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IT Confessional Series: 9: A Day in the Life

By: Andy the Angry IT Guy

Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment in a series of posts from “Andy,” an anonymous IT administrator working for a mid-sized organization located somewhere in the American Midwest. When we last left Andy, he was debating the merits of virtualization – and how it helped ensure he’d never miss another Star Trek marathon – with his friend Pratik. 

Today, Andy channels his inner Jack Bauer, describing the trials and travails he encounters on a typical Tuesday – and how VMware Go helps him combat the day.

__________________________________________________________________________________________Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.38.18 AMThe following takes place between the hours of 8:00 AM CT and 5:00 PM CT.

Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.38.28 AMShoot – I’m running late again! Did I really need to stop for that coffee and triple espresso? Yes, yes I did. I work in IT; going to work without caffeine for me is simply out of the question. Oh well, on to another day – time to check my email…Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.38.35 AM13 new messages down, 71 to go. Based on a quick scan, it looks like at least 12 more have “HELP! URGENT!” in the subject line, and 7 more have some combination of “mission critical” and “fail.”Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.38.44 AM Drats! There’s a new Outlook security patch that has to be installed today. And I’m still staring down the inbox from hell. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this day.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.38.50 AM Just realized I can automate the patch scan to identify which machines still need this patch with VMware Go Pro! I just saved myself a solid two hours. Now back to my inbox…Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.38.55 AMFinally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with my inbox. And since I saved all that time by automating the patch update, I’m going to make a meme!Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.39.05 AMBoss (who knows NOTHING about IT, by the way) just swung by my desk. He asked for a breakdown of EVERY piece of software we have deployed in our ENTIRE network. Oh, and he wants it by EOD. No big deal, right?

/pounds head against deskScreen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.39.11 AMThis is too good to be true! I can automatically scan all of the physical and virtual machines in my network with VMware Go Pro. I can even scan for idle machines and remove them, so I included that in my report as well. That’s what you call managing up! Crisis, averted.

Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.39.18 AM Uh oh. Email inbox is starting to fill up with frantic requests again. There really should be an IT edition of the “Darwin Awards.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.39.26 AMPermit me a moment to rant: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, MARCIA, YOUR LAPTOP IS NOT BROKEN, YOUR BATTERY IS JUST DEAD! AT THIS RATE, YOU’RE ON A FAST TRACK TO JOIN THE RANKS OF MISS SOUTH CAROLINA AND THIS GUY!!!Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.39.33 AMOK, after taking a few deep breaths, sipping some chamomile tea and listening to my favorite indie-rock-band-that-you’ve-probably-never-heard-of, I think I’m going to be alright.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.39.40 AMPatch update nearly complete! Time to escape for lunch – before the next crisis of the day strikes.

Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.39.46 AMBack from lunch. Got a reuben – light on the Russian dressing (trying to watch my girlish figure, you know how it is). I’m not normally one for executive lunch hours, but since I’m not manually checking a patch update for once, I figured why not? Better yet, looks like this patch update has completed, and only one machine has yet to install. Tsk, tsk.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.39.54 AM Ohmygod! The one machine that has yet to install belongs to none other than… Liz from Accounts Receivable, my secret office crush! Time to take a few deep breaths and go talk to her…Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.40.01 AMThat went better than I could have ever hoped! Not only did Liz seamlessly install the Outlook patch, she also complimented me on how fast our network has been running lately! After that, we got to talking about our mutual appreciation for trashy reality TV shows on TLC. I was this close to asking her if she’d be up for a coffee after work, when I realized that I still had some Russian dressing on my shirt. Not the right time.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.40.07 AMJust when I thought this day was taking a turn for the better – my evil boss strikes again! Apparently he just read a story on virtualization in BusinessWeek and wants to know why 100% of our apps aren’t virtual. First up: our Oracle Financials DB.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.40.14 AMNot only that, but he “needs a launch timeline on his desk by EOD.” Does he just not realize I’m the only IT guy here – and that these things take time, especially when Jerry from shipping is complaining that I’m “out to get him” because he can’t log into his email??? I need a new job.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.40.20 AM A ray of light, courtesy of VMware Go Pro: since we’re going to be running vSphere 5, I can leverage the configuration of our existing physical servers using the VMware P2V Converter tool, which is built into the platform.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.40.27 AMThank you, IT Advisor! I just got a heads up on an upcoming patch for Adobe that will be released tomorrow. Time to craft a staff-wide email and pray that people can take 30 seconds out of their precious days of playing solitaire and IMing with their friends about how they’d rather be outside to actually download the update.Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.40.32 AMCounting down the seconds to 5:00. Could this really be one of the rare days that I leave on time? My inbox is sitting at zero, and today’s patch updates are complete. Tick, tock…Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 9.40.39 AM FREE AT LAST! Automating those patch updates and scanning the configuration for our financials DB saved me a clean 4 hours. VMware Go Pro, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…