Lindsay Hill network control, visibility, management

Meeting Rules

Years ago a wise engineer gave me these rules for meetings:

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Cumulus in the Campus?

Recently I’ve been idly speculating about how campus networking could be shaken up, with different cost and management models. A few recent podcasts have inspired some thoughts on how Cumulus Networks might fit into this.

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Accurate Dependency Mapping - One Day?

Recently I’ve been thinking about Root Cause Analysis (RCA), and how it’s not perfect, but there may be hope for the future.

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Fixed-Price, or T&M?

Recently I posted about Rewarding Effort vs Results, how different contract structures can have different outcomes. This post covers Time & Materials vs Fixed-Price a little more, looking at pros & cons, and where each one is better suited.

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Andrisoft Wanguard: Cost-Effective Network Visibility

Andrisoft Wansight and Wanguard are tools for network traffic monitoring, visibility, anomaly detection and response. I’ve used them, and think that they do a good job, for a reasonable price.

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Non-Functional Requirements

I’m currently reading and enjoying “The Practice of Cloud System Administration.” It doesn’t go into great depth in any one area, but it covers a range of design patterns and implementation considerations for large-scale systems. It works for two audiences: A primer for junior engineers who need a broad overview, or as a reference for more experienced engineers. It doesn’t cover all the implementation specifics, nor should it: it would date very quickly if it tried.

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Keep an Open Mind

We all know that IT changes rapidly, but we still don’t always accept what that means. Companies and technologies change over time, and good engineers recognise this. Poor engineers cling to past beliefs, refusing to accept change. Try to keep an open mind, and periodically re-evaluate your opinions.

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Rewarding Effort vs Results

Sometimes we confuse effort with outcome. We think that hours spent are more important than outcomes achieved. Or we unintentionally create a system where effort is rewarded, rather than outcomes.

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APIs Alone Aren't Enough

Yes, we know: Your product has an API. Yawn. Sorry for not getting excited. That’s just table stakes now. What I’m interested in is the pre-written integrations and code you have that does useful things with that API.

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Increased MTTR is Good?

In Episode 167 of The Cloudcast - “Bringing Advanced Analytics to DevOps”, Dave Hayes brings up an interesting point about Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR). At about 8:30 in, he states:

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