Tales from the Machine Room


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And what else did you forgot?

We're back talking about $companyX, of which I've already told about here and here. As already told, those people had a "B2B" messaging system that was really old and obsolete, but what they lacked was the will to spend money to keep it up-to-date.

After several discussion and negotiation, they decided for a complete migration towards the "cloud" ('cause everything is better in the cloud, right?), however they quickly discovered a number of problems in the "management" of the thing.

And naturally, when there are problems, the best way to handle them is to IGNORE them. What did you expected?

Time passess and UL remains. And doing nothing. Then, after more than 1 year (yep, ONE YEAR), the 'new' environment is ready to work, at least in theory, but nobody seems interested in taking the last steps to actually put this into production.

Then, one day, CATASTROPHE! The license for one of those obsolete software that are no longer maintained but still working, is running out and once gone there is a good chance that that thing won't work anymore. UL then take "action", that is try to prove that all the problems are not related with his unwillingness in doing anything at all or complete lack of 'managemnt' skill and capabilities.

And one of the things he decided to do, was to pass to ME the task of performing "tests" on that thing... That I've never seen before in my life. Hence, I contact the software developer and asks about the FMs.

After a couple of days spent reading them, I have a vague idea how the thing should work, and apparently, the developers of this thing decided that the best way was to stuff everything into a gigantic LDAP.

First step then is to check what is in that LDAP. And I discover, without surprise, sadly, that there is very little in it. In fact, it looks like it is a default install with nothing in specific.

Second step then is getting the data from the old application and "translate" them into something that we can stuff into the new thing. After anothe couple of days spent cursing on the interface of this thing (I can tell that none of the developers has spent too much time trying to do a 'real' configuration in this thing), I have a complete, and potentially working, configuration.

The third step is to find a sucker... I mean, a "volounteer", to be the recipient of my tests. So I grab the customers' list, pin it to the wall and toss a few darts at it. And one of the "lucky" ones is CL. I send a mail explaining what the heck and wait patiently.

In short time, CL answer giving his availability and send me the address that I can use to send the TESTs to, that is an address that perform an 'autoreply' sending back the same message it got. Wonderful.

Amazing what you get when you actually take the time to DO things, huh?

So the next step is to check if I can actually send those messages. So I login on the server and try a nice telnet towards CL's server. And get a nice "connection refused". A quick check tells me that there is no firewall on the machine. Another check tells me that there is no network connection to the internet, everything goes throuth the load balancer. That is fine for INCOMING traffic but not so much for OUTGOING one.

I take the problem to UL then.

Me - So what should we do to send a message from this thing?
Ul - What do you mean?
Me - In the sense that there is no internet connection, so how is it supposed to send a message to an external server?
UL - Ah, yes, that's how it should work.
Me - ...nice, something that works as intended then. And how do you send the messages then?
UL - ...send?
Me - Yes. The opposite of receiving. When you have to GIVE something instead of GETTING it. You know?
UL - Hummm...

I wait a bit for an answer, then it looks like UL isn't very convinced in having to give one.

Me - If I have to do those tests, we should be able to send the messages.
UL - Yes... But we should use the load-balancer as relay.
Me - That is a nice idea, but this means that the lb should be able to talk to ALL the customers, so he should have ... what? 250 different configuration?
UL - Hemmm... I don't think we thought about it...
Me - Excusame?
UL - We discuessd this sometimes ago...
Me - You discussed this with WHO? Not with me.
UL - No with UL2.
Me - And what has UL2 to do with all this?
UL - ...and he suggested we could ask the developers if they had a solution...
Me - And you asked them?
UL - Hummmm...
Me - Ok, I'll assume that "Hummm" means "Fuck No", so, just to repeat the question: how do you think to send messages from this thing if you have no connection to the external world?
UL - Welll.. it should've been part of the tests...
Me - What the fuck are you talking about? You have a MESSAGING system, this thing should do two things: SEND messages and RECEIVE messages. How the fuck did you manage to design a system that can only do ONE of the two things? And you wanted to go in production with this thing last year! What were you thinking?
UL - Is that I didn't had the time to do the tests...
Me - The tests have nothing to do with this! This is a basic requirement of the whole system. It's like designing and building a car with no doors or windows and then thinking "how the fuck do I get in or out now?"
UL - Hemmm... when we did the migration plan didn't thought about it...
Me - The plan was made last year in March. IT'S FUCKING OCTOBER! It is 20 MONTHS LATER! NOW YOU THINK ABOUT IT??

I don't want to know what else did they "forgot"...

Davide
04/12/2020 14:33

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Comments are added when and more important if I have the time to review them and after removing Spam, Crap, Phishing and the like. So don't hold your breath. And if your comment doesn't appear, is probably becuase it wasn't worth it.

10 messages post new

Messer Franz

By Messer Franz posted 15/02/2021 07:54 - reply

> Ovviamente, quando ci sono dei problemi, il modo migliore di gestirli e'... IGNORARLI! Che vi credevate?

...ricordando che, in generale, in managerese,  "ignorarli" si dice "facciamoci dei meeting a riguardo", giusto? O stiamo parlando proprio dell'oblio così profondo che farebbe paura persino a Cthulhu?

> E' incredibile che cosa si riesce ad ottenere quando ci si prende la briga di FARE le cose eh?

