Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
Random Thoughts for a Crazy Week

Saturday, April 10, 2004  

Some weeks are overwhelming in terms of workload and pace. This week was no exception, with what seemed like dozens of meetings, presentations and quirky network glitches throwing everything out of whack. Note to self: check the release notes on Dell PowerConnect switches. When they say they need fine-tuning to perform spanning tree properly, maybe it's a good idea to actually implement their suggestions. It looks like their 5224 switch "acted up" and turned a solid network into a flaky one for a couple of days. Pretty annoying stuff.

Another staff member review is halfway done; I'll be late with this one but got the request in for his raise on time. That's called prioritizing. ;)

I nearly lost a round in my navigation between Scylla and Charybdis (representing my boss and his nemesis). My attempt to bring order to the CRM updates requested by our wealth management department has offended Scylla, believing as he does that Charybdis will use this opening as a way to wrest dominance of the IT function from him. Crimony. Well, as Andy Grove once famously said and all I need to find a way to back out of the proposal I made. Gaah.

I'd work on my memo this morning ("Toward a New Application Architecture" -- yeah, it's a little pretentious) if my network engineer wasn't upgrading our backbone (and rightfully so). I have only praise for the Cisco Catalyst 6509, our backbone router. The chassis and IOS are fully depreciated; at this point, I'm just paying for any additional modules I get such as their Supervisor 720 and 48-port gigabit Ethernet blades. This extends the life of the switch another 3-5 years. An absolute piece of magic, it is, able to do switching, routing, firewalling and server load balancing with the right modules. Heh.

Our first outsourced project will begin soon. We've chosen an Indian-based firm to develop an application that our inhouse resources don't have time for. I've "volunteered" to play project manager, as it's a high-profile project and the other option to manage it is still an unknown for Scylla.

Planning for a couple of Q2 projects -- one of those projects is to provide Blackberry for a couple of our salespeople. God help us. Odds are 5:2 that they'll screw it up and require over 10 hours of support. Each. The other project is an upgrade of our CRM system. It's only about 5 major revisions behind. Good news -- it'll be web-based, XML-enabled and other important buzzwords. Bad news -- it's a five-revision upgrade. Good news -- our test network is pretty much an exact copy of our production network thanks to our use of virtualized servers and mirrored data.

posted by Henry Jenkins | 4/10/2004 10:08:00 AM

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