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Aunt Beth
Feb 23, 2006

Baby, you're ready!

Grimey Drawer

adorai posted:

Probably >95% of our clock cycles in the data center are x86. We have one power7 as/400, no idea how many CPUs it is licensed for because I don't have to support it.

You should totally get into the 400. They're so much fun :3

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Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



jaegerx posted:

Amen. I'm gonna be that 60 year old guy in the corner that smells of whiskey with an eye patch, old grey beard, and a nasa hat. Everyone is scared of me because I've seen poo poo. One day the poo poo will hit the fan and the CEO will say "call in old salty jaegerx" and god knows I will walk into that room with the stare of a 40 year veteran of the poo poo we have seen in IT and finally say "yeah I quit"

Just wanted to say this may be the best SH/SC post I have ever read

Paladine_PSoT
Jan 2, 2010

If you have a problem Yo, I'll solve it.


Working in IT 3.0: Yeah I quit

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


Quick informal survey: how many of you work for companies that do 100% tuition reimbursement? I'm not talking $5000 in tuition assistance, I'm talking the entire degree paid for.

Comradephate
Feb 28, 2009


College Slice

go3 posted:

Only managers that don't know how to dump it all off on an underling get fired.

Middle managers often find themselves out of work or shuffled into a bullshit job after a regime change. Much in the same way that the new alpha in a pride of lions kills all of the cubs that weren't fathered by him, new senior leadership replace leaders they didn't put in place.

They're also a fun and easy way to show investors/customers/feds/whatever that you're totally making changes to improve things without actually affecting the day to day workflow, or really changing anything at all.

E: pysude: no my job offers basically no tuition reimbursement. They will, however, buy me all of the books I can read, and pay for any certs I get. Last job was the same.

Swink
Apr 18, 2006
Left Side <--- Many Whelps

I'm getting a new teammember. His title is sysadmin, his role is the same as mine, sysadmin and desktop support.

I've never onboarded a new IT guy, I don't really know what to do with him when he arrives. I thought about giving him a list of projects that I haven't gotten around to starting, for him to have a whack at to help him learn our systems, give him something meaningful straight up, and tell me if he's any good.

I figure this would be a better start than what I got when I started, which was nothing at all.

Bob Morales
Aug 18, 2006

HYPER-THREADING


Aunt Beth posted:

For all the sysadmin types out there, about what percentage of your architecture is x86 compatible and what's proprietary (like POWER, SPARC, zEnterprise, etc)? I work for a certain blue behemoth so my picture of what people run is kind of skewed.

Also, what's everyone's opinion of the closed systems? I know in school I was taught that the world runs on Windows and Linux on x86 (virtualization notwithstanding) and then there are a few people to still run UNIX variants and that mainframes are dead and buried. I've seen this is very much not the case, but what's everyone else's perception?

One iSeries. Last place I worked had an HP/UX on Itanium.

Hughmoris
Apr 21, 2007
Let's go to the abyss!

psydude posted:

Quick informal survey: how many of you work for companies that do 100% tuition reimbursement? I'm not talking $5000 in tuition assistance, I'm talking the entire degree paid for.

My hospital does not. We receive $2500 in tuition assistance a year, but we owe them 1 year of employment after the class they paid for ends.

EoRaptor
Sep 13, 2003




FISHMANPET posted:

So just for the hell of it, the wife and I are pondering fleeing the US for Canada or somewhere in Europe. Anyone have any experience with something like that, specifically in IT? I know there are lots of IT jobs in New Zealand, but how does it look in other countries?

Just be warned that Canada's real estate market is blowing a HUGE bubble. No idea when it'll pop or how much it will devastate, but it'll be nasty when it does go.

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006
I CANNOT HANDLE BEING CALLED OUT ON MY DUMBASS OPINIONS ABOUT ANTI-VIRUS AND SECURITY. I REALLY LIKE TO THINK THAT I KNOW THINGS HERE

INSTEAD I AM GOING TO WHINE ABOUT IT IN OTHER THREADS SO MY OPINION CAN FEEL VALIDATED IN AN ECHO CHAMBER I LIKE


psydude posted:

Quick informal survey: how many of you work for companies that do 100% tuition reimbursement? I'm not talking $5000 in tuition assistance, I'm talking the entire degree paid for.

$6000 a year in tuition reimbursement.

