* Posts by Erik4872

356 posts • joined 11 Jan 2011

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Here's a timeless headline: Adobe rushes out emergency Flash fix after hacker exploits bug

Erik4872

Re: Why does Windows 10 bundle Flash?

The main reason was to bring it under patch management from a source of patches that would regularly get applied. From my experience in end user computing stuff, Flash installed standalone almost never gets updated. Sometimes that's for good reason to prevent a garbage internal application from failing, but usually it's just because no one is keeping an eye on it. This was one of the reasons Flash is such a huge target for malware...tons of consumer systems have old versions installed. See also the Java and Silverlight plugins for examples of client-side apps with lots of system access and no easy update mechanism!

Bundling it with the browser is also partially historical. Microsoft bundled Flash with IE going way back, but didn't release periodic updates until recently. Almost nothing uses Flash on the Internet at large, but there are a lot of internal applications, especially in the training field, that haven't moved on yet. They'll have to when Adobe finally kills Flash completely, but don't hold your breath waiting...

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Alibaba's Jack Ma says: Relax, we're too wise for robots to take our jobs

Erik4872

Not sure he's thinking about the entire population

I've heard lots of predictions about what will happen when the vast majority of humans can't sell their labor anymore, and most of the rosy ones don't take everyone into account. Consider these 2 extremes (and this is in the white collar world; blue collar is a whole other kettle of fish:)

1. Hipster full-stack web developer sitting around a cafeteria table with 10 other hipster developers at a San Francisco startup, building web scale apps and getting paid a fortune, living at work doing 16 hour days with basically no concept of a life outside work. These are most often the people who say a robot-filled future will enable humans to have jobs that "don't feel like work."

2. Systems Analyst III, buried in some dark corner of a large corporation or state government, with an extremely narrow focus paper-processing and report-generating job. Their job consists of following the same set of unchanging rules, and is often designed to not allow them to deviate from those rules. (Big corporate IT has more of these positions than people think...yay ITIL!) This employee comes in on time and leaves exactly when their shift is over, has no desire to spend their entire life at work, and often hates their job but needs it and the security it provides.

From my experience in the real world, there are way more #2s than their are #1s. This is going to sound mean, but I think that most people are only capable of holding down one of the #2 jobs, simply because we don't need 7 billion visionary thought leaders and elite scientists. The problem is that modern society is built around middle-level educated white collar workforces coming to an office and processing paper all day long. Millions of students come out of universities every year with a generic BS in "management." Up until lately, large corporations would take in almost all of these graduates and put them to work doing some random task. These students would have something of a career path...associate analyst, senior analyst, supervisor, manager, director, etc...and they would earn and consume at an appropriate level throughout it. Switching everyone to unemployment, a fixed income, or minimum wage work is going to break the consumption cycle. A process-follower cannot be a data scientist.

2
1

How many times can Microsoft kill Mobile?

Erik4872

Maybe it's time to rethink UWP and the mobile UI?

I get where Microsoft is coming from. The company I work for also basically lives and dies based on a couple of products that are standards for the industry we support. This is very similar to Windows/Office on the desktop. Microsoft badly wanted to control the entire platform the way Apple does, or at least control the OS the way Google does. Big companies take a long time to react, and it's only now that they're fully admitting their mobile platform is dead. Once a company gets addicted to lock-in, no product or initiative that doesn't result in 100% guaranteed total lock-in will ever get reasonable levels of funding. Look at Azure - Microsoft is poised to be the next IBM mainframe provider. Now THAT is lock-in on a grand scale...no more one-off software sales. We're moving one of those cash cow applications to Azure now, and it's astounding that people don't see that they'll be paying Microsoft *forever* to host it.

What I wish they would do now is admit that mobile is dead and continue rolling back the mobile-first user interface in Windows 10. No one wants VB6-era apps, but IMO they're moving too slowly in undoing what was done with Win8.

6
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HP Inc exec: Yes, we'll put a bullet in the X3 device

Erik4872

Killing the OS is definitely a "change in strategy."

It's strange to watch the last few months of Windows Phone's life. You can tell that Microsoft desperately wanted the lock-in and guaranteed revenue stream that owning a mobile platform would give them. But I think reality finally set in that they weren't there in time to influence things the way they can with PCs.

Not to worry though -- if they can't lock people in on phones, they're definitely going to do it with Azure. Especially with Azure Stack -- they're basically repeating the IBM mainframe model. Ship a box with "no user serviceable parts inside" to a customer, keep it fed and cared for, and charge by the MIPS. It's a very smart business strategy, and the main reason IBM can afford to attempt a transformation into a management consulting firm.

4
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Town wants Amazon's new HQ so much it plans to split off new town called 'Amazon'

Erik4872

This will be entertaining

For those not in the US, this happens every single time a company announces they're expanding or not happy with their current situation. Atlanta is not a surprising choice...they spent most of the 90s vacuuming up corporate headquarters and back offices from around the country with lures of cheap taxes, free services and land as far as the eye can see. I imagine every municipality in Texas, North Carolina and other southern states is also competing heavily on a very similar platform.

What I'm not quite getting is whether Amazon is planning on formally splitting off AWS from retail and sending the retail part of the business off to Siberia somewhere while they compete head to head with Azure in Seattle, develop Alexa, etc. I wonder whether they're going to need smart people or just back office order processors...that will definitely determine where they put their headquarters. As an example, the financial company running my 401k is based in Boston, but all the drone work is done in Dallas.

The entertaining part will be seeing which municipality bent over the furthest backwards to attract the new HQ. I live in New York and we're constantly losing large employers who can just pick up and move because lower-cost locations will suspend taxes for decades, build them a headquarters for free, pay their electric and gas bills, reconfigure roads and zoning laws, and basically anything else they ask for. I imagine it's going to be somewhere in Georgia or Texas...cheap labor, nearly zero taxes for the well connected, and much more room to maneuver.

4
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Azure fell over for 7 hours in Europe because someone accidentally set off the fire extinguishers

Erik4872

Today's cloud lesson...

The lesson for today is that you should never assume a cloud provider's operations are 100%. I hate having to explain to people why we need to have an instance of our service in more than one region. "But it's so expensive! My cloud salesman assured me that each region is interconnected data centers miles apart and they are nearly incapable of failing!"

It's all just computers and data centers, even if it's very much software-defined and very resilient. If humans and computers are involved, something will eventually go wrong.

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Nailing a cloud project without killing Bob boils down to not being a tool

Erik4872

Learn to filter brainwaves

I'm currently in the middle of a forced "DevOps by management consultant" transition. None of what everyone is saying is totally out to lunch, but the sheer volume of opinions and information coming at you from all sides is overwhelming when there's an actual IT environment to run as well.

