Hi! Since this is my first post to the server room, I thought I would introduce myself and give you a bit of background on who I am.
My name is Matt Chorman, and I am a validation engineer at Intel where I get to work with EPSD (Enterprise Products and Services Division) servers. My job is to test a wide range of products, from single processor servers up to Itanium2 "Big Iron" boxes. I'm an open source guy, and have been working with Linux in the enterprise for nine years. During recent years, I have also been running performance testing and tuning on all the servers that come through our lab.
I work in platform validation (which is an engineering role), but I have a unique perspective on servers; I worked in IT for a number of years, culminating in a System Administration role for a mid-sized finance company. There were many challenges that I faced that are becoming the calling card of IT everywhere:
Heat in the server room.
Too many servers for the space we were allocated.
Client management difficulties.
Power usage of the clients.
These problems are directly tied to the lack of efficiency in the software they were using. However, there is a tradeoff when it comes to looking at options to improve the speed of your network.
How much would it have cost to hire a team of programmers to re-write this custom software to be more efficient?
How much would it cost to simply purchase a newer (and much better performing) server to compensate for this?
Were there things that I could have done to make the servers we had run more efficiently?
Where do you draw the line between employee complaints about the speed of a certain server and the cost of upgrading (i.e. employee efficiency)?
These are the type of questions IT folks everywhere are faced with, and unfortunately there are no black-and-white answers. However, these are the questions I'll be exploring in my blog. I may not be able to offer you answers, but perhaps I can give you some ideas you can use in your own organization. Maybe you'll give me some answers that I can use within my own role!
Also, like all of us here, I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have for me. If I don't have the answers, I can probably find someone who can answer them for you.