Friday, August 15, 2008

The unappreciated

I'm both hyped and exhausted today. I spent last night bringing online a new email server and the way I did it was slick. I had a six year old Compaq ProLiant ML350 G2 that HP would no longer extend the warranty for so I had to replace the server hardware. And since this is the one & only email server, it had to be done in a way as to not lose messages. So I used snapshot technology from UltraBac to "move" the OS, apps, configuration, and data off of the old Compaq hardware onto a new Dell PowerEdge 1950 III. And damn if it didn't work as advertised! While the email server was down, my anti-spam server was "spooling" messages and waiting for the email server to come back online (so we didn't miss a single incoming email). Now I tend to over-prepare and plan to the Nth degree so perhaps that is why things worked out. The whole process took me about 3 hours (I started a little before midnight on Thursday evening).

Now what I did was hard because even though the UltrBac software worked as advertised, there were still configurations that I had to make. So when I came into work today, I was hyped but all I got from management was a blank stare when I reminded them of what I'd accomplished.

Being in Tech means that you will always be unappreciated - management types see technology spending as an expense ("as if we're reaching into their pockets and stealing money from their wallets") when it should be seen as an investment. Let's seen any modern business run without computers, a network, and access to the Internet! My philosophy is incremental steps as a means of steadily improving the infrastructure & tools used by employees and those improvements need to be thought of as investments, plain and simple. But to the un-enlightened management types, they only spend money on technology when an emergency happens because the issue is right there in their face - the best example is when a hurricane or other natural disaster hits. Disaster avoidance is my goal.

So I'm left feeling proud of what I accomplished yet unappreciated by management. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there that can appreciate being unappreciated.


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