I have just completed the first week at my new company. I have moved from a medium sized bank with 3,000 employees to the largest service provider in the Middle East with 30,000 employees and millions of customers.
During my time with my previous employer, I was a significant part of the team pushing infrastructure consolidation and application transformation over five years to reach 99% virtualisation with the VMware vCloud Enterprise suite of products. Things were small enough that I could perform a lot of the work myself, which definitely will not work here: team-work and a unified sense of purpose will be the key to success.
My first order of business has been to start talking to my colleagues to learn about the enterprise services we provide to the company and our customers. One of the things I did was to “empty my cup” when collecting information, to forget any preconceived notions that have worked for medium-size enterprise and learn why certain design decisions were made due to “size” and “scale”.
The first big difference I have noticed, is the levels of availability are much higher; instead of three to four 9s, we operate at five 9s and above. The highest tier of application is considered “Mission Critical” (providing services to customers and company employees) and our database sizes are tens of terabytes instead of one or two terabytes. Needless to say, our data centers are many and gigantic, so I am very interested in learning how we manage the infrastructure installed there.
Once I have a grasp on what we have from an application and infrastructure perspective, the next step will be to formulate a scalable architecture that meets our business requirements and the strategy to get there. I am looking forward to the coming months and hope to provide value. Wish me luck!