2200 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
Re: Parts standardization much older
Redhat is an ecosystem. It's more than just RHEL. Yes, the official RHEL has slow package adoption. That is because they must test EVERY PACKAGE to work with EVERY OTHER PACKAGE.
But there are others. Fedora is bleeding edge, if you like. It's still very much a part of the Red Hat ecosystem. There are also additional repositories such as "Extras" or RPMForge. (http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories/RPMForge).
RHEL and derivatives are designed to be rock solid and stable. But this is open source; there are all sorts of ways to inject "newer" into that, if you are prepared to take the risk. Ways that can still use "yum install [package name]".
As Red Hat gets larger, they will have the ability to add more warm bodies to QA. Really, that's what is needed. More eyes testing things, and that requires an even larger company. But don't expect any company that's made its way to a billion dollars to give up on the thing that got it there:
Providing a rock solid, reliable, easy to use implementation of open source software.
And another thing...
...migrating exchange into Office 365 is "easy peasy."
Finding the damned documentation...that was hard.
Why not write up a...
The answer is simple: I haven't had to do them yet in the real world. I have been asked by a client to move Exchange --> Office 365. I spent a lot of time doing the research and writing up an internal document, it seemed like a quick-and-easy way to get a pair of sysadmin blog articles out with only some minor rewriting. Preferably sysadmin blog articles that might mean something to a reasonable chunk of my potential readers.
If and when I run across the need to document more things, I am sure they will find their way into these pages as well. (You can always go to http://www.egeek.ca and hire out my company to do whatever project you want. I am certain that if I have to do enough research/generate enough documentation to do that project, at least some aspect of it will end up rewritten in blog format here. Or, you know...ask me if I am willing to write an article on a given topic...)
In the meantime, you might like some of my previous articles:
SpamAssassin front-ending exchange: http://www.trevorpott.com/?p=275
Basic Linux bandwidth shaping: http://www.trevorpott.com/?p=308
I am working on documenting some of the tools I use with Google Apps (migration, maintenance, overcoming some of the missing features like shared contacts, etc.) I am sure that will eventually be at least one article.
Regarding the specific products you mentioned...the simple truth of the matter is that I haven't done a Zimbra migration in about 3 years. (I've done several "from scratches", but no migrations.) I haven't touched Scalix or Sogo in forever. I've never moved Exchange --> Postfix, though I probably set up a Postfix or Qmail server every week. (Virtualmin!)
As a general rule, I write an article when:
I have to do something new adn this creates documentation
I found something actually took some effort
Something interests me that I feel would interest my readers
As to being a shill...
There are only two vendors who have ever sent me demo gear to play with. Pano Logic and Intel. I’ve been a Pano fan for ages, so I never turn down the opportunity to play with their latest stuff. (I do have to send that back when I’m done.)
Intel once managed to get me a few 10GBe cards. This was in part so that I could do some tests for an article, but had much more to do with my attempts at the time to woo a customer looking at a 5000-node render farm deployment towards Intel’s gear and away from Brocade. (I was demoing Intel’s cards actually doing offload and not failing.)
In every other case, I have either had to buy the equipment myself, or (in some cases literally) beg local sysadmins for the chance to work with equipment they have on hand.
If you have a personal bias against Microsoft, fine. Have fun with that. But please don’t assume I am shilling for them. I abhor all megacorporates equally. With the sole exception of Intel – who once gave some previous-generation network cards to one of the marketing companies they retain to deal with resellers and the press, who in turn gave them to me – what have any of these companies ever done for me? (And frankly, I feel that is more on the PR company involved than Intel proper.)
I’m an SME sysadmin, man! I – and my entire customer base – don’t even exist to these companies!
Yes, The Register exists because of advertising dollars. Yes, some of those dollars do pay for my sysadmin blog. But my sysadmin blog receives zero direction as to content. Zip, zilch, zero. If it says “sysadmin blog” on the article, or it is in the sysadmin blog section…it is 100% the product of me, my two purring kitties (who insist on putting some the characters into the article by walking on the keyboard), the number 42 and the almighty coffee.
If you want me to write an article about a given topic…ask. I am not Dell or Microsoft. I am not some faceless megacorporate or untouchable journo who never engages with the readers. I’m just a guy, you know? I fix computers, I troll people on the internet and I write things on a blog.
If I have time to do the research, you’ll find I am usually willing to give it a try. I can’t guarantee that I’ll get around to it, but that’s only because I don’t have a “permanent” writing gig here on The Register. I get approximately one article a week, and I don’t know how many I have left.
If that still makes me a shill writing "advertisements", well…you’re even more paranoid than I am.
