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outage... cont.

What I think is ironic here is Joel's desire to not return to the site for a very long time.  Joel take some advice here.  Do something about your configuration.  It is ruining your credibility.  That switch is going to cause you grief at the very least.

BTW the slammer virus was the result of configs like this.  One wrong move and you've got 1433 sitting wide open, and a worm on your server is bringing down your ISP. 

We'll see how long free web hostings last after than happens.

I co manage something like 50 servers -- none of which are in the same state I am.  I had to learn some lessons the hard way.  One thing I've learned is Linux is your friend in the colo. 

Also not using a secure connection for administration is asking for trouble. 

You are in the fortunate situation that your users are sophisticated enough to warn you of impending gloom.  Take their advice.

web service developer/admin
Saturday, February 22, 2003

Yup, I'd say access borked.  Look at the count of posts on the topic and then count them.  I don't think Linux is an option with an access backend.

Mike
Sunday, February 23, 2003

From reading about the previous outage, Joel or anyone who collocates a box at a remote site would be wise to invest in a remote presence device, like Replicom's Proxyview, before investing in a redundant switch. This will let you remotely view video and control keyboard/mouse. The Proxyview is nice as the client runs in a web browser:

http://www.replicom.com/products.html

Do you use any of these devices "web service developer/admin"?

We've used this device for the past year to administrate a mission-critical cluster of servers in the Middle East from California.

Remote presence is much more useful then a redundant switch.

Jeff

Jeff
Sunday, February 23, 2003

Oddly enough I used to develop remote access software for NT, but I just got frustrated with the platform for remote administration, and ended up leaving the job....

Has anyone been able to patch MS SQL Server remotely?  I haven't been able to.  I can see why the slammer was such a big deal, that product is a bear to patch. 

I have to admit 2000 server has been much better than NT4, but...

I currently admin almost exclusively from the shell via SSH which is paranoidly tunneled through a VPN.  I also use (wince) VNC, also tunneled through the VPN. 

I'm currently working on a paper for low cost, high availability solutions.  Linux is the focus as it is cheap, readily available, and there are some neat tools available.  I'll post the link when its done....

BTW, I've been using CityDesk all weekend.  Even with some quirks in the design process, I have to say the product has some neat features.  The article management is super sane...

web service developer/admin
Monday, February 24, 2003

Mike --

No, Access didn't "bork."  The count is off because someone at Fog Creek deleted a message, as they have been doing with distressing regularity lately.

programmer
Monday, February 24, 2003

My experience with remote access of Windows servers has been a very mixed bag. I was a very early implementer of NT TSE, and that was an absolute nightmare to administer remotely. With the better integration of terminal services with 2000 Server, the ability to remotely administer a Windows server has greatly improved, but it's still spotty at best. Specifically, I've had issues updating SQL Server 7.0 remotely, as well as the occasional bork from a poorly tested service pack.

I think part of the problem here is the fact that these updates tend to be really opaque to the administrator. Under a unix, I can update single services or libraries and analyze it's effects - while this is possible to do under Windows, it is much more difficult to do without a number of very expensive 3rd party utilities.

It has been my experience that Windows servers make wonderful office servers, but I would never put one in a co-lo (at least, not in a co-lo that wasn't withen an hour of my home or office).  They have historically proven to be too fragile to handle remote administration.

I think this is THE major hurdle to web services with .NET - the server is too fragile to administer remotely, bringing the costs of maintenance too high. I think it will be interesting to see what Microsoft does to improve remote administration in the next server edition of Windows.

Wayne Earl
Monday, February 24, 2003

I can see why Microsoft has invested in the virtual server technologies recently with the purchase of Connectix.  How about this for a scenario:  You have a server that needs to be patched running in a virtual machine instance.  To patch it, you create a clone of the existing instance, apply the patch and test it.  If all is well, swap the instances and delete or archive the previous image.  Minimal downtime.

anon
Monday, February 24, 2003

Can you clone a live server? Maybe by breaking a Raid mirror? Even if you could, what would happen to the updates made  between the snapshot and the switchover to the patched clone?

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, February 24, 2003

I hope Microsoft can break free from the admin sitting at the server with a keyboard, monitor and mouse paradigm.  It would help greatly. 

As Mike said that will hurt .net.  Cutting my teeth at an ISP, the only co lo machines we touched were the windows ones.  Customers call in and finally got bumped up to an admin to put in the request to "push the button"  nay, pull the cord.

Mike
Monday, February 24, 2003

<<
The count is off because someone at Fog Creek deleted a message, as they have been doing with distressing regularity lately.
>>

Wonder if this forum isn't reaching critical mass....

GiorgioG
Monday, February 24, 2003

I kind of blame Balmer for the reason NT is such a pain to remotely administrate.  Cutler understood this problem, coming from DEC, but Balmer just wanted something he could show off to the press.  10 years later we still have a "server OS" that installs outlook express, ie, netmeeting and bunch of other crap by default.  I can't help but think someone at microsoft just doesn't get servers -- still!

web service admin/developer
Monday, February 24, 2003

What do you mean by critical mass?

Testing
Monday, February 24, 2003

Critical Mass - the way I define it anyway:

The size at which something undergoes a fundamental change in regard to the way it behaves/operates.

--

This board will get to the point where either it must change how it works (registration, moderation guidelines defined, etc) to meet the changes (increasing number of readers/posters) or it will turn into a crapfest (read: slashdot.)  Granted, slashdot has moderation system, but it is more of a popularity contest than a moderation system.  But I don't see JoS becoming as large as slashdot, so a reader-based moderation system is uneccessary for JoS. 

GiorgioG
Monday, February 24, 2003

web service admin / developer

I hear you.  I just gotta have media player on my server, pinball too.

I think they don't get servers.  They better soon though.

Mike
Monday, February 24, 2003

I don't know if we are getting to critical mass.  Looking at the posts archived in the WayBack machine, the conversation quality doesn't seem to have dropped appreciably (rather, it seems to have come and gone).  Nor, in the six months or so that I have been reading this board, have I felt the quality has dropped exactly (though if I read one more dead horse thrashing thread about discrimination, GPA or H1B/Whatever...). 

Even with a high number of repeated conversations (I'm convinced mainly due to the difficulties in searching for past conversations), in general I would say that it is nowhere near ./ "dregs".

However, I am finding that the minor irritations caused by Joel's "deliberate design decisions" for the forum have caused me to read and post to the forum less often than I did at first.

Furthermore, it's really confusing/detrimental to the quality of the conversation to have posts (and sometimes entire threads) disappear and reappear.

OTOH, whines about problems with the forum (so frequent that if it were mine, I'd do _something_ about it), and about who owns the exclusive right to use nickname "x" get kind of boring after a while, especially when there is no obvious acknowledgement of complaints.

I guess this comes back to the thread about how to improve on the Joel test in your company when you have no decision-making authority.  In this case, how can I convince Fog Creek to improve the forum to a point where I'm not being mildly irritated every time I visit - or is there an alternative?

tj
Monday, February 24, 2003

This discussion board is pretty cool. I see the advantages of not having registration, threading, etc. makes a lot of sense to have it the way it is.

I also like the cool "Won't show email" feature; ofcourse there is a drawback to this, still....

The only feature that I would like is for a way to see the number of new messages since I last read them.

Prakash S
Monday, February 24, 2003

OTOH, I don't see the advantage to the poor quality search.

Prakash S
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Prakash S, tha lack of archive, too?

Enjoy
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

http://www.archive.org

Prakash S
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

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