Is a problem really a problem?

Do problems matter?
For those that may not know, my job is to build solutions to not only give you intelligence to make more knowledgable decisions faster, but also to identify problems in your current system(s) to tell you what is working, and what isn’t. In the last few years i continually see a recurring statement when I show problems: “That’s not really a problem. No one complains about it. If it ain't broke…..” When I hear, “that’s not really a problem”, what you say is "I don't care about that", but what you really mean to say is “it’s not important to me right now”. So, how do I make it important...

Listing, Iterating, and Loading JSON in Ansible Playbooks

I just had to work with JSON in Ansible, and iterate through some data. It took me a few efforts of debugs before I got it, so putting it here for posterity, in hopes to help someone else. Eventually, my Ansible playbook will be making a RESTful call to pull the data. So, to start, I put the example JSON data the call would get into a file. I called the file “data.json” and put it in the same directory as my playbook. . ├── data.json └── json_iter.yml 0 directories, 2 files My example data.json looks like this: {"webInfLib":[{"contextRoot"...

Moving on – My new career path – ExtraHop Networks

The Beginning For the entirety of my 16-year IT career, I have always worked in the private enterprise. As such, my experience has always been in the infrastructure that lies before me. Through reading, I have always learned best practices and good design, but I have never actually seen it. For example, using EIGRP or IS-IS where I prefer OSPF, so that’s what I use. I have always designed the network to what the business and budget requirements are. Because of this, my knowledge is a bit……. limited. Limited to only “what I use”, not “what is possible”. During my last 9 wonderful years at SVP ...

My Twitter Ethic

I was recently asked, "What makes me follow someone on Twitter?"  That took me longer to think, as I wasn't really expecting it.  I don't have a formula or anything, so I thought I'd just write down my thoughts and explain them the best I could: Have a decent profile If I do not know you, the first thing that will tell me who you are is your profile.  If you have a profile like "I don't do everything, but what I do is good" is a sure-fire reason for me to move on.  That was less than useful and you just wasted 15 seconds for me.  Have a decent profile.  It can be both fun and useful, lik...

To fix a problem, you must understand the problem

I have seen this too many times, and I'm at a point where I just need to get this out.  I have known technicians (and even "engineers") that fix problems based on internet posts. Now, this is not inherently evil.  Part of being a good engineer is admitting you don't know and knowing where to go to get your information.  But, there is a difference between "knowing where to go" and "trying everything that other people have tried". What's the difference?  Well, you MUST remind yourselves two things: Not everyone is an expert If you don't understand the problem, your fixes may cause mo...

Hey Vendor. I’m not closed-minded if I don’t want to talk

Many times, I'll have a vendor of a product try to talk to me about their product, and how it can help me. I respectfully let them know that I've already got something that fills that need. They then go on to tell me why I need to choose THEIR product. Again, I respectfully tell them, no thanks. This is not me being closed-minded. I agree that some products have better features than others. I understand that these vendor's are trying to get their products out to the market. I even concede the fact that prices vary. Sometimes, I'll listen just so I can learn more about it, in case a need com...

McAfee Email Gateway and Domino

We are recently reviewing the McAfee Email Gateway (MEG) appliance against our existing Barracuda Email Gateway appliance.   One of the tasks was to put in Recipient Validation.  You know.... where we make sure the email is valid before allowing it through.  Otherwise, why have your email servers to do all that processing for a mail address that doesn't exist? The LDAP query built into MEG is ok.  Very basic.  It just checks for the primary address of a Person class.  The problem is, it does not check for: Email Aliases applied to a Person document Group/Distribution email addresses ...

Getting started with Vagrant

Vagrant has been getting a lot of attention, lately, for programming, testing, and lab'ing professionals.  It's a VM controller that allows you to setup your infrastructure using a single configuration file named "Vagrantfile". In this video, I show you how to get started with Vagrant (does not show install), and at the end, how to spin up 2 VM's (a web and db) while configuring IP Address, network, and hostname setting. An example config is shown: # -*- mode: ruby -*- # vi: set ft=ruby : Vagrant.configure(2) do |config| config.vm.define "web" do |web|"ubun...

Calling Sublime from Terminal

I work a lot from the command-line. From SSH sessions to automation scripts. My finger memory is always wanting to "$ vim <filename>" when I need to edit a text file. There is certainly nothing wrong with VIM, but, Sublime Text Editor has far more useful keyboard shortcuts (including their famous multi-cursors). So, I needed a way to call up the editor for a file from a command line on my Mac.  It's pretty easy using the "alias" and "open" commands.  To open an application from the command-line, you would use: NOTE:  See a simpler, alternative way at end of post $ open -a Sublime\...

Safari Books Online Review

Safari Books Online
Online and digital readers are becoming the standard for recreational and academic communication of the written language. Largely due to the convenience and how quickly available it is. If you have a digital reader and you identify a book you want, then in literally seconds, you can have it available to you. Studies have shown, that when reading recreationally, the reader retains more information on the plot and emotional ties of the characters using paper versus the digital reader. Many believe it’s because of the haptic feedback of the turning of a page, or the “feeling” of accomplishment...