The key thing to realize is that people 2 or more levels above you are being wined and dined by cloud salesmen, and they have been plugged into the information firehouse at the high level. That translates down to my boss getting 2 AM emails from a super-excited puppy-like "cloud strategist" asking him when we can implement CI/CD by, or why we're not orchestrating Kubernetes containers even though they have no idea what that actually means. The only way to deal and keep your sanity is to learn to filter some of this out.

With all the cloud and cloud tool salesmen leaning on the IT strategy people, plus everything that doesn't involve the cloud or containers being called legacy regardless of age or usefulness, combined with the intense fear of missing out or being left behind, it's not surprising that we have a ton of Bobs out there. I'm hoping that the second dotcom bubble burst will slow things down to a sane level and we'll take what makes sense back into the real world...but I still haven't seen the top of the bubble yet!

1
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DXC squeezes suppliers for extra margin, issues ultimatum

Erik4872

Re: Not surprising

That's the problem with IT services companies in general. They have to make margin on their outsourcing deals and have lots of levers to pull in order to do it. I work for a decent service provider, and even here there's a constant drive to squeeze and squeeze more. The main reason I actually like working for service providers is that you get exposed to a lot of things while not having to endure 100 hour weeks at a software company or a soul-crushing internal IT job at a company that doesn't care about IT.

If you manage to get to the point where you're something of an expert at what you do, keeping that spot has become harder since management feels they can replace you with 100 identical resources in a cheaper part of the world. The sweet spot for me seems to be finding those rare companies that will grudgingly pay for someone who can demonstrate better results...those are getting harder to find but they're out there. Body shops like DXC will never value talent...and forget it if you're doing anything considered a commodity skillset. Even if it takes the offshore guys 20x longer to do something, they're still cheaper, the customer won't know the difference and you'll never compete with that.

9
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Erik4872

How NOT to Win Friends and Influence People

That's pretty arrogant, but I've seen that happen to friends of mine who work contract jobs in finance. One day the bank will just say "we're cutting rates by 10% and/or changing your contract terms effective immediately. Agree by 5 PM or pack your stuff and go."

Now, contracting is one of those things where you know you never have a stable job but the pay can make up for it. Purchasing OTOH...how many suppliers do you think rely on large corporations overpaying for items because of some contract negotiated years back? I'm betting it's a lot. DXC may just be another rebranding of HP Services, EDS and CSC, but it sounds like they're trying for a margin squeeze right out of the gate so they can "look tough" to their supply chain.

It'll be interesting to see what this company does. You could argue that with the cloudy world upon us, companies will become even less aware of what happens inside the IT magic box, but I guess they have to balance that with the fact that most companies have been around the block with IT outsourcing once or twice before. Hopefully this means they are less susceptible to the sales tactics that allowed EDS/CSC to charge rates that allowed suppliers to overcharge for toilet paper...doubt it though.

4
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Oracle finally decides to stop prolonging the inevitable, begins hardware layoffs

Erik4872

Wasn't the writing on the wall?

Every place I've personally seen or heard evidence of that wasn't absolutely married to Solaris and SPARC has been trying to get away from it forever. I can't imagine it's easy for Oracle to get new customers for anything other than their database applications, given their reputation.

You did see a lot of Sun hardware in the academic space back in the day, because their model was similar to Apple's -- give it away to students so that those students will buy it at a much higher margin when they're executives. But, the only places I've seen Solaris lately are those with 30 years of code that's totally married to Solaris, or workloads that have characteristics making SPARC the best or only choice.

Hopefully Larry isn't being too stingy with the severance packages. I feel bad for anyone who's still around keeping SPARC alive.

1
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HPE wraps up $8.8bn Micro Focus software dump spin-off

Erik4872

Re: Prescient

That's the best description of CA's business model I've ever heard. I had a project at work around 2012 migrating a ton of managed devices off of their desktop management product (the former Unicenter from the early 90s.) It was very obvious that they weren't even trying to improve the product beyond making it compatible with new operating systems. They were just milking license fees from customers who felt they were stuck on it for whatever reason.

12
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You can't DevOps everything, kids. Off the shelf kit especially

Erik4872

A good idea plagued by buzzword mentality

The higher-ups in our organization are very buzzword driven, and I imagine they collect a lot of free meals, golf trips and other...amenities...from the DevOps consultants. Just like Agile a few years ago, we've been told that we're now "all in" on DevOps.

What will happen in our case is that we'll take the parts of it that make sense and use it in the real world work we do. We'll even take the single-pane-of-glass magic tools the DevOps company of the month sold them and give a half-hearted effort to integrate them. I think that's the key -- if you let your consultants run the show you're going to get an ITIL-style monstrosity that takes more work to care and feed than the actual work you're doing.

We have a lot of "boring, legacy old school" stuff from 2005 (if you can believe it.) We also have a lot of new cool shiny microservicey stuff. Knowing where to apply DevOps techniques, which ones are appropriate for your world, and what to skip is the key to keep DevOps concepts (which for the most part are really good ideas) from being another shelfware that gets abandoned when the next buzzword comes to town.

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Second one this month: Another code bootcamp decamps to graveyard

Erik4872

Checking to see if it's 1999...

I'm an IT guy, not a developer, so my experience lies with the "MCSE Bootcamps" that sprung up towards the top of the First Dotcom Bubble. I went after doing the MCSE myself because a consultancy I was working for at the time paid for it. If you were there for an upgrade like I was and knew what you were doing, it was a good way to cram for the stupid tests in a very short time. However, these bootcamps also enrolled a lot of complete newbies ("career changers") who were truck drivers and similar in a previous life. This is where we got the term "paper MCSE" from - the bootcamp taught exactly what you needed to know for the exam, and very little else.

I can only assume that these coder schools are very similar. What do you know when you come out? Maybe one or two JavaScript frameworks and a couple of back-end tricks? It makes sense now, when you have web startups grabbing for all the starry-eyed "talent" they can get and working them 100 hours a week. But once the bubble pops, or even just slowly deflates, there's just not going to be a need for millions of AngularJS junior developers.

9
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Tapping the Bank of Mum and Dad: Why your Netflix subscription is poised to rise (again)

Erik4872

Why not do this if you get a monopoly at the end?

When most people think of a monopoly the image of a state-owned enterprise comes to mind -- inefficient, expensive, etc. But Netflix and Uber are just following Amazon to where Microsoft was (and is working on going back to.) If you think of the end goal as having no competition, and therefore not having to constantly squeeze nickels out of your operation to keep up with the other nickel-squeezers, then why not spend whatever it takes to get there?

