There is more to the cable than meets the eye

DaveOps is back again after a 3-week break to give a quick round-up on what’s been going on at Datactics through weeks 11-13.

We continue to plan for a return to the office getting things ready and in my team, we are taking the opportunity to do some tidy up on the network and cabling. A time-consuming job but one which I am are will ultimately prove worth it once we are back in the office.

The planning is going well and things are coming together but as with all things during these strange times, it’s a plan that keeps on changing. Now, where do I start to cover off the last few weeks?

Interestingly in the past 2 weeks, we have seen an increase in day to day user support with roughly 60(ish)% of the teams time being consumed by those requests. We have had some strange ones this week alone with about 2 hours or more being lost on a funny issue with PowerBI and Azure SQL Server trying to make some visuals for dashboard – Thankfully working with Andrew we have found a workaround (not a very appealing one but hey, it works 😊).

Other than that, printing issues, password issues, access issues and all that stuff continue to raise their heads. 

The increase in that support has meant less time for the migration project but thankfully things still progress there and I would say we are now about 40% through with more work scheduled over the coming days. All in all the migration has been smooth with only a few funnies along the way and some things resolved only via trial and error as is the IT way.

I never thought when I start looking at our Jfrog Artifactory migration and upgrade that I would lose over 15 hours on the testing alone.

All sorted now though and the migration of the live system confirmed for next week. Here’s hoping there are no gaps in my documentation.

Thanks to Paddy part of the migration completed was on our internal Gitlab server.

It was migrated over and upgraded to version 13.x without issue and after a week of use on the new system no complaints from Development so we will take that. Hopefully, the migration will continue without a hiccup though I still admit to being nervous about what lies ahead and will feel much better when it’s all over. 

With the new infrastructure, we hope to introduce more ‘DevOps’ processes along with more automation in general for tasks that normally fall to the team. I have started working on some internal dashboards with Powershell Universal Dashboard toolset along with a set of VMWare PowerCli scripts which I hope will be the start of this.

With all things that I script we have had some successes and some failures but I think I am getting there and hope to have a version one out for testing with users within a few weeks. 

As mentioned in previous posts we have been rolling out Commvault as our data protection suite and had already required new licenses. That project also continues (about 85% completed) and been going well. For backup storage, we have decided to go with Wasabi Cloud Storage. The integration has been seamless and so far Wasabi is working out well for us.

I also credit them with giving me the best laugh for a couple of weeks. I was sent their latest marketing video during the week – Anyone out there in IT Admin/Storage Admin/Infrastructure this one is for you.  

Earlier this week I was asked by senior management to write down the team’s current workload and upcoming projects. Having not done this (officially) since the start of lockdown, taking the time to do it was both useful and scary. As a team we are busy and with 6-7 major projects on the go, I do not see that changing anytime soon.

I am thankful to my team, Alex our CTO and the senior managers for their support in all that we do, it’s only with these things that we have come as far as we have and will continue to progress. 

Next week as a company we have staff taking part in the online version of BelTech and as such, I have been lucky enough to get a ticket for the event and I am looking forward to it – If any of you have a ticket be sure to check out Thursday and the AI track where Fiona (Datactics Head of AI) will be a key speaker. I have actually just had a reminder in that today is the last day to register so make sure to get in quick! 

As always, I will end this with some thoughts on non-work activities. I continue to enjoy my leisure time getting out walking and cycling (even got a socially distanced ride in with some friends).

I have also been enjoying flying my drone (a Mavic Mini) and even though my footage is not great I have stuck it up on YouTube.

My latest one of Slieve Croob can be viewed here  (only 1 view so far ☹ do a guy a favour and give it a wee like 😊).  

Sadly, the Bugatti build is still stalled but I do plan on getting back to it soon. Last week I also started back into some climbing training and it turns out I am out of shape again for it so much more work is needed before getting out on that rock. 

Hopefully, your own downtime continues and you are not getting bogged down with too much work.

Anyone with any good adventure stories, give me a shout, I always like to hear about what people are getting up to.

As a company, it looks like we have gained a few more members of staff keen to climb and walk in the Mournes so hope to get out with them soon and maybe even get a Datactics drone video (I promise to practice more before then). 

Right, coffee time. My Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee from SD Bells is starting to run low now as are my general coffee supplies. 

If you have any good roastery recommendations give me a shout, always like to try new coffee (remember, local is best). 

Enjoy your weekend everyone, I am hoping for big things as mine states the Big Datactics Lockdown Quiz #6 😊 

Until next time. Stay safe and well. Dave 

Dave Brown heads up all things IT for Datactics. Joining in 2019 and bringing over 20 years’ IT experience in various roles across the industry he is delighted to be bringing that expertise to this exciting new role for the company.

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