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What have you done to improve the lives of your co-workers who are on-call? I posed this question to my Twitter followers to see what folks are doing to make things as delightful as possible for the people keeping a watchful eye on our critical systems. The following is a small sampling of what I learned. Provide Context write notes of what i did on every incident, document workarounds, tune alert timing, tune log searches that trigger on call to exclude non-emergency conditions — alimac (@alimacio) December 12, 2017 @alimac, Operations Engineer When in the middle of an issue, the last thing you want to be doing is chasing down tribal knowledge. Having to reinvent the wheel on every outage wastes time and costs the organization money. Providing easy access to historical information allows for reproducibility of fixes/resolutions. One method to help provide con... (more)

Amazon Elastic Load Balancing Only Simple On the Outside

The notion of Elastic Load Balancing, as recently brought to public attention by Amazon’s offering of the capability, is nothing new. The basic concept is pure Infrastructure 2.0 and the functionality offered via the API has long been available on several application delivery controllers for many years. In fact, looking through the options for Amazon’s offering leaves me feeling a bit, oh, 1999. As if load balancing hasn’t evolved far beyond the very limited subset of capabilities exposed by Amazon’s API. That said, that’s just the view from the outside. Though Amazon’s ELB might be rudimentary in what it exposes to the public it is certainly anything but primitive in its use of SOA and as a prime example of the power of Infrastructure 2.0. In fact, with the exception of GoGrid’s integrated load balancing capabilities, provisioned and managed via a web-based interfa... (more)

Behind the Scenes, SANta Claus Global Cloud Story

Cloud Expo New York There is a ton of discussion, stories, articles, videos, conferences and blogs about the benefits and value proposition of cloud computing. Not to mention, discussion or debates about what is or what is not a cloud or cloud product, service or architecture including some perspectives and polls from me. [Santa Photo Via ABC news] Now SANta does not really care about these and other similar debates I have learned. However he is concerned with who has been naughty and nice as well watching out for impersonators or members of his crew who misbehave. In the spirit of the holidays, how about a quick look at how SANta leverages cloud technologies to support his global operations. Many in IT think that SANta bases his operations out of the North Pole as it is convenient for him to cool all of his servers, storage, networks and telecom equipment (which ... (more)

Excuse Me But Is That a Gazebo On Your Site?!

There are few things in reality that can match The Gazebo in its ability to evoke fear and suspicion amongst gamers. The links on your web site may be one of them. In the history of Dungeons and Dragons there exists the urban legend known to all as “The Gazebo.” The Gazebo, over the years, has become a gaming euphemism for a situation in which people over analyze and overestimate the risk involved with interacting with some “thing”. In the case of The Gazebo the “thing” was, as you might guess, a gazebo. Yes, a simple wooden structure placed in gardens where lovers meet under the moon and all that. A player, according to legend, would not believe this simple gazebo was not dangerous. So he attacked it and, failing to elicit a response, eventually decides to run away. The DM (Dungeon Master), having been frustrated by the waste of time that was the encounter, decide... (more)

The Chocolate Bacon Bar: Have you met?

Chocolate Bacon Bar from Vosges: love it or hate it Yesterday, a chocolate bar made me swoon. I've had a mad crush on chocolate-covered bacon since I first blogged about it a few months ago. But since I haven't gotten around to making it, the next best thing was Mo's Bacon Bar by Vosges (pronounced "Voujsh"), a luxury chocolate brand that lords over chocolate companies. And by lording, I mean it's like Chocolate Valentino (or Prada, whatever translates as high fashion)! Without hesitation, I plucked it out of the chocolate aisle in Whole Foods despite the hefty $8/bar price tag. Vosges Haut-Chocolat was founded by sexy chef/chocolatier and Le Cordon Bleu-alum Katrina Markoff. Just like the rest of us, she fell in love with chocolate at an early age. In fact, the beginnings of this peculiar chocolate flavor can be traced to her breakfast table as a little girl, when she ... (more)

Testing the Limits with Jack Margo SVP of Developer Shed, (part 1)

In recent months, we’ve ‘tested the limits’ with QA notables like  James Whittaker, Rosie Sherry and Andrew Muns.  This month, we’re jumping over to the dev side of the aisle by sitting down with Jack Margo, SVP of Internet Operations at Developer Shed . Developer Shed is owned by Ziff-Davis and manages a bunch of tech sites — many devoted to open source technologies and communities.  They serve millions of visitors per month, for every breed of developer. Topics range from troubleshooting an Apache web server to programming a complicated Java application to successfully marketing a website.  Their tagline says it all: “Tools for Geeks!” Today, we talk about what developers really think about testers, Jack’s take on Microsoft vs. open source, the reason he’s mad at Java, why net books are a fad, and which programming language has the biggest upside.  Check back to... (more)

