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Pay Attention to your IT Guy

Posted On 2014-09-22 by dwirch
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Recently, myself and a team of people performed a migration of a database from old and dying hardware to shiny new hotness. Some of the questions I got, well ...

Performing this type of migration requires taking the database offline, detaching, copying the files to the new location, re-attaching, and verifying functionality.  That's it, in a nutshell.  Nothing to complicated or magical.

I sent out a total of three emails prior to beginning maintenance, similar to the one below. I also sent the standard "Maintenance Beginning" message, as well as the "All Clear" when we were done.

Scheduled Outage
Date: 9/21/2014
Time: 1300 – 1700 PST (4 hours)
Explanation
This Sunday, September 21, 2014, it will be necessary to take the database ServiceX offline for the purposes of migrating it to new hardware.  The move will require taking the database offline for approximately four hours while files are copied to their new locations, and testing takes place to ensure the stability and reliability of the new installation.

In order to provide a smooth transition and prevent possible data loss, please close any clients or apps you may have open on your desktop which have a connection to ServiceX.
 
ServiceX will be unavailable during this time.  Further, applications or features within applications which rely on ServiceX will be unavailable during this time.

Maybe I am dense.  Maybe I have more than average common sense.  But that message seems pretty straightforward to me.  However, and keep in mind I work with IT professionals, developers, QA guys, etc. These are guys that should know what is involved in a migration of this type. 

You would also think that they at least know how to read. I am pretty sure literacy is a prerequisite to attaining employment here, which is why some of the questions I get are suprising and sad.

The Evidence

How do I know that you ignore me?

Will be ApplicationQ affected by the migration ?

I'm pretty sure the warning message was clear and straightforward.  If your application leverages ServiceX, your application will either be degraded or unavailable.

ApplicationY gave me errors and warnings on Monday morning that ServiceX is unavailable, or that I need to re-login.

I am unable to login to ApplicationZ.  It just tells my login failed for for ServiceX.

Yes, you were warned to close your client on Friday. Downing ServiceX causes your client to lose connection to the service.

Summary

When I send an email blast out to the entire company, it is usually for a good reason. It's not to just say hi, or to see if anyone knows where to get cheap booze. If you see a message from your IT guy directed at the whole company, you might want to actually read the whole thing before asking questions that were answered in the email. Putting in help desk tickets for problems that were addressed in the email is also a no-no.

Think of it another way.  When you send your IT guy an email describing a problem or request that you have, you expect that person to pay attention, read the email, and take the appropriate action. 

If you send me an email, you can expect some kind of response, if warranted. Even when you send me 15 emails on the same subject in the space of 30 minutes, I still pay attention. I'm not recommending this method, though. All you'll do is piss off your IT guy if you try that approach.

Again, if you see a company-wide email from your IT guy, pay attention. It may save you some heartache.


About the Author

dwirch has posted a total of 173 articles.

You can find more information from dwirch by visiting http://www.derekwirch.com.


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