One day in the life of a system engineer
Hello! My name is Egor, and I am a system engineer at the Selectel data center. Today I will talk a little about myself and how my day is going.
I got acquainted with the IT-sphere for a long time, even before studying at the university. A big role for me was played by passing courses at the Cisco Academy, as well as active participation in Cisco Connect events as an assistant organizer. Then we were responsible for installing, configuring and connecting the infrastructure of the stands and carrying out laboratory work for guests. There I met Kirill Malevanov, technical director of Selectel and a true professional in my field.
In the process of communication, I learned about an open job intern in the Moscow data center of Selectel. Since childhood, I was interested in the profession of an engineer, and the Internet seemed like an incredible "magic". The desire to learn exactly how the network is arranged has become the key to the choice of a future profession. So it seemed to me to try myself as an intern in a good way to gain experience and gain the necessary knowledge.
The learning process could not be called simple. It was necessary to absorb a large amount of information in a very short time, trying not to interfere with the engineers on duty to fulfill their duties. At first, it was difficult to communicate with customers both live and in tickets, since no single error or inaccuracy could be made.
After 3.5 months of intensive training and passing the exam, I received a Job Offer for the position of system engineer. From this and began a new interesting stage in my life.
The morning does not begin with coffee. It starts at 5:40 with the sound of the first of a dozen alarms set in the phone at 5-minute intervals. Alas, to wake up from the first signal for me is almost unreal. Closer to 6 in the morning, you manage to get up, quickly get together and go to work.
Fees for work
Take with you sandwiches for breakfast, a laptop and charging for your mobile - that's almost all the fees. Everything else is already at work.
Trip to the data center
The beginning of the working day is only at 8 in the morning, but it is not worth delaying - Moscow traffic jams are starting to gather already at 7 o'clock. In addition, having arrived at work an hour earlier, you can safely take a shower and have breakfast. It is not customary to be late with us - this not only spoils your performance, but also “exposes” your colleague who was on duty all night. It is the latter fact that is the most motivating, since everyone in the team has long been friends.
There are four engineers working in shifts, so we have alternating day and night shifts. In the course of work, each action is recorded in the accounting system, but the most important events for the shift are transferred to the changer personally. Of course, I want to hear in the morning that there were no problems over the past shift.
The main way to communicate with customers is a ticket system. Through her all appeals are taken to work. As in many other companies, we have implemented a multistage support system. General questions are answered by the employees of the “first line”, but if any real actions on the equipment were required, the applications go to us, to the engineering and technical department.
The most frequent requests are requests for rebooting hung equipment and temporary connection of IP-KVM. Upon receipt of such an application, we determine the required server by a unique identifier, find its “coordinates” and perform the required actions in the server room.
In addition, we are installing operating systems on servers ordered by customers, as well as their basic configuration. Separately, it is possible to note requests for the replacement of failed components, for example, disk drives. Our task in this case is to identify and replace the component as quickly as possible, minimizing the possible downtime of the server.
Uninterrupted operation of the data center is provided by many engineering systems, in particular, refrigeration units, uninterrupted power supply systems and fire extinguishing installations. If the details are interesting, I recommend reading the article in our blog. Despite the fact that all the information from them constantly enters the room where the engineers sit, the direct rounds of the rooms are very important.
Every 4 hours, the system engineer is required to bypass all the premises and complete the appropriate report . It is not necessary to constantly be in the engineering room, since all monitoring messages come to the standby smartphone, which makes it possible to respond to them promptly.
As the Donut used to say, from the old Soviet cartoon "Dunno on the Moon", - "You can not break the diet." I go to a free lunch in our dining room, while colleagues continue to work.
Assignment to change
In addition to receiving applications directly, my duties also include a very large number of various operations. The company constantly introduces new server capacities into operation, but before customers can order dedicated servers , the equipment must be fully prepared for operation.
New servers are marked, mounted in racks, configured and stored in an automatic control system. All the necessary cables are immediately connected to them: power, Internet, local network. This is what I will do now. During the day there are several engineers, so the task of processing appeals has so far been transferred to their hands.
In addition, Moscow is already in the habit of seeing a number of interns or interns in our department. Who, if not us, will help them develop and unleash their potential?
Toward the end of the working day, an application was received from a new client for equipment placement . Through the ticket system, I sent him a map, issued a pass, and after a while I met him at the checkpoint. While the customer is drinking coffee:
- I look around the server, make sure that the declared configuration corresponds to the real
- I check the serial numbers
- I measure energy consumption
- Mark a unique identifier on both sides
- I prepare the acts of reception equipment
Now the client can safely go about his business, and the server will be installed in a rack for a couple of hours and will be available remotely .
Often there is a situation when the customer is in another city or even in another country. It is not possible to bring equipment for placement personally. In this case, it can be delivered by courier services, subject to prior arrangement via the ticket system.
Immediately before installation, I determine the rack where I need to install the equipment. Here the number of power supplies and the availability of free ports in the access switch play a big role. Through the script I request this data, check the availability of free ports and make sure that there are free sockets.
I also look at the readings of the rack-mount multimeter or ATS (automatic reserve input) so that the actual power consumption of the rack does not go beyond the maximum possible limit, taking into account the new equipment.
After all this is checked, you can safely go and mount. Since we only accept Rackmount form factor equipment for 19 ”rack installation - most often there is no problem with the placement.
The working day came to an end. I tell the changer about all the events that occurred in the last 12 hours. I solemnly hand over to him the "symbols of power" - the keys to the premises and the mobile phone on duty.
Before you go home, I have time to admire the views of evening Moscow.
Going to sleep
The car is parked, dinner is eaten, it's time to go to bed. Tomorrow will be a great new day.