I was bullshitting with a guy at the dog park who is in IT project management and had 30+ years of experience. Told him I just took a promotion as an assistant manager and the systems I worked with, my experience, what I was working towards, etc. He said that without fail CIO/CTO's are the first people to be cut when times get tough. They were in his experience totally interchangeable. His recommendation was to become a specialist in something you enjoyed and ride that gravy train to retirement. He's an outside contractor and had gotten to work with a lot of different companies. When times get tough businesses either cut management down to a bare minimum and overwork the people doing the day to day operations or bring in a new CIO/CTO who cleans house and brings in replacements at 2/3 cost of those who they replaced.

Sarcasmatron
Apr 23, 2004

Fun is important.


whaam posted:

Do most of you guys have a plan to move into management or project management as you get closer to 40? You don't see many systems engineers, administrators, etc in the 40-55 age range. Is that just due to our industry being so new, or is the usual path into management the only way to avoid being aged out of the industry?

I'm in a senior technical position right now (systems engineer) but often think that I need a plan to move up even though I'm perfectly happy at the moment. My city is too small to have any real opportunities to specialize in one area and I'm too firmly planted with family to move to a bigger city. I keep an eye on the job listings and I rarely see senior technical positions come up and when they do they seem to match my current duties pretty closely.

What is the long term path for someone like me? (Early 30s) I've already moved away from day to day administration to strictly design and project work, but I'd hate to think I've peaked already... For the record though I do enjoy what I do now, and the money is great.

I did that transition at 38, transitioning from software engineer to project management via QA management. For me it was a concerted desire to get my rear end off of critical path. Also, 90% of the Project Managers I've met are overpaid stenographers, and I knew I could do better. Low bar, I know.

Che Delilas posted:


If I were a manager my whole day would be smacking people upside the head and telling them to grow up, stop acting like they're in high school, and stop treating other people like poo poo. My whole day.


This. It's actually a lot of fun. After a while, people pucker when I walk into their meetings, because they know they are going to get a quiety delivered ration of poo poo for treating one of the human beings who works in my group like a vending machine. It usually happens once or twice on a project. Third time, someone's taking some time off to spend with their family, explore other career options, or go back to school.

Sarcasmatron fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2014 around 14:06

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Alfajor posted:

We do, but this user doesn't have a mailbox

If their computer was not on the domain but physically in the office they wouldn't have any way to change passwords. Some of the Cisco firewalls can handle password changes. Does the security policy allow setting the user's password to never expire?



Does anyone have an environment where the DC is remote via a site to site vpn? How much latency is tolerable?

TheFuzzyLumpkin
Sep 15, 2003

But you are a person, and I can't say I'm awfully fond of that.

Swink posted:

I'm getting a new teammember. His title is sysadmin, his role is the same as mine, sysadmin and desktop support.

I've never onboarded a new IT guy, I don't really know what to do with him when he arrives. I thought about giving him a list of projects that I haven't gotten around to starting, for him to have a whack at to help him learn our systems, give him something meaningful straight up, and tell me if he's any good.

I figure this would be a better start than what I got when I started, which was nothing at all.

Since he's an unknown quantity, I wouldn't just hand him a project list and let go. Onboarding other IT folk usually causes a spike in the amount of work you have to do at the start, because you want to verify that you're dealing with somebody competent before you let them go off wandering. Otherwise, they blow up all sorts of poo poo and your workload quintuples as you run around putting out all the fires he started.

I'd ask my boss to have him do the desktop tickets for a couple of weeks so you can get an objective view of whether or not he knows his rear end from a hole in the ground, then start passing off the projects as he proves himself competent to handle them.

Edit: also make sure you're available for questions from him. It's always easier to spare 20 minutes out of your day to make sure poo poo's up to par instead of being unapproachable and then having to fix a mess later.

evol262
Nov 30, 2010
#!/usr/bin/perl

Aunt Beth posted:

For all the sysadmin types out there, about what percentage of your architecture is x86 compatible and what's proprietary (like POWER, SPARC, zEnterprise, etc)? I work for a certain blue behemoth so my picture of what people run is kind of skewed.

Also, what's everyone's opinion of the closed systems? I know in school I was taught that the world runs on Windows and Linux on x86 (virtualization notwithstanding) and then there are a few people to still run UNIX variants and that mainframes are dead and buried. I've seen this is very much not the case, but what's everyone else's perception?