Uber already has Kleenex-level brand recognition. "Taking an Uber" is part of the lexicon these days, and I'm sure they know that if they keep pumping money in they will eventually drive competition out. Back in the pre-2000s era,Walmart in the US spent massive amounts of money to open stores in every little town. It was expensive but they eventually drove out all the mom and pop businesses, and now enjoy a near-monopoly on goods and groceries in many areas. Anyone looking at monopolies of the past and not seeing an opportunity to become one themselves is not thinking ultra-long term.

Now, admittedly some of the talk is starting to smell vaguely of "this time it's different" and "eyeballs are the new profits" and "we'll make it up in volume." We'll see whether Netflix and Uber become monopolies...the US is already starting to tee up the conversation about Amazon...they're currently putting many retailers out of business. I never thought I'd see Sears on the verge of bankruptcy in my lifetime for example...

2
1

Azure Stack's debut ends the easy ride for AWS, VMware and hyperconverged boxen

Erik4872

Scale and pricing will be the determining factors

When Microsoft first announced Azure Stack, they were open to customers running it on their own hardware and the test systems seemed to indicate that this was possible. I guess they've rethought their ability to support totally random hardware configurations, and are now only supporting Stack on "integrated appliance" type hardware. The problem is that I haven't seen any of these appliances from vendors that scale down further than a rack-size footprint. The idea here is that you replace a good chunk of your on-premises hardware with the Stack, pay Microsoft and the vendor as you go, and the vendor keeps your appliance fed and happy IBM mainframe style. What remains to be seen is how much both companies will charge you to run stuff...obviously the PAYG rates will be cheaper since it's your hardware, but I can see stuff like PaaS SQL and other toys getting very expensive to run long-term.

If vendors are willing to put out a "tiny" version of this, I could definitely see companies with lots of small locations (like us) that can't put stuff in the cloud buying them. So far I haven't seen any yet.

4
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Largest advertising company in the world still wincing after NotPetya punch

Erik4872

Re: Local admin rights

Believe it or not this was the norm for internal applications ages ago...and those applications exist today. Not everyone is an Agile DevOps phone-based shop; there are plenty of businesses with millions of dollars running through stuff like poorly coded Access databases or VB front end GUIs.

8
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Erik4872

"Not our core competency"

I understand how an MBA might think outsourcing all IT functions is a good idea. They outsource the cafeteria, garbage collection, etc. and never have any trouble. However, I guarantee you anyone making the decision to outsource has no idea how the magic box on their desk or in their lap gets software delivered, patches applied, etc.

This is where it comes back to bite companies. IBM and the like are trying to get away with doing the least possible work for the lowest internal cost to maximize revenue. They have zero interest beyond the SLA whether your organization is running. This leads to the added problem of long-term outsourcing...eventually no one in-house knows anything about the IT environment and the company is powerless to take back control.

The company I work for, which is usually on the trailing edge of trends, is finally starting to realize that offshoring all new software development to third parties was a bad idea...precisely because someone woke up one day and realized they were permanently tied to the offshore firms because anyone internal who knew anything about the guts of our software had been fired. If this is happening here, I'm hoping it's the continuation of a trend elsewhere.

8
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PCs will get pricier and you're gonna like it, say Gartner market shamans

Erik4872

Desktops and laptops have their niche

I think what's happening is that desktop and laptop vendors are going upmarket. The average consumer watches their Netflix and updates Facebook on phones and tablets now, so the consumer market for these machines is pretty dead. But, there are plenty of people who are doing actual work in a non-BYOD environment. For them, a full machine running a full version of Windows is still a good choice.

A couple of years ago, the industry mantra was "BYOD everywhere" and "tablets for everyone." This certainly came true in some market segments, but most traditional businesses are at least offering the option of a company-owned, company-managed PC. Not everyone wants a locked-down device they can't install software on, or they prefer the form factor. I know I'm the recipient of a few looks when I pull out a 15" laptop in a conference room full of Surfaces and phones, but it's just more comfortable to work on.

Now that PCs, laptops and workstations really are niche devices, vendors also see the opportunity to increase margin. They don't have to buy bargain basement crap components. They can invest in features that niche users want. And in the case of consumer models, they don't have to make 150 different brands/models for each big box retailer.

6
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In after-hours trade on Monday, NYSE deployed test code to production

Erik4872

DevOps fun

I do systems integration work for an IT services company (a competent one, not Capita or similar.) Basically, the party line industry-wide is if you're not fully on board with DevOps, you won't have a job for very long. Anyone who even suggests that developers shouldn't have full access to production systems and the ability to check random code in at any time is an old fossil sysadmin who's just trying to protect his job.

What companies aren't getting is that DevOps really isn't just "fire your sysadmins and make the devs run their own boxes" for anything more critical than some random phone app. The concepts are really good, and this is coming from someone in an environment where the pace of change is glacial at best. What gets lost in translation is that the thing you're trying to fix is the nightmarish pain that a change can bring once the devs throw the code over to the ops. I've had operations teams say to me with a straight face that they can't deploy code until their entire staff is certified on the latest version of Windows Server. I've had operations teams refuse to accept things without a runbook explaining every possible thing that could go wrong with the system. And use that same runbook as an excuse to send every single thing that wasn't in the runbook up the chain to product engineering even though it's Sysadmin 101 stuff.

It makes sense for both sides to learn about the other. There are some developers I wouldn't let 100 feet from a production system simply because they've shown they have no idea how a computer works beyond the tools their language of choice provides. Some operations people are so hidebound in process that they're just too slow to keep up with changes. Like all things bubble-related, once this dotcom bubble bursts and the SV startups recede into the background again, I think we'll take the parts of DevOps that make sense and use them everywhere.

2
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Exposed pipes – check. Giant pillows – check. French startup mega-campus opens

Erik4872

Don't forget the PBR in the fridge, the rooftop dog park, musical selections piped in from a record player, and Moleskine notebooks for everyone.

2
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Erik4872

Dotcom Bubble II, French Edition?

Has anyone actually shown a positive correlation between work environments that look like a preschool and successful startups? Because this whole startup incubator thing was big during the end of the last dotcom bubble as well.

I understand the need to attract young hipsters the same way the SV startups do, but having a company entirely composed of younger people with less experience doesn't seem like the way to go if you want to be successful. You need at least a few "adults" in the company -- letting the kids spend 16 hour days at work is fine, but have some adult spaces as well.

