Work, work, work

I know I don’t usually talk about my work much, but I’ve got to say something about the last month, and what’s been achieved by myself and others. It’s been a marathon – if you’re not particularly IT-savvy, this may or may not interest you.

We’ve had to shut down and take apart our server room at work: 8 racks of servers and UPS systems had to be removed from our server room. The UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) units were the real killers – at least 50kg each – but they’ve all had to come out. And we did this in three days, labelling everything (including fibre channels), and getting the stuff out. Why were we doing this? Well, we now have a room-based UPS that runs far more efficiently together we a cutting-edge air con system that also heats certain rooms at work too. Both are designed to reduce our carbon footprint and power consumption – the server room is now drawing 10% of what it was! The three of us also got the server room back up and running within a week!

What else? Well, although I’m not involved directly with the move from Novell Netware to Active Directory, I am going to be helping, with my work to implement ZCM (Zenworks Configuration Management) –  a software deployment, asset management and desktop clone/imaging tool. I’m working on that as I’ll need it in place for the OTHER project I’ve to implement. It’s pretty much second nature to me now when it comes to using Zenworks – I’m NERCs “go to” guy for deployment and software installs after the Office 2007 rollout I did last year. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go on a course in London for a week which will enable me to use ZCM successfully. I wish I could attend the course in Edinburgh, but there’s only three running in the UK.

The next big thing I have to do after that is gear up to move CEH to Windows 7 and Office 2010. This is a big project: we’re looking at rolling out 64 bit editions, as 32-bit is pretty dated now.  Even agreeing on the flavour could be problematic (Enterprise or Professional?) – obviously those with large numbers of mobile sites like BAS are keen to have Enterprise with its BranchCache and DirectAccess applications. However, the latter requires IP6 – that’ll be another project away down the line! Its going to require very careful planning and the security implications of the XP Compatibility mode are pretty staggering – it’s likely that we’ll need to lock down that particular add-on with a GPO.

This is on top of my daily work which consists of the usual user support and maintenance – and I also have a video conference unit to build, a server array to repair/rebuild, and a field site server to upgrade with Fedora Linux!


Published by Bill Heron

Wannabe game designer and would-be author. I've been playing RPGs for over 25 years and have recently started creating my own RPG called Mandragora: Ashes of Freedom. I also run a number of RPGs: Cthulhutech, Call of Cthulhu, WFRP, and D&D. I'm active in the Edinburgh RPG community at and regularly play RPGs.

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