Observations Archives - Server support blog

Category Archives: Observations

Rant: Why DevOps is not an answer? Because there was no question

Why do I think that DevOps is not going to last too long as it is now widely marketed and hyped? Because there was really not that much demand for it in the first place – it was hyped and brought up by project management and some marketing people that always know better how programming and software development should be done.
I’ve seen some IT hypes rise and go

  • XML is the answer for all your data representation needs (not)
  • Javascript/Ruby/C# is the only programming language you need to know (Python is thriving, C and C++ are alive and kicking)
  • Unix is obsolete – Windows NT can cover all your server demands (yes I am that old)

As the experience shows in 2-3-4-5 years hype dies out and most of things return back to the way they were before, may be with the slight new twist. Of course there is always some market share leftovers staying on so much hyped technologies just because big investments were made into it and these could not be unmade without some unpleasant discussions so at the end it was just decided to call this innovations a success.
What I think, that the whole DevOps deal was an attempt of some management to cut costs ™ namely make software developers do sysadmin tasks without hiring professional sysadmins and basically without salary rise. Round of applause ensued, big bonuses distributed and reports of innovations issued. Nice and shiny face of the capitalism here. New tools and technologies came out shortly after and placing DevOps into the title and somewhere on the resume will ensure recruiters interest in you.
Why do I think this is totally wrong? From my more then 20 years experience I could say that software developers and system administrators have not only different skill set but also very different mindset and way of solving problems. You know what they say – “If you are a hammer most of the problems start looking like a nail”? Software developers/programmers are set to solve a problem with writing new code or modifying an existing code. All side problems like configuring development environment, setting up networking, backups and information security are seen as an obstacles to the final and ultimate goal – software development. So you would naturally assume that performing “Op” tasks will be quick, inaccurate and well yeah mediocre in order to achieve an ability to do “Dev” part (19% of Docker images with empty root password is the nice illustration to issue). You want an example? Here you go – saving AWS credentials in github repository is widely known security problem nowdays, and guess what – in most cases that was done by some CI/CD tool or some high and mighty DevOp that was harmless and respected programmer in his previous life.
I wouldn’t say that DevOps is total pure evil in itself – there are some good ideas in it, but dumping all system administration tasks on developers usually wouldn’t lead to any good outcome. Just like widely popular tape recorders with bundled radio long time ago – both functions were way below average.
I hope that at the end the common sense will prevail.

I have to say it: Debian package management beats it all

Yes, I need to get it out of my system, once and for all.
With all due respect to the selfless efforts of all Debian developers I have to admit that in the course of my professional career I’ve never dealt with such an confusing, obscure and downright inconvenient package management tools. You guys even left Sun far behind.
And I’ve see it all.
Here, I’ve said it, now you can hate me because you can’t allow yourselves to admit that I’m right.

Rant: Why I would never have facebook account

no-fb First of all – this is my opinion, it’s emotional, biased, personal and has nothing to do with you. If you are offended by my opinion – you are not required to read, agree with it or argue with me.
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Rant: Keep your critical data local

I think it’s about time I’ll add some personal rant to this blog to add some personal touch to it. Just few words about critical data storage at modern times.

I had a customer server disk failure the other day. Nothing extraordinary about that – old server circa 2006 or 2008 happily humming on old IDE western digital’s 160Gb softraid mirror.
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Wordpress: spambots mating season

wp-spamDid anyone notice how quadrupled number of spam comments during last week? I usually check Comments->SPAM folder on daily basis and where usually was about 3-8 comments a day now no less then 70.
It’s interesting and educating to observe how spamming technologies and tools evolve over time – just a few weeks ago there was a wave of spam comments masquerading as pingbacks from completely unrelated blogs, then (mostly from russian origins) spam comments containing couple of paragraphs of text from some text book, now almost every other spam comment contains url from gravatar.com site.
Thanks to the excellent anti-captcha plugin nobody ever sees these comments on my blog except me, in spam folder, and if a real person will decide to leave the comment he will not need to strain his vision trying to recognize graphical captcha (I hate it too).