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In case you need the toaster and the kettle at the same time

To take a leaf from Toyota's book - overproduction is the worst kind of waste.

What's a computer for, anyway?

How did we get here?

Well, it's been a bit more than a week since Day 0 in the Heartbleed Bug. What's Heartbleed? No, really.

In case you haven't heard too much already, last week the Heartbleed Bug was publicly discovered in the Heartbeat function of recent versions of OpenSSL.  The request for a heartbeat response could be specially-crafted to have OpenSSL return not a "I'm running correctly!" message, but instead "Here's what I'm thinking about" message - i.e. current memory contents.

Yes, VMware <i>used</i> to be the heavy hitter.

Following on a little from "Doesn't Your Server Deserve a High Performance Operating System?", it's worth comparing performance on a layer some might regard as pre-operating system:  the hypervisor.

In many IT shops, the hypervisor is actually in control of your hardware, and therefore has a strong influence on how much computational capacity you're going to realize from your investment.  But not all hypervisors are created equal. 

Yes, your Pinto <b>is</b> back there <i>somewhere</i>.

Total, utter dominance.

When it comes to choosing an operating system for performance, there's not even a horse race - it's a shameful walkover, an unfair advantage; practically unsportsmanlike conduct.

IT Manager Undertaking Root Cause Analysis

Leaving aside, for a moment, that you're hard pressed to find a vendor partner that isn't a convicted monopolist and therefore unworthy of your trust, you might still find the idea of "One Throat to Choke" appealling.

 

Vendor registration for IT trade conference

So here's a fun web game to play - I call it "Pin the Stripes on a Convict."

 

@fatal1ty omg im so bored i wish u wud shoot me irl

Last week, The Curmudgeon was drafting some guidance for organizing facilitated planning sessions, and the phrase "No Electronic Devices" was uttered (well, written).

The sessions in question would probably approach $10,000 just to put into place, and likely another $40,000 in the labour costs of senior staff.  $50,000 meetings.  If an organization is about to drop $50k on getting you to a meeting, can you be instructed to leave your iPhone at home?

The start of something beautiful?  It's too soon to tell.

In returning to the test of history, The Curmudgeon now looks at the Babylonian civilization, which is notable for its length of survival and for rising to prominence in a complex geopolitical environment. The most profound aspect of the Babylonian civilization relating to our topic of good management practices is the development of a uniform code of law.

So there was this king of Babylon, Hammurabi, who rules a bunch of city-states in the long, fertile valley of modern-day Iraq. Hammurabi's wandered along and gradually conquered each city-state and absorbed them into the overall Babylonian Empire, but even after making them part of the nation, he's still got a considerable problem. None of the city-states agree on how to govern. Every one of them has different laws and customs and even languages, and each thinks they're better than the others. They'll hardly talk to each other and trade between them is stilted, and they all expect him to sort it out in their favour

Where should you search for Wisdom?  What is the penalty for Folly?

Evidence of human civilization stretches back at least 50,000 years. Evidence of record-keeping and structured societies begins some 5,000 years before the present. If the test of a society is survival for 300 years (enough for a few generations of succession to prove the stability of the structure), then this constitutes a mere 6% of recorded human history. There have been a number of civilizations, societies and forms of organizations that exceeded that test, but they stand as a tiny proportion of those that did not - the Olympus of success atop the Everest of failures.

From a management point of view the test of history is an invaluable one. Undoubtedly managers are offered a brand new method of improving efficiency, workplace culture, technological innovation, or organizational structure on a constant basis, and have to choose which to adopt and implement and which to reject. Instead of being seduced by the fashionable terms and promises of change, the manager should ask, "What examples in history support this model or idea?" If you strip away the glamour of a proposed change and seek to see it as it has worked, then subjecting a proposal to the 6% test allows one to evaluate whether it really is the Olympic pinnacle of innovation, or merely another false summit in the Himalayas of failure.

Welcome to the IT Department!

Sometimes, walking into an IT department as a consultant is like arriving in a new city.  There's always an immense amount of complexity to come to grips with, and a new culture to understand.

Take the Storage system in an enterprise-class organization.  In a city, this would be where the raw materials were warehoused and siloed.  Food, fuel, timber, aggregate, ore, etc.  Different stockpiles for different materials, just like using different types of data storage for different types of data.