telling her to sit tight in Baton Rouge since they 'might open an office there' and she'd need to run it. She thinks they're going to fire her. She's got friends near our new headquarters she can stay with. I decide to pick her up so the boss can fire her to her face.During BCP discussion the topic of banking comes up. CEO says we're fine since all cheques are sent to our bank. I point out that our bank has no branches outside of the New Orleans area. Suggest we get new bank.

I spent the remainder of the day talking with data centres, Dell, and CompUSA.I was floored by the service we got that day: Dell offered to get us servers within three hours – it had customers that were willing to let us take servers they had ordered and wait for replacements.CompUSA (RIP) extended us credit on the spot and I was able to pick up 10 laptops that afternoon.We had a rack in a data centre that day. They let us in with a three month contract with the right to cancel whenever we wanted. It wasn't until a couple years later that I realised what a huge favour they had done us, when I was working for a different company it took us two months to nail down the details and they were total pricks about the terms. Even so, I still recommend those guys today.I worked around the clock setting up and shipping out new laptops, racing and stacking servers and installing Oses, then moving data from the remote location to the new data centre.Henry is heard from! He saw the hurricane was coming right at us and figured that he should take his boat out one last time since it was probably going to be destroyed. His boat did survive the storm with less damage than his deductible.

Amusingly, after the storm he was out in the boat looking at damage when he was boarded by the Coast Guard. They confiscated the guns he had on board. No idea if he ever got them back.Lots more tech support for laptop users. We keep finding more employees, only a couple of them evacuated with business laptops. Desktop support sucks.Got my new tape drive and discover that I cannot recover my tapes because there are no decryption keys.Remainder of the week is spent getting yelled at for all sorts of things I had no control over and a few I did (like the decrypt keys), dealing with remote user issues, rebuilding the corporate network. Job offers are pouring in from people that I used to work with. Everyone wants to help.Henry's brother-in-law is in the National Guard. He claims he can get us to the office so we can recover our computers. Head out to our meet-up point in Baton Rouge.Offices on the 11th floor. No air conditioning. The temperature and humidity are in a race to 100. Five hours of up-and-down stairs. My truck is overloaded with computers (heavy 5U Compaq machines that should have been replaced years ago. I know I'm going to end up transferring their data to the new servers and then throw these out). Had to replace the suspension a few months later.

DR stands for 'Didn't Realise'. 'Shit, I Didn't Realise we'd need that'. I've heard this phrase on every DR exercise I've been a part of since then. Make sure you have a plan to communicate with people. During a serious regional disaster you will not be able to call anyone with a phone in the affected area code. If you ever find yourself a refugee and have no idea if all of your worldly possessions have been destroyed, have lots of sex. Seriously, nothing beats refugee sex. I can't recommend it enough. Always evacuate with your booze. When I eventually returned to my apartment I discovered that three bottles of wine had gone bad in the intense heat. FEMA will not compensate you for this. Besides the wine, I suffered no other damage.Don't be intimidated by Jim's epic, dear readers: if you've more modest stories about what happened when the boss called at an odd time, share them by sending me a mail!And did we say thanks, Jim, for the epic? Seriously, what kind of awesome community do we have when a reader volunteers something like this. Give the man a round of applause, nice comments and upvotes!

The PC market had a horror second quarter, according to new data from analyst outfits Gartner and IDC.Gartner's blaming Windows 10 for the slowdown: the firm reckons buyers are holding on to their cash before the OS drops, in order to buy machines with Microsoft's new baby pre-installed. Others are holding off because the US dollars surge has enfeebled local currencies and pushed up PC prices. Principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa therefore reckons 2015 is a blip and that slow and steady growth will return by 2016.Let's hope she's right because Gartner's tale of the tape, the table below, looks ugly.Gartner counts “ultramobile premium” devices as PCs. Rival firm IDC counts two-in-one laptop/tablets as mobile devices, but even then has reportedly done its sums and found 66.1 million PCs shipped in 2015's second quarter, an 11.8 per cent year-on-year drop.Things are bad all over the world. Gartner says US sales were off 5.8 per cent, at just over 15 million units. EMEA racked up 18.6 million machines pushed into the channel, down 15.7 per cent, while the Asia-Pacific clocked 24.2 million units moved and a 2.9 per cent dip.

There's the odd spot of sunshine in Gartner's numbers, as Lenovo and Dell can at least point to increased market share. Dell can say it had the lowest rate of retreat. HP can try to make something of the fact this is the first time it has gone backwards, in terms of shipments, in five quarters.IDC's take on things is that Q2, 2014 saw a bump in PC shipments thanks to Windows XP's demise. Throw in the pre-Windows-10 pause and we've got this nasty quarter to contemplate.The firm also identified one PC-maker doing well, with growth of 16.1 per cent globally. That vendor? Apple, which IDC says "may be benefitting from some of the uncertainty around the launch of Windows 10, along with refreshed products like the 12-inch MacBook and a relative concentration of shipments in the U.S."Comment Summer is here and IT bods can rejoice because if users aren’t already on their annual two-week holiday then those remaining – the ones with kids – will be soon once schools break up in mid July.It’s the time of year when the heavy lifting side (physical or virtual) of infrastructure upgrades can be done without pesky users complaining about email being slow or raising help tickets.

