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USENIX Technical Program - Abstract - 13th Systems Administration Conference - LISA '99

Organizing the Chaos: Managing Request Tickets in a Large Environment

Steve Willoughby, Intel Corporation


The Intel Performance Microprocessor Division Engineering Computing (PMD EC) team consists of 85 systems administrators serving the needs of 2,000 engineers while trying to manage 7+ terabytes of data and 2,500-3,000 computers. Without some kind of task management strategy, the needs of so large a group would quickly spread chaos and confusion. In fact, due to the nature of our relationship with our "customers" (PMD chip designers and other related employees and contractors), who have strict and demanding requirements of their computing environment's features and stability, extra discipline is required just to keep on top of our issues, and to properly prioritize and execute them.

The EC group receives several hundred customer help requests each week. To organize and track these requests, ensuring that they are done in the right order, none are forgotten, and that our customers are kept informed as to our progress, we have evolved a set of tools, collectively named "REQADM" (for "REQuest ADMinistration"). This tool suite allows customers to submit requests, which get assigned to EC technicians to be worked on, and eventually brought to a resolved state.

This paper describes the REQADM tools, the organization we evolved to support our customers, and the lessons learned along the way.

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Last changed: 13 Feb 2002 ml
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