When you touch that server you touch me

They turned off the HPSIM and general management and alerting server this morning, or at least, unplugged it, cause it was causing this huge network spike at a remote site

I know for a fact that no one besides myself knows what it is exactly that machine does, as its only usefull to me and what I do.

That doesnt mean it isnt explained in the server list in Sharepoint that I made and painstakingly try to keep up to date, that no one bothers to ever look at.

And of course no one bothered to ask during the day what exactly the impact is that they unplugged the server.

I mean, who cares about hardware and remote monitoring of servers anyway. It is, after all, only the most basic part of my job.

That made me feel really appreciated.

HPSIM was reinstalled a few weeks go by one of my collegues. When I explained it took me 2 days to set it up last time I installed it, he was suprised.

I will admit, it doesnt need to take that long. But it was new software to me at the time, and I was carefull, and ran into some awkward service account issues.

Its a very messy collection of software, basicly, so you need to be carefull and precise.

I read the manuals first.

I ended up needing 3 different service accounts. With different levels of rights and access. 

He reinstalled HPSIM in about 1 hour. Its his way, he loves to impress with how fast he can do things.

I havent logged on to it in the meantime, because my time was needed elsewhere for the last few weeks. Build activities that go first. Project. Bids. Money.

I warned them in a long email 2 weeks ago, that no one was now doing any active systems administration. No one was keeping an eye on things. No one was cuting the grass.

Fast forward to this morning…

So, I cant dispute that HPSIM or something on that server killed that sites 2mbit WAN line for an hour, daily, between 10 and 11.

I went in over the ILO to have a look, after I asked them to at least plug -that- back in.

HPSIM service wouldnt start, as it couldnt authenticate its domain service account, cause it had no network. This was expected.

What wasn’t expected, was the fact that it was using this collegues domain admin account to start.

And so was the OpenSSH service.

And so was the Sofware update repository service.

I curse myself for not having reinstalled it myself, for one. And I curse myself for not having managed that server myself the past few weeks.

They ask me now, wtf was that server doing? I honestly dont know. I havent managed it for the past few weeks, due to me being allocated to build activities, as they well know.

I hate it. I hate the fact that I dont know.

Even though I have no need to feel responsible, I so very much do. This server was mine, it did this on my watch, at least that is how it feels.

I cant be sure what caused the network spike, and I will never know because they wont let me plug the server back into the network.

This weekend I will reinstall HPSim on a different server. A server that I had racked as spare, for this exact kind of scenario.

It will be reintalled slowly, carefully, with the appropriate documentation at hand, as I did last time.

It will be stable. It will be secure. It will be managed.

It will be beautifull.

And I am not gonna let anyone else on that server. If it ever misbehaves again, they can hold me personally acountable, I want them to, god knows I want them to.

There is only one person in my department with a sense of responsibility for our enviroment.

There is only one person in my department who actually cares things are done correctly.

Every time I place my trust in another technical person, I am dissapointed.

No one else is touching that server from now on.

Happy Sysadmin day.

Of Mice and … keyboard

My Microsoft Elite keyboard/mouse setup has served me well for a number of years, but recently the keyboard started becoming a bit erratic.

I decided to pimp my system with some new hardware.

Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard

I love the display, which has some pre-customized WoW settings in there. I also downloaded a G15 Teamspeak addon that shows who is speaking on Teamspeak, very cool. The keys are very pleasant on the fingers, and the keyboard has some special macro buttons down the side, which come with quite powerfull macro/scripting software.

The backlit lighting is very nice. Though I prefer the blue that the G11 model has.


For a new mouse, I got the Microsoft Sidewinder.

Its very nice, but after playing around with Lia’s new MX1000, I think I might actually prefer that for the feel.
The Sidewinder is pretty good though, though it is a bit bulky. It comes with weights that you can insert into the side, which is kinda smart. I went for the max load. It also comes with a cable block to keep the cable at the right managable length. You can customise the buttons, but not the buttons at the top which I thought was a bit weak. The buttons at the top control on-the-fly DPI switching which can be usefull, the little diplay shows what DPI the mouse is set to.

Because I am rather jellous of Lia’s new MX1000, I decided to get the MX Revolution for my work.

Logitech MX Revolution


Now the MX Revolution is, I guess, the successor to Lia’s MX1000.


Logitech MX1000

Now while that is true, let me say that these are in fact two very different beasts. Lia doesnt like the second scroll wheel for example and while I dont mind it, I cant blame her.

Estetically they are both gorgeous and very well designed, and fit in your hard totally naturally, supporting the thumb very well.

The revolution does a funny thing with the main scroll wheel, it actually adapts the way it rolls during scrolling,  on the fly, depending on the kind of page you are on. You feel it physically switch between the common “clicks” and the “smooth” mode that some Microsoft mice have standard.

Anyhow, to conclude, I am very happy with my new purchases, and am sure they are gonna serve me very well. And at work, I am totally pimpin of course 😉