One thing I've never been able to get, at any stage of my life, is why anyone would want to spend their entire waking life in the office. All of the Google-esque "all-inclusive" companies are like this; they create "fun" workspaces and handle all of their employees' personal business so they can spend the maximum time possible at work. Even if my employer were paying for 3 meals a day, I don't think I'd want to be around for the amount of time they expect in return. I know they're trying to recreate the college lifestyle, but it falls flat for anyone who's been out in the world a while and has some experience.

8
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Hyperconverged infrastructure. It's all about the services

Erik4872

Re: Software Validated Stacks

"Here is the API and middleware you program against!"

But isn't that a chicken-and-egg problem? Right now, at the height of Dotcom Bubble 2.0, we have 10,000 companies from 5-person startups to Red Hat all pushing framework after framework, API after API, container after container. Unless _one or two_ of these become an absolute rock-solid industry standard -- we're talking RFC-level completely open, no lock-in standard, picking one vendor's framework and toolset is going to lock you into that vendor, and it'll be at the hardware level this time.

I see the same thing working for a software development company; there are another 10,000 vendors of all size pushing their own magic DevOps toolkit -- as in, buy our containerization framework and we won't just put your apps in containers, we'll containerize the containers and make them cross-cloud capable! What they don't tell you is that DevOps isn't a magic tool, and if you don't have the culture in place (i.e. 20 person startup huddled around a cafeteria table,) then implementing it is much harder than advertised.

3
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HPE hatches HPE Next – a radical overhaul plan so it won't be HPE Last

Erik4872

Another transformation movement...

Translation: We just sent 10 shipping containers full of $100 bills to McKinsey and the advice from their legions of 25-year-old recent MBA grads was to be agile like Amazon.

I have no doubt that HP(E) has lots of dead wood left to prune, but I have been seeing this advice replicated over and over again at more traditional companies. Inevitably it boils down to offshoring everything that can be offshored, followed by cutting every single corner possible when it comes to the few people left onshore, then outsourcing everything that isn't a "core competency." I'm sure that even with all the mergers, demergers and splits that have occurred, there have been a lot of people let go and there are more to go. But cutting your way to growth, especially the usual way MBAs do it (starting at the top of the engineering pay spreadsheet) doesn't work long-term.

People forget that HP and the like are hardware companies producing tangible products that customers physically take delivery of. Even if the guts devolve into software-defined whatever, a hardware company isn't going to move as fast as a software-only company. I work for a very traditional company in a traditional industry, and every "old school" company is scared to death of being left behind in the race to the top of the Second Dotcom Bubble. You can't turn a traditional manufacturer into a trendy SV startup run by 100 people crammed around cafeteria tables. But that isn't stopping them from trying. This year, the trend is to badly implement something the consultants sold the company as "DevOps" similar to the way "Agile" was badly implemented a couple years prior.

32
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Uber engineer's widow: Stress and racism killed my husband ... Uber: Let's make flying cars!

Erik4872

I'm not surprised

I'm sure many here will say that the widow is just trying to collect some lawsuit money from Uber before dotcom bubble 2.0 pops, but bad employers really can work people to the bone. I've never really had the desire to work for a tech startup, but people I know who have describe an...interesting...experience. Stories I've heard usually revolve around one or more of:

- Founders/CEOs with major ego or anger management problems who are absolutely miserable to work for

- Very young executives with little or no experience running a large business, leading to all sorts of HR nightmares

- Very young workers with little or no experience working, so they don't know they're being taken advantage of

- Chummy fratboy culture that excludes anyone who isn't down with the rest of the bros

- Constant death marches inspired by any one of the above items

People forget that there are a lot of people who take pride in their work and can't just say no when given unreasonable requests. That, or they feel that they're missing out on the startup lottery if they don't pull their weight and stay employed until IPO day by any means necessary. I'd have no trouble buying the idea that a pressure cooker environment like Uber plus a few external stressors would cause someone to snap and just want out.

Add to that the fact that the guy moved from Atlanta to San Francisco. I live in New York and we constantly have people going down to Atlanta or North Carolina because they don't care where they live as long as they don't have to pay taxes. The cost of living difference between ATL and NYC is stark; ATL and SFO is orders of magnitude worse. $170K a year barely treads water in San Francisco or Silicon Valley. Imagine the stress of having to support a spouse/family in an environment like that.

26
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DevOps hype? Sometimes a pizza really is just a pizza

Erik4872

Best summary of the current state so far

Stock photos indeed, including large centered bold tagline...it's like someone manufactured a DevOps Startup Kit and every single 3 person team has a web presence that makes them look like a massive fully supported product.

The problem is that there's nothing wrong with the concept of DevOps. Developers and IT need to work together -- we in IT can't just be the Department of No. The main problem with it is that the Second Dotcom Bubble has been inflating for the last few years, coinciding with the DevOps shift. Useful information barely gets heard over the screams of "agile single pane of glass!" Everything's an automation framework, a cloud-based analytics platform, etc. because that's what's driving the phone and app ecosystem. Startups need big data in the cloud to monetize the info generated from their fart app. :-)

Just like the First Dotcom Bubble brought us much improved Internet access and services out of its ashes, I think that reasonable levels of cloud computing adoption and DevOps without the hype and snake-oil tool salesmen will be what we get from this one.

0
0

Oracle doing due diligence on Accenture. Yep, you read that right

Erik4872

An unholy match

I fully expect the next headline to be "SAP in talks to buy CapGemini" -- it would make sense. Every big ERP vendor needs a consulting company.

I guess the idea is that software companies are moving away from selling software and onto selling monthly revenue extraction streams. Every former OS and product vendor is doing it -- their goal is to lock you into a cloud-based management tool that they sell access to rather than sell you software to implement. It's unholy, but Oracle buying a management consultancy makes sense. IBM is trying to turn their entire company into an Accenture clone. When you wrap your product in so much complexity that you need to sell services to implement it, that's a golden combination. Oracle could easily sell a set of ERP licenses "plus, we'll throw in half the population of India for _free_ to help you run it!"

6
0

Next Superdome CPU chips amble into HPE

Erik4872

Re: Opteron killed Itanium

Very good observation...I had a very similar experience working on migrating another critical airline system from a Unisys mainframe onto Itanium around the 2003-2004 timeframe. Itanium on Linux was the only game in town if you needed 64-bit support (for high memory use applications) and didn't want to lock yourself in to IBM or Sun.

It's really interesting to see this whole thing slowly unfold over a decade or two. I'm assuming HPE is going to either port HP-UX and the Superdome to Xeon hardware or kill it entirely. However, it's not clear they can do this in one shot -- there are three OS platforms running on Itanium now (HP-UX, OpenVMS and NonStop.) Systems running on these OSes are pretty long in the tooth and usually critical to a company or government agency's business...

