April 13, 2016


By Daniel

Imagine my surprise when the Dell guy said he wouldn’t be back tomorrow.

Apparently, when Dell’s project manager told us that he’d be available for three days, it was mostly for if something went absolutely wrong like a show-stopping hardware failure.

Imagine my relief when I don’t need the Dell guy here tomorrow because we’re done.

We got three machines migrated over with vMotion and could’ve snuck in a 4th before the end of the day. I was hoping for one.

I will say, Nutanix and Dell made this really painless, if slightly vague on some particulars. Like, you can’t mix deduplication and compression on a storage container. It’s one or the other. We’re taking dedupe because we work with data that’s largely already compressed, and we run a lot of the same OS. We also ran into a snag with their license server not being able to validate our purchase, which locks us out of RF3 redundancy (RF3 being something like RAID 60 as far as I can tell). It’ll get fixed in a day or so and then we’ll be able to start building a timeline for moving production machines. And the hot vMotion we were hoping for won’t happen because of a CPU architecture mismatch, so it’s gotta be cold. Which is fine, that’s some comp time for later anyway.

I’m like 85% of the way done with a very important slide deck. It needs a few more slides and some decisions answered, and now that we are out of the planning phase and into the doing phase I think we’re going to have a better understanding of our wants versus reality.

Some weeks fly by and some crawl. To get “over the hump” of this particular week feels like an accomplishment. It’s not often you deploy six figures worth of gear and have it go flawlessly. I kinda want more than a two-day weekend for that. But I’m banking those hours now, if I intend to take a proper vacation any time soon (or get properly sick any time soon) I need to not be taking these days off here and there. I might settle for coming in at 9 tomorrow.

I saw a former customer today, in fact I still see him as I write this as he’s across from me on the train. I do feel good knowing that I left on good terms with those customers, knowing that many of them considered me a friend in addition to being a trusted expert. There’s definitely an IT equivalent to the “bedside manner” that doctors have, the ability to put people at ease with words, demeanor and attitude, and it’s lacking in a lot of places. Customers will feel like their IT guy isn’t even listening to them. They’ll be afraid to ask for help because they’ll be met with a demeaning patronization. They will endure awkward silence due to underdeveloped social skills.

Soft skills are a big deal if you ever want to escape the helpdesk.