by Chris Rogers, CTP, Washington DC CUGC Leader
So before I even start this blog article, I’m going to say one thing to those folks from Canada, the Nordics, Russia, or wherever else deals with this on a regular basis.
Stuff it in your well-prepared snowplow tailpipe.
This is DC. We panic at only 1 inch of snow. The attached photo is from Saturday afternoon while the snow was still falling. There is more now. 30 inches outside my house. We tried to keep up with it (note the half-unburied cars) and gave up. There was the usual run on the stores. Bread, milk, toilet paper and bottled water were nowhere to be found. Gas stations were emptied. Lines were long everywhere. The snow started falling on Friday, and everyone went home and hibernated. It’s what we do. We have a blizzard like this about once every five years. As such, we don’t have the equipment, nor the experience for dealing with this. We try. We usually fall short though. The string of three blizzards in 2010 that left 54″ piled outside of my house shut down DC for nearly two weeks. We just don’t know what to do with that much snow. Where do you put it? I’ll give kudos to Moscow here. I visited three years ago in February and it snowed. A lot. I went to bed wondering how I would get to my meeting the next morning, and I woke up to… nothing. It was GONE. All of it. The magic Russian snowplow fairy came and whisked it all away. It was impressive. Let me reiterate this once more: DC does not have a magic snowplow fairy. It just wasn’t in the Federal budget.
All that being understood. I’m working today. Yes, between times where I’m outside shovelling snow and trying not to have a heart attack doing it. Not kidding there, that’s a thing. I’m sitting at my desk right now, logged into the systems that I need to be logged into, attending online meetings, using XenApp and XenDesktop and I’m working and billing. That last bit is rather important if you are an independent consultant like me. I HAVE to stay billable. Unexpected days off kill a budget. So all is well in my world. I can do the work I need to do, even catch up on some things that have been on the back burner. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you are not processing the interrupts of folks coming by your cube wanting something RIGHT NOW. A good day so far, likely will be more of the same tomorrow.
Now, things are not perfect. There are pitfalls. One of my customers started experiencing network latency. They blamed Citrix (of course). Thanks to Netscaler Insight, we were able to show them graphs of the 900ms latency on their INTERNAL network segments. Apparently a switch was not up to snuff. With that many remote users on the system, unexpected behaviors show their faces. Another customer had a storage array fill up and take down one of their hypervisor clusters. Couldn’t blame that one on Citrix. Took them forever to fix it, but our systems stayed up thanks to well-architected redundancy.
So DC is fine, thank you very much. We have our bread, milk and toilet paper, and we are staying inside and letting the snowplows do their job. They just take longer than other places. We are working and being productive thanks to Citrix. All is well. Nothing to see here, move along.
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