It would be cool to see these legacy OSes survive on x86-64, but HPE isn't exactly thrilled about supporting them, so I assume they're going to slowly wither and die.

1
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Windows 10 networking bug derails Microsoft's own IPv6 rollout

Erik4872

IPv6 needs a catalyst

It's interesting to see a large non-networking company going IPv6 only on the client side. The problem with v6 is that v4 is still just fine in most circumstances. NAT is a hack, yes, but it's everywhere and allows for an extended life for IPv4. Internal hosts generally don't need end-to-end Internet addressability, especially these days.

Obviously this can't be done easily, but I wish someone would come up with an "IPv7" that has more backward compatibility. IPv4's address space is small enough for humans to understand, and it's easy to communicate a 4-octet IP address verbally to someone.

Interestingly enough, IaaS cloud services are IPv4...and I think the major reason for that is because they don't want to alienate people who've worked in IPv4 networks for decades. They could have easily used this as the opportunity to get rid of IPv4, but it's easier.

4
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Trello, hello, hello: Todo list biz gobbled by Atlassian for $425m

Erik4872

Selling the mining equipment in the dotcom Gold Rush

During the first dotcom bubble, companies like Sun, Cisco and the telcos were raking in vast sums of money. Back then, every single one of the dotcoms had to cater for either their own or colocated data center space, and a large amount of equipment. The second dotcom bubble has the cloud, which actually lets crazy startups hang around for a lot longer -- the VC money doesn't have to pay for a huge owned infrastructure when AWS or Google or Microsoft offers capacity.via a credit card.

Companies like Atlassian are now the new vendors of Gold Rush mining implements. The hot new thing is apps, and specifically DevOps-friendly apps. For consumer-focused phone apps this model makes perfect sense -- just picture a bunch of hipsters with fedoras, neckbeards, man-buns and PBR in the fridge, sitting around a cafeteria table in an expensive San Francisco office space banging out JavaScript. This environment needs tools like the ones Atlassian markets because the change is so frequent, staff is incredibly thin and the companies "need" to attract hip social media types with tools that work the way they want. On the corporate side, stuff like JIRA lets a company write a check to push the Agile/DevOps button and have their developers talking about stories, features and burndown rates. Actually, it requires a complete culture shift to work properly, but companies still like it because Agile lets them do away with a lot of the expensive planning, break the app into pieces and send it all over the world chasing lower cost labor. (I've worked at places that have gone Agile without the culture change and it's a mess.)

I actually think the end is coming pretty soon for the second bubble. Like the first one, we got a whole bunch of neat stuff out of it, but people are eventually going to get tired of the same old stuff and move on from social media and apps. I'm guessing IoT is going to be the next bubble to inflate, but we'll see. Either way, Atlassian is in good shape - IoT stuff needs to be programmed too.

3
0

Travel booking systems ‘wide open’ to abuse – report

Erik4872

This happens elsewhere too

Whenever you bolt on an Internet/web connection to an existing environment, someone will eventually figure out that any semi-secret information in the system is no longer secret. This kind of thing isn't new - my electric company allows anyone to add access to my account by knowing the account number, ZIP code and name, all of which can be read directly off a bill thrown in the trash. At 90% of large companies, plugging a machine into the LAN immediately means that machine is "trusted" by most access lists and other barriers. Almost no companies treat their LAN as hostile even in the era of phones, tablets and BYOD.

A lot of these systems were designed back in the days when only trusted individuals were capable of accessing them. Way back in the day, travel agents were entrusted with paper ticket stock that would allow them to print tickets to any destination, and when ticketing. check-in and boarding were separate things there was a pretty good chance you could show up with a fake ticket at the airport and get on a plane. The record locator is the unique identifier in the database, and the only machines that used to have access to it were terminals at the airport, reservation and travel agent terminals and the GDS itself. None of this was designed in an era where it was even imagined that someone sitting at home could brute-force the record locators and pull everyone's flight data off websites. The airlines along with the banks were some of the first companies to be "networked" in the traditional sense, and this predates the Internet (consumer web, that is) by a long time.

The question becomes how to solve it. I work in this space (not for a GDS, but very close to the processes.) All of this travel technology at its core is decades old and has huge amounts of dependencies on the core never changing. The cool stuff we see (airline websites, airline mobile apps, kiosks, etc.) is just the top crust talking through layers and layers of abstraction down to a reservation host, mainly in the old-school terminal session based method. Changing any one of those layers is very difficult because it breaks everything riding on top of it. It would have to be something at the web layer, like a CAPTCHA, but it would have to be done in an IATA standard way to make all the airlines adhere to it. The problem is you have to have something universal that acts like a record locator, but isn't available in plain sight or able to be brute-forced. And, it has to be easy -- I can't imagine people wanting to use their passport numbers or other personal identifying information beyond their name, nor do I expect the airlines will jump over an IATA initiative to issue digital certificates to all travelers for use on websites or maintain a central registry of usernames and passwords.

10
0

Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

Erik4872

Apology or not, results are the same

I'm actually not as much of a doomsayer as most people about Windows 10, but the reality is that for whatever reason, Microsoft is done with any versions of Windows before 10 and Server 2016. They will not have another XP or Office 2003 moment, period. I know why they're doing it (to gain ad revenue and extract monthly subscription fees for Win10 Enterprise users), I'm not a fan of it, but you're just not going to get anything beyond half-hearted support for previous Windows versions. I'm pretty convinced that they're also done with on-premises software and are waiting to lock everyone into Azure, but that's the next phase.

Taking this as the assumed end state, I'm actually glad they were able to get as many customers upgraded as possible. Millions of consumer PCs are completely unmanaged. They go unpatched, and Windows 7 is no longer being looked at with the same scrutiny when it comes to the less-than-thorough job they do patching it. Leaving these systems out to dry means they'll eventually be a botnet member, get ransomware, get a virus, etc. I don't like the way it was done, but at least they telegraphed that the end was near for Windows 7. I think they should have waited until the official end of life date to allow the free upgrade, but the shareholders would have eaten them alive if they were fully or partially supporting 3 complete release cycles of Windows. For better or worse, Windows 10 is the new client OS for everyone as Microsoft sees it.

9
29

Capita is STILL the BIGGEST tech services supplier to UK.gov

Erik4872

Not so fast...

The US also has CSC/HPE, IBM, Unisys, Accenture, and a whole raft of other "IT Services" companies. We've got way more morons than you. :-)

As far as public sector goes, we also have the defense contractors' IT groups which I'm sure could give Capita a run for their money in the cost to talent ratio.

