Need advice on an opportunity

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Mackintire

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My brain is mush today so please forgive this rambling mess of a story/advice request below.

So I jumped careers into IT 18 months ago. My current manager thinks I'm fantastic. My title is IT support/Network Engineer.

My one friend the guy that is basically mentors me has been getting slammed with work for the past year has finally had enough and submitted his two week notice. This guy has more IT related head knowledge than anyone I've every run into. He's currently a Sr. Systems Engineer in the R&D depart.

Now the fun part... I work in IT support, we fall under business operations and in effect finance. So its me --> Senior IT Manager --> VP of Finance. The IT support department gets little visibility, small pay raises and we have few opportunities for advancement.

The systems engineer, my bud who leaving, is under Operations Support which is tied to the R&D department so the hierarchy for him is: Systems Engineer--> Director of Software R&D ---> COO.

Now the director of Software R&D and COO (both good guys) but are known to micromanage at times and on occasion make decisions that take a direction regardless of employee input advising otherwise.

The problem and opportunity is the R&D depart have huge budgets and opportunities for advancement, but a much higher probability of getting micromanaged or being taken advantage of.

So my bud/mentor the systems engineer has been told that his last day will be friday. His massive server farm/NAS/SAN/switch and firewall collection is being dumped onto me.

I can not say no at this point. I don't really have a choice for the interm.

I'm also being setup at the primary point of contact for our support vender(s) and the piles of paperwork that goes along with it. I've done this before and that doesn't worry me but in combination with everything else... It adds up to a large block of time.

I talked briefly with the director of Software R&D that I might be interested in taking on some of his responsibilities permanently.

Backlog....
I've made my current supervisor very happy, his vacation this past year was the first in 6 years that he didn't have to come into the office or log in daily.

I'm thinking that my supervisor could hire a PT guy or split his time with some of the other departments to perform the more mindless tasks and I could take over managing the dev environment 50% of my time. So 20 hours a week working for support and 20 hours supporting the dev environment.


The problem is what should I be asking for in compensation ? I make $60k with crappy benefits and a uber high deductible.

I was thinking that I ask for the following:

  • $6-10K more???
  • My current manager stays my manager. (no way in hell do I want to bail on him, he's treated me well)
  • I accept ownership of the dev environment and its support.
  • I suggest that I am willing to take ownership of the vender support end but it may take some time before I am able to take full solo ownership for the product support end. I will take full solo ownership immediately for the items in the dev enviroment and will work with someone else until I am up to speed and can manage the product operations end.



Currently I support 200 employees 38 servers, various NAS units, 2 SANs, AD, PBX and all the usual stuff. I also am in the middle of deploying a new FTA.


Taking on the dev environment would add another 40+ servers around 300-350VMs 6PB of storage 10 managed switches and a couple of ASA5520s. But that is just the hardware side.

There's a whole product support liaison side associated with this that could become quite significant.

There's also a company move coming up that will include 40 KVA UPS install and having the entire environment torn down and reassembled.

The monitoring for the environment is minimal. The VM management is in V-Sphere.

The point is, at the moment I get to do lots of stuff but am really not the guy responsible,my manager is.

If I become the new Systems Engineer I'll own this. The responsibility for the environment is mine alone.


Any advice comments, experiences you can share?
 

Eickst

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Doesn't sound like a pay increase that is commensurate with the technical skills or responsibilities that the job demands.

And off topic to your request, but why do you have two SANs? Is one for development?
 

Mackintire

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Doesn't sound like a pay increase that is commensurate with the technical skills or responsibilities that the job demands.

And off topic to your request, but why do you have two SANs? Is one for development?

Thanks for the feedback.

For the IT support Department
Our newer SAN is a file storage SAN that's 50TB using 7200RPM SAS drives. It's servicing the FTA and primary file server.

The other is a much older application SAN 7TB total filled with 15K SAS drives used for Exchange store and a couple of SQL DBs.

We plan on replacing the app SAN with newer one in 2014 probably around 24TB in size with 10K SAS drives.

For the development department they have a 2.2PB Isilon unit for RAW image storage.
Each individual image is in a proprietary format made of a grid of 128 RAW snapshots taken from a digital microscope at 8MP.
 

Eickst

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Only you can decide if the job is worth the extra money (and headaches).

I find that most people in IT are horrible negotiators, if you make them give you a number first it will be much better. If you just throw out 10k (and they were planning on offering you 20k more) then you will just cost yourself money. Asking to keep your manager isn't going to happen if you are transferring to a different department, I wouldn't even ask for it. If you are truly making 60k, and they offer 70, I would ask for 80 and settle for 75 with the stipulation that you receive another salary review (or just straight up non-conditional raise) in 6 months. Whatever you do don't just take what they offer you. The IT industry is full of great IT people who are overworked and underpaid because they are horrible negotiators. If they won't give more money, ask for two more weeks vacation on top of what you already receive. Ask for a week or two of paid training every year. Ask for a company paid cell phone or a cell phone reimbursement. Ask for reimbursement for your home internet since you will be on VPN constantly.

Simple negotiating rule - he who speaks first loses. Do not give your number first or YOU LOSE. This is not a game, its a real battle. You are trying to win against your boss in the biggest competition of your life- MONEY. If they stall and ask for your number, ask them what they think your talent would be worth to the company in that position. Ask them how much its worth to have someone that they know move in to the position, instead of hiring someone from outside who will take even longer to bring up to speed and could be a complete cancer to the department. Ask him how much its worth not to have to sit through dozens of interviews with people who lied on their resume and aren't fit to reset passwords let alone manage the environment that you have. If they low ball you and won't budge, you don't have to take the job. Thank them for the consideration, but you value your skills and loyalty to your manager and the company too much to be put in a position that you will resent in 6 months because of the workload and low compensation.

Also, if all of this is your sole responsibility after you take this job, when do you get to go on vacation?
 

Mackintire

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Thank you again... I'm not very cutthroat when it comes to competing...unless your a real di**.

The director of Software R&D wants to move the dev environment under the current IT support department.

Usually we all cross train. So that someone goes on vacation the place can still run. But that's not what they do normally and they are not as skilled in the same ways. AKA they can usually figure it out, but don't bet its going to get resolved quickly all the time. When our Systems Engineer went on vacation last month I watched his environment. There are other VMadmins that can administrate V-sphere including my current manager if needed.

The only gotcha is that the job crosses into three or four departments due to the scope of duties and what they support. But in all honesty its not so much different than what we currently do....other than its another whole system as large as what we currently have, if not more. That and I fixed the company IT system....this environment is not horrible , just neglected a bit.
 
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