Snippets for yer computer needs

Practice of System and Network Administration

Ticket tracking system for WIP OS installation should be fully automatic Configuration should be fully automatic

Software delivery life cycle - integration, delivery, deployment

Treat as much infrastructure as code as possible

Identify process bottlenecks

Small changes need less approval. Big changes require a PowerPoint presentation, agreement from the team, and three levels of management. Small changes merit a casual suggestion that is approved with a nod. Pick the smallest increment of work that creates meaningful change.

Anything painful should be done more frequently - this is how automation gets written.

Minimum Viable Product - launch early and often

Preferably the systems we deal with are fungible resources: Any one unit can substitute for any other.

A related metaphor is the snowflake. A snowflake is even more unique than a pet. It is one of a kind. A system may have started out similar to others, but it was customized, modified, and eventually becomes unlike any other system. Or maybe it started out unique and had very little chance of being properly brought into line with the others. A snowflake requires special operational procedures. Rebooting it requires extra care. Upgrades require special testing. As Martin Fowler (2012) wrote, a snowflake is “good for a ski resort, bad for a datacenter.”

Defaults are powerful. If you announce an OS configuration change that all IT subteams are required to make, you’ll get angry push-back from your loudest and most vocal co-workers. You will get very little participation. In fact, there may be enough push-back that you withdraw the request. Often a tyranny of a few loud complainers prevents the majority from receiving a beneficial change.

Cattle versus pets

The more state a machine holds, the more irreplaceable it is—that is, the more pet-like it is. Cattle are generic because we can rebuild one easily thanks to the fact that cattle contain no state, or only state that can be copied from elsewhere.

Move variations in process to the end, keep as much stuff standard as long as possible.

Set aside time for automation - even if you don’t need it right now

Make brokenness visible - “everyone knows about that problem” is bad

Workstation updates


Three ways of operational improvement

Launch Readiness Review and Launch Readiness Criteria

Don’t let the LRC become a burden by adding too many items. Automate the items, standardize parts where you can.

“The difference between a problem and a crisis is preparation.”