7
0

Will Wikipedia honour Jimbo's promise to STOP chugging?

Erik4872

All big non-profits have this problem

Working for a not-for-profit entity does not necessarily mean you're getting paid in soup kitchen meals and eternal salvation. When a charity or other organization gets big, most of them do end up operating like for-profit businesses as far as compensation. Big charities "need" big name executives to run things, and yes there is a lot of quid pro quo favor-granting. There are often controversies with the Red Cross, Salvation Army and such that spend too much per donated dollar on operating expenses, and I fully expect Wikipedia is in the same boat.

That said, I do give money to them every year. I find Wikipedia one of the more useful Internet resources out there, simply because my brain likes to snack on knowledge. If I'm looking for a decent overview of a non-controversial subject, it's a great resource. It's also a time sink -- I wound up spending a few hours last month looking up some engineering term I heard, then getting sucked into the world of Great Lakes shipping before looking at the clock and saying "oh well, I didn't need to sleep tonight anyway."

I think it's better to let them have a little excess cash than turn the whole thing over to, say, Thomson Reuters or one of the scientific publishers, who will rent-seek subscription fees out of everyone.

4
8

A single typo may have tipped US election Trump's way

Erik4872

It's not "hacking" it's "social engineering"

The one thing that I hope this teaches people is that using public email services for anything important is a really dumb idea. So many of these hacking stories actually turn out to be phishing attacks or social engineering, targeting a technically ignorant yet very powerful individual. I've seen this happen in corporate environments. Executives just ask their assistants to handle everything, and as we've seen here, the assistant just forwards the request to IT.

Any corporate exec or politician who is still using hotmail, AOL or Gmail to conduct business is probably still of the mindset that they can't securely get their email from anywhere. iPhone and Android both support secure connections to corporate email accounts -- so 2FA means that you'd have to steal the user's phone to do your hacking. Hopefully both sides of the aisle will take this as a lesson and do some serious hiring on their IT teams to fix this.

6
0

Microsoft announces 16 years of support for Windows, SQL Servers

Erik4872

Could be the end of boxed software from them?

Given how hard Microsoft is pushing Azure-first stuff, this might be one last olive branch to their "legacy" customers. Server 2016 is a traditional Windows release, but everything is slowly being sent over to microservices and PaaS-land. My experience so far with Azure is that Microsoft is doing everything they can to get companies to migrate their applications, not just to Azure IaaS, but to rewrite them to use PaaS components. There's a lot of positives for this, but one issue is the fact that you're now paying forever to use the service rather than paying once for a packaged license.

The big things that are going to keep customers on "classic" Windows are things like domain-joined SQL Server, remote app publishing (Citrix/RDS) and Active Directory (not Azure AD.) There's just too much built up around these items and no easy cloudy way to completely replace them. Everything else (ASP.NET applications, file/print sharing, etc.) can easily be handled by an App Service or cloud file storage. Assuming enterprises aren't going to outsource their identity management to Facebook or Google, their choices are going to be Azure AD or Classic AD for quite some time, and Azure AD doesn't do policy-based user/machine management to the same level Classic AD does.

In a way, this makes sense. Microsoft gets a constant revenue stream for cranking out updates, and customers who don't want Azure and don't want to move their applications get a slower pace of change. It's dizzying how much changes in Azure over a month...whole new services roll out almost weekly and the existing ones get upgraded capabilities.

0
0

HPE core servers and storage under pressure

Erik4872

What to do with $5B?

The funny thing is that "old HP" just got done unmerging its businesses and writing down a couple of failed acquisitions (Autonomy) and ventures (Helion public cloud.) I say the best way to use that money would be to save it and use it to shore up their core product lines rather than going out and buying yet another flash memory array startup.

There are still more than a few customers (us included) that need solid, reliable on-premises medium size servers. HPE still fills this role nicely for us. If they can continue this rather than chasing money in the public cloud that eventually won't go to them, medium organizations like ours will keep paying. Public cloud providers are just going to go to Foxconn with the Open Compute spec in hand and ask for 5 million white box servers, and that makes sense in the cloud environment, since you don't actually care deeply whether the hardware is healthy. HPE's new core market is medium sized and large businesses who can't outsource to the public cloud. Small businesses are lost, because the public cloud will eventually win out. Large businesses will probably roll out their own private clouds on vendor hardware because they don't want to spend money maintaining things -- they'll just use it through the warranty period and repeat.

It's just like what's happening in the PC industry. Solid, high-margin, well built PCs and laptops/convertibles are doing fine. Companies still need them. What people don't need is the sub-$300 zero-margin, poor quality home computers that the low end of the market puts out. The consolidation in the PC market is a result of the product teams, marketing teams, etc. of the low end being removed. Lenovo is doing fine with its workstations and ThinkPads. HP actually has a few decent laptops out these days. And Dell, with the shackles of the stock market removed, is also improving. You just don't see this stuff showing up at Best Buy the same way it used to.

3
0

China cites Trump to justify ‘fake news’ media clampdown. Surprised?

Erik4872

True, but...

The ironic thing about the electoral college system was that one reason it was designed was to preserve the popular vote, but have one last circuit breaker to prevent a true demagogue from being elected and not have that circuit breaker be Congress. It's interesting that this was thought of in the late 1700s, when people didn't have 24/7 media coverage from a million sources available. I guess the idea was to have popular representation, but prevent someone from winning solely by making wild campaign promises they could never fulfill, or by manufacturing a personality cult, or by playing on some deep-seated fear. Oh, oops. :-)

It probably would have worked if some 1700s politician had access to Twitter or something and told the entire country everyone would get $20 million if they voted for him. Back then things had to be pretty sensational to make it into every newspaper in the country. More recent counter-example, FDR was able to win and he was in a wheelchair with polio...again, pre-24/7 news cycle.

1
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Erik4872

Not to defend censorship or anything...

...but Facebook needs to recognize they're just as much an organ of the press as newspapers, TV and radio these days. I've read studies saying that virtually everyone under 30 uses social media and the web as their primary or sole source of news. Actual journalists should be concerned with the ability of groups on both sides of the spectrum to produce slick news pieces that look totally believable. People will click on clickbait regardless of its truthiness, and personally I have a very low level of confidence that the average person is capable of telling truth from fiction. I feel that if a regular, average person sees something on Facebook, they're not going to question it. Don't forget that it's not just computer nerds using the Intenet anymore -- everyone has a smartphone now and the UIs are simple enough for the simplest of people to use.

