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New Web Server Deployed

I was unexpectedly asked to provide a PHP and MySQL-enabled web server with phpMyAdmin for one of our subsidiary companies to host their brand new web content, that they contracted to be developed by a marketing outfit. The server was requested last week around Wednesday. I had no hardware, no host environment, no software selected, and was basically not ready for this request. We were planning on revamping our public web hosting infrastructure in the late spring after all the wrinkles get worked out of our Deltek Vision deployment, and after we’re done updating our GroupWise hardware and decommissioning the old GroupWise hardware. Right now the old and new GroupWise systems are running in tandem in our colo rack, so there’s not really any spare hardware capacity or even much rack space down there.

Anyways, I quickly dumped some lab services I had running in Engineering on an ML370, stuffed some ram into it, and started building a virtual server host last week. I set it up in OpenSUSE 10.2, with VMware Server 1.01, and then built a web server VM with SLES9, Apache, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, an FTP server, a firewall, user IDs, and all the latest patches. I deployed it to the public internet, with the virtual server host’s interface hidden behind the firewall, and just the appropriate services exposed outside on the VM. I notified the web developers that it was ready yesterday mid-afternoon.

The web developers were barking at me about how long it was taking and how I might cause them a production delay. I got the server out as fast as I could, considering it was spur of the moment and I had to reshuffle a bunch of other work and hardware to deal with it. I assumed that because they were dancing around waiting for it that they were ready to upload content to it right away. Now it’s over a day since I notified them it was ready, and there’s still no content. They haven’t even tried to login yet. It just goes to show you that a lack of planning on other people’s part shouldn’t constitute an emergency on your part. Despite the fact that I take that as a fundamental axiom, I don’t follow my own advice too well and allow other people to impose artificial urgency to too many things I do. I should learn my lesson, but in a service role in our company, it’s tough, and often the squeakiest (and most annoying) wheel gets the oil.

  1. Phillip Karren
    2007-01-29 at 08:49

    Hi Scott,

    Googled your blog! I’m a Product Manager for GroupWise, and I’m looking for any information I can find about Deltek Vision and GroupWise. Have you encountered any customers who would like to see them integrated, and in what way?

    Thanks for any info you can provide, and I hope you make it to Snowbird in 2007 with your snowboard.

  2. 2007-01-30 at 09:50

    We’re still in the process of rolling out Vision. We have a date window to switch out our existing financial system which is right in the time frame of Brainshare, unfortunately for me. I’m not coming to SLC this year, but we’re sending two other guys instead.

    As for Vision integration with GroupWise, I’m sure our users would appreciate integration with the GroupWise calendar and possibly between the contacts and the CRM portion of Vision, but we’re not convinced of the business case for CRM and so we’re not implementing that portion of Vision at this time.

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