IT - sometimes my friend - sometimes my enemy
I do Process Control.
I do Remote Support.
Sometimes the IT guys are my best friends; helpful & prepared to learn that a Process system with a life expectancy of 15-20 years is NOT going to do WIndows upgrades; nor is it going to arbitarily shift from its current OS (which could be DOS or later) just because of some new fad from MS. They work with me (& my colleagues) to get it working. Wow; I could almost love them.
Then you get the IT department that RUNS - but still interfers (without asking or checking; blowing a badged CISCO router back to Cisco firmware and trashing all the automation preferential stuff that our Cisco firmware handled correctly; and then crying 'cos the Production manager screamed at the dozy idiots).
Then you get the ones who shove their damned group policy/ arbitarily changed service account name rules onto production servers crashing entire factories. Oh yes; the service account that looked after the SAP connector; just changed; just like that; 3 days loss of production -- moroons. Not even one of their servers.
Then you get the corporate supplier of all things server based; who don't even know how to maintain an SQL server. Tell our clinet they will have to charge them for even looking at the problem they have caused - then having the damned nerve to ask US to inspect their cock up and help their cleint for free; Holy Pisstake; if I wasn't talking to the factory IT guy ( one of the many good guys) about why I thought we were justified in saying NO WAY - and he agreeing with me; I would not have believed what I was seeing/hearing.
Then you get the moroons in OUR IT trying to get a VPN through the moroons in the CLIENT'S IT. Lock them all in a room with no food or water until they sort it out is my answer. How long to fix a site to site VPN you may well ask - try 3 to 6 MONTHS.
And when it comes to running Process Control in VMWare - I've been told by the IT people in a UK factory the ONLY VMWare servers are in the US; and yes please can the DCS run on VMWare servers in the US. Of course bloody well not; IT people ?
Guys - Process Control is NOT the same as Windows Office; or even SAP. And NO we can not test every piece of fixit code that comes out of MS and tell you it will work with ALL our kit. Especially if you work in Pharma or Food & Drugs.
We like to LOCK it all down when we've finished building it. And your factory Process Engineers get kind of antsy when some idiot comes along to fiddle with something that's been working for weeks/months/years.
And since your factory techs & Egineers no longer specialise in our kit; they expect us to remote in & help them fix problems. SO it really is a no brainer - we must have remote access - via a nice secure VPN with proper passwords and proper accounts; of course; what do you think ? That we're as stupid as the damned suits ?
Please remember that if the factory is not making widgets; there is no need for all that back office IT that keeps you employed. So no; I'm afraid 'my' process network is way more important than your network; and no; I do serriously expect to PUSH my data out to your servers and suck your data in; even when I'm playing on the Middleware box.
Please help us to help you; and remember - the devs who make our software ARE Rocket Scientist when it comes to process programing; and don't have time (because we also have stupid suits making impossible demands on us) to pander to the latest IT craze/good idea/sensible recommendations that have just surfaced to replace the last bright ideas the last head of IT had.
And no; I can't make that DCS running on WIndows 2k run on W2k8; it's going to cost £500 000 to £1 000 000 to make that happen - something your company can't afford to do (what with paying some incompetent 3rd party IT 'support' company to break Process servers by pushing unquallified patches on them).
Most of us want to work with you guys in IT to help make BOTH our companies money. We (well most of us) aren't IT specialist (though we've had to learn a lot); most times all we want is a little help and advice; and an understanding that we are trying our damdest to get YOUR factory working efficiently & profitably. So maybe it really is YOU who should be discussing possibilities with YOUR Process Engineers & Techs.
Let's just work together - looking after our mutual client; resolving issues in a nice flexible way. We are not your enemy; honest !