Re: One little problem
Oh, and just for the record, my gripe about poorly configured MTAs isn't a dig at default configs of these MTAs, it is a discussion of the actual implemented configs I see in the wild. Default configs can be what they want; some email admins make stupid choices resulting in the weirdest configurations...
Re: One little problem
So...your proposed solution to managing and maintaining an email infrastructure is to presume that everyone else manages and maintains their infrastructure properly?
Always presume that everyone else on the internet is a complete idiot. What you are describing is exactly how two properly configured email servers would communicate. I have rarely run across much in the way of properly configured MTAs.
Most MTAs I know will retry send every 5 minutes, up to a maximum of 5 attempts at which point they bounce. I need to design any infrastructure I run on my side such that it works well for people running things properly and in the advent that senders have email admins with brains made out of rocks.
That means close the ports on my side so that their MTA can retry or bounce as the local admin desires. It means configuring my MTA so that if you try to send me a 100MB email to a legitimate address and the server says no, you get a bounce explaining why. It means paying attention to my DNS settings and my TTLs so I know what should be happening, but bearing in mind the fact that DNS providers often have their own cache rules that don’t pay any attention whatsoever to TTL.
I can’t make other admins run servers properly. I can however try to run mine well, and rely on the tools at hand (including bounces!) to attempt to convey information to others about what is going on as they try to interact with my network.
Remember that "could not deliver, server didn't respond" boucnes aren't bounced by the MTA I control; they are bounced by the sending MTA. And gods only know who configured the sending MTA to do what, when, where and why.
Re: compared with Google's one-user-at-a-time migration
Re: Google's one-user-at-a-time migration...there are tools on Google Marketplace that atuomate this nicely.
And AD replication = rageface.
Re: One little problem
Most proper email admins configure thier servers so that messages rejected by spam filters do not produce bounces. They also configure the servers so that mail sent to non-extant users does not bounce. (Indeed, I have CentOS VMs front-ending my Exchange deployments to provide anti-spam via SpamAssassin, ClamAV, etc. that do LDAP lookups against the internal AD to determine if a user exists or not, so that isn't an excuse.)
But bounce messages ARE typically configured if there is an error sending to a legitimate user for any reason other than "nommed by the spam filter." I admit, this is a PITA to configure correctly in Sendmail, but it’s easy peasy in Postfix, Qmail or Exchange itself. Even in smarthost/front-ended spam filtering configurations.
You don't get backscatter in this configuration, but it does take some actual effort on behalf of the mail admin...
Now I actually have some resentment at that statement, sir. Do you have any idea how long it took me to wade through Microsoft's myriad documentation and figure out exactly what needed to be done for this stuff? MS is great at churning out whitepapers. Not so great at cutting them down into a single document and making them comprehensible.
After I had done the legwork and made the document for my own use internal to my company, I simply figured that it would be something that some of my readers could use as well. That way, when the time comes, they don’t have to go slogging through the incomprehensible mess that is Microsoft’s unsearchable, disorganised, chaotic mess of an online presence seeking this info.
Instead, I you now have all the links and a step-by-step. Might not mean much to you today, but when the call comes, you’ll remember you saw it on The Register. And El Reg’s Search actually works.
It's one way to do it, yes. However I prefer simply cutting over the DNS for the simple reason that in many cases the sysadmin doesn't have control over the firewall. (There is often a strict segregation between roles.) Indeed, in many cases the exchange admin doesn't have the rights on the system necessary to manage the local system's firewall!
So if you have total control over all the things, your way is better. If you don't (as is often the case when I am serving as contractor,) then the DNS cutover is more likely to work the first time.
I have successfully moved Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010 to Google Apps. There are several excellent tools by a number of different providers available on the Google Marketplace.
Exchange 2003 (and outlook 2003!) have Outlook-over-HTTP capabilities. WHile not "Outlook anywhere," they "do the thing."
It uses RPC over HTTP. The information is available here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124876%28EXCHG.65%29.aspx
Hope that helps!
Unity? Gnome 3? KDE4? Metro/WinRT?
Cinnamon. Problem solved.
For Debian base: http://linuxmint.com/
For RedHat base: http://linuxfordummies.org/installing-the-cinnamon-desktop-environment-in-fedora-16/
(Please also contribute to the Fedora bug here https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=771252 to help push the Fedora maintainers to include Cinnamon as a first class desktop environment in FC17!)
Abort, WinRT, Fail _
Re: Media companies
So use IPv6 NAT? Everyone else seems to be...