Of course, the traditional press has biases. I'm convinced one of the reasons Trump won is because the media emphatically stated he had no chance right up until the last few weeks -- people didn't come out and vote, and the "evil, hateful media" meme riled up Trump's already easily rilable supporters. But, fake news makes it harder for meatier, well-researched stories to see the light of day. I have no idea how to fix this problem, other than Facebook actually curating content. The problem is that this is hard, and it goes against the "peer to peer content sharing" nature of the service. It may be hard, but I do feel something needs to be done to control the spread of outright misinformation while allowing both sides a platform.

2
1

IFTTT isss notttt afraiddd offf Microsofttt Flowww

Erik4872

""business critical" untested badly written Exel"

Exactly. I have done IT work at very large companies, and the reality is that almost all department-level number crunching and lots of critical processes depend on creaky stuff like Excel macros written back in the Office 97 era, and Access database "applications." Take that, and throw in a dependency on an online script processing engine.

"We have such sights to show you...."

1
0

You work so hard on coding improvements... and it's all undone by a buggy component

Erik4872

Tower of Abstraction Syndrome

What I see a lot, coming at this from the systems integration side, is developers relying so heavily on these towers of dependent libraries that it's very difficult to tell what the actual code they write is doing under the hood. Or, they take on a huge dependency for one tiny library function to avoid writing anything new.

No one should unnecessarily rewrite known-good code, but taking a dependency means taking the responsibility of ensuring that it is secure, and continues to do what you want it to do over time.

5
0

Honeywell's UK staff mull strike action

Erik4872

Time to restore the employer/employee balance

Interesting to see this in a UK context -- most private employers in the US dumped final average salary pensions ages ago when they got the tax loophole known as the 401(k) and could wash their hands of any responsibility.

I would definitely be behind a more balanced relationship between employers and employees:

- On the employee side, a higher degree of loyalty would be necessary. More dedication to the job, less job hopping every 6 months...basically making employers want to keep and invest in you. Of course, that's only possible with...

- ...On the employer side, a higher degree of fair dealing with the employees. Have a career path people can actually achieve. Don't lay people off the second the stock price drops, and don't just dump everyone involved when you can a project...reuse them! Pay fairly, provide great benefits and invest in training. At least contribute meaningfully to an employee's retirement account if not managing a pension plan.

A good example of this would be pre-90's-meltdown IBM. I hear stories of employees who worked their entire careers there, and retired with a solid pension and lifetime medical benefits. They had a no-layoff policy for ages. Now, they're doing everything possible to reverse all this, just like every big employer.

I think this will eventually backfire on big employers. Economists use the term "efficiency wage" to mean "pay more than the absolute minimum you can to potentially see an increase in productivity." Squeezing workers will, in the long run, lead to lower productivity and less quality work produced. If an employee feels their employer is dealing with them fairly, they'll do a good job. If they feel the employer is out to get them at every turn, they'll respond in kind.

5
0

Burger barn put cloud on IT menu, burned out its developers

Erik4872

Fiddlers and tweakers indeed...

Hungry Jack's CIO is correct - most developers or IT folks who are even slightly hands on wouldn't accept a vendor management role unless forced. That, and IT project management is usually where burnt-out techies who don't want to keep going on the learning treadmill go. I know and work with lots of IT PMs -- they make lots of money but who would want that job? As a PM you're a glorified secretary who has to get 500 people they don't control to do their jobs or lose theirs. As a vendor manager you're a service ticket passthrough and "free lunch collector." The second thing is nice (and if your vendor is Oracle you'll get showered in free stuff) but I'm a big fan of actually doing work and solving problems.

I think right now, the SaaS vendors are cleaning up by selling the dream of firing (or neutering) the IT department to companies who don't really see IT as useful and want to be rid of it. I think in some cases it can be done simply, but the second you want anything custom, prepare to pay. That's definitely how Oracle operates - they'll sell you their HR or ERP suite but it only works out-of-box for a tiny fraction of organizations. I know someone working for a large state university using PeopleSoft, and they pay through the nose to get Oracle or their "preferred consultants" to customize the system for changes in state law, union contracts and rules, etc. What I wish CIOs would be taught in their MBA classes is that the level of complexity doesn't change - it just gets pushed to different areas and that's the point of SaaS, but it doesn't disappear and if your vendor has a bad day, so do you!

(By the way, does Burger King know about these guys? I'm reminded of the "McDowell's" restaurant from "Coming to America." If I'm ever in Australia I'll have to try them out and see how they compare -- if their Oracle SaaS stuff is working. Those burgers on their website look an awful lot like the Whopper!)

9
0

Fujitsu to axe 1,800 jobs across the UK

Erik4872

>> "Anything not connected with cloud is at risk," our source claimed. <<

Sounds like they're pulling a page from IBM's playbook, and basically any services vendor these days. I've heard from IBMers that people are being dumped unless they can show how they contribute to "cloud, social, mobile or cognitive" stuff...so all those people keeping that "luddite" infrastructure running are done for.

I know the public cloud is coming, but I do feel the insistence that it's going to replace all on-site hardware is overblown. I think like everything in life there will be a healthy mix of everything once the Second Dotcom Bubble pops. The only reason it hasn't already is _because_ of the public cloud...companies with silly business plans can stay in business much longer when they don't have to build out networks and data centers themselves.

2
0

SAP Australia's MD and COO both resign to 'pursue opportunities outside the company'

Erik4872

Re: winds of change in PHB culture?

I think it might finally be happening. As a systems integration person, I end up getting the products of said deals to make work in a real environment. All I can say is they must have the best salespeople in the world. I think they just funnel expensive lunches, alcohol, rounds of golf and strip club visits into CIOs until they are suitably pliable. That's the only way I can explain it to myself while shaking my head over some of their software modules.

It speaks volumes that the only way to truly get experience in SAP implementation is to spend years working for a management consulting firm who was hired to put it in...and implementers I've talked to in the past say it's not even clear at that point.

5
0

Google 'screwed over' its non-millennials – now they can all fight back

Erik4872

The industry has to grow up

I'm over the hill at 41 now, and work like crazy to differentiate myself from the stereotypical older IT worker. Unfortunately, companies lump everyone in together and assume that everyone is crusty, set in their ways and won't learn anything new. I'm in systems engineering, and our field is going nuts right now with software-defined everything, public clouds, etc...and I'm going along with it, learning everything I can and seeing where the dust will settle after the second dotcom/social media bubble bursts. There are plenty of older folks saying "oh, this Docker stuff will never take off" and "the company will never move to a public cloud." Let's just say I'm not betting on either of those coming true -- I'm hedging.