It's run the gamut.

First job ran everything but HP-UX, including VMS and Nonstop. Nobody else has been that diverse (thankfully), but I don't think I've ever been at a shop which isn't running other systems of some kind.

I spearheaded the move from AIX to Linux at one, but we kept around a few HP-UX boxes even after the migration was complete because the enterprise Oracle people still ran on HP-UX. Next one had Solaris/SPARC. The one after that was Solaris/x86 and Linux. I currently work for another major vendor, so we've got pretty much any box that might be expected to be supported on RHEL (Linux on z, POWER, especially since KVM on POWER is coming up fast, significant ARM).

I still think most of the world runs Windows and Linux on x86. If I were a new company, I wouldn't bother with anything else unless the (Open) POWER8 stuff is very good -- and price competitive. ARM may get in with the same caveats. But it's really hard to go wrong with x86.

Older shops still have investments in code they don't want to port or teams with enough sway to keep buying AIX. It's pretty unlikely that a greenfield would pick AIX, though (for a variety of reasons). Not gonna die, but not gonna grow.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


FISHMANPET posted:

So just for the hell of it, the wife and I are pondering fleeing the US for Canada or somewhere in Europe. Anyone have any experience with something like that, specifically in IT? I know there are lots of IT jobs in New Zealand, but how does it look in other countries?

Do you have any 'in' on getting into the counties you want to work in? It's beyond difficult to move to a foreign country and start working there.

Vulture Culture
Jul 14, 2003

I was never enjoying it. I only eat it for the nutrients.


evol262 posted:

It's run the gamut.

First job ran everything but HP-UX, including VMS and Nonstop. Nobody else has been that diverse (thankfully), but I don't think I've ever been at a shop which isn't running other systems of some kind.

I spearheaded the move from AIX to Linux at one, but we kept around a few HP-UX boxes even after the migration was complete because the enterprise Oracle people still ran on HP-UX. Next one had Solaris/SPARC. The one after that was Solaris/x86 and Linux. I currently work for another major vendor, so we've got pretty much any box that might be expected to be supported on RHEL (Linux on z, POWER, especially since KVM on POWER is coming up fast, significant ARM).

I still think most of the world runs Windows and Linux on x86. If I were a new company, I wouldn't bother with anything else unless the (Open) POWER8 stuff is very good -- and price competitive. ARM may get in with the same caveats. But it's really hard to go wrong with x86.

Older shops still have investments in code they don't want to port or teams with enough sway to keep buying AIX. It's pretty unlikely that a greenfield would pick AIX, though (for a variety of reasons). Not gonna die, but not gonna grow.
Sometimes there are crucial commodity software products whose best support is on a certain proprietary UNIX, as well. It's not uncommon at all to see shops that are otherwise entirely x86 keep around a handful of pSeries boxes to run Tivoli Storage Manager. The Linux support isn't bad, but TSM on AIX is widely regarded as a more stable, robust, and performant package.

three
Aug 9, 2007

i fantasize about ndamukong suh licking my doodoo hole

Do you hate Tivoli as much as everyone I've met hates it?

Note: I've never used it other than deploying some packages.

CLAM DOWN
Feb 13, 2007

RICKARUS


It's Moot baby!


FISHMANPET posted:

So just for the hell of it, the wife and I are pondering fleeing the US for Canada or somewhere in Europe. Anyone have any experience with something like that, specifically in IT? I know there are lots of IT jobs in New Zealand, but how does it look in other countries?

Canada's IT market is pretty saturated, we're in a massive scary housing bubble like that other guy said (some places like Vancouver where I am are way way worse), and the average salary is lower with a much higher cost of living and much higher taxes. Think about it objectively before you think we're just a nice place to flee to

Vulture Culture
Jul 14, 2003

I was never enjoying it. I only eat it for the nutrients.


three posted:

Do you hate Tivoli as much as everyone I've met hates it?

Note: I've never used it other than deploying some packages.
Tivoli Storage Manager is the best enterprise backup product on the market, though you should expect to hire at least one well-paid FTE to manage it. The rest of the suite can go gently caress itself.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



lampey posted:

Does anyone have an environment where the DC is remote via a site to site vpn? How much latency is tolerable?
Remote from what? Latency for what operation? I have remote users whose desktops authenticate and pull group policy from remote DCs, get files from remote file servers, etc etc. I've never had a problem, nor would I expect to. Latency across sites is about 12ms round trip.