Re: Media companies - Don't worry too much
The author wrote the article from a CentOS desktop. The author recalls writing the IPv6 "high preist" article. The author also objects to being called "the author." Not because it's particularly objectionable, but because it's early o'clock, and the author has his trollpants on.
Bite your tongue.
Re: Was anyone else...
Just hoping I win some replacement gear during some of those "attend out online training webinar and enter $impossibly_large_pool_of_other_nerds for a chance to win a new $midrange_item!"
In the meantime, I have 4 pano logic zero clients to test. They seem to like me and sent me demo gear of their latest widgetry. Should keep me occupied for a month or so. After that? Maybe I'll write more about Android. I have rather a lot of Android gear.
Change it up, I say. Write about new thing as they cross your desk. :)
Re: Client for win7
Funnily enough, I blogged about that very thing the other night...
But you are a few articles ahead of me here... ;)
Added to my kobo. Cheers!
Aren't "interesting" and "dull" direct antonyms? ;)
Re: Was anyone else...
I was going to, honest. Unfortunately my test lab has suffered setbacks. Namely, I've lost my SAN, two RAID controllers a pair of UPSes, a dozen drives and two server Mobos (with the CPUs and RAM!) Car vs. power pole combined with seriously dated equipment ends in sad.
The test lab made it through a recent set of private cloud testing I did, then the car --> power pole incident happened. I rebuilt with what I had lying around, but it all completely collapsed when I tried to do storage testing.
Since my lab is done on my personal dime, rebuilding will take time.
I don't have empirical data to share. I never got through the complete round of testing. I can however share both my initial impressions. Overall? NFS in Server 2012 is fast. Faster in almost every instance than iSCSI for VM hosting, and seriously neck-and-neck with SMB 3.
Both SMB 3 and NFS wreck SMB 2. Preliminary results had me getting 92% stable utilisation of a decent Intel NIC, with peaks at 96%. Basically right at the upper limit of theoretical. Preliminary results on 10GbE had me actually pulling the disk-native speeds.
Failover was seamless. None of the software I have was good enough to even measure the event. Flip the switch on the primary and not even a ping dropped to the VM you were accessing. Unreal.
In all honesty, Microsoft’s NFS implementation is on par with the best configured Linux systems I have seen in the field. It’s easier to set up, handles clustered failover better and might actually be more stable than the default CentOS 6.2 implementation. I can’t confirm that last bit with absolute certainty, as it was during the stress testing to really ramp up throughput versus stability versus failover testing that the wheels came off the test lab.
Hope that helps…
Re: Elop did the correct thing..
He put all of Nokia's resources into backing a single (completely unknown) horse. That was beyond stupid. It was criminally negligent.
Meego could have been anything Nokia wanted. They simply had to work at it. Worth the R&D to own that chunk of the stack as a long-run item.
Android was (and is) a competitive market, but at least there is a market. It's the short term solid bet, even if it makes no practicable sense to sit on it long term. With Symbian to cover the featurephone range, it would have made a good source of income to fund corporate transition to something else.
WP7 is a reasonable medium term gamble, but certainly should not have been an “all in” choice. Everything about it is unknown. There is no market for it. Worse, the vendor guarding the operating system development has a terrible reputation of medium (to say nothing of long!) term consistency for developers, end users or “partners.”
Microsoft may “plays for sure” you, or “.NET, no Silverlight, no HTML5, no WinRT no…” you at any time. They have planet-wide enmity creating a highly disgruntled user base. They also completely fail at marketing. Utterly. Pants-on-head retarded. They do not comprehend the consumer market at all.
Taken together then, that’s a huge bloody risk. Despite all that, Windows Phone might still be worth it, depending on the back-room deals that get made, and the commitments Microsoft is willing to make to platform stability, etc.
I’m trying hard not to look at this from the standpoint of hindsight, honestly I am. But even when you consider “the information available to Elop at the time he made the decision,” he made a ridiculously stupid decision. It wasn’t just “he chose Microsoft and Microsoft are bad, herp, derp.”
The issue at hand is that “he bet the farm on a dark horse contender with a marginal reputation in an incredibly volatile, unpredictable and rapidly evolving market.” No backups of any kind.
Maybe it’s because I’m a sysadmin, but when I make decisions about my company with my CEO hat on, the first question to mind is “and what if that fails?” In an Elop world, the answer is “well then, we’re ****ed.”
Considering that numerous alternatives existed which could have formed the basis of adequate layered contingency plans, I don’t feel that I am going out on a limb here by saying “that’s just bad business.”
Re: Felicia Day
It's interesting to me to see your prejudices showing through in your comments.
