Support is boring!

Support is boring!

Published on: Category: IT development and operations

WHAT!!??? I can just see our Director raise his eyebrow at such a bold statement. After all, if it’s boring, what are we doing?

So let me rephrase, if your environment has been well planned, is mostly automated, runs stable and there are no changes, then support is boring.

Well planned?

This means that some thought was given to the current requirements as well as the future mode of operations. There is a complete design, not only a functional diagram of the application, but of the underling infrastructure which takes into consideration aspects such as availability, maintenance, manageability and contingency scenario’s. Solutions for the scenario’s have to be validated. For example: when last was your backup tested? How long did the restore take? More importantly, did it work?

Automated?

Well, Oracle (and other vendors) did promise that everything can be automated! And yes, everything can be automated. However, most projects have long run out of budget and time when a new system goes into production. Even worse, most projects do not include deliverables and requirements of the operational support team as part of the project scope. Let’s face it, the focus of a project team is on the application and functionality that the customer requires. This ultimately means… lots of work and sorting out to be done by the operational team when a new system goes live. It’s literally an adventure of discovery on the fly.

Stable?

In the real world, no vendor has the perfect solution. They’re all filled with bugs which one hits sooner or later. Systems are complex and dependant on so many variables, that this is an unavoidable evil. I love the Eureka moment when after analysing, reproducing and retesting, we can finally zoom in on a bug and get it sorted.

No Changes?

There’s a saying: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. Of course customer requirements change, so new functionality is added. Our customers don’t stand still, so growth is a reality. Change is everywhere and we love dealing with the challenge!
 
In conclusion, in a perfect world, support would be boring. In real life it is an adventure!

Joanna Schrap
About the author Joanna Schrap

DBA Consultant, Project Manager and Operational Team Manager at Qualogy. Specialties Certified Oracle Database Administrator and Industrial Engineer (business analyst / project management).

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