Happy Sysadmin Day!

Hug your backup guy! Buy a beer for the network dude! Go easy on the helpdesk! Change your password and wink at the security team!



Continuous Integration

I’m a little late to the game, but this Google talk called Move Fast & Don’t Break Things is particularly apt for the challenges I’m faced with at work lately. Focusing on unit testing and downplaying the end-to-end testing has always been a preference for me, but when working with folk who much prefer the slow waterfall approach to all projects, I have a tough time finding the right words to use to defend this more streamlined release cycle. This slide deck, even if you don’t watch the youtube video presentation for it, is really helpful. I suppose maybe I should seek out some formalized Continuous Integration training…



.NET 4.6 today, PowerShell 5 soon

Today, Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 were officially released. I won’t talk about VS2015 yet, but in regards to .NET 4.6:
I noticed a lot of the news sites covering it either didn’t provide a download link for .NET 4.6, or provided the absolute wrong links. The only “real” download link I can find is at https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/downloads – From there scroll down a bit and in the left-hand column there’s a section for .NET

Seeing that it’s released got me excited, because hopefully that means a PowerShell 5 for Win7/8 release is coming soon. I was reading over the new features list again and the ones that I’m most excited about are:

  • ConvertFrom-String – sounds like it takes regular text output and does a ghetto conversion into making that text more like an object. Takes some work to build a template for it, but could be handy in many situations, especially when getting output from Linux bash scripts or something
  • Direct support for managing symbolic links in New-Item
  • Using Copy-Item to copy files through a PowerShell remote session. Huge win for feature parity with linux ssh/scp
  • Get-Clipboard and Set-Clipboard built in support
  • Out-File, Add-Content, and Set-Content support -NoNewLine
  • Get-ItemPropertyValue makes it a much more intuitive and straightforward process working with registry stuff via PowerShell
  • Smaller delay between when you open a new PowerShell session then try to tab-complete. Waiting that few seconds is always so annoying!


Drobos are pretty great

So I’ve started the long process of downgrading my Drobo 5S storage. I’m trading out cheap, slow drives for SSDs. I’m hoping I can get the total noise down significantly so that I don’t hear it. It sits next to my TV and can be distracting sometimes. Once all the noisy drives are gone, I’ll see about replacing the chassis fan to seal the deal.

I’m going to hug a storage admin when I go in to work tomorrow. The stress of rebuilding drive arrays for your most valuable content…. phew! I’ll try not to stay up all night staring at the progress bar and health indicators.



The Last Patch


Good news! If you have Server 2003 systems sitting around, after today you’ll only have one more set of Windows Updates to apply. Then you’re free from scheduling those maintenance windows ever again! I suppose after you’ve done that, you could even remove 2003 from the list of products on your WSUS servers and free up a chunk of space.

Oh wait, you still want security updates and support when something goes terribly wrong on your OS? Just do what the US Navy did and pay 9 million dollars to Microsoft. I suspect there might be some hidden additional costs when you encounter scenarios like virtualization where Citrix or VMware stop supporting 2003 as a VM guest. But like the cool kids were saying back in the day, YOLO. I mean, that OS is only 14 years young.



Countdown to the Countdown

With about a week before the end of support for Server 2003, I was getting sad that I don’t have a big Microsoft thing to track a countdown for on my whiteboard (besides Windows 10). But good news! Next up on the chopping block: support for Internet Explorer Everything (10 and below) ends in January 2016.

From Microsoft:
Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates. Please visit the Internet Explorer Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ here http://support.microsoft.com/gp/Microsoft-Internet-Explorer for list of supported operating systems and browser combinations.