Figurati, c'è gente che ADDIRITTURA riesce a realizzare dei progetti funzionanti quando decide di "fare". La fatica maggiore è nasconderlo ai manager, che sennò "ti danno una mano ad organizzare il task"...

In generale: ...un programma di messaggistica che non può mandare messaggi...dopo exchange pensavo si fosse toccato il fondo, ma la mente umana può raggiungere degli abissi che sono veramente epocali... però non temere: arriverà qualche consulente che ti chiederà di modificare la configurazione di apache e così il database si ottimizzerà e non ci saranno più problemi di attacchi hacker! Che cosa c'entra? Non te ne preoccupare, e soprattutto non preoccuparti di sapere quanto si prenderà per la sua consulenza....

-- Messer Franz

Gabriel Pappalardo

By Gabriel Pappalardo posted 15/02/2021 08:09 - reply

Ciao Davide, forse io non ne capisco più di tanto di sistemi di messaggistica, ma non era possibile semplicemente collegare il server ad Internet in modo diretto?

questo almeno per i messaggi in uscita mentre per quelli in entrata si continuerebbe ad usare il load balancer.

 

-- Gabriel Pappalardo

Davide Bianchi

@ Gabriel Pappalardo By Davide Bianchi posted 15/02/2021 12:48 - reply

ma non era possibile semplicemente collegare il server ad Internet in modo diretto?

Si', ma questa sarebbe stata la soluzione LOGICA, che sarebbe risultata immediatamente la piu' ovvia se qualcuno si fosse fermato a PENSARE a che cazzo stava facendo. Ma se hai seguito la faccenda (ed ovviamente non lo hai fatto), avrai capito che "fermarsi a pensare" non rientra negli skill di UL.

 

-- Davide Bianchi

Gabriel Pappalardo

@ Davide Bianchi By Gabriel Pappalardo posted 15/02/2021 15:54 - reply

 

ma non era possibile semplicemente collegare il server ad Internet in modo diretto?

Si', ma questa sarebbe stata la soluzione LOGICA, che sarebbe risultata immediatamente la piu' ovvia se qualcuno si fosse fermato a PENSARE a che cazzo stava facendo. Ma se hai seguito la faccenda (ed ovviamente non lo hai fatto), avrai capito che "fermarsi a pensare" non rientra negli skill di UL.

No, purtroppo l'ho seguita e so  che ul non si ferma a pensare, ma  peravo che almeno questa soluzione, in quanto semplicissima e logica, fosse stata presa in considerazione!

credo che la mia fiducia nel genere dei manager e più in generale nel genere umano stia crollando vertiginosamente.

poi comunque come è finita?

ci sono altri episodi di questa soap-opera oppure l'applicazione è stata messa in produzione senza altri casini risolvendo naturalmente quelli che già c'erano?

 

 

-- Gabriel Pappalardo

Anonymous coward

By Anonymous coward posted 15/02/2021 09:17 - reply

sospetto che oltre ad aver dimenticato "gli sportelli dell'auto" abbiano dimenticato "i freni".

Nei loro piani "qualcuno" (aka tu) se ne sarebbe "accorto"(aka gli sarebbero arrivati gozziliardi di lamentele) solo una volta lanciato su un'autostrada tedesca(aka online).

il progetto era ben dettagliato pur rimanendo conciso te lo riporto per tua comodità

"SONO TUTTI RAZZI DEL SYSADMIN

ps sentiamolo appena possibile ho la c e la r invertite"

-- Anonymous coward

Anonymous coward

By Anonymous coward posted 15/02/2021 10:37 - reply

Lo sai vero che lui prende il triplo di te? :-\)

-- Anonymous coward

Davide Bianchi

@ Anonymous coward By Davide Bianchi posted 15/02/2021 12:48 - reply

Lo sai vero che lui prende il triplo di te? :-\)

Non ricordarmelo...

 

-- Davide Bianchi

Shamus

By Shamus posted 15/02/2021 14:38 - reply

Attenzione sulla questione del "FARE le cose": TU le fai, UL si piglia tutta la gloria (e i soldi, va da sé). Vedrai che gloriosi premi di produzione si autoassegnerà quando le cose funzioneranno grazie al tuo sudore, senza condividere con te nemmeno le briciole...

-- Shamus

Anonymous coward

@ Shamus By Anonymous coward posted 17/02/2021 23:59 - reply

 

Attenzione sulla questione del "FARE le cose": TU le fai, UL si piglia tutta la gloria (e i soldi, va da sé). Vedrai che gloriosi premi di produzione si autoassegnerà quando le cose funzioneranno grazie al tuo sudore, senza condividere con te nemmeno le briciole...

------------

la cosa ha senso ed é perfettamente coerente.. UL deve produre risultati: che li produca grazie al suo sopraffino genio organizzativo o frustando i suoi schiavi, non cambia nulla ai fini dell'obbietivo da conseguire. E te lo dico da schiavo frustato. Ai BIGBOSS fottesega come i SUBBIGBOSS ottengono i risultati, purchè li ottengano.

 

 

-- Anonymous coward

Massimo M.

By Massimo M. posted 19/02/2021 19:18 - reply

A vedere il grado di imbecillita' media di quei tipi, e' cosa buona e giusta che non possano mandare messaggi.

 

-- Massimo M.

10 messages post new

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