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From my experience this is the time of year when I’d often see pallet upon pallet of new IT kit getting dropped off, be it servers or desktops. Even some “cash strapped” government agencies seem to be doing very well judging by the sheer amount of kit that comes in.Also around this time of year, projects get unbunged and the IT guys and girls can get their new kit landed, unboxed and into the server room and start to implement the hardware and software.Summer tends to be a popular time to do such upgrades in larger companies as there are no change freezes like those you see at Christmas for instance, where there might be a party and alcohol-induced lull in work, but you can’t take advantage by undertaking upgrades lest you incur the wrath of the Change Management group.It is not only physical equipment that comes through but also projects that have been gathering momentum after 1 April start to emerge and land on the desks of the IT department. The IT department becomes a hive of activity but how can you make the best of the time window available?

The tasks that admins can get on with really depend on the type of business involved. All said and done, it comes down to the question of are you a “shutdown friendly” type of business. Some larger factories and educational establishments tend to fall into this environment and have an exceptionally seasonal client base.In academia, very few students tend to hang around uni on summer break and even fewer will want to use the IT infrastructure as beer, part-time jobs and the opposite sex hold a much more understandable appeal! Those organisation’s administrators can use this time to ready for the fresh onslaught of undergraduates wanting to login and start using (or abusing) the infrastructure come September.Obviously as hardware gets older, the platform needs to be migrated to newer, faster and usually cheaper infrastructure than the original hardware. Lower system usage levels means less time is required to do the migration due to that extra bit of available capacity.

It also means that time that would otherwise have been used supporting user requests can be better used to push these hardware refresh projects out the door and make their admins lives easier.This isn’t restricted to just servers either. It is prime time to replace storage arrays and other back-end components. The number of times that management have come to me and said: “Here is two hundred grand. It needs to be spent and invoiced before 1 April," are too numerous to count.Every year, without fail. This lump-sum purchase has sat around until we could find the time to install it – that often came during the summer lull.Interestingly, a lot of companies I have spoken to use this time of year to perform migrations from local infrastructure to cloud. As we know, cloud is getting bigger and a lot more people are looking to migrate there.As to cloud being a good idea, that depends on a lot of factors. It is also not just applications that get migrated but also email, in huge volumes. Cloud email solutions are becoming ever more popular, and are often seen to relieve a lot of problems from the administrators workload associated with local, on premise email systems.

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I expect to continue to see an ever-increasing amount of cloud mail migrations to online mail platforms such as Office 365 and Google Apps for Business platforms.Having seen and dealt both good migrations and horrific ones I offer a word of warning to sysadmins: the boss may well have made the decision to migrate, but it is your ass on the line. You need to make absolutely sure those accounts that are migrated to the cloud work as expected.This is why it is useful to have at least a smattering of users around to verify the procedure works for the rank and file. You may well have tested with “test” accounts but there is no substitution for testing with real honest-to-goodness accounts.The last thing an admin wants is hundreds of potentially knackered accounts meaning wasted migration time, bandwidth and resources, not to mention billable hours of sysadmin time to fix the situation, assuming you are automating the migration (and if not, why not?)Desktop refreshes are straightforward stuff, when done right. Before doing the rip and replace make sure you have a working procedure for migrating the user data and any user profile data across to the new desktops.Software upgrades are the most noticeable summer disruption for users and the business in general. It is more about the end user training and hand holding that is required (to ensure it goes smoothly) that's the issue. Users hate change. Disruption means less effective workers until they get up to speed.

This is perhaps the reason that most companies avoided Windows 8 like the plague. It was too different. That is, however, a different argument. For the first few weeks there will be many questions so make sure that the helpdesk are prepared to answer the questions.A pro tip is to give the users a two-page cheat sheet on how to use the new version of the software. Software upgrades tend to chew up an awful lot of business cycles so it is imperative that you have the infrastructure and personnel to make it work.A well-planned summer upgrade can save you a lot of hassle and issues with users who don’t understand that IT upgrades need to happen. It provides a time when work tends to be at a low point and you are able to get stuff done.But the important point to note that what ever you do now needs to be not just planned and executed well but extensively tested, too. Users coming back to a smoking heap of IT will not be impressed, and neither will the boss! The Airbus A380 has a range of 15,200km, but the longest scheduled commercial flight using the aircraft is the 13,804km Dallas (USA) to Sydney (Australia) jaunt flown by Australia's Qantas.Heading from Oz to the USA, the trip takes just 15 hours and 35 minutes, which at only about an hour longer than a Sydney-Los Angeles flight is worth it because connections to the East coast are shorter from Dallas than they are from LA.

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