Obviously if a male respects a female, he must "have an enormous crush on her," right? There's no other possible reason. Personally, I think she's cute; but frankly, not that cute. There's no reason to go ga-ga over Felicia Day because of sheer looks; Hollywood provides us dozens of tarted up this-or-that that are far more to my personal taste, even several who play geeks on TV.
Secondly, I didn't yammer on about her playing scientists on TV. That's a day job, as far as I am concerned, and something that you have chosen to focus on. It’s frankly the element of her professional and hobbiest life I find least interesting. (Honestly, I’m far more interested in her musicianship and writing.)
But whether or not you choose to admit it, people do avoid ICT and STEM jobs because of the “geek” stigma. They don’t want to be around geeks. They don’t want to BECOME geeks. Whether or not ICT and STEM fields are in fact populated by geeks (and to what actual percentage) is irrelevant. perceptions of such is huge.
So there are important classes of people in my mind that we need to get out in front of those who would be turned off by working next to raging geeks. The first are individuals like Felicia Day who is in fact a gigantic geek…but also pulls that off as “okay.” She’s not an introvert, she’s not shunned, she’s not the kind of person you chain to a desk and throw snickers bars at over the roof while yelling “keep working.”
She’s popular. She’s respected. She’s even fawned over by a reasonable chunk of 20-somethings. The concept that geeks aren’t scary – and can in fact be awesome – is important for the short term. Because in the short term, there is still a significant chunk of the population that cannot separate “raging geek” from ICT or STEM. So we need to make “being a geek” okay.
The next sort of person that is important to get out there are ICT/STEM workers who have nothing to do with geekdom at all. Gearheads, outdoors types, gardeners, writers, you-name it. Demonstrate a diversity within the field that shows a lack of cultural monoculture.
Unlike you however, I see that both are absolutely necessary. I understand the engineer’s approach of “picture only the best possible scenario and work towards that,” but we aren’t’ dealing with machines. We’re dealing with people. Group dynamics on a scale of hundreds of millions. That means planning for transitionary events, and spending more time planning on how to get from “extant to perfect” as it does trying to design the perfect solution itself.
It may well be that we will never separate ICT/STEM from the geek mystique, so we need people like Felicia Day to make geekiness seem “okay.” At the same time, we need to strongly encourage non-geeks so that all these related fields experience a diversity of experience, opinion and viewpoint.
So Felicia Day is a good role model in my mind. She is one of two necessary types. One that demonstrates that “geek can be cool.” Not just fake geeks “as seen on TV,” but she’s a real geek, in real life, with real geekly skills and qualifications. Even if you yourself don’t aspire to geekdom, it’s a wonderful thing to have this person out there showing geeks aren’t to be feared.
But this conversation has a much darker side. Certainly there are commenters in this thread who can’t help by try to define ICT/STEM according to their own beliefs. You yourself are guilty: constantly equating ICT with “programming,” to the apparent exclusion of all the other skillsets involved in ICT.
Others push engineering, some will push maths…but the point is that it is all absolutist thinking. Rigid, inflexible. “This is what it means to be X” is just one more way of saying those who want to enter the field must rigidly conform to something.
The correct approach is to take each and every individual on their own merits, and see what they bring to the table. There’s a hell of a lot more to ICT and STEM than programming, or engineering, than maths or any other one skill/belief/cultural element you can name.
So I do not proclaim Felicia Day as “the one true role model for aspiring ICT/STEM entrants.” I think she is one amongst many that are important, though for reasons you may not grasp. Similarly, I think Admiral Hopper is important, for completely different reasons. I’d also list Marie Curie, Maud Menten, Jane Goodall, Sally Ride and Marissa Meyer (off the top of my head) as relevant role models to ICT and/or STEM, each and every one for a different reason.
The absolutist binary thinking of people in this thread scares me. On/off. This or that. “Addresses all cases or none of them.”
“Why don’t more [people in general, with women as an important subset] go into ICT and/or STEM” is a hugely complex topic. All sorts of people are needed to help solve it. What isn’t needed is snark, condescension and constantly trying to put people in boxes.
Solving the recruitment problem requires both making geeks less scary and the long, slow slog of decoupling geekdom from ICT/STEM in the public eye.
First; you are correct, I did lash out at jake. That’s because I personally dislike him. Intensely. He may be playing the roll of troll online, or he may in fact be a gigantic douchenozzle in real life. The effect as far as I am concerned is identical. He is a downer. He rarely has anything positive to say, constantly criticises everything and everyone, except when he is agreeing with someone else’s criticism.
