Friday 13th strikes

Although this morning started out with a nice tax refund being deposited in to my account, Friday 13th hit, and hit hard. Aside from the school district’s bank not handling direct deposits overnight and so ending up without being paid (still hasn’t posted to my account), technical gremlins plagued the day.

Around 9a.m I got a call that our streaming media server wasn’t providing content. Couldn’t connect via remote desktop, so went in to the server room to be greeted by three health warning lights across the RAID array. Diagnostics claim 3 out of 4 drives in the array had failed. The odds on that happening are pretty slim shall we say. This is the same server that was hit with errors last summer before I started with temperatures breaking 105F in the server room on a number of occasions. I’m thinking it’s more likely the controller has failed than three simultaneous drive failures. Regardless, without any spare parts or usable servers, I quickly brought online a Win 2k3 VM, moved 60Gb worth of content from the backups and brought it online. I could have been doing this on a new 3-node R805 cluster designed specifically for VMware, but am lacking support for a $10k Cisco 3750 switch given people are too used to expecting a $500 ProCurve to adequately perform as a core backbone. Right now I have $120k worth of gear doing nothing as a result. That’s another ongoing issue getting comical if it wasn’t so serious.

I spent quite a bit of time out the office this week in other sites seeing how their set ups are functioning, and honestly, the excuse of “it’s Bethel” just doesn’t wash anymore. No disrespect at all to Joe and Dean, but if a couple of guys at KYUK with ‘Networking for Dummies’ can knock 10 bells out of the district setup, there’s something clearly wrong. It’s not even complacency in some areas, just plain laziness and being hopelessly out in the deep end.

FirstClass continues to be the bane of my life, especially as it’s not even my responsibility. Once again it had issues today. After being yelled at for questioning the validity of restarting the entire server in the middle of the afternoon once again, I gave up. The idea that 25 years ago, ‘bits needed to drain out memory’ or even 5 years ago ‘log files would fill up and lock the whole system’ may have been valid, but on a server with 16Gb RAM that never breaks 3Gb in use and daily log files that don’t break half a meg, slow delivery of mail and loading inboxes is a different issue and it gets embarrassing being involved in it’s management sometimes.

I ended up leaving at 4p.m, will see if I get up on Monday morning and go back in. I’ve come to realise that work is not the be-all and end-all. If it brings you to tears on a Sunday evening at the thought of going back in on a Monday morning, I can happily walk away knowing I gave everything I could and with no regrets. The most frustrating part is that outside of work I’m actually very happy + stable, looking to the future, and simply enjoying life. To leave Bethel would be sad, but I’m learning to put myself first rather than carry on in a situation I’m not happy with.


Senior Content Development for Microsoft writing about Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Model train nerd. Occasionally I play video games.

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