Sunday, June 27, 2010

Work Intruding

I just realized it's been almost a month since I've posted anything! Time flies, and all that crap.

I am working on a big project at work, that I'm sure you'll remember my mentioning. This has been taking most of my time lately, and causing very little to get done in my personal life, hence my absence from the blog.

I don't tend to talk about work much, as I try to keep that side of my life as separated from the personal side as possible. I'm not ashamed of what I do, far from it. However, I do have a strong sense of self-preservation. If I do not actively work at keeping the two sides of my life separate, my work life would very quickly take over everything. If that were to happen, my Everlasting SoulMate would decisively put that right, or my rear-end would be sleeping in the garage, which come to think of it would ALSO quickly put things right! So, rather than deal with that scenario, I try my best to keep a handle on things.

However, this particular project is big enough that it takes a lot of my brain cycles to keep up with. I work for a municipal government, in the I.T. department. My title, while important, has very little to do with my job, as I wear many hats in the organization. The hat that is on my noggin' most of the time lately is "Project Manager." You see, the municipality I work for is currently building a new police facility. The one they currently have is very old (30 years+) and way too small for the number of folks it is currently housing. As an I.T. project manager, I am in charge of making sure all the low-voltage infrastructure (read: cabling) and other technology going into the building meets our standards and is done per our plan for the project. Not a small job, when the building is over 50,000 sq. ft. and one of the new spaces in the building is the first true data center we've ever had.

Ever since I was hired, our facilities to house servers, networks and such for our various buildings have been glorified broom closets. Even when our city hall building was built eight years ago, the original data room for it ended up getting carved up to fill other needs. So, we were left with a room that was only adequate then and even with remodeling it several times, it is woefully undersized today, both in terms of space and in terms of power and cooling. A familiar story, if you happen to work in I.T.

The new data center going in the new police building is much larger, has significantly more rack space, has the proper infrastructure for cooling and power, and includes room to grow. And it has been one of my primary responsibilities since this project began two and a half years ago.

Was it easy to do? Absolutely not! I have had to fight tooth-and-nail at times to make sure this data center stayed in the project through the inevitable "value-engineering" that has been done to decrease the cost of the building. However, in the end it is finally coming to life.

My other primary responsibility has been to make sure the rest of the technology infrastructure going into the facility is up to the task. Our police department has always tried to remain on the leading edge of technology, and this facility is no exception. This will easily be the most complex technological project I've ever been involved with. To give a small example, there are over 80 surveillance cameras going in to this one building.

The project is nearing completion, and we're getting down to crunch-time on all the technology that is going in. This is both very exciting, and extremely stressful. See, I am not only responsible for the design of all this, I am the lead installer for all the network infrastructure equipment as well. So in the next few weeks, I will be installing the new network for the facility and going through testing and commissioning. ESM jokes that she will be an I.T. "widow" again for a bit until I am finished. However, she has lived through this with me before, so she knows what to expect.

I have been manager for two previous building projects in my current position. And, I am also working on the planning and designs for a fourth facility that just broke ground a month or two ago. Nothing like two buildings being built simultaneously to keep you hopping! That, on top of my normal workload, has been relentlessly trying to turn my brains to mush for over a year now.

As I have told people who have asked about my job lately, "At least I'm employed!" *grin*

The data center is not much more than an empty room right now, however I will be sure to post more pictures as it gets equipment installed and becomes more interesting to look at.

-- Sundown, Out

1 comment:

  1. So understood! I often trot out the "But I've got a job - a good job!" line after letting loose with rant about, or even just an explanation of, the madness that is work. And I mean it. I'm very grateful to have this job.

    Good luck with the next phase and hugs to the ESM as she prepares to fly "practically single" for a while!!


Hey, I tell you what is... is abuse, is bad language, is spam? Oy, is big shoes!