Most of his criticism is in the form of unprovable statements of opinion, and/or statements that are – at best – controversial. (I.E. there is no preponderance of evidence to prove his hypothesis versus any of the competing ones.) Indeed, he will often make statements that go against the preponderance of evidence, but which he asserts to be true because of his vastly superior intellect having carefully considered his personal experiences and extrapolated the sum totality of the human condition and the optimal life choices for all human beings on the face of this earth.
So I fell entirely confident in saying that his personality would remain a blight on any field he chose to occupy, and that any field evidencing a statistically higher-than-average percentage of individuals like him is likely to become one avoided by any number of subgroups.
Secondly, to put the pointless speculation about my “internet crush” to bed, Felicia Day isn’t it. I respect her immensely, but she is in the same category to me as Wil Wheaton: someone I want to interview, talk about their successes and failures, pick their brains and maybe even play some DnD with. My interest is professional, with respect for their roles as ambassador for my subculture.
They serve a role to me similar to that of “politician.” They represent a group of people (geeks), and we have elected them by popular acclaim. I’d certainly prefer them representing my subculture than Stephen Fry!
Re: oh well. oracle has other problems too...
I will admit to periodically having been swayed by someone with great credentials and experience presenting me with something a little off. But eventually, there is a massive history of just utter fucking bullshit behind everything someone says. Mueller has a highly visible public record of lies, damned lies and statistics.
He even admits to being paid to utilise a reality distortion field on behalf of some pretty damned unscrupulous clients. Customers as the enemy, and in that war, this man is their general…
Re: Felicia Day
Who said anything about "goddess," oaf?
Yes, her day job is as an actress. She does some singing, a lot of producing, directing, writing and is a hell of a musician with a number of different instruments. That’s cool, and fine, but the point is that she is a geek.
One who knows how to fix her own computer, knows how to program in a few different languages and otherwise has geeky credentials in addition to the acting. You might disdain that she chose acting instead of STEM, (despite having the background to pursue any of a dozen STEM careers,) but frankly, who the hell are you to judge anyone?
Is she an all-star engineer or programmer? No. She’s a geek, and one that demonstrates that you can be a geek without being an introverted, socially inept buffoon. That’s important, because a reasonable number of women fear getting into anything STEM related because they fear becoming a socially inept dork. Bizarrely, to people without aspersers, things like the ability to socialise with other human beings matters. Our species is funny that way.
At the end of the day however, the number one reason people fear going into IT, jake, is working next to people like you.
Can’t say I blame them.
If corporations are people, can Elop be brought up on charges of attempted murder?
Re: Felicia Day
A) There's more to ICT than programming.
B) She is a programmer as well, which was my point; being an actress is one amongst her many talents, and not even the one she spends most of her time at or earns the majority of her revenue from. (I would in fact argue that would be project management.) The fact that most IT nerds can't look past the surface of things is a big reason for women not to want to have anything to do with ICT, and you are very sadly falling into that trap.
C) Working in ICT - for better or worse - means having some understanding of the culture that a significant chunk of ICT nerds wholeheartedly embrace. Felicia Day proves that you can not only understand this culture, but embrace it wholeheartedly without being “uncool,” or otherwise falling into some nerdy stereotype.
In other words, here is a woman with a Math degree, who does indeed program, is a writer, director, actress, musician, entrepreneur and more besides. She proves you can be a nerd and still engage in other hobbies. She proves that being a nerd can be a positive thing.
For all intents and purposes, she proves that being a mathematician, programmer and other such “nerdly” pursuits doesn’t mean not having a life. She demonstrates that there need not be a reason to fear being a nerd.
Though you are doing your damndest to give a damned good reason why perhaps people should be.
Beer, because live a little.
Re: oh well. oracle has other problems too...
Seriously; how the hell does Floeian Mueller still find work? I am not one to (often) disparage people I haven't physically met (some commenttards aside,) but this dude is pants-on-head retarded.
Re: Tut-tut. (was: No role models?)
Felicia Day double majored in Mathematics and Music Performance and the University of Texas. She is accomplished in quite a few fields of geekery of her own right before we start getting into her career as an actress.
Maybe you should not judge a book by your prejudices of what the cover might or might not say. You know, like the whole point of the article? The queen of the internets is indeed a role model for women nerds of all kinds. From music and maths to acting straight through the truly nerdy pursuits such as tabletop gaming and D&D.
The point of the article is that women feel discouraged from ICT because of the nerdy image. Geek isn’t “cool,” and/or is filled with misogynistic twats, and/or the pursuits of the nerdier members aren’t fun excepting to a small subset of humanity, etc.
I believe that the queen of the internets manages to prove handily – to both genders – not only that female nerds can be awesome, but that they can be fun, attractive, humorous and desirable.
