7 Deadly Data Center Sins

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

Linux Cpanel shared hosting: 600 GB disk space, 6 TB bandwidth, free domain, unlimited databases and ftp accounts, web hosting cheap and pro at Hostony

Let’s admit it. We all commit stupid sins and hope that nobody catches them. We do it in our own computers, sometime in our friends’ computers (and spend hours trying to fix them). These are small, innocent sins that doesn’t have a big effect (unless you really make a huge, stupid, irrecoverable mistake). In the case of a data center, that kind of a sin can prove to have tremendous effects, simply because a data center is a networked environment.

The first sin is the one that’s called a “cable salad” in Turkish. Yes, this is the situation that the cables are lying/hanging like guts in the slaughterhouse. I do not really know what the say about this – this is something that should never happen, but almost always happens. Cables should be given the proper attention they need. Follow the old saying, measure twice cut once. Many network administrators present the excuse  that they do not have time to arrange the cables. What they don’t understand is, cable management are part of their jobs. Not just because of safety reasons, but also for effective cooling, avoiding data loss as well.

The second sin is the electricity. No generators, no battery backups, accidental power cuts, overloading a single power outlet are just everyday sins in the data center. Electricity is the blood of your data center. Without it, your thousands of dollars of investment is nothing more than a piled-up electronic trash. When designing/checking your data center, make sure that the electricity problems are avoided. All circuit breakers, alarms, turn off switches are away from daily working environment and covered preferably in an easy-to-open, transparent box, so that they are both easily accessible in an emergency and yet not accidentally operated.

The third sin is drinking. I am disciplined at sea to not approach the charts with drinks, which I carry on to the data center and never enter there with a drink. Liquid is the worst enemy of all the electronic equipment. It kills an equipment in shorter than a second without any chance of recovery. It doesn’t allow time for backups. It voids guarantees. Although these are obvious even to the non-IT people, I am really amazed to see how many administrators disregard them. Put a “no food or drink allowed” sign on your data center door and enforce the policy with zero tolerance.

The fourth sin is security. How many copies of data center door keys do you have? If you have a passcode lock, how many people know the password? In what period do you change the passcode? Did you ask the intern to do something for you and gave her the passcode? When working in the data center, do you open the door and leave it unattended? You can just imagine where this is going. If you are following these security measures in your house, why aren’t you following them in your data center?

The fifth one is the password problem. Somebody changes the system’s password and goes for his annual vacation and it will be this system that will fail. The passwords, access codes should be documents so that they are readily available when needed yet away from prying eyes during normal operations.

Linux Cpanel shared hosting: 600 GB disk space, 6 TB bandwidth, free domain, unlimited databases and ftp accounts, web hosting cheap and pro at Hostony

The sixth one is the “desktop extension.” In all the IT departments I see administrators using servers as an extension of their desktop systems. They use servers’ disk spaces as additional/external disks (map network drive), they abuse the servers’ computing powers (LAN parties) and they do not log off from the servers (as if hibernating on their laptops). Although all these seem obviously stupid, they are more common than you can imagine. These practices should be avoided with clear policies and violations should be treated at the top level with zero tolerance.

The seventh sin is overworking. All of us sucked caffeine in a day that is not sucked in a year by a big portion of the world population and felt that we can go through the night wide awake. We have spent the whole night implementing the blade servers and storage enclosures in place. We have spent the time to install the operating system and make sure that it is functioning as needed. Beyond that point we forget to stop. Just performing that small, incremental, insignificant task can wreak havoc in the data center. If everything is complete but some small here-and-there configuration issues remain, let them remain. Let the next watch make them. Or wait until the time you have slept enough. Don’t make this final command a famous last word. Don’t try to be the hero. Be smart.

Any other sins you have committed or witnessed? Hit the comments below and share your experiences.