Fiendish Dr. Wu
Nov 11, 2010

You done fucked up now!


CLAM DOWN posted:

Think about it objectively before you think we're just a nice place to flee to

But Vancouver looks like a freaking utopia compared to basically any place in the US.

Different question: what would be a great place to move to within the US wrt IT careers (that's not including NYC or Palo Alto)?

My wife and I have had similar fantasies about Canada / Europe, but she's also been talking about Seattle or Denver

Edit: negative didn't register

Fiendish Dr. Wu fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2014 around 16:52

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Most major cities have plenty of IT jobs, depends on where you want to live. Seattle, California, Texas, DC/NoVA. What part of the country do you want to be in?

CLAM DOWN
Feb 13, 2007

RICKARUS


It's Moot baby!


Fiendish Dr. Wu posted:

But Vancouver looks like a freaking utopia compared to basically any place in the US. :NEGATIVE:

Don't get me wrong, even as someone who lives here with the typical Vancouverite attitude of bitching and grumbling about everything, Vancouver is a loving beautiful city with so much to do and amazing transit and everything. But it's expensive as gently caress and some job markets are awful and oversaturated with low salaries.

Paladine_PSoT
Jan 2, 2010

If you have a problem Yo, I'll solve it.


Seattle's IT/Dev job market will be okay for the next year. MS's new vendor policy of 18 months on and 6 months off means Jan 1, 2016 the market will be flooded with former long term vendors who can't go back to MS until July.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



I've only ever worked at small companies (less than 200 employees) so it's been all x86 for me. The closest I've come to "big iron" was when I worked at an ISP and we outsourced our billing to CSG Systems. The back end obviously ran on a giant fuckoff ancient mainframe from the 60's and the admin interface was a lovely terminal emulator. I can't find a good screen shot of it online but it was the absolute worst interface to anything I've ever encountered.

Fiendish Dr. Wu posted:

But Vancouver looks like a freaking utopia compared to basically any place in the US.

Different question: what would be a great place to move to within the US wrt IT careers (that's not including NYC or Palo Alto)?

My wife and I have had similar fantasies about Canada / Europe, but she's also been talking about Seattle or Denver

It's not an insane hotbed the way NYC/SF are but the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins area has a lot of tech jobs. And quality of life is pretty great.

Docjowles fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2014 around 17:00

evol262
Nov 30, 2010
#!/usr/bin/perl

Misogynist posted:

Sometimes there are crucial commodity software products whose best support is on a certain proprietary UNIX, as well. It's not uncommon at all to see shops that are otherwise entirely x86 keep around a handful of pSeries boxes to run Tivoli Storage Manager. The Linux support isn't bad, but TSM on AIX is widely regarded as a more stable, robust, and performant package.

I actually love TSM, and it's worth running AIX just for some Tivoli product (not only because IBM is terribad at getting them working on new versions of RHEL, though it's also a thing), but I've can't say I've seen small shops shelling out for Tivoli licensing regardless of platform.

Also, :ibm:. We always joked that the icon for SMIT was IBM running away with your money, but the Tivoli's not at all cheap, and you inevitably have to listen to them pitch TPM and other products with belong in the 8th ring of Hell.

Fiendish Dr. Wu
Nov 11, 2010

You done fucked up now!


Seattle does seem really cool. The IT part of it is obviously a major factor for obvious reasons, but I guess for us we're mostly looking at cultural fit (of which I'll not get into for risk of a nearly guaranteed major derail / thread closure)

Vulture Culture
Jul 14, 2003

I was never enjoying it. I only eat it for the nutrients.


Fiendish Dr. Wu posted:

Seattle does seem really cool. The IT part of it is obviously a major factor for obvious reasons, but I guess for us we're mostly looking at cultural fit (of which I'll not get into for risk of a nearly guaranteed major derail / thread closure)
This thread is much more informative, but also boring, when it has rails.

Aunt Beth
Feb 23, 2006

Baby, you're ready!

