Technology, Infrastructure and Cloud Focused.

Father of 3 lovely children, geek, infrastructure expert, technical architect and all round technologist.

OK so what have I been doing

Well it has been a view months since a last post so I thought I would update you all on what I have been doing.  Recently I have taken a new senior role based in London and Bermuda which has been great, this has been looking at building a digital transformation strategy for the company to enable them to be agile, scalable and flexible moving forward.  One of the most exciting aspects of this is looking at how data driven the company is (by using some high scaling distributed compute) and how much analytics they do, more on this in later posts.

My son has been doing some great work on his Owl boxes (update to follow) and now has 3 sets of boxes with Owl’s hatching and tagged which has been very rewarding for him, I was hoping to write to the RSPB to try and showcase the work he has done.

On the wood working front I must say I was impressed with my new garden storage box (pictured below) all built off a quick notepad drawing DIY Garden Storage Boxand then making it up as I went.  I did make a few mistakes but all in all this only took 2 weekends to build and was made from 8mm (too thin BTW..) T&G softwood, offcuts and roof battens.  Total cost was around £95 compared to the £120 – £200 to purchase online and will store all of our garden furniture and toys.

 

The next project I am starting on will be a full garden vegetable trough for the inlaws to use, I suspect this project will last a few weekends but look forward to creating it.  On the wish list is to try and attend a 2 day course and learn more about Sketch Up from Xchange Training to cut down on the time needed to self learn and design my projects a lot better – as with everything it is finding the time to do this.

I will have a review coming out of both the Dewalt DW-774 Mitre Saw and the Ryobi One+ Brad Nailer soon which is the latest DIY gadgets to be used.

I forgot to mention (and plug!) my wife’s business venture is going well, check out her Reflexology and Holistic Therapy site  www.pureharmony.co.uk She has had some fantastic reviews on facebook and recently now offers Indian Head and Full Body Massage, 10% off if I refer you as well so get in touch!!

Check out some of the great pictures from Bermuda….

img_1181 Bermuda overlooking Hamilton

The importance of down time or relaxing

So where I have been and why no posts (again), currently my time is very limited due to the IT transformation at my current position (2.5 years IT Strategy nearing compilation).  You can only image the workload and stress with a small team changing every element in our application, infrastructure and desktop estate – effectively everything with a plug on it!!  But it is extremely enjoyable and maybe one day I will write a series of posts on it, but for now……

So having some down time for every one is very important, as is the removal or distraction of work.  I am the worst for this as it is so tempting just to pickup the phone and check in with the office, or check those emails you know are piling up.  It will always take me two or three days to “wind down” from the professional side of work but it is truly worth it.

This also goes for thinking time within the office, making decisions either structured or unstructured (on the fly!) is good but after a few days or even weeks it takes its toll on everyone.  This is especially true if you are working on large designs or projects that require thought time!!

So do I have a secret – no!  Can I give you advise on how to achieve this – no!  So what’s the point of reading this post.  Firstly it is a reminder to myself, secondly it is down to you to find the best way of relaxing, taking down time or managing your work actives when you are on holiday – I would love to here some of your ideas in the mean time check out http://www.lifehacker.co.uk/ for some hits and tips.

Relax and downtime

IT infrastructure for data protection – post presentation review

Computer Weekly Logo

Around 6 weeks ago I had the pleasure of being invited to a Computer Weekly event that CW500 run for exclusive members, the title of this session was “IT Infrastructure for Data Protection” and presented alongside Mark Skilton from Warwick Business School and Mike Cope, IT Director at University College London.  We were hosted by Bryan Glick, Editor-in-Chief of Computer Weekly – many thanks Bryan and the turn out was very good.

My slide deck was focused around an IT transformation programme I am heading up how we are protecting data not just through application or data migrations but what feature sets and technology are we implementing to address  issues like Dropbox, wireless or BYOD devices.

I must admit I was surprised on how this went, excluding the slight issue with my slide deck and automatic transitioning of them!

Anyway here is the article on me – http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/CW500-IT-infrastructure-for-data-protection

Here is the video – http://www.computerweekly.com/video/CW500-Keith-Bucknall-Head-of-Strategy-Architecture-Infrastructure-Equity-Insurance-Group 

 

My thoughts on Boston

So welcome to the new design for my blog – hoping you like it as this is now a mobile optimised blog with the thanks to the Studiopress templates.  OK so tonight is my last night in Boston from a business trip I had taken to present on a customer panel for a fantastic industry changing Backup, Protection and Copy Management Solution and I wanted to recap the highlights of this great city, being the 1st I have visited here:

Of course we have the world famous Cheers Bar:

 

Well what can I say it is a must..!

Well what can I say it is a must..!Boston Cheers Matt 

Now the views are fantastic especially this time of the year:

IMG_2060 IMG_2066 IMG_2065

The venue where we have been staying and is set within a renovated jail.  In 2005 the work started on this and was such a joy to look at how the owners have converted it.  The stay was great and the hotel itself was very good – The Liberty Hotel.

Overlooking the Liberty Hotel Lobby

Of course I am not going to comment on the Whiskey I saw behind the bar:

Never heard of this Whiskey before

And the venue in which we were presenting:

Presentation room

So moving back to some more highlights had to be the harbour or docks, shopping was a little small but I never realised that MIT and Harvard was located here.  Fingers crossed the flights will be ok for tomorrow and check out my new blog posts coming soon.