Lindsay Hill automation, networking, product management

New Year, New Home

We have left the Bay Area, and headed North. We have moved to the Greater Seattle area - specifically the Eastside, between Bellevue and Redmond. We’ve given up the old apartment in San Francisco for a larger, nicer house…for a lot less in rent. A lot fewer bars & restaurants, a lot more trees, parks and lakes.

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CircleCI, Docker and Systemd

I have been battling to get the combination of CircleCI, Docker and systemd to play together. After much frustration, I have a workable solution. Machine Executor, privileged: true, cgroup passthrough, and disabling AppArmor.

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More Ansible Modules for Extreme

We published Ansible modules for Extreme SLX devices earlier this year. Now we have modules covering all the main Extreme Switching & Routing product families - SLX, VDX, MLX, EXOS, VSP.

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Ansible - Don't be Afraid of a Little Python

This year I’ve written several Ansible modules. It wasn’t that hard, yet some people claimed they had been waiting “years” for those modules. There was nothing stopping anyone else doing it, yet they hadn’t. There’s a weird reticence amongst network engineers to learn or write any code, even when it could make a large difference to their job. People either do nothing, or they create complex Ansible playbooks to work around their reluctance to write Python. It’s not that scary. Why don’t people put in a bit of effort?

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CCIE - Should I Renew?

It is 6 years since I passed the CCIE Lab Exam. The dreaded email has arrived:

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IXP Graphs are an Eyesore

Too many IXPs (and networkers in general) are using horrible outdated methods of graphing data. These are an ugly eyesore, and should be updated to something from this century. Big IXPs in particular have no excuse: they have the resources to do better.

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GitHub & Microsoft - It's OK

Microsoft buys GitHub, and most of the press has been pretty positive, even from those you might not expect.

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Don't Rely on Long Support Lifecycles

I hate long support lifecycles for hardware and software. Yes, you should be able to buy a new iPhone or switch and use it for 3+ years. But some people want 10+yrs of support, and wail and moan when vendors end support. This is wrong. It drives up costs & complexity, and makes your systems less robust, not more. It’s a false sense of security. Plan to buy smaller & cheaper, and upgrade frequently.

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Culture Shifts and Work Travel Learnings

I’ve seen a few Twitter threads recently about learning to live with the sudden plenty of working for tech companies. If you didn’t grow up that way, the adjustment takes time. It made me think about a few things I’ve learnt about corporate travel, and mistakes I’ve made along the way. People who grew in the corporate world instinctively know stuff I had to learn. Here’s some of the mistakes, and learnings:

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Cloud: Not Just Someone Else's Computer

Cloud computing is a lot more than “someone else’s computer” and it annoys the hell out of me when people keep trotting out this tired old excuse. There is much more to service delivery than compute power. You do yourself and your customers a disservice if you don’t do your research.

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