Reply to post: Re: Very large Insurance Company

Margin mugs: A bank paid how much for a 2m Ethernet cable? WTF!


Re: Very large Insurance Company

Ah yes, I worked for a REinsurer's company up the road from the Lloyds building in the City around the turn of the millennium and mentioned to the Finance Director that we needed a new server to migrate file shares to as the main workhorse was running out of space. Our total server fleet was 4 x 5U HPs and something else (maybe a Dell), and the Wang that did all the financials.

Cut to around 3 weeks later, when an entire rack of 6 IBM-badged servers in deep charcoal shades that would admirably suit Hotblack Desiato's decor is wheeled into the server room.

I go to the boss and say "so what are these for?" New fancy database? Some clustered app?

"Oh," he says. "I was chatting to the IBM rep and he said we could get a deal on all 6 plus the rack. I thought it'd be nice if all the servers matched. You can migrate everything onto those - there should be enough room now for the extra storage."

I don't recall what the "deal" was but I do recall it was multiples of my annual pay at the time. Given the ridiculously overspecced nature of the new units, we could have migrated the contents of the current 4 servers and provisioned the extra capacity we needed onto precisely two of the Black Beasts.

Since I'd been hired as a contractor in the first place to effectively play "telephone" between the IT manager and the lead tech (1), I should not have been surprised that throwing money away on matching boxes was not even worthy of comment. If anyone was wondering why their insurance premiums jumped circa 1999, there you go.

(1) Said lead tech was vastly more experienced than me, but he and the IT manager literally did not speak to each other. IT manager had been chucked in the deep end knowing very little about IT ops, but was willing to authorise work if you explained things in teeny-tiny words. Lead tech had had the shts with thick-headed manager and was basically on a "work-to-rule" system, but was happy to load me up with the donkey work. I was hired "because" I had an MCSE (whoopdedoo) and he, having loads of experience, hadn't bothered. But as I say, my job was really to ask him what needed to be done and then butter up the manager for authorisation. Lead tech had also been overloaded with grunt work, and I was happy to help him out (I knew I needed training!), say things like "wow, I really like the way you set up blah blah, that's so nice to manage compared to the usual way" and listen to his fulsome rants about the Hammers every Monday morning. So everyone was content.

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