Most commented posts

  1. Coincidence — 2 comments
  2. Foreman on Debian – Install issues — 2 comments
  3. Centralized Logging — 1 comment
  4. Don’t Panic — 1 comment

Author's posts

It’s Always DNS..

Also, Rule 39 — there’s no such thing as a coincidence (there is, but shush!) A few weeks ago we had a power outage in one of our larger colocation facilities hosting customer racks. Because (legacy, cost) we have a number of servers providing some core services that don’t have redundant power supplies, and so …

Continue reading

Web of Trust

They say that the internet is just a series of tubes. They’re not entirely wrong, but that’s not all it’s made up of. It’s also made of a complex series of trust relationships. It is when these trust relationships fall apart for one reason or another that we run into problems. BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is a tool …

Continue reading

Qualities of an Employee

Since we just did a post on qualities of a good manager, it only seems appropriate to look at that relationship the other way around and consider the qualities of a good employee. They’re remarkably similar to the manager. I think my top three are: Communication, Transparency, and Self-motivating. Communication If you can’t tell by …

Continue reading

Qualities of a Manager

The trend on the Sysadmin Subreddit this week has been talking about the struggles of management, what the lowly team members might not realize their team lead or manager is having to deal with, and resenting them accordingly. Coming off this, combined with some recent personal experiences, I was thinking about what I value the most in …

Continue reading

Personal Experience is Personal Reality

When everyone in a room shares a similar perception, people tend to get along and understand each other even if they disagree with that perception being right or wrong. As soon as someone in that rooms has a personal perception that is at odds with the remainder, they become a shard of the group and …

Continue reading

Upgrading OwnCloud (or, keep up to date to avoid issues)

It turns out that OwnCloud is a finicky piece of software. After being defeated in my attempts to update, I grew determined to win. Premise: We have a CentOS 6 x64 server running OC, v7.0.2. Current release is 9.0.1, but OC doesn’t support direct upgrades between major versions, and it wasn’t even as simple as …

Continue reading

Why do I need my own backups?

“My provider already has them,” “It’s not that important, anyway,” “backup tools are (too hard|too expensive|too complicated|not possible in my environment).” “Everyone wants restore, no-one wants backup.” AdminZen, Part 6, Backups, point 1. Too many times recently I’ve seen excuses like the above for not having backups, followed shortly by long tirades about how it’s …

Continue reading

Building for High Availability

There are several principles to consider when designing and building a system for high availability, so called 100% Uptime. Firstly, what is the budget? Cost constraints will invariably determine how high that availability is. For this exercise, we’re going to focus on a virtual environment in which the VMs will have 100% Uptime. Constraining factors: Power: …

Continue reading

Datacenters 101

A lot of people have specific ideas when you say “Datacenter” — dark ambient light, lots of bright lights from servers (hopefully lots of green and blue, and not so much yellow or red). Some big datacenter providers put a lot of effort into that “cool” factor, going out of their way to keep overhead lights …

Continue reading

Don’t Panic

The noise your phone makes on an alert-based SMS. The ringtone when the office is calling. “Waiting for controller to initialize” hangs on startup. Don’t panic. The key to resolving any issue quickly is to slow down and think it through. I had this this morning. Two new servers were installed on my desk and …

Continue reading