Grimey Drawer

Docjowles posted:

I've only ever worked at small companies (less than 200 employees) so it's been all x86 for me. The closest I've come to "big iron" was when I worked at an ISP and we outsourced our billing to CSG Systems. The back end obviously ran on a giant fuckoff ancient mainframe from the 60's and the admin interface was a lovely terminal emulator. I can't find a good screen shot of it online but it was the absolute worst interface to anything I've ever encountered.
I'd love to know what system this is. Computing history is fascinating to me, the mainframe is a huge part of that, and a huge reason why I now work where I do.

Cenodoxus
Mar 29, 2012

while [[ true ]] ; do
    pour()
done

psydude posted:

Quick informal survey: how many of you work for companies that do 100% tuition reimbursement? I'm not talking $5000 in tuition assistance, I'm talking the entire degree paid for.

$5000/year, paid on completion of course, 100%/75% payout for As/Bs respectively, and 2 years continued employment required after each payout.

I ran the numbers and figured that my alma mater is cheap enough to where I could get a fully paid-for MBA in 5-6 years. I'm just not sure if I want to shoot myself in the foot this early.

Aunt Beth posted:

I'd love to know what system this is. Computing history is fascinating to me, the mainframe is a huge part of that, and a huge reason why I now work where I do.

I geek out watching videos about System z and trying (read: failing) to do even the simplest of tasks in Hercules. I've always found exotic poo poo like Irix, AS/400, and z/OS to be intriguing, but Irix is the only thing I was ever able to get my hands on.

Cenodoxus fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2014 around 17:45

evol262
Nov 30, 2010
#!/usr/bin/perl

Cenodoxus posted:

I geek out watching videos about System z and trying (read: failing) to do even the simplest of tasks in Hercules. I've always found exotic poo poo like Irix, AS/400, and z/OS to be intriguing, but Irix is the only thing I was ever able to get my hands on.
IRIX isn't actually that exotic, though SGI's hardware was. IRIX is so run-of-the-mill that you can use pkgsrc on it.

z/OS is not that different from OS/400 or OS/390 or OS/360 or... the line follows pretty logically back to the 60s.

MVS, AOS (and RDOS), and VMS are the dead mainframe operating systems that are fun to play with. Actually, AOS, RDOS, and MVS aren't fun, but they're enlightening in a "look how far we've come" way, as is GCOS.

That said, for odd but important operating systems, playing with CP/M, QNX, VxWorks (if you can get your hands on it), and Minix can teach you an awful lot about how things came to be the way they are, both in realtime OSes and otherwise.

CLAM DOWN
Feb 13, 2007

RICKARUS


It's Moot baby!


evol262 posted:

IRIX isn't actually that exotic, though SGI's hardware was. IRIX is so run-of-the-mill that you can use pkgsrc on it.

Yeah, the bit I've done on it, it's basically just a standard BSD-like OS. The hardware though, holy loving hell.

Aunt Beth
Feb 23, 2006

Baby, you're ready!

Grimey Drawer

evol262 posted:

IRIX isn't actually that exotic, though SGI's hardware was. IRIX is so run-of-the-mill that you can use pkgsrc on it.

z/OS is not that different from OS/400 or OS/390 or OS/360 or... the line follows pretty logically back to the 60s.

MVS, AOS (and RDOS), and VMS are the dead mainframe operating systems that are fun to play with. Actually, AOS, RDOS, and MVS aren't fun, but they're enlightening in a "look how far we've come" way, as is GCOS.

That said, for odd but important operating systems, playing with CP/M, QNX, VxWorks (if you can get your hands on it), and Minix can teach you an awful lot about how things came to be the way they are, both in realtime OSes and otherwise.

z/OS is vastly different from OS/400 (AKA IBMi nowadays), they're two completely distinct systems. They intersect somewhat in that neither are gui-driven, but that's about it. z/OS traces its roots to the System/360 introduced in 1964, whereas OS/400 was designed for midrange computers as a successor to the System/36 and System/38 in the 1980's.

MVS is not dead at all; it's continued evolving but OS/360 MVT=MVS=OS/390=z/OS. You can trot out a COBOL program that was written for System/370 in 1975 and run it on a z/OS LPAR you installed on a zEC12 last week with no modification. It's a very tricky OS to run because it has basically no architectural similarities to anything else currently in use today, as well as a lot of complexity to maintain full backwards compatibility. UNIX system services are available that provide a POSIX-compatible interface to the OS, but it's not terribly widely used in my experience.

