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The Actuator - May 31st

Level 17

Home from Techorama in Belgium and back in the saddle for a short week before I head to Austin on Monday morning. I do enjoy visiting Europe, and Belgium in particular. Life just seems to move at a slower pace there.

As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!

The big asks of British Airways

Last year I wrote about a similar outage with Delta, so here's some equal time for a similar failure with BA. Who knew that managing IT infrastructure could be so hard?

Facebook Building Own Fiber Network to Link Data Centers

I'm kinda shocked they don't already have this in place. But more shocking is the chart that shows internal traffic growth, mostly a result of Facebook having to replicate more pictures and videos of cats.

Who Are the Shadow Brokers?

Interesting thought exercise from Bruce Schneier about this group and what might be coming next.

Web Developer Security Checklist

Every systems admin needs a similar checklist to this one.

All the things we have to do that we don't really need to do: The social cost of junk science

A nice and quick reminder about the hidden costs of junk science. Or, the hidden costs of good science.

The Calculus of Service Availability

So the next time someone tells you they need 99.9% uptime for a system, you can explain to them what that really means.

How Your Data is Stored, or, The Laws of the Imaginary Greeks

This is a bit long, set aside some time. But you'll learn all about the problems (and solutions) for distributed computing.

One thing I love about Belgium is how they make shopping for the essentials easy:

IMG_7019.JPG

16 Comments
byrona
Level 21

It's funny how noticeable it is when life slows down.  Every year I go camping up at a place that feels untouched by time.  The area is a bit like a very small village with a tiny gas station/store/post office, a small river with a bridge and the camp grounds.  My dad has been going there since he was a kid and he says that it has barely changed at all.  You have to love those special places.

I was looking at that web developer checklist and ran across the bit about two factor authentication; I am frankly surprised by the fact that this isn't just standard for everything at this point.

On a completely different note, I was up all night working with an awesome SW support guy from your Cork support center to fix an issue that resulted from NPM 12.1 HotFix 1 where apparently there is a known issue that causes SQL Deadlocks.  I found it a bit odd that when I was digging through the Orion logs and saw all of the Deadlocks I for some reason thought of you sqlrockstar​ as I had just recently been at the Salt Lake SWUG where you talked about those.  I thought you might find that amusing, if you find the fact that you came to mind as creepy you can pretend you didn't read this.    My mind draws strange connections when I haven't had sleep.

ecklerwr1
Level 19

What happened with NPRM 12.1 HotFix1?  That's what I want to know!

ecklerwr1
Level 19

The shadow broker thing is really hard to understand... a lot of it doesn't make much sense at all.  The checklists that are the best really are the STIG's.  It doesn't get much better than that... if not that then Center for Internet Security checklists ie. CIS.

shuckyshark
Level 13

who needs a hot fix...

maybe a coffee fix?

byrona
Level 21

Apparently there is a known issue with it that sounds like it definitely does not impact everybody.  If you are hit by it you will probably experience issues in your WebUI loading up node pages and in the Orion logs you will see Deadlocks.  You can also see them with AppInsight for SQL if you use that to monitor your Orion DB.  SW Support can help you with it if you experience it.

sparda963
Level 12

The BA Airlines one is pretty scary, and hopefully a wake-up call for all companies. They cut and outsourced their IT staff just last year and then this happens. The projected costs of this are going to be over 100 million euros. I imagine the salaries of the people they cut and the money they "saved" by outsourcing to India did not add up to that much savings since last year. The old saying holds true, you get what you pay for. I do not feel the slightest bit sorry for the company at all. They got what they deserved with this IMO. I do feel sorry for the people who's holidays and weekends were ruined as a result of this.

The facebook thing is something I see becoming more and more common as time goes on. With net neutrality being gutted and left for dead by the FCC, companies like this will need to take steps like this to keep their costs in line and maintain high speeds. I guess only time will tell though.

gfsutherland
Level 14

sqlrockstar​ great pix!!! Chocolate, Beer..... hmmmmm.... doesn't get any better.

We've all been there and can tell our own "penny wise..." stories!  Why is it that some companies like BA are surprised and shocked when this stuff happens... They asked for it!   What really killed them was they didn't have any crisis communication plan and they ended up looking like the Keystone Cops!

The fiber maps were incredibly interesting and informative!

sqlrockstar​ great stuff as always....

rschroeder
Level 21

The more The Actuator reveals to us, the more I think about nature, walks in the woods, enjoying a boat sitting on the water . . .

There really ought to be a limit to how much depressing or expensive news a world is willing to bear, and common sense should step in and dampen it.

Here's a picture I took at sunset while hiking Michigan's Upper Peninsula, that can help a person think of other, more pleasant things:

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gfsutherland
Level 14

Beautiful picture...

jkump
Level 15

Wish I was there now.  That looks like a quite enjoyable location.

shuckyshark
Level 13

id rather be there than trying to figure out computer issues.

vinay.by
Level 16

Another Perfect article + + sqlrockstar

rschroeder
Level 21

I've thought this picture would make a challenging 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

scottmathews
Level 9

Great collection! I liked the security checklist, although more detail would have been nice. For example, while I know what a white list is, I'm not familiar with it in that context: "Validate every last bit of user input using white lists on the server."

jkump
Level 15

That would be awesome.  I would buy one

tinmann0715
Level 16

I was very disappointed to hear about the British Airways network outages. In my younger days I was blessed with the opportunity to travel the world. My favorite airlines were: British Airways, Singapore airlines, and QANTAS (something about seeing the giant 'roo on the tailfin scream led "Adventure Awaits!" to me.

   British Airways used to carry on the tradition of distinct British entitlement. Everything is to be exquisite. To hear that they are behind the times has left me crestfallen.

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.