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Comment: Re:Pointless hype (Score 1) 275

by Grayputer (#30355492) Attached to: How Does the New Google DNS Perform? (and Why?)

Ahhh, as far as I know, DNS is still distributed under this model. Google is not hosting DNS, they are providing a look-up server for DNS, just like your current ISP does (usually set when you get your IP address via DHCP). The root servers still exist, I'm still serving my domain's DNS, HP is still serving their DNS, ...

Google is providing an alternative to the ISP's servers for look-up, not hosting.

Comment: Re:What I do ... (Score 1) 301

by Grayputer (#30045912) Attached to: Reporting To Executives

I've got development, ops, part of product planning, and the usual host of others. I 'help' with QA and support which are not mine. AND I do admin work.

Our products, at one point, spanned about a dozen operating systems. Between test beds, build boxes, desktops, shared development boxes, infrastructure, etc, we have 60+ systems. I need a little help :).

Comment: Re:What I do ... (Score 1) 301

by Grayputer (#30045798) Attached to: Reporting To Executives

Nope, nothing to do with his performance.

More to do with flags to ask questions about. Usually it is an issue with a product or a luser. Flags things I might not hear about. As an example, "Person A had weird PC behavior, they thought is might be a virus because ???? so I ran a bunch of scans, everything was clean, and the issue 'went away'." Since nothing was found and the behavior resolved itself, it might not make an issues list. It will make the "I spent two hours working on A's PC" timesink list, which might make me ask "what happened". If it happens a few times, I MIGHT want to dig deeper as to surfing behavior, equipment replacement, software configs, process/policy changes, ...

I trust my admin, if I don't it is definitely time to get a new one. Like all people on the daily firing line, he does not always see the policy issues, long term process issues, or in some cases the 'recurring' issues related to what might NOT be independent events.

Basic premise is that sometimes the guy in the back of the room WITHOUT the extinguisher in his hand can see a better way to put the fire out for good. Also sometimes people live with issues because they have insufficient title/clout/juice to change things. Having a guy in the back looking things over can help, especially if he HAS the title/clout/juice to potentially make a difference.

Sure the same could be said for 10 minutes vs. an hour if there are enough 10 minute issues. The time value is more an issue of payback on my time, avoiding micromanagement, ...

Comment: What I do ... (Score 4, Informative) 301

by Grayputer (#30034668) Attached to: Reporting To Executives

Alrighty, I AM a CTO of a 20 person company with a single admin and here is what I'm interested in.

1 - problems and their resolution

2 - potential issues

3 - time sinks.

So I get info on:
What broke last week and how did we fix it: a list of hardware software outages, their root causes, the fix applied, whether that fix is a long term of short term fix, if short term, a recommendation for a long term solution

Issues that my admin sees as 'near term' problems (2 months): list of systems low on resources (disk, cpu, ram, ...), applications that have repeat issues, upgrades that are due and are non trivial (potential downtime, critical app where the 'upgrade gone wrong' may lead to down time, ...), etc. This includes a list of any planned downtime and a description of the planned downtime (including 'the plan'/timetable of events) so I can remind or co-ordinate with others.

Issues that my admin sees as 'mid term' problems (12 months): list of systems due for replacement, applications/OSes that are near end of life, need for additional hardware (network switches, firewall upgrades, ...), etc

Any single issue that he spent more than an hour on or anything he is repeatedly spending time on, those are my definition of time sink.

Why am I interested in those specific items:
    Items in category 1 are apt to come up in conversation with my boss. They are also items I need to monitor to ensure that the systems, applications, and yes the admin staff, are not causing the company headaches.

Items in categories 2 and 3 fall into planning and budget issues that I need to plan for, or co-ordinate with others.

Category 3 also allows me to eventually understand that application A or staff member B or 'department' C are killing us and I need to find a better way for the company to work. It also allows me a better understanding of whether the week is an anomaly or if I need additional admin staff or training.

None of this is in a rigid format, so no I can't forward you a template :). It is currently done via office visits/conversations, emails, and hallway conversations. That is working and I see no need for a more rigid structure unless we start to have communications issues. When we do, I'll setup a more formal status reporting system (currently, if it ain't broke ...).

Bottom line, in a small company, single admin case where that admin reports to the CTO, the CTO is effectively the systems/IT manager as well as the development manager, the CTO or corporate level planner, and the executive level consultant/evangelist on IT matters to the CEO and CFO. I do NOT necessarily expect the admin to be an IT manager, being an admin is frequently hard enough. However, that 'department' is not my only concern so to some extent the admin needs to summarize stuff and not ship me logs/raw data, I have too many hats.

Does that help?

Comment: Re:I know... (Score 1) 528

by Grayputer (#28094941) Attached to: Documenting a Network?

From a best practices approach, we use MANY passwords (probably not quite unique per system but close). We use a tool to store the passwords (encrypted). The tool shows all passwords as ***** until you specifically select one. So the 'camera' would only see the 'current' password on the screen not the entire list.

Of course, if it focused on my keyboard while I'm typing the master password to get to the list ...

Comment: Re:I know... (Score 1) 528

by Grayputer (#28094147) Attached to: Documenting a Network?

Wrong. All the passwords to my network ARE written down. They are maintained in an encrypted file. I can find any password on my net by remembering a single password, the password to the encrypted file. Before you ask, the file is AES encrypted with a strong password. We're not talking a password protected zip file or spreadsheet.

Lot's of software exists to handle just this issue, use it.

Comment: Re:The Support and Training Issue (Score 1) 323

by Grayputer (#27014327) Attached to: Open Source In Public K-12 Schools?

IMHO, the biggest problems with any computer deployment in our K-12 classrooms are always support and training. If a school district adopts Linux and open source then who is going to be the admin in charge of updates, patches, server, network, and desktop maintenance, etc? Competent Linux admins are harder to find than people with at least basic knowledge of Mac and Windows and are likely to cost more too. So unless someone within the district, who will not be any worse off for saying no, wants to step up and take on the task of learning to be a Linux admin who is going to manage the whole affair? Also, how many teachers know how to use Linux or are willing to invest the time required to learn? After all, they cannot teach their students that which they themselves do not know. These are not insubstantial difficulties.

So don't use Linux. What's wrong with Gimp/Open Office/... for Windows? Most major mainstream applications that are OSS have a Windows version.

Pretty much ALL schools could use Open Office, GIMP, VLC, Firefox, Dia, Inkscape, Moodle, Apache if they require that type of software (all have Linux, and Windows version, most have OS/X). No one says OSS only runs on Linux.

Schools that want to run Linux can run Linux, schools that want Windows can run windows versions. Applications can be introduced one at a time to allow training ramp up. What's the issue?

Comment: Re:False claim (Score 1) 684

by Grayputer (#26649145) Attached to: Miscalculation Invalidates LHC Safety Assurances

Point was, original stats are based on papers pulled after publication. They get pulled when someone with credentials (peer) finds an issue. If 'hey I'm Joe sixpack' calls and says "I think there's a mistake" it doesn't usually get pulled. So since the LHC stuff is peer reviewed, joe sixpack reviewed, and reviewed and commented on by just about everyone AND it still hasn't been pulled ...

It must have passed the 'stats test'.

And Yes, peer reviewed ain't what it used to be (probably never was), but that's not the point.

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