Cenodoxus
Mar 29, 2012

while [[ true ]] ; do
    pour()
done

CLAM DOWN posted:

Yeah, the bit I've done on it, it's basically just a standard BSD-like OS. The hardware though, holy loving hell.

Back when I didn't care about my utility bills I had an O2, an Octane, and a Fuel, and fantasized about owning an Origin rack. They were loud and power-hungry by today's standards, but holy hell indeed. The hardware was gorgeous.

And yeah, it was fairly standard from a UNIX perspective, but the graphics capabilities and hardware made it special. Fortunately there's still a small community developing/porting for it, otherwise you would find a lot more of them in the dumpster than you already do today.

Aunt Beth posted:

MVS is not dead at all; it's continued evolving but OS/360 MVT=MVS=OS/390=z/OS. You can trot out a COBOL program that was written for System/370 in 1975 and run it on a z/OS LPAR you installed on a zEC12 last week with no modification. It's a very tricky OS to run because it has basically no architectural similarities to anything else currently in use today, as well as a lot of complexity to maintain full backwards compatibility. UNIX system services are available that provide a POSIX-compatible interface to the OS, but it's not terribly widely used in my experience.
I'm hearing a lot of mixed signals about how "the mainframe is back" and "the mainframe is dead". What has your experience been career-wise with it? How did you get your start working on mainframes? I think it'd be neat to get some exposure to them but it seems the only way in is through IBM these days.

Cenodoxus fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2014 around 18:57

luminalflux
May 27, 2005



evol262 posted:

I actually love TSM, and it's worth running AIX just for some Tivoli product (not only because IBM is terribad at getting them working on new versions of RHEL, though it's also a thing), but I've can't say I've seen small shops shelling out for Tivoli licensing regardless of platform.

There are other parts of tivoli than TSM?

Fortunately my ISP runs hosted backup on TSM so I don't have to deal with the server or licensing at all - I just run clients.

How is Commvault vs TSM?

Fiendish Dr. Wu
Nov 11, 2010

You done fucked up now!


There's this one guy who is a few desks down from me who is always on his phone talking loud as gently caress and laughing arrogantly and always mentioning his six Sigma black belt

evol262
Nov 30, 2010
#!/usr/bin/perl

Aunt Beth posted:

z/OS is vastly different from OS/400 (AKA IBMi nowadays), they're two completely distinct systems. They intersect somewhat in that neither are gui-driven, but that's about it. z/OS traces its roots to the System/360 introduced in 1964, whereas OS/400 was designed for midrange computers as a successor to the System/36 and System/38 in the 1980's.

MVS is not dead at all; it's continued evolving but OS/360 MVT=MVS=OS/390=z/OS. You can trot out a COBOL program that was written for System/370 in 1975 and run it on a z/OS LPAR you installed on a zEC12 last week with no modification. It's a very tricky OS to run because it has basically no architectural similarities to anything else currently in use today, as well as a lot of complexity to maintain full backwards compatibility. UNIX system services are available that provide a POSIX-compatible interface to the OS, but it's not terribly widely used in my experience.

While they're distinct systems, the compatibility subsystems and ability to trot out code from the 70s is why I described them as similar. System z or z/Series or whatever it's called now is a different heritage and can't really be replaced as an operator console or JCL host, but I guess I tend to see them all as "RUN YER COBOL HERE" and the I've never laid eyes or hands on an actual i/Series or AS/400 or whatever IBM is calling it now, so my only interactions have been inside a partition on a z/Series and I conflate them.

Glass of Milk
Dec 22, 2004
to forgive is divine

Cenodoxus posted:

Back when I didn't care about my utility bills I had an O2, an Octane, and a Fuel, and fantasized about owning an Origin rack. They were loud and power-hungry by today's standards, but holy hell indeed. The hardware was gorgeous.

Up until 6 months ago we had a production Origin 3000 in our server room. Then one of the I-bricks died and I told the last two grizzled programmers we had they got use an Origin 200 from now on.

Aunt Beth
Feb 23, 2006

Baby, you're ready!