There are some enlightened places out there that value experience, but Silicon Valley employers are generally not in this group. Microsoft skews older, which is good, but it's still very hard convincing a 28 year old team lead (or worse, a 28 year old MBA with no experience appointed to a manager spot) that you're worth taking a chance on. The reason I think this lawsuit is a good thing is that, for better or worse, Google and GE seem to have the most slavishly copied HR policies in the world. Every company has an open plan office because of Google. Many companies experiment with stack ranking because of GE. If these companies have to change their behavior towards older workers even slightly, the rest of the HR managers will note the change and immediately implement it verbatim.

0
0

Dell has laid off EMC people at Hopkinton

Erik4872

This is one thing to hate about mergers

I've been through this once and know many people who've been caught out when 2 big companies merge and they don't need 2 people doing the same job. It's especially bad when you're given the choice to move or be laid off, and can't for whatever reason. Nobody wants to be unemployed in the US these days...especially in high cost of living markets. Almost always, the acquirer will wipe out the acquiree's workforce...and EMC isn't exactly a small company. When you consider that EMC is in Massachusetts and Dell is in Texas, there's probably no chance anyone will survive long term from the EMC side.

Hopefully these people will find work soon...one problem with companies getting too big is there are fewer corporate jobs to go around.

4
1

It's time for Microsoft to revisit dated defaults

Erik4872

The defaults keep the edge cases working

Microsoft desperately wants people off AD and onto Azure AD as their primary authentication source, but Azure AD's not quite ready for all the tasks AD does today and will be in place for quite a while. Having defaults that seem like they're from a different era does actually make sense. If you're a total newbie building out a new AD for a customer (which admittedly doesn't happen much these days, but we do it pretty frequently) you're going to want to hold down replication traffic until the admin confirms it doesn't need to be held down. Since a lot of replication traffic is RPC based and extremely chatty, it's possible to fill up a small network link if you don't set things up right.

We're used to LAN speeds on our broadband connections here in the first world, but outside the US, Europe and Southeast Asia, it's not uncommon to have leased lines at very low speeds and very high latency. Same thing with satellite links, cruise ships, etc. It's entirely possible if you have a localized environment and all your locations have Metro Ethernet links back to HQ, that you don't really care about replication intervals and clients can log on to any domain controller. But, this can be a problem in big directory environments with lots of policies, logon scripts that take forever to run, etc.

I haven't been an AD newbie for years, but I can imagine someone looking at some of the stuff from Windows 2000 era and saying "WTF?" Things like SMTP-based replication and the old super-complex multi-forest multi-domain model only make sense if you have a real need for them these days. But the funny thing is that Microsoft hasn't really rewritten the Distributed Systems Guide from the Win2K Resource Kit in its entirety, so people may be going back to that as a primary reference.

2
1

'Too big to fail' cloud giants like AWS threaten civilization as we know it

Erik4872

Re: Absolutely

All valid points. I'm a little upset that this is the state of things. The problem is that people who do actually understand systems are dismissed out of hand and our knowledge is dismissed pretty easily as dinosaur crap that no one really needs to know anymore.

I think one of the problems is that systems guys have traditionally tended towards the BOFH personality. Often that's for good reason, keeping the developers from wrecking things for everyone else. But some really bite back hard when developers ask for things. When the public cloud showed up on the scene, it immediately opened up another channel for the developers to go through to run around the sysadmins. Seriously, I'm doing an Azure-centric project now; you wouldn't believe how easy they're making it for developers to just throw whatever they want out on the Internet...it's literally push button. Forget about all the abstracted systems stuff running under the hood...it's the cloud! It's elastic! It grows and shrinks with demand seamlessly! The developers on this project seriously look at me with straight faces and say this when I try to set up some sane limits on what can be deployed and how it should work. As much as I hate the term DevOps, our two sides are going to have to merge at some point to handle some aspects of our mutual jobs. Developers can't just deploy to a magic infinite cloud without expecting some healthy pushback, and the BOFHs among us are just going to have to let some control go.

5
0
Erik4872

Absolutely

I am totally not a luddite even though I've spent a lot of my career focused on data centers and hardware. I know it's a good thing when you can take complexity out of the equation and build a service that functions well enough that you don't have to worry about the internals.

BUT...I do worry a lot about new entrants into IT not getting enough education around the fundamentals. If you're a web developer these days, you aren't really interacting with the servers at a low level -- you're submitting API calls and getting the results returned to you. But, do you know _how_ the API delivered those results? Same thing goes with the core networking protocols like TCP/UDP and other fundamental services like DNS/DHCP. If those things are abstracted so far that only service providers and a few wizards know how they work, what does that do to basic troubleshooting skills? Will IT pros just throw up their hands and call the service provider to solve problems they may have been able to track down themselves previously?

I think the article is spot on -- if talent gets too scarce, a company is going to outsource to a company that has those people -- and the salary behind that skill set will drop as more offshore people are trained. Look at mainframes -- the big outsourcing firms have tens of thousands of Indians fully trained on mainframes, while hipster startup guys thumb their noses at it and go back to writing their apps in RESTful JavaScript frameworks. This is the precise reason for the offshore firms offshoring -- they can't get domestic people at a reasonable pay rate who want to learn something that isn't cutting edge, because those same people are worried they'll be thrown out at a moment's notice and not be immediately picked up because they chose to work with an older technology.

It's very important to allow things to get easier, after all, who wants to program in assembler when a high level language is so much easier to understand? But in the rush to containerize and abstract every single complexity, I think we might be leaving too many things buried under the abstractions.

12
0

Microsoft disbands Band band – and there'll be no version 3

Erik4872

Microsoft = IBM

Microsoft is becoming the new IBM. IBM only stays in a business if they can make obscene margins or have a guaranteed locked-in revenue stream. Therefore it doesn't make sense to sell one-off consumer hardware unless you can lock the user into paying for it over an over again in terms of subscriptions.

Examples:

- Windows, Office -- obscene margins because they can sell the same product billions of times for no incremental cost, and now they're charging for subscriptions (Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise.)

- Azure - obscene margins because all they have to do is build data centers and the control plane once, and locked in revenue by charging monthly for Azure resource usage.

- Server software -- guaranteed lock-in and revenue stream (software assurance, etc.) plus everyone is being funneled slowly into Azure -- I think the long term goal is to make it uncomfortable enough to run on-premises Windows Server that most companies will just move to Azure.

There's a reason why IBM doesn't sell PCs, printers, storage, or x86 servers anymore -- they can't make massive profits on them even if they do feed into larger deals.

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