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Displaying posts with tag: Sysadmin (reset)
Keeping Up

I found I never published this post as it was sitting in my drafts few months now — it was written in 13th February, 2010. I’m publishing it without any changes.

I learn therefore I am!

I’ve just wrote few bits about learning a new technology and after skimming through my Google Reader, I noticed a great post by Chen Shapira — Deliberate Practice. That’s reminded me about another aspect of learning that I didn’t mention — learning is a continuous process.

There are two aspects…

  • No matter how good I am and how much I know, my knowledge and expertize become outdated relatively quickly these days unless I keep up with the new stuff. Unfortunately, there is so much new …
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An SSH tool to make your life easier

A MySQL user group member saw that I use Poderosa as my ssh-on-Windows tool, and asked why I did not use PuTTY. My response was that I like having tabbed windows and hate having to keep opening another PuTTY program every time I want to open another connection. With Poderosa I can open a new connection with Alt-N, and I can even connect directly to Cygwin with an icon.

But Poderosa is not the tool I wanted to mention….Another user group member mentioned PuTTY Connection Manager. It wraps around PuTTY and gets the existing saved connections, makes a nicely tabbed browsing window where you can open sessions by double-clicking the connections, which are now listed on the right-hand side.

See screenshot below:

I have not played with …

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Liveblogging: Senior Skills: Sysadmin Patterns

The Beacon Pattern:
- This is a “Get out of the business” pattern
- Identify an oft-occurring and annoying task
- Automate and document it to the point of being able to hand it off to someone far less technical

Example:
- System admins were being put in charge of scheduling rooms in the building
- They wrote a PHP web application to help them automate the task
- They refined the app, documented how to use it, and handed it off to a secretary
- They have to maintain the app, but it’s far less work.

The Community Pattern:

- Prior to launch of a new service, create user documentation for it.
- Point a few early adopters at the documentation and see if they can use the service with minimal support
- Use feedback to improve documentation, and the service
- Upon launch, create a mailing list, forum, IRC channel, or Jabber chat room and ask early …

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Liveblogging: Seeking Senior and Beyond

I am attending the Professional IT Community Conference – it is put on by the League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA), and is a 2-day community conference. There are technical and “soft” topics — the audience is system administrators. While technical topics such as Essential IPv6 for Linux Administrators are not essential for my job, many of the “soft” topics are directly applicable and relevant to DBAs too. (I am speaking on How to Stop Hating MySQL tomorrow.)

So I am in Seeking Senior and Beyond: The Tech Skills That Get You Promoted. The first part talks about the definition of what it …

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Ravelry Runs On – 2010

I guess that it’s time for the 3rd annual “Ravelry Runs On” roundup. The last two were in March 2008 and March 2009.

This year, our traffic increased by 50% to 5,000,000 page views and 15 million Rails requests per day. We made very few changes to our architecture in 2009 but we did add a new master database server after our working set of data outgrew our memory and IO capacity.

This summary is more detailed then the last two and I’ve broken it up into rough sections.

Physical Network

We own our own servers and colocate then in a datacenter here in Boston. The datacenter provides us with a cooled half cabinet, redundant power, and a blend of premium (Internap, Savvis) bandwidth. We do the rest.

I use …

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Perl CGI::param Overloaded Method?

This is a little story of a little bug. This gremlin suddenly appeared in a CGI.PM web-based application I work with. To make a long story short, an email was coming out something like this . . . 

389939
Subject:Update to Report #389939 by B. bloggins Description:389939 #389939: TPDD Now Deploying to monitoring for the MySQL servers.

 . . . when it should have been some thing like this:

Subject: TPDD Update to Report #389939 by B. bloggins

TPDD Now Deploying to monitoring for the MySQL servers.

After about an hour tracking things back, my team and I narrowed it down to this line of code:

$self->send_TXT_email(CGI::param("rep_no"),$rep_object,
                     $subject,$user_ref);

We scratched our respective heads on this for a while, because for user type ‘A’, it worked fine; but for user type ‘B’, it did not. And …

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Free 10-day trial of Safari Books Online

That’s right — get your free 10-day trial! All the information I know is here:

http://bit.ly/37E9ld

But the basics are: No access to Rough Cuts or Downloads, for new subscribers only. It’s one of those “sign up and if you do not cancel after 10 days, we bill you” — and at $42.99 a month, that’s not a mistake you want to make. Must sign up by Nov. 24th.

To sign up now: https://ssl.safaribooksonline.com/tryitfree

I was asked to send this information along, so I am…Now’s your chance to skim High Performance MySQL, among other high quality books!

The Flipside of Uptime

We just had a booboo in one of our internal systems, causing it to not come up properly on reboot. The actual mishap occurred several weeks ago (simple case of human error) and was in itself a valid change so monitoring didn’t raise any concerns. So, as always, it’s interesting and useful to think about such events and see what we can learn.

Years ago, but for some now still, one objective is to see long uptime for a server, sometimes years. It means the sysadmin is doing everything right, and thus some serious pride is attached to this number. As described only last week in Modern Uptime on the Standalone Sysadmin blog, security patches are a serious issue these days, and so (except if you’re using ksplice sysadmin quality has become more a question of when you …

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Possible Improvements to MySQL Administration

One thing you learn when you start to manage several servers is that life is easier if things are done the same way. I manage a few MySQL database instances on a few different hosts and here are a list of some things which I think could do with improvement. Note these views are from a UNIX point of view and for Windows MySQL DBAs many of the comments may not be appropriate. Also I’m not talking here about the administration of a single database, but the problems when you administer multiple instances.

Issues

First lets talk about the issues I notice in my day to day usage of MySQL. Then I’ll try and come up with some suggestions as to how these issues might be resolved.

  • Give up root earlier and expect to run as a non-root user. While it’s true that the mysqld process normally runs as the mysql user it’s also true that to be a MySQL DBA is almost impossible at the moment if you don’t have root …
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I’m Offering Pro-Bono Consulting

I started my company about a year ago, but I’ve been doing consulting for a long time. In fact, my first job in the IT industry was working for a consulting firm. Before that, starting as far back as grade school, I was involved in a lot of volunteer civic and community service activities. I admire companies who get involved in their communities, or even outside of their communities, wherever help is needed.

As part of my business plan, I’ve put in place a policy of accepting one pro-bono consulting project per year. So far, I haven’t gotten any requests for free consulting work, so here’s my public shout out to let you know what types of services are available:

1. Speaking or Training. My specialties are things like advanced Linux administration and SQL, but I’m perfectly capable of delivering content for people who just need to know how the internet works, or want to …

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