Admiral Hopper is another good example, as is Marissa Meyer and many, many others. The point is that there are indeed role models. From straight-up engineers to more conventional examples. All throughout ICT and nerddom at large.
Now, the fact that some of you lot who remember vacuum tubes with fondness and consistently misplace your teeth so narrowly limit your vision of what a “real” nerd or a “real” practitioner of ICT is to an engineer with an iron ring may in fact mean that you are exactly the kind of douchenozzles that women don’t want to work with. Nerddom in general is larger than that, as is the field of ICT.
Well actually, I think may just be kind of douchnozzles that people in general don’t want to work with, but that’s an entirely separate debate...
Re: what the hell am I rambling on about?
I'm not defensive. I'm exhausted. And the issues you raise - along with many, many more - have been discussed at length in my other articles, comments and so forth. If you want to get snarky that I am not pandering to your pet prejudice, I'll point you in the general direction of an Apple article.
I am not opposed to constructive criticism at all. I am however getting fairly sick of sour grapes. The article was targeted at IT professionals. You know…The Register’s audience. It isn’t FOX news’ technology section, now sponsored by Best Buy and featuring a free lobotomy to bring your IQ below 100!
That any technology – cloud or otherwise – has downsides does not need to be spelled out explicitly in each and every article. You are expected to be smart enough to know that.
Indeed, what I am presenting is “the world as I see it.” (Blog, eh?) This is what I am seeing on the ground. How people are using technology. The things they worry about. And the gist of the article – in case you missed it – is that they are a lot more worried about vendor lock-in and getting the shaft regarding licensing than they are the occasional hiccoughs inherent in a cloud delivery model.
No tech is perfect, but these are the choices I am seeing real people in the real world making. They give me ~500 words. (With some fudge factor when I go over.) I chose to report what I see rather than take up a bunch of that rehashing the same “cloud vs. local” argument again for the 10,000th time.
I’m not going to waste my 500 words a week revisiting issues I feel have already been beaten to death umpteen times, and that my readership could argue from multiple angles in their sleep. They deserve better.
Re: what the hell am I rambling on about?
None of the issues you are talking about are exclusive to cloudy apps. A car can take out the power pole at my company and I'm just as hooped. (Indeed, this has happened.) I have had the internet cut for weeks on end, and every single time managed to get an alternative in place within 24 hours. I'm a sysadmin. That's my job.
If you suffer from such binary thinking that you cannot read an article about cloudy apps without believing that they are being touted by the author as a magical cure for all ills then you don't belong on the internet. Or reading newspapers. Or books. Or technical manuals. Or anything, really. If the world is black or white, with nothing in between you really shouldn't be doing much of anything at all, because you are a danger to every single individual, business and most animals you encounter.
On site IT has drawbacks. Cloudy IT has drawbacks. Hybrid IT has drawbacks. No IT at all has drawbacks. Every single thing that we can possibly introduce to solve any problem – from keeping predators away at night to making picosecond financial transactions – is a series of tradeoffs. Stability, reliability, redundancy, capex, opex, skills availability, vendor lock-in and yet more.
There is no magic bullet. There are no perfect solutions. But when someone highlights the benefits of one particular solution without a doctorate-level comparative treatise on the possible drawbacks and comparative analysis for every conceivable use case they are most emphatically not advocating that particular solution as the magic solution to all ills.
In the case of this article, I can assure you that your less-than-humble scribe made some assumptions about the general level of intelligence, competence, experience, knowledge and comparative analytical abilities of the intended and likely audience.
If you have failed to meet my (apparently too lofty) expectations, then I deeply apologise for the incursion into your worldview. You have enlightened me; I shall promptly redouble my efforts to target my articles squarely at utter mediocrity.
Re: There is another layer
Aye. I inherited a piece of beskpoke software recently myself. A little bit of genericisation, some setup routines...it's most of the way towards a SaaSy application. Would need some tweaking/customisation per user, but hey...that's where the money is...
Re: And I for one
Well, *cough,* if you happen to know a decent LAMP PHP programmer living looking for some part time work...
Re: SaaS just shifts the single point of failure
@Alan Bourke: The cost of broadband (especially a "Basic" package for emergency use only) is negligible. Yes, even to SMEs. Even to startups that are just a few months old and in the process of acquiring their first customers (as my personal company). It is one cost I have never had a problem convincing any one of my customers about. An additional $40 a month is – all things considered – fairly minor.
As for the bloke spreading FUD about the “unreliability” of cloud passed services…put in your teeth grandpa, we ain’t on yer lawn.