Web Hosting Geeks’ Blog

Linux Cpanel shared hosting: 600 GB disk space, 6 TB bandwidth, free domain, unlimited databases and ftp accounts, web hosting cheap and pro at Hostony

Deadly Downloads: The moral frontier of 3D micro-manufacturing

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

In their article, “Sci-Fi That Foretold The Future,”  Google’s Think Quarterly gives a list of science fiction films that have become, to some degree, a reality. More surprising than the reality of science fiction in our lives today is that the age old problems of reality have not changed at all.  As the micro-manufacturing industrial revolution unfolds, the ethical problems of being human remain the same.

Kickstarter recently decided to suspend its campaign to crowd-fund an open source 3D printable gun.  Cody Wilson had a extraordinary idea for a project that merges art, computer aided design (CAD), open-source 3-D printer code and the RepRap self replicating 3-D printer, with the entirely practical desire to kill people we fear.  He calls his project Defense Distributed, and here is his rather creepy video describing it:

Personally, I hope Indiegogo or some other crowdfunding platform lets him crowdfund it with them.  Or maybe he can create his own crowdfunding platform for a niche in lethal arts funding. After all, Offbeater is a crowdfunding platform for pornographers.  So why not deadly weapons crowdfunding? Art doesn’t kill people or give them venereal diseases or treat women and children and masochists like disposable sex toys: people do that.

This creates all sorts of delightful questions.  New age Zeno’s paradoxes:  In particular, is the open source movement becoming a bit too dangerous now that desktop manufacturing is moving forward so swiftly?  With the real-life option of  purchasing the materials to build your initial RepRap 3-D printer for less than $ 1000, and then using that initial RepRap printer and the open source design software of the RepRap Project to spawn unlimited copies of that same 3D printer, are there moral hazards we should consider?  “The RepRap Project started the open-source 3D printer revolution.” Well, why not download the open source CAD file to print a lethal weapon?  It seems impossibly stupid to outlaw publishing one’s own intellectual property and making it open source, even if that intellectual property is lethal.  Jail for the smart creative kid with a penchant for dangerous toys?  Will we have to outlaw some sorts of intellectual activity?  Outlaw THINKING? Ah! When thinking is outlawed only outlaws will think!

Imagine the difficulty of creating statutes to punish people who dream up interesting, dangerous CAD designs and publish them for free online.  As an ethics guy, I’ll be honest, this is paydirt.  Not because I know the answers, but because so far no one knows the answers.

Let’s start with an overview of 3-D printing and then look at some of the everyday applications that already exist:

Now for two examples of real things anyone can print: a bicycle and a real remote control plane or spy drone

or, of course, a machine gun if you like:

Now here is a cheap 3D printer anyone who isn’t all that DIY can buy for their own desktop weapons or doll furniture manufacturing enterprise

Oh you want metal parts?  OK

Maybe use the CAD drawing of an automotive engineer and build an engine–soon this will be printable too … at home.  Call Ford; order the CAD files for the DuraTec and print a new engine in your garage?

This has always been the real appeal of science fiction, not so much the new technology, but that the same old ethical dilemmas remain in these new fangled realities.   So, with the possibility of downloading the CAD file to print a lethal weapon now a reality, should we censor that information?  It’s one thing to download an mp3 file but quite another to download machine gun parts or even an operational pistol with real lethality.  Understanding the trigger mechanism of an atomic bomb is vastly different from designing it digitally and uploading it as freeware. Downloading that digitised design in operational metal is an entirely new–and controversial–thing altogether.

In the past, the hurdle to creating deadly objects was generally the problem of manufacturing the parts. Now the only hurdle is knowledge itself and in Wiki world we all share.  We glorify sharing.  Wiki Wiki.   Anyone who can  think it can now build it and share it.  No denying that the power of the intersection of crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and custom manufacturing is dangerous.  But I am still pretty darned old fashioned myself and the censorship of thinking still seems vastly more dangerous than any basement bomb you can print up,  nuclear or otherwise.

We have ended the age of grand ideologies and come to an age of  focused ethics.  Yes, free speech is good, but not free neutron-bomb-making speech.  Open source CAD makes sense, but desktop bomb making doesn’t.  The problem is keeping the speech free but putting limits on the downloading. Oh wait! We already have that problem don’t we?

Related posts:

Web Hosting Geeks’ Blog