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1 localhost commented Trackback

LOL! This is very good! I have seen many variations on this, but I think this is accurate for the average lead admin.

2 localhost commented Trackback

Fred's 24 servers are running on Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition 32-bit. He had to upgrade recently one server's hardware, so he checked the IBM xSeries prices and found the IBM x3650 with two Quad Core Xeons E5355 running at 2.66GHz quite attractive regarding the price/technology level. He thought first of buying an x3950 with four Dual Core Xeon's, but he disliked the idea that he could not insert four Quad Core Xeon's due to the oldish motherboard of the x3950. IBM was planning to make a new motherboard which supports four Quad Core Xeon's, but he couldn't wait so long, and the price of the x3950 was totally out of competition with the x3650, it was way too expensive.

For the remaining 23 servers, he has tried to optimize them for performance, and also switched about a year ago to use Transactional Logging with a circular 4096MB log running in performance mode. He found that with this easy 3-minute tuning the servers performed much better with 8000 users. The single request burst performance however was slightly slower, but not really worth to mention, as the web pages still opened under 1 second.
He used to run all 24 remote desktops on one server, to which he also connected with the remote desktop client, but after several crashes, CPU overloads, occasionally disappearing Save menu, occasionally wierdly rearranging task bar, language bar, and language settings, and the disability to even access the lower part of the screen, he decided to ditch Windows Remote Desktop, and use VNC for all servers.
His boss thinks that it's too risky to switch to Domino 8 yet, and it needs also more testing, but he has been running Domino 8 since beta without any problems on a few test servers. His boss has actually no clue about IT at all, but he is a fanatic SOX guy. Fred heard about the Domino 8 database format: ODS 48, and it's performance benefits, and he can't wait for Domino 8.5 which will consolidate users mail attachments automatically. Most user's mailboxes keep growing and growing, and about once a year he has to send them a collective e-mail, that the new year is coming, and everyone needs to clean up his e-mail box from huge attachments.
Sometimes Fred has had problems with unexplainable crashes of his mail servers, and he tried to investigate the NSD dumps to find the cause. One time he was quite baffled that a Microsoft Visual Studio DLL was the crashing point, but almost by accident he found out that it was only a consequence because a Full-Text Index of a database was corrupted, which caused the unexplainable crashes. Since then, he has been trying to monitor the log files carefully for any suspiciuos Full-Text index errors. He would really needs DDM to do the Job automatically, but he has also asked a few Developers how big effort it would be to make a search agent which checks the server logs for certain error texts.
One thing is clear for Fred now, in very near future, he will need to make a new strategy about hardware and software. Domino 8 is a must, and Windows Intel servers just can't keep up with the loads. He was thinking of considating all his 24 servers into 1 or 2 IBM pSystem servers, but he wants to make sure everything will work, and perhaps also wait for the new POWER6 CPU which performs with full 64-bit architecture much better than the current POWER5 CPU. He has read some reports from other companies who consolidated 300 Windows servers into 6 pSystem servers. It would make his life much easier, the servers faster, his own response time also faster (since he would have only 1-2 servers left to monitor), improve the annual up-time of the server, make the users more satisfied, and last but not least to reduce the potential business risk of running unstable Windows servers.
He thinks he has a real business case here, and can present his upgrade plan to his boss maybe already next year.

3 localhost commented Permalink

Do they still make pagers?

4 localhost commented Permalink

Have you been following me around? The workplace sounds identical to mine ... except that whole template issue ... never done that :-) Oh, and I have cats not pugs.

I think the persona is pretty bang on.
Fred doesn't need to find much information, he knows his environment very well and is aware of the solution to most issues that arise. He participates in onlne forums to the extent that when he needs some knowledge he'll go looking there. Sometimes he posts questions or responses, but not often.
To monitor the environment, he may use custom scripts or a third party tool. He gets notified by email or SMS text ( which he reads on his Blackberry ) for the usual errors. However, in case of a major failure, the server operation centre will notify him immediately.

