Archive for the 'Maintenance' Category



24
Sep
08

hungry? stupid?

<sarcasm>I CAN TAKE THE RISK NOW!!!</sarcasm> yeah right…

I must say, its a heck of a good speech. but comeon. if he was a failure he wouldnt even stand there.
I’d say if you can connect the dot, and be proud you’ve made it. (or else)

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19
Sep
08

becareful what it may do to you.

I’ve released M$ Office 2003 SP3 to the environment today. Reason was that I had to roll KB947674 which requires Office SP3.

Warning to others and myself. Office SP3 replaces some file extension (what I notices was TIF/TIFF has been replaced by Windows Fax Viewer not Office Document Imaging.)

Oh not least and not last. M$ word SP3 has new so-called protection that prevents users from opening “OLD” style document (eg WORD 1.0)

No one probably uses WORD 1.0 but when backend subsystem is using Office automation to create/manage document with WORD 1.0 format, it wasnt funny. (fix was to deploy reg key using new ADM file released by M$. )

<sarcasm>Thanks M$, you made my day.. again…</sarcasm>

19
Sep
08

hand over your “job” or else

put all the money in the bag and hand it over! , and don’t even think about pressing that alarm.

Working in IT Operations means that people generally do not recognise your great work but instead ready to shoot the gun at problems they are facing. good example is instead of concentrating 99% up time, you will get shot at 1% down time. And write heavy/long/political report about how it could have been prevented or why it did happen so that it affected millions of dollars.

So, after keep getting shot at the head or/and rolling heads and/or managing blame games, eventually what management think is that IT operation SUCKs big time.

What do we ask ? CASH!! a lot of them for no reason and keep asking for more.
Few examples I can think of

  1. File server storage space. User place more and more files, and IT keep going back to business and ask for more money to buy storage space.
  2. Application license renewal for apps that no one uses or care.
  3. Ask for more head count year after year saying that IT operation is more time consuming and require more resources.

(Lets not think how we can reduce these, for the argument sake at this stage)

Eventually IT budget will be over blown and somehow somewhere, something had to be cut to reduce cost.

Hey what is more effective and easiest but to throw the work to someone else? Yes, OUTSOURCING.
On the book it offers great ideas.

  1. Greater pool of talents (100 head is better than 1?, WRONG! thats when 100 HEADs do talk to each other)
  2. History of excellent operations (or customer case studies on their web pages which you know that it is sugar coated)
  3. Cost effective operations (from their point of view, not yours)
  4. Reduce the head count (this is big one, yes on the accounting books, IT operation is now just a cost not EMPLOYEE per share/dividend)
  5. Reduce the IT budget and put it on the control. (you wont be charged for more for whats on the contract but you will be charged more for whats NOT on the contract.. and A LOT of them wont be on it)
  6. We keep it running!, we provide service level agreement ! (yes SLA that can not be met and they do own internal blame game to cover each others back when things go wrong.)

I do believe managed service has its places. But that’s when people understand that they did not shift responsibilities to outsourcing but instead simply hired work force behind it.
However, reality is that end-user thinks outsourcers will deliver the dream and be active at it.

Ironically, some innovations result in lost of income for them, why would they ven bother be innovative at them?

For example, 1000 tickets/incident per month = $$$, then it has no incentive to reduce the tickets immediately even though they may be obliged to provide so-called improvements to customers.

Reduction in server by server consolidations “vmware anyone?” may result in loss of fund if management fee is like 1 server=> $$$/month.

A project management is another funny part of of working with outsourcers. You may get fancy water fall graph or gantt chart on M$ Project print out with estimate quotes and dollar signs. No matter how small or how trivial the project may be, you will get TONS of bill.
(Water fall model is flawed ? that’s right but its a topic of its own. trying to convince customer with agile deployment and bill for the “unknown”. They wont pay you, you need to tell them with flawed chart that it will be handled by xyz and finished by abc date even though it may be delayed and you will pay for more at the end)

But you know all these and even insource IT department is same thing! (they may not cost immediatly and cost more for many cases than these outsourcing!!)

That where the sad story is. IT operation is always has been and most likely will be on spending spree on many companies. Until they get fired.

Good news is that IT can fight back. I believe in a direct profit contribution by innovation that can lead to greater immediate visible “returns”! so dont just sit there, and be proactive and show your business leaders how much contributions you are making and can make.

We shall be dynamic!
We shall be agile!
We shall be more business oriented!
We shall not be budget blackhole and not returning anything!

what am i saying…before I do these, I shouln’t say s**t happens when things break….

Even after making contributions, yes if you still lose your job. Isnt it time to move on ?

17
Sep
08

Give me more sun light!

Day Light Saving will be starting from 4th of OCT 2008 for Sydney.

well if DLS changes are same as few years ago, as a system administrator, there is nothing to fear. Usually OS will have DLS built in to it which can cater for the change and implement the change in time.

Problem and my rant of the day is that Australian government (state governments in this case), cant make up the minds and started to release several changes in recent year.

For people like me who deals with Outlook/Exchange/Citrix is that missing patch(change) leads directly to incorrect MEETING time in he calendar for Outlook. Most annoying change l remember was for common wealth game TIMEZONE patch released by M$. Instead of implementing CHANGE to DLS schedule, M$ has decided to release WHOLE NEW timezone and as a result lot of meetings and schedule were thrown off. (I dont blame M$ for this case as they werent given enough time to plan it or release it, patch was more like HACK job which had to be released because of government…)

This year, its even worth… now the DLS start date has been changed (for sydney its 5th OCT 2008) from end of OCT to early OCT.

so missing patch could lead to incorrect calendar for almost three weeks..

well enough rant on M$ Windows and Apps, I didnt know how LINUX handled the DLS.  Below are some quick notes

1 timezone is handled by the file on Fedora Core, its on /etc/localtime
2 yum update/install tzdata will download “updated” timezone info with DLS.
3 tzselect will help change timezone if required
4 zdump -v /etc/localtime, will display timezone with DLS info for /etc/localtime file.

I knew timezone file had something but i never knew zdump was the tool to be used.

ZDUMP(8)                  Linux System Administration                 ZDUMP(8)
NAME

zdump – time zone dumper

ok… i wonder why this tool is named zdump instead of tzdump… no wonder I was not able to find it by name..

11
Sep
08

Summer Time~~? (Day Light Saving)

My Outlook calendar shows different time!!

Oh,  its that time of the year eh?
I dont know about you, but it has been a heck of a ride for AUS based system admins/engineers for past few years. I must say, I HATE politicians, especially when they keep making DLS related changes in States, Australia wide, etc etc, we engineers must be running around patching “updated” version of the DLS patch.  You miss one then you get a call like one in above with threat to management or how crap we’re doing. “sigh”

Fortunately, I dont know about others, but I cant imagine people maintain “desktops” gee that would be a hassle for sure. (I do server only that means less number of patch maintenance than desktops)

If you havent updated or need to update your summer time patch on MS windows based server, I think you should check here

Now I need to go check 100+ servers before summer time kicks in. <sarcasm>YAY!</sarcasm>




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