Carlo's Bake Shop: A Jersey Institution

Carlo's Bake Shop. Hoboken Pastry Pride. Today's Six-Word Memoir: "Drove 20 miles for good cannoli." I Yelp-ed "dessert places" in Hoboken and found Carlo's Bake Shop, a sweet little bakery owned by Buddy Valastro, Italian American chef and star of TLC's reality show Cake Boss. The bake shop has been around nearly a 100 years now (since 1910) and is widely known for biscottis, cannolis, and oh, i don't know, 20 other drool-worthy Italian pastries. Best known for his specialty cakes, New York Daily News reports Valastro made Britney Spears' Circus-themed birthday cake for her 27th birthday.    The shop is a little on the expensive side but I got what I paid for--$3 well-spent on freshly-made, "love at first bite" Chocolate Cannoli. YUM-MY. The baker puts cannoli cream into the crisp chocolate shell as you buy 'em so you can be sure it's not one of those sad little pastri... (more)

Microsoft Exchange 2010: HELO New Architecture

Microsoft has made some fairly substantial changes to the core architecture of Exchange 2010. Given that messaging can only be described as business critical today, it’s no surprise that many new aspects of Exchange 2010 and in particular its new architecture are designed to improve availability and management of its messaging systems. Exchange 2010 includes many changes to its core architecture. In Exchange 2010, new features such as incremental deployment, mailbox database copies, and database availability groups work with other features such as shadow redundancy and transport dumpster to provide a new, unified platform for high availability and site resilience.[1] The core change in architecture will be felt not just by server and Exchange administrators, but by network and application delivery network administrators as well. With Exchange 2010 users no longer co... (more)

No-Bake Mondays: Caveman Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Walnut Cookies aka Caveman Cookies I imagine this is how cavemen made cookies back in the day. All you really need to do is put the ingredients in a pot, bring it to a boil, add quick cooking oats, and voila--rich, earthy chocolate oatmeal cookies in 10 minutes flat. Be prepared for a delicately fudgy, extra chewy, almost gelatinous consistency; it won't have the cake-like texture that comes from flour. Instead, it will charm you with primitive homemade flavors that uses the most basic ingredients--and rocks them. Some tips. 1. If you want a more wholesome taste, add more oats to the mix (this recipe is BIG on chocolate flavor). 2. Dip it in vanilla yogurt! It will take this cookie experience to whole new levels of AWESOME.   No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Walnut Cookies Makes about 15 In Minutes: 10 Ingredients 1 cup sugar 1/2 stick butter 1/2 teaspoon... (more)

What Is Your Favorite Case Study? Why Do You Like It?

Case studies come in all shapes and forms. Our Panel of Case Study Experts have written and reviewed thousands of case studies over the years. Which case study stands out in their mind? We have invited Case Study Experts to answer this query: "Give one example of your most favorite case study and why you like it". Cindy King Blog CindyKing Twitter CindyKing “Highlight business impact” Cindy King's Bio Cindy King is a Cross-Cultural Marketer & International Sales Specialist based in France.  She uses her dual background in sales & marketing, in international business development, to help businesses improve their international sales conversion. She is also adept at content marketing, international web marketing and social media marketing. Cindy King's Tip My favorite case study is a blog post on Social Media Examiner: Social Media Marketing Lowers Acquisition Costs 39 P... (more)

REST API Developers Between a Rock and a Hard Place

A recent blog on EBPML.ORG entitled “REST 2010 - Where are We?” very aggressively stated: “REST is just a "NO WS-*" movement.” The arguments presented are definitely interesting but the most compelling point made is in the way that REST APIs are constructed, namely that unlike the “ideal” REST API described where HTTP methods are used to define action (verb) and the path the resource (noun), practical implementations of REST are using a strange combination of both actions (verbs) and resources (nouns) in URIs. What this does is simulate very closely SOA services, in which the endpoint is a service (resource) upon which an action (method) is invoked. In the case of SOAP the action is declared either in the HTTP header (old skool SOAPaction) or as part of the SOAP payload. So the argument that most REST APIs, in practice, are really little more than a NO WS-* API is fa... (more)