Now and again, I have to head out to the London office the Art Loss Register has to do various on site IT related things. Bit of a pain, as I end up spending about five hours of the day travelling. Very different to the 10 minute walk to the Bath Office I am used too.

There are a few nifty things about London I enjoy that make it worth while though. First off, they sell tasty doughnut in Paddington Station! There is a small store I finally found hidden in the corner called Krispy Kreme, and for £10 you can get sick on 12 doughnuts.

I realise that 12 doughnuts are probably not meant to be eaten by one person in a single day, but they are just so tasty.

The other handy thing was while waiting for the next train at Paddington, its only a ten minute walk to Hyde Park, so if like me you have to wait for the cheaper off-peak train at 7pm you can spend time at Hyde Park rather than waiting in station. Its a huge park, to the point that you can’t actually hear or see the busy city its in the middle of. I don’t often have time to wonder too much, but over a few trips I am slowly exploring it all.

 

On another work related note, I have also been very impressed by our HP Servers. Until recently all of our servers have been working fine in the server racks I installed them in and because I am new to being a sysadmin, I have not had to diagnose server hardware problems until now.

We had a couple of blinking amber lights on the front of the front of Nyx, our most powerful ESXi server. Unlike desktops which are often a nightmare to diagnose what piece of hardware has died, this server simply has 50 LED lights all over the place that show you where faults are.

Its hard to see in the above picture because I had flash on, but the two LED’s that are amber show which stick of ram is failing in the bottom right and the fact its doing clever stuff to work around the errors and fault in the top left. Very handy, and something I wish desktops had.

The other fault, was one of the hard drives was apparently starting to fail. This turned out to be my first hot swap! While the server is still running, you pull out the hard drive and then slide the new one in. Job done, albeit a bit anticlimactic. Its unnerving the first time, but cool.

I imagine this kind of thing is normal for all servers since forever but using it for the first time makes me appreciate it.