5 localhost commented Trackback

Fred's manager *thinks* he uses MSOffice, but actually Fred has been using OpenOffice.org for a couple of years and hasn't had cause to fire up MSOffice for months. Fred would like to roll out either the productivity editors or OpenOffice.org but he isn't sure which yet. Fred is quite excited about the possibility of bringing Office applications into his remit (he expects a decent bonus for delivering a $5 million saving) but he wants to know more about the administration requirements of a large scale deployment of the productivity editors.

6 localhost commented Trackback

Fred should modify the default mail template - it's where the value of Notes is most readily evident.

Our 'base template' has the following mods: - DUCS additions for CISCO (fred should have these IBM-supplied mods!) - ReplixFax mods (fax integration) - custom mods: + inbox is categorized by date (with totals) - but unanswered calendar entries float to the top. + we have a column that colorizes based on certain critera like "CMA Alert:" in the subject and the background becomes bright RED w/ white text, etc. + we have a column that indicates a return reciept is attached to email (a must have) + we have code that asks if you want to send the return receipt or not (another must have) + more.
Yes, it's a task to move to new templates, but if they are well-documented, the productivity gains are worth it and it's very straightforward - thanks to Lotus!
If you're really going to do a good test character, that should be part of it.

7 localhost commented Trackback

...see what you get for talking and typing at the same time?

Ms. Raven, if you have the power to fix the Website entry in my last post, I'd appreciate it VERY much, as it's both stupid AND revealing.
Now... the quest for coffee begins...

8 localhost commented Permalink

I think I should change my name to Fred ?..spot on!!


9 localhost commented Permalink

Fred runs his servers on iSeries, so that makes VNC kind of irrelevant. The rest is great. Though the dogs have normal dog names like max, jake, or buster.

10 localhost commented Permalink

I think the Pugs should be named: "Out" "About" and "Aye"

11 localhost commented Trackback

Wow, you guys are into this almost as much as I am! Thanks for all the comments. Some of these decisions are going to be tough-- can he run a few servers on iseries and some microsoft? or is that not at all representative?

Mika- the detailed thinking about strategy is wonderful, not sure how much I'll fit into the actual persona but is a great way for me to understand the thinking of admins...
OK, I'll have them make modifications to the mail template.And Alan, I really like the part where he thinks/hopes he'll get a bonus for helping the company ditch MS Office!
Charles wins the prize for the ability to compliment 3 of us all at once by wanting to name dogs after us, but also implying that the 3 of us are b**ches... :)
I must be more of a geek than I thought, because I thought "adminP" was a perfect name for a dog...

12 localhost commented Permalink

Fred has home-grown tools to identify inactive users, because the HR department don't seem to know (or won't tell) when people leave the company.

He gets frustrated when problems get blamed on Notes that are really caused by broken PC config/network infrastructure/server OS, but he still has to find the problem and explain the *real* cause to his IT colleagues.

13 localhost commented Permalink

Mary Beth, your image links are still broken; they go to https://ltsgwascl006.sby.ibm.com/..., but that server doesn't appear to be reachable from the Internet. The images work for me when I change the URLs to http://www-128.ibm.com, but it's a bad "user experience" to have to open the URLs in a new window/fix URL/press Enter/flip back to blog/rinse/repeat.

Not that I care about Fred's picture for the persona, but his DOGS...well, it's important to see the pugs. ;-)
Anyway, I work at a small company very UNLIKE the persona's company in many ways, but not completely different in a few.

14 localhost commented Permalink


Fred is a great guy :)
In my case it would be more realistsic if some of Fred's colleagues and servers were at another physical location in another time zone or three. This decentralization presents several additional challenges and opportunties for collaboration using the tools he supports.
Fred should also support at least some clients directly some of the time---some because they need his support and some to keep him close to the real world!
Fred does not get to go to Lotusphere every year any longer; he has to let colleagues go at least every other year (this is sour grapes but true).
Keep up the Great work,Bob

15 localhost commented Trackback

You're right Bob, Fred was quite disgusted to hear that Ida got the ticket to LotuSphere, but he didn't. As if hardware guys were less important than some wannabe helpdesk guys with an attitude towards development. He still thinks that first comes the hardware, then the software.

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