First off: you only achieve high uptimes if you constantly recycle the equipment. Eventually the stuff just gets old. Disks die. RAM failures increase. Even RAID cards start to go. (I should know; my largest customer is sitting on a hardware estate that ranges between 4 and 10 years old, averaging 6 years old.)
Do I have a better uptime than Amazon? Yes. But only just barely; even with active-passive backup systems, (let’s be realistic: few if any SMEs have true HA,) switchovers take time. You have to bring the tech (me) in from wherever they are at the moment, the switchover process has to be completed, and the data verified good before you fire up.
If the particular system you happen to be restoring to service isn’t backed up by an synchronised partner of some variety then the restore process is going to take even longer. You’re in even more poo when it comes to desktop restores. People do save files where they shouldn’t, and SME’s don’t have the money for the software that finds the buggers and moves them. (They also don’t tend to let you lock the systems down far enough that you prevent the users from writing to the local file system.)
Being an SME admin is a complicated job. Business owners and CxO types are often MUCH closer to the decision making and accounting of projects than they are in larger organisations. There are interesting compromises and IT issues that vary per company and you really can’t wrap up “all” SMEs in any nice generalization. You can’t say “well you should do this instead” and wave dismissively nor can you can’t simply treat all SMEs as though their infrastructure requirements, budgets or IT demands were the same.
Well, actually, you can, but you’ll look like an idiot.
A few hours of outage is not the end of the world to most SMEs. Even in the middle of the day, even at the height of busy season. There are workarounds. The critical systems that need computers in-house (say to run the printers or the widget stamping machine or the hullablooo creation mechanisms) will probably never be cloud-based. They will survive a cloud outage.
The point-of-sale systems can be worked around with ten cent pencil, and entering the data when the cloud comes back up. I’ve seen this failover mechanism in use with my own mark one eyeball and it works just fine. Office packages loss for a few hours can be overcome by simply doing something else that is on your enormous pile of shit to do that day and coming back to the office package later.
If the middleware is down, life sucks, but again; ten cent pencil to the rescue! Jotting down the information that staff would normally enter into whatever portion of the middleware they normally use allows them to enter that info when it comes back up. If you are going into graph-and-chart withdrawal from the BI side of the thing being offline for a few hours, get checked out by a psychiatrist right away.
Yes, there is alwys the possibility something customer facing goes down. That would suck. I solve that with a script that took me 5 hours to write that interrogates the existence of critical systems. If it detects an outage, it posts a “we’re sorry, Velociraptors and internet forum commenters ate our servers. They’ll be back in no time. Click here if you want to receive an e-mail when everything’s back online.” I can usually name who is out, and why…customers love it. No complaints.
So I’m right back to “what the hell are you rambling on about?” Judicious use of cloudy whatsit widgetry is a boon to SMEs. Full stop. Quit fighting the future. You’re starting to sound like one of those nutters from ten years ago screaming “virtualisation is a stupid plan. There’s overhead! It’ll never catch on!”
*patpat* Have fun with that.
Re: SaaS just shifts the single point of failure
For $deity's sake man, you're commenting on El Reg. You know enough to come up alternatives! Most people have two broadband providers. Get both. Use a pfsense firewall and do failover + load balancing. Push a button an launch an instance of some IaaS widget that serves as the other point of a VPN tunnel. Then pass your network traffic through your mobile connection.
Send your staff home and have them use their home connections for a day. The stuff’s all in the cloud, why are these people even in the office to begin with?
Unless you are in rural wheresville, options exist. Good enough ones at least to handle the occasional outage brought about by some lummox with a backhoe on an emergency basis. 24/7 is nice-to-have for SMEs, but rarely an absolute requirement.
They can "view" it any way they like. They simply can't ACT on it. As a society, we have decided that this is an acceptable practice, that a woman has control of her body and the right to decide whether or not she brings a pregnancy to term.
If they want to see this changed, there are forums available for them to utilise. From protesting to legislation. I would even (personally) accept DDoSes and certain forms of protest-style/DDoS-style robocalling. Childish, but nonviolent and non-invasive.
The line gets crossed when you either commit violence or you participate in the theft of personally identifiable information. Actual violence is unacceptable as a method of obtaining social change excepting under the most dire of circumstance. (I.E. your own government is committing genocide, sovereign nation is invading you, etc.)
Theft of personally identifiable information is right there in the same category as violence. That may seem nonsensical at first blush, but the sad reality is that the information has only to make it into the hands of extremists and then people start dying. Alternately, you end up with extremists perpetrating bigotry via stalking, employment discrimination, exercise of police/state authority discrimination etc.
