A Eight hour ride for Nothing!!

shopping-style-malls-reston-town-centerBeen a busy few days. Lots of experimenting with large files. Got a file store from a client that was over 500 GB in size. Since my laptop doesn’t have so much space and fire power to processes these and a 50+ GB Oracle database, I wanted to get it all transferred to our corporate servers. However, when on the VPN, the transfer rates were so pathetic that I had to abandon the route. I tried other seemingly faster copy utilities such as Teracopy, Microsoft Sync and Robocopy, all in vain. Finally I tried FTP’ing to an external site so that I could download from there onto the servers. I was enthusiastic when I saw speeds of 700KB/sec (about 10 times faster than windows copy), but this didn’t help. 60 hours later, the FTP had finished about 200GB. So I decided to drive up to our Reston, VA office in hopes of transferring the files faster due to the office network’s bandwidth. It was a three-hour drive. Getting to the office was a challenge. The office address listed on our corporate directory was incorrect, so I ended up in a wrong location, about miles out. I had someone else contact somebody from the office and got the right address. Once I got there, I found out parking was a big problem in that limited space at the Reston town center. It was way past lunch time and it was blustery and cold. So windy that there were signs on the building doors not to use the regular doors, but to use the revolving doors. I had managed to park at the nearby retail shopping space about 1/4 mile away. My ears were near frozen and so were my hands as I walked back to the office. As everywhere in America, it is hard to distinguish one building from another when you are new to the area. And the building numbers aren’t visible from afar. Anyway, thought I will grab lunch and stood in line at the Chipotle. After 10 minutes felt the line was too long. I jumped ship and walked into a Panera with much less crowd. Picked up a Vegetable soup bowl, a piece of bread and a coffee. I didn’t have to worry about the calories – all of it was less than 300 calories (for lunch!).

Reston Town Center 2After lunch, walked into the office and someone let me in. The office is pretty small that there is no front desk person to take calls. Once I hooked up the laptop to the network and started the copy, all the while super excited that I would finish the job in a jiffy. Alas, it wasn’t to be. The speed of transfer was way LESS than I was getting at my home office!! After an hour and a half, it didn’t make sense to continue. I was working on an alternative environment setup, when I realized it was just getting past four. I would have to beat the Beltway traffic to be home in time for dinner. It was a three-hour drive, but given the evening I expected it to be longer. But I didn’t expect it to take nearly FIVE hours to be back home. An accident on I95 resulted in a huge backlog. I took an exit two miles before the accident finally only to make a wrong turn and was soon heading away from home. I finally got back onto I95 only to find myself getting to the same exit I had taken about 1/2 hour back!! The traffic was still not moving!! So I took the exit again and headed the opposite direction. However, all routes off I95 was grid-locked and I realized I had jumped from the pan to the fire!! It took me another 30 minutes to find myself past the accident scene. But Baltimore evening traffic still hadn’t subsided and it took a while to get past the Harbor bridge. Thereon, the ride was better but I reached home only 15 minutes past 9. A 8 hour drive for nothing!!

Today was not much better in that I had to wrestle with all things Oracle, Virtual machines, lack of disk space, slow transfer speeds, but at the end of the day feel I am still on track.

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