From Chapter Two: The appliance computing culture
This is the 21st excerpt from the second book in the Defen series: BIT:
Business Information Technology: Foundations, Infrastructure, and Culture
Note that the section this is taken from, on the evolution of appliance computing,
includes numerous illustrations and note tables omitted
The iSeries data center tour
This is a tour of a data center built around an IBM iSeries mini-computer. The important things to note here
- How much smaller and more focused this is than the mainframe data center seen earlier;
- The degree of centralized processing control;
- The focus on delivering packaged applications with only minor local tweaking; and,
- The high reliability, and relatively low overall cost, of the system.
The data center has 110 budgeted positions, of which 98 are currently filled. Of these:
- One is the director of information systems. He reports to the vice president for finance and operations.
- One is a Lotus Domino support programmer;
- Two are administrative assistants (for budget and library/licensing respectively);
- Two support external network access and related security equipment;
- Four support the internal network;
- Four are Windows software development programmers;
- Four are role managers; (production, networking, desktop support, and administration, respectively);
- Eight are dedicated to supporting remote customer access and spend most of their time at, or between, customer
- Nine are working on the company's e-commerce site re-development initiative;
- Thirteen are Windows support and help desk personnel dedicated to working with the remote users, mainly sales
people, and the Windows desktop users in finance and marketing;
- Eighteen provide direct internal user support primarily on ad hoc reporting, training, or mechanical issues;
- Thirty-two are dedicated to supporting the AS/400 operation. Of these, twenty-four, half of them support
programmers, work regular office hours while the other eight work either from 3:00 PM to 10PM weekdays or 8:30
AM to 1:30 on weekends.
HR currently has openings posted for people with the following major skills:
- Team Leader for retail system enhancements, support and modernization ($69,300);
- E-commerce project manager with retail POS, Web sphere, and AS/400 experience ($93,500)
- Information security specialist (PC environment) ($64,243);.
- AS/400 support and maintenance programmer. Must have AS/400, PC, OS/400, RPG 400 / 3 / 2, CL, OS/400 Query,
SDA, DDS, DFU, with SYNON, AS/SET, LSAMS and at least one major financial package such as JD Edwards Financials
or Lawson Financials (2 positions) ($62,600);
- Web sphere development programmer with significant OS/400 and secure electronic commerce implementation
experience (2 positions) ($71,300); and,
- Microsoft Terminal Server Client Access services support programmer (2 positions) ($51,000)
Typical programmer-analyst credentials (taken from resumes)
- Extensive experience with: IBM AS/400, RPG ILE/400/III, J.D.Edwards One World, PowerBuilder, Gentran/Sterling.
JDE OneWorld Report Writer Certified.
- Project Management experience, particularly in conversion management.
- JDE Technical Project Lead, OneWorld Developer
- Financial and distribution industry experience particularly on inventory, receiving, and shipping orders.
- Expert with all major Microsoft Office tools including Visio and Project.
- Domino Server administration support experience including secure access tools.
Specific Examples of work history (taken from staff resumes):
- Gentran Supported EDI function for parts warehouse. Customized code and created/supported X.400 interfaces.
- OneWorld Report designer for a parts manufacturing operation; helped with Upgrade to B73.2.
- Functioned as a technical resource during post merger addition of new company to JDE Financials. Worked on
conversions and interfaces for partner software from AMS.
- Modified JDE Financials System Setup to allow processing of Check Reconciliation Procedures and Inventory
- Implemented JDE 7.3 Financials and acted as technical team lead in consultant led conversion. Including writing
the purchasing interfaces to GL and conversion programs, as well as modifying the Address Book maintenance
- Added Triggers to JDE to access legacy payroll.
- Developed JDE interface to Oracle/Unix system with merger partner.
Notice the contrasts with the mainframe data center in terms of the broader roles assigned staff,
the higher level of individual achievement, and the absence of the distinction between "customer facing" and
purely internal roles.
- These excerpts don't (usually) include footnotes and most illustrations have been dropped as simply too
hard to insert correctly. (The wordpress html "editor" as used here enables a limited html subset
and is implemented to force frustrations like the CPM line delimiters from MS-DOS).
- The feedback I'm looking for is what you guys do best: call me on mistakes, add
thoughts/corrections on stuff I've missed or gotten wrong, and generally help make the thing better.
Notice that getting the facts right is particularly important for BIT - and that the length of the thing
plus the complexity of the terminology and ideas introduced suggest that any explanatory anecdotes anyone
may want to contribute could be valuable.
- When I make changes suggested in the comments, I make those changes only in the
original, not in the excerpts reproduced here.
Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration.
Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related