A Day in the Life of the IT Hero Part III

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  • Posted by PR on June 30, 2016

A Journal Entry from Your Friendly Neighborhood (well, regional) ISP IT Guy

6:10 a.m. — I have this bad habit of checking my email on my phone as soon as I wake up. So here I am, on just another manic Monday, flipping through the dozens of “URGENT” messages that have somehow accrued overnight.

  • “Hey, any way we could revert back to the pre-updated version of that one program? I just don’t like this one as much.”
  • “So I just clicked on a link that I’m now realizing may not have actually been from Bob in HR. But we’ve got anti-virus, right?”
  • “The new intern said we should be sharing all of our collaborative docs over the cloud… I’m embarrassed to ask her (LOL), but what’s the cloud?”
  • And my fav: “Hey man, I know this isn’t really your job, but my personal MacBook gave me the spinning wheel of death last night. Got any tips?”

I’ve got to kick this habit. Shouldn’t I be meditating or something at this time of day?

6:20 a.m. — A news app informs me that Amazon Web Services suffered a severe weather-related outage in Sydney over the weekend. Many websites, including news outlets and streaming services, were stranded offline, a.k.a. in cyber purgatory. I shudder for all IT pros involved, especially those who had any weekend plans.

6:25 a.m. — The sweet, sweet dark roast aroma spilling into my room finally gets me out of bed. (I’m a gadget aficionado, but a simple automatic brew button ranks pretty high on my list of important inventions.)

6:40 a.m. — HOLD THE PHONE. My newly-caffeinated brain just reminded me that we’re installing XKL’s DarkStar DWDM appliance for our production network this afternoon. How could I forget? I’ve heard great things, but IT pros are generally a believe-it-when-I-see-it bunch, and I’m no exception.

8:20 a.m. — On the way to my desk, I notice a small crowd forming around our antique printer/copier, and then audible sighs of relief when the group notices my entrance. “I’m coming, guys,” I announce, wondering why my college program didn’t offer a single class on the intricacies of these cunning machines.

8:45 a.m. — I receive a desperate-sounding call from one of the installation techs, who’s having trouble connecting a new customer to our broadband network. (Though we’re rapidly growing, we’re still a relatively small ISP, so we handle nearly everything in-house. Read: I stay busy.)

9:05 a.m. — I check our uptime and Internet speed, and I’m not super impressed with the latter. I’m reminded how excited I am to install XKL’s optical transport hardware, which will allow us to scale our bandwidth as our customer base grows (along with our customers’ appetites for streaming video and other data-heavy consumption). Plus, by bringing Layer 1 in-house and leveraging dark fiber, we’ll gain complete control over our networking environment, and with this new product, I’m told it’s a very simple process. What’s more, the DarkStar system will help us grow our metro network into a regional one (XKL’s even helping with the design).

10:30 a.m. — First, I’m sifting through applications for Help Desk hopefuls, then back-to-back meetings with upper management about our network growth and mitigating security risks.

1:00 p.m. — After a hurried lunch, I head to our local data center with the assumption that I’ll be there for several hours. For the average Joe, being surrounded by stacks of whirring machines for half a day might not be ideal, but trust me… it’s nerdy introvert heaven. So I’m okay with the fact that this “less-than-an-hour” install will likely leave me here until this evening, but I keep thinking of all the projects waiting for me at my desk…

1:45 p.m. — Finally, the moment I’ve been waiting for. Here’s where the rubber meets the road on this DarkStar system that sounds too good to be true. Now first, a confession: I generally consider myself a smart and talented IT guru, but I’m no optical engineer. However, I’ve been assured this won’t be a problem.

2:25 p.m. — Done. Done! How can this be?! Our network is almost instantly more powerful, flexible and controlled. And now I may even have time tonight to study for the ten-millionth IT certification I’m working toward!

3:15 p.m. — Oh, no need to worry; another check of the inbox reveals that I have plenty of work to occupy the rest of my afternoon, on top of the other projects I now have time to tackle:

  • “So sorry, I know I always do this, but I forgot my computer’s password again. 🙁 I keep reading that I should change it periodically, but maybe I should stop…”
  • “Would you mind stopping by my desk when you get a minute? …I’ll explain when you get here.”

My job may not be quite as cool as The Setup Wizard’s (that Muggle!), but I’m happy to be the Mr. Fix-It around here!
Find out more about the “Day in the Life of an IT Hero”:

Behind every IT hero are the vendors that support him or her.
XKL understands IT professionals and we build optical networking equipment to make their day run smoother. Our DarkStar DWDM appliances are different in that upgrades and overall management can easily be done with the router-like command line interface and installation takes less than an hour, without specialized optical engineering and, most importantly, without affecting customer traffic.


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