Category Archives: Vent - Page 2

A picture which is worth far more than a 1000 words.

The picture below should be put into a frame and put onto the desk of everyone in the IT industry.

By day, I am a consultant, so I have quite a few stories that relate to this picture.

Obviously the picture shows that, at every step in a project there are misunderstandings. In most instances, this is not intentionally, but simply a result of people not understanding where the other party is coming from and heading to.

Making sure that information is conveyed precisely requires a lot of effort. Unfortunally the time it takes to undergo this conveying process is left out of the project, either because the involved parties don’t think its nessecary or because it would mean less profit for one or more parties.

These misunderstandings are a cause of aggrevation and frustration for everyone involved. Everyone in the chain must fix or redo a portion of their work in order to satisfy the end-customer.

An example of a simple project will demonstrate this.

A customer wants a certain service, so he calls Acme up and asks for a meeting. A sales-rep goes to meet with the customer, trying to understand the customer’s needs and taking notes as best as he/she can. Unless the sales-rep makes an extra effort to ask questions that the customer might not have thought of and questions that will really nail down what it is that the customer wants, this is the first step that might go wrong, leading to erroneous data to begin with.

After the meeting, this sales-rep goes back to Acme’s technical team and asks how the problem he/she has described and understood can be rectified and what the solution might be.

This will be the next step where things can go wrong. Assuming that the description of the problem is correct (which is just as doubtful), the technical team might want to push a solution down the throat of the customer because it makes the most technical sense but not nessecarily the most business sense (for the customer).

Assuming the customer understands the implications of the solution and signs off on it, the people implementing the solution might have gotten a written description on what should be done and how. Unless this document is very specific, some assumptions on the part of the author might not be apparent to the implementer and hence not being carried out.

If the delivered solution does not fullfill the customers real needs, the customer will (rightfully or not) complain to either the Acme support people or the original Acme sales-rep/account-manager.

This person will in turn most likely accuse and blame the technical team for not coming up with the right solution.

And so the blame-ball rolls further and further down a waste-slope. Now imagine a larger project where even more parties and departments would be involved.

If this was an isolated case, then it wouldn’t be a huge problem, but unfortunally I see this very often. Even though the company I currently work for, has a focus on this, it still happens way to often.

Instead, if attention and more importantly time will be allocated to avoid this and improve communication, I am very confident that future projects would end up costing everyone less money and frustration.

In the end, this would be good for all parties as trust would be established and more projects would be able to get “cleared”.

So save the image and put it as your background. You will thank me in the end!

Staying informed…

Lately i have been watching a Ted video each day. I find this fascinating as i learn stuff in areas i would not normally be looking.

I can highly recommend this to anyone in order to stay informed on whats going on in our world.

Go there now:

Thoughts on the Skype / Microsoft deal.

My take on the Microsoft purchase of Skype.

Only last week i attended a mandatory briefing of Lync, Microsofts all-in-all wonder for communicating.

Basically its a PBX, IM-server, Video-conferencing, Outlook-Integrator kind of a product.

Basically they have taken alot of code from alot of different half-done products and thrown them into one big pile and put alot of marketing money behind it.

Going beyond my own personal beliefs about Microsoft, the one big issue i have with Lync was the fact that they dont have a single product for the smartphone market. Not windows mobile/7 OS, not Android and ofcourse not an iOS app.

How do you expect to have a total solution when you are missing out on the device that people have on them constantly? — To me thats insane.

The guy couldnt even confirm whether work was under way for anything even remotely like it. The thing that came closest was the fact that you can log into a web-page and see your contacts. Really, thats it?

I only hope that with the purchase of Skype they will be able to implement a decent client for smartphones.

With that note. I will let you all get on with your day! — Take care.

Customers Vs. Service-providers.

I wanted to take the opportunity to pitch in on the discussion thats presented in this article by Ivan Pepelnjak: with the headline of “P2P traffic is bad for the network”.

I agree with the headline… Somewhat… P2P is bad for the network, in the sense that it causes congestion and because of that, it makes using the net a bad experience for everyone else.
But then again, it seems like theres a real need for P2P traffic (disregarding the entire illegal download discussion). I wish i had some good statistics on how many people actually use
P2P programs. That number would indicate the need for P2P.

However, taking a look at my friends, both technical and non-technical, it appears that the vast majority uses P2P programs, to download some sort of content.
Sometimes, the users dont even know “how” they are downloading this content. It just works.

Lets turn this entire thing around. What is this really about?
Well, its really about the commitment from the SP’s, to deliver the bandwidth that customers have paid for. Ive written a long blog post about this before, which i urge you to take a look at:  .

What really happens is that a SP sells you a 20Mbit connection (download), well aware that you, being a “normal” user, will only use 5% (very high number) of the line capacity at any given time.
This means that one of two things will happen:
1) The SP will “resell” 95% of your line capacity to others.
2) The SP will have no need to provision enough links and bandwidth to honor your bandwidth agreement.