There is a reason that our society has placed a critical value on personally identifiable information. Under many circumstances its release can get people killed. Dead. No longer alive. Not in some theoretical statistics but in the real world. Living, breathing, contributing members of society. Killed for anything from race to religious belief, sexual practices to “allowing multiculturalism” (shudder, really? As a Canadian who values our multiculturalism, and revels in the fact that we’re one of the few nations to successfully pull it off, the Oslo thing still haunts me.)
So they can view it any way they want. I will defend their right to protest abortion policy to the death, even as I campaign against their beliefs to the bitter end.
But they aren’t allowed to hurt anyone. And they aren’t allowed to steal information that can/will be given to other people to engage in same hurt.
Free speech has its limits.
And my personal religious tolerance ends at the point where that religion demands intolerance of - or harm to - others.
Re: Zero Logic Here
A) I never once said piracy had no effect. Merely that the effect was negligible. Piracy may be one amongst many enablers, but "treading your customers like the enemy" was what caused the customer base to want any path out in the frist place. As soon as Big Content started offering people media they wanted using distribution methods they prefered with zero restrictions, people started buying from Big Content again.
Unfortunately for Big Content, a decade of piracy had driven price expectations into the floor. That is Big Content's fault for being complete idiots. The blame for that failure lays nowhere but there. (The price of a blockbuster video game for example has gone UP in that time. When DLC is factored in, it has gone from ~$50 to ~$100.)
B) 1998 happens to equally coincide with “Years of MTV being utter shit,” the end of the grunge rock era, the concerted massive push for formulaic POP star pap, is a year after the release of Autotune and the seemingly coordinated effort to make all movies rape our childhoods by being both rip-offs of old ideas and utter shit.
C) The ability to pirate had been around for ages. Napster provided a layer of convenience, but it was still relatively unknown in its first couple of years. Additionally, people who were really interested in pirating simply because they were cheap already had effective distribution networks to get physical objects moved between them, or to post files on USENET, etc.
Piracy most certainly has an effect on the downfall of Big Content. But it is nowhere near what the media megaliths claim it to be. (See the link about copyright math.)
Piracy due to people being skint is minimal. A cost of doing business comparable to the rate at which customers/suppliers go bankrupt, people shoplift or natural disasters occur. You cannot eliminate it. You cannot control it. You accept it as a cost of doing business and you seek to mitigate the costs and damage only as much as is practicable and economical.
Piracy due to you being a giant fucking douchbag is a completely different ballgame. Treating your customers like the enemy leads to wholesale abandonment the instant any alternative becomes available. But this is something that’s completely avoidable: don’t be a dick.
Big Content simply doesn’t get it.
Oh well, they are no longer needed, and nobody cares about them anymore anyways.
Re: stupid enough to click it?
Tom, buddy, I have some bad news for you.
I'm a commenttard. I was a such an unbelievably loud and obnoxious commenttard that they decided "if you are going to write novels in the comments section, then you should be writing articles instead. We can advertise against those more and make more money." Good business. I approve.
Before being a commenttard here, I was a forum whore elsewhere. Still am. I was a USENET regular and a BBS user. I connected up my first 300 baud modem to talk to other people (with help) over the computernets when I was only 4 years old. I built my first LAN at 8.
For all intents and purposes I am “from the internets.” In an article, I have to attempt to achieve some modicum of professionalism and respectability. But in the comments section – here, there, anywhere across the wide, wide interbutts – the urge to troll the pants off someone can be completely overwhelming.
Never trust a link posted on a forum. There are things you can’t unsee. There is knowledge you cannot unlearn. In an article, you probably wouldn’t get trolled. In a comment where I was making a technical point and backing up with evidence, it might be safe to assume that links will be relevant.
But regardless of occupation or hobby, if you ask someone (even jokingly) for “tits or GTFO” of their old lady…
…you’d have to be a complete moron to click that link.
Particularly if the individual in question is perfectly capable of slapping together a website that flashes a series of images that you would wish you could burn from your mind with an acetylene torch while in the background a dozen different cross-browser, multi-operating system zero days are pwning your machine, emailing dongs to your contact list, uploading everything on your hard drive to a torrent site, spreading to every system on your network, and then dbanning the whole thing.
The internets; here there be dragons.
Re: +100 internets to you Trevor
Very kind of you to say, sir. Personally, I think a lot of Richard, Iain and Rik's science articles are light years beyond anything I could pen (El Reg has lots of good writers, IMHO)...but I'll not pass up a compliment when its offered! :)
Beer, becuase the workday is almost over, I've more articles to write, and there's a chair at the pub perfectly formed to my arse.
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