Grimey Drawer

Cenodoxus posted:

I'm hearing a lot of mixed signals about how "the mainframe is back" and "the mainframe is dead". What has your experience been career-wise with it? How did you get your start working on mainframes? I think it'd be neat to get some exposure to them but it seems the only way in is through IBM these days.
tl;dr mainframes are alive and well and I love sperging over them

The mainframe as "the lone computer that runs the business" isn't dead, but its role has changed. Lots of big businesses (banking, government, insurance, healthcare, etc) still run the mainframe with z/OS or other legacy enterprise operating systems because their core business has been built on that model for the past 40 years. It's cost-effective, it's well-documented, and most of all it is more reliable than any other system in the business. That said, there are probably not too many companies today adopting this sort of centralized computing infrastructure. That's where IBM has been diligent in making sure the mainframe continues to evolve.

The biggest push the mainframe has been making lately is Linux on Z. If you're a shop that already runs a lot of Linux and is looking to save money, the mainframe can be a great option, since you can consolidate racks' worth of machines into a single mainframe, saving floor space, power, and cooling, in addition to gaining uptime because the platform is so bulletproof. On top of this now the mainframe supports direct connectivity to expansion units containing Intel and POWER blades, allowing you to basically consolidate your entire business's IT operations into one System Z environment. Obviously, though, you need to carefully crunch numbers to see if this is a viable option, because a million-dollar outlay for systems is a huge up front cost compared to buying a few dozen Intel servers or something, so you need to plan to see if and when you will achieve return on investment for distributed vs centralized systems.

I got into Z as a systems operator in a diverse environment- Windows, Linux, AIX, Solaris, VOS, and mainframe. I went to school for systems administration, where I was basically told that the world runs on Windows & Linux under x86 except for a few special snowflakes who run UNIX on proprietary hardware, and that 20 years ago the mainframe died. When I got hired as an operator I was plunked down in front of the mainframe console, learned the ops side from the more senior guys, and was completely hooked. Plus I saw the IBM field engineer in and out of the account and thought he had a pretty neat job, so when working third shift operations got old, there happened to be a local job opening for Big Blue that I jumped into. I work on all our systems, but I'm most fascinated by the mainframe.

evol262 posted:

While they're distinct systems, the compatibility subsystems and ability to trot out code from the 70s is why I described them as similar. System z or z/Series or whatever it's called now is a different heritage and can't really be replaced as an operator console or JCL host, but I guess I tend to see them all as "RUN YER COBOL HERE" and the I've never laid eyes or hands on an actual i/Series or AS/400 or whatever IBM is calling it now, so my only interactions have been inside a partition on a z/Series and I conflate them.
As a former operator, oldschool 3270 (now emulated) consoles and JCL still are critical to the mainframe. IBMi doesn't run on Z hardware, even partitioned or virtualized, only on POWER systems.

Aunt Beth fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2014 around 20:28

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Tab8715
May 20, 2006



At my last gig I was responsible for a few enterprise applications that ran on SUN-SPARC and Intel Itanium. If you ever work at any big corporation there's gigantic amount of legacy applications that just can't be migrated to something more modern. I have no idea how much it would cost but management essentially poo poo bricks when they saw a quote and our revenue is over 100+ billion.

Now, at my current position half of my duties are IBM Power / IBMi focused. There are literally thousand of applications for tons of industries written in COBOL/RPG that just are more economic to maintain rather than migrate to Linux/x86. Maybe in the future IBMi will become depreciated but it's going to be around for a while...

I know that IBM is aggressively positioning Power to take on the Linux market. All the major vendors are on-board Red Hat, Canonical, Novell, etc but software developers are still hesitant. While many big corporations refuse to leave HP-UX/Intel Itanium eventually they're going to have too and there only options are migrate to Linux/x86, x86/Windows(lol) SUN-SPARC or IBM Power. Guess which two are cheaper?

I can't say if IBM's plan will work out but supposedly Power offers higher VM density vs x86 and a plethora things like hot-swappable PCI-Express Slot, RAM Memory Compression and I can't remember the term off-hand but there's feature where if a bank of memory or processor fails it'll immediately switch over to another bank or proc... Does this even exist in x86 land? Lastly, the only thing I hate about IBM is if you need to learn mainframe you're paying some education partner several thousand dollars for training, you can't go to a bookstore and study in your free time like you can for your MCSA/VCP/RHCSA...

Midrange talk aside, I got a quick resume question. I've almost been in IT almost a decade, should I put every IT job I've ever had or just the last three? I can't fit everything on one-page anymore

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