Rate my IOS?

Review schemes are useful for identifying good consumer products and applications. But that doesn’t mean that everything needs to prompt me to leave a review. Cisco has started prompting for reviews for IOS versions, but I’m not convinced it makes sense for network operating systems. Perhaps it will do one day when disaggregated hardware/software is the norm for network devices. […]

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Big Switch Chaos Monkey Network Testing

Whenever you build a complex system, you need to test that it works as expected, including properly handling failures. It’s easy enough to do simple component failure testing, but harder to do rapid automated failure tests. Big Switch is showing that it can be done though. Hopefully we can keep improving our testing to pick up […]

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Writing on the Wall

Operations Manager to OMi Migration Path

HP has finally announced a migration path for Operations Manager to OMi. It’s about time too. This looks like a good path. If you want to stick with HP Software for managing your services, you should be investigating it. The writing’s been on the wall for a while. HP has stopped investment in Operations Manager. I asked […]

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Christmas Change Freeze – Good or Bad?

We’re approaching Christmas, and for many of us, that means we’re about to enter an extended change freeze. This means an extended period when we shouldn’t change anything, hoping to improve stability. ITIL Change Management tells us this is good. I’m not convinced. The Christmas Change Freeze Many businesses impose some form of change freeze across all production systems during […]

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War Stories: Unix Security

A different kind of war story this time: Unix security blunders. Old-school Unix-types will mutter about how much more secure Unix systems are than Windows, but that glosses over a lot. In a former life I worked as an HP-UX sysadmin, and I saw some shocking default configurations. I liked HP-UX – so much better […]

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Outsourcing Mistakes

Outsourcing is complex, and there are lots of ways it can go wrong, or simply fail to deliver. I’ve put together a list of things that I see going wrong with outsourcing arrangements. Of course it’s not exclusive! There’s a few different types of outsourcing. It might mean procuring a commodity service – e.g. IaaS, […]

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Juniper SRX-110H EoL

Somehow I missed this when it was announced, but the Juniper SRX-110H-VA is End of Life, and is no longer supported for new software releases. End of Life announcement is here, with extra detail in this PDF. Announcement was Dec 10 2013, with “Last software engineering support” date Dec 20 2013. This is now starting […]

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Wipebook – A Portable Whiteboard

It is a stereotype, but engineers really do like whiteboards. Problem is, you can’t carry one around with you. Plus there’s still a few unenlightened employers who don’t provide whiteboards. Enter the Wipebook, a spiral-bound notebook made of whiteboard-like pages: I normally carry a notebook for scratching out notes while talking to customers, sketching diagrams, […]

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iRules/Tcl – Watch the Comments

It’s pretty common practice to ‘comment out’ lines in scripts. The code stays in place, but doesn’t get executed. Perfect for testing, when you might need more debug output, or you want to run a slightly different set of actions. But you have to be careful when commenting out lines – it might catch you out, and […]

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Complexity vs Security

Many of the ‘security’ measures in our networks add complexity. That may be an acceptable tradeoff, if we make a meaningful difference to security. But often it feels like we just add complexity for no real benefit. Here’s some examples of what I’m talking about: Multiple Firewall Layers: Many networks use multiple layers of firewalls. If […]

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