Users don’t care if an application is supported, as long as it works

Working vs SupportedLast week we migrated several Oracle databases to a new DBaaS platform. The company I’m working for is in the midst of a datacenter migration to a new cloud provider. Since the Oracle databases were located on old and very expensive Oracle machines, we looked for opportunities to optimize and reduce costs. After much debate, we decided to move all databases to a shared Oracle Exadata platform. Much faster, and much cheaper: the hardware is more expensive, but you win it back with lower licensing costs (less sockets used).

All the Oracle database migrations went pretty well: stop app, export database, transfer to new DC, import & start database. The app teams updated their connection strings and tested the apps. Pretty painless! However there were also some scripts working alongside the databases, mainly for data loads. Server names changed and some scripts had to be moved from the old database servers to the application servers.

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Stop calling it disruptive

disruptive dictionaryI can’t read a product paper, marketing presentation or blog anymore without seeing ‘disruptive’ being used every other paragraph. It’s possibly the most hyped word of 2015, and I really can’t wait for it to go away. No matter how many times I read it: it has a negative connotation. Initially I thought it was some weird sort of language gap between English and Dutch, where it somehow has a positive vibe to it in English. But a quick Google query shows that even the English dictionaries agree: first and foremost it’s negative, but “them business folks” want to attach a special meaning to it…

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Brocade reset to factory default settings (or just brick it)

A pile of decommissioned Brocade switches. Or now: doorsteps.Last weekend we replaced six old Brocade SAN switches with brand new Cisco MDS 9148 switches. Everything went according to plan with no disruption to the rest of the infrastructure. I was however stuck with a bunch of old Brocade 4900 switches ready to be decommissioned. Performing a Brocade reset to factory default settings proved to be a bit of a challenge though…

If you ask Google how to perform a Brocade reset to factory default settings, you’ll find a lot of commands. One command removes the zoning, another command removes a different part of the config, a third command replaces some config values with the default settings. However, none of these commands reset the IP configuration, user passwords or switch name. Which is kind of awkward since that’s THE part of the switch config you wouldn’t want to become public domain…

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Get your units straight – kW vs kWh

Every once in a while I’m dragged into a data center power discussion, especially if I’ve prepared a big configuration or if the system needs to be placed in a data center that is pretty stressed power-wise. In most of those conversations it’s only a matter of time until someone starts mixing up the units: kW vs kWh. Since they both mean something completely different, it’s important to use the correct one.

Let’s dive right in. When IT people talk about power they usually intend to use kW (kilowatt). kW is a unit of power. Unfortunately they often use kWh (kilowatt hour) which is a unit of energy. Let’s apply this on an analogy that most IT guys can relate to: cars. Power is measured in bhp or kW, energy is measured in…. gallons of fuel that can fit in the fuel tank!
So if you are one of those people that mixes up the units: Congratulations, you’ve just sent me an email that is the equivalent of telling me your flashy red sports car has 60 liters of gasoline worth of energy. Exciting!

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