Its almost March ? You've got to be kidding me. Happy New Year all :-)
Last time I looked, I was being ushered into a new role, deemed "a challenge"; I didn't realise how much of a challenge, and have recently surfaced from a manic 3 months of good, solid, extremely satisfying hard work. I've never seen an environment in need of more love.
The amusements begin with an imageDB that had symbolic-links from upper-case to lower-case clients and vice-versa; why this was done is 100% clear: A merge from a Windows domain to a UNIX domain brought clients into NBU which were upper/lower-case, and instead of renaming the clients to either be upper or lower, links were added which allowed client-names to be searched in either case. I have read a Symantec recommendation which actually talks about this as being a work-around to a bug, but this type of bastardization affects things like de-assignempty (max-symlink error occurs and tapes do not get de-assigned correctly) amongst other things, so the rules based on my experience are:
1) Don't mess with the imageDB, ever.
2) When you merge things plan it correctly and move clients to lower case (for UNIX Masters) or upper-case (for Window Masters). Keep it consistent and simple.
3) Use a Windows Console (either on your desktop or from a Media Server) and actually specify upper-case clients when searching for images - this way you'll get upper or lower without an issue. Yes, we're all aware of the Java Console bug :-(
4) See point (1): Do NOT mess with the imageDB, ever.
After rectifying all this, inconsistencies still exist which been successfully tested and a workaround performed (restores are 100% successful) but going forward a level of consistency has been addressed.
Sometimes you have to push, sometimes a little harder than other times, and mostly you need to lay-down the law and believe in what you're doing. If you don't really know what you're doing to begin with, then I think you'd better stop doing it, and get some help. The amusements I've seen have been incomparable and clearly the management of this is down to the individuals who own the responsibility for the environment. Blaming a culture or an entire company is not where its at; you define the role, the culture and the company, and it can be changed. I believe it has partially been realised that love is needed - based on good results and measurements of success, the more you give a shit, the more others start giving a shit. The environment has enjoyed a great success rate over the past 2 months, and apart from the fundamental network problems(!) things are definitely on the up with jobs completing correctly in an acceptable space of time. Again: Truly give a shit and others will start giving a shit. Oh, releasing a document to say that 'everything is shit and needs fixing NOW is a good starting point' :-)
I'm enjoying it because its turned itself around. I'm enjoying it because its been hard work and the rewards are clear. Satisfaction, what a pleasure.