Either way, you using only 5% of your link capacity is a good deal for the SP.

While all this is written down in your SLA, giving your SP a free pass, it still seems a bad deal for the customer.

So whats the technical problem behind all this. Well basically its the fact that P2P, especially Bittorrent will completely saturate your internet connection if you let it. When you start downloading
a file through Bittorrent, your Bittorrent client will try to establish as many connections as possible. It will do this to a “swarm” of hosts, so its a one-to-many sort of connection you are pulling off.

Its not only a download issue though, its an upload issue as well. As a part of the swarm, you are uploading alot of data as well. Share-and-share-alike. In contrary to a normal file download, once a
Bittorrent download has been completed, normal behavior for the clients around, is to keep “seeding”, meaning uploading to others.

Imagine a scenario where you are a small family, having purchased a 20/5Mbit connection, not uncommon here. Your son likes to download stuff (again, disregarding all the legal babble around this). If he
sets up his torrent client to download/upload stuff all night long, he will utilize the entire 20/5Mbit connection. Not many sons around the neighborhood needs to do this in order to take down the bandwidth on the
local POP.

Lets flip the coin once again. If the SP were to provide networks that would not be oversubscribed, the cost of broadband connections would definitely go up. Is that what you want as a consumer?

I am very curious as what this will all lead to. Especially taking into account that more than just downloads, webbrowsing and emailing will take place on a consumers broadband connection. It will carry
video streams to all your tv-sets, it will be constantly hooked up to online games and services, it will provide telephony and . All of these combined will

Anyways, its a tricky problem, thats hard to solve with 100% satisfaction from either side.

What can be concluded, is that no matter what, the request for bandwidth will increase in the comming months and years ahead and that SPs will need to deal with that. This means purchasing alot more equipment. More stuff for us to configure 🙂

Back to work!

The need for redundancy becomes clear…

Well, I broke the spanning-tree topology at work today. It was not one of my proudest moments 🙂 I was playing around with the very delicate portfast command, which states in all its glory:

“%Warning: portfast should only be enabled on ports connected to a single
host. Connecting hubs, concentrators, switches, bridges, etc… to this
interface  when portfast is enabled, can cause temporary bridging loops.
Use with CAUTION”

So ofcourse I had it hooked up to another switch, because I was convinced that I read somewhere, that even though this could happen, some still-unknown feature would save the topology…. Not so.

Another apparent need for redundancy is in the cellular network. The largest wireless carrier in Denmark, TDC had a couple of fibercables cut, and the entire cellular network in the country has been affected. Not good.

Giving it some thorough looks before tuesday.

So, test is scheduled for tuesday, and im looking through and updating my notes. My plan is to look through all of my notes on the morning, trying to pick up on anything I might have missed during my studying.

Also doing some subnetquestions during my awaken hours to keep my mind up to date doing that kind of work.

Unfortunally there is a 2 hour drive to the test center, which I could do without, but thats the name of the game.

Ive also been populating my new rack with some stuff. All the old equipment from my work has found a new home. Ive got a 2600 router, a 3640 router, 2x 2950 switches and a 2924 switch. I need to order the correct modules for them + some other gear for them to be really useful.

What a smock!

I read on Slashdot today, that a “Jack Thompson“, walked out of court, apparently because he was being disbarred for 10 years. I couldnt quite remember who he was, but then it dawned upon me, he’s the smock thats been trying to ban what he thinks are violent games, because he’s of the opinion they are bad for society.

He didnt think the court had the authority to hand him his ass, so he walked out of there. Unfortunally as another Slashdot reader noted, when has a disbarring ever stopped a person from practicing (Dr. Phil anyone?).

If all that effort was put to use actually fixing the problem with the violence in the states, im sure there would be alot less of it.

Bought a rack.

I just purchased a Rack from Dantrak UK. I need some sort of solution to mount the gear I have and will be getting. I cant have it all lay around the floor. They (Dantrak UK) is basically a reseller of Dantraknet.

I went for the 16U version, in case I will need more space in the future it is upgradeable.

Here it is:

16U Skeletek Rack

Getting warmer.. warmer.. hot!

I like sunny weather when its moderate, but temperatures in the 25+ Celcius range is a bit too much for me. Especially when I need to spend time in front of my computer. I will need some kind of cooling solution this summer for sure.

My idea was a fan with a timer on it for falling asleep, but not having it turned on all night (the draft will make you sick).

I am not a huge fan of an aircondition because of the wattage used by one of those badboys.

On another note, I need to start eating alot more healthy than I am now. I can feel my energy deposits going down when im not exercising nor eating particularly healthy.

Video about gas prices and the trophy in the middle east.

Interesting indeed.