[Mageia-marketing] Other ideas

Bradley D. Thornton Bradley at NorthTech.US
Tue Apr 3 12:43:55 CEST 2012

Hash: RIPEMD160

On 04/03/2012 02:10 AM, Romain d'Alverny wrote:
> * globally, there little, if any, direction, regarding our Web
> resources at large; I'm responsible for that. Historically, I happen
> to manage www and most of its content; I welcome contributions, but
> indeed, I'd vet them, as a maintainer; Web team is sleeping, if still
> alive; that's an issue to me too, because although I have pending
> work, so far, it's still a one-man work (such as a coming redesign for
> the home page I started to draft) and it needs more directed
> discussion, and progress with actual code and production, to go
> forward. In short, it sucks for the time being.

Well then... ;) I feel your pain :)

I've been a member of the sysadmin team now for oh, I dunno, maybe 15 or
16 months or so. I haven't bothered to try and offer any of my services
there in over a year now, however, basically because of what you and Max
have reported in the last couple of posts.

I became more than interested in MarCom primarily because of you rda. I
suppose I could dig up the post in my personal archives somewhere but I
won't so please forgive me for my paraphrasing of your statement.

You said something to the effect of, "Here on the marketing team we will
have the unenviable opportunity to be overworked, overlooked, not
acknowledged and contributing much of most. Welcome!" (I told you my
paraphrase wouldn't do you much justice lol).

I took that as a challenge, and have put forth effort where I could, and
also when I could. I almost folded a couple of times but decided to just
lay out instead because there's usually an ebb and flow.

I completely understand the lack of time when we have to work on other
things for our rice and top ramen LOL. So don't beat yourself up Romain ;)

Basically, what I am is a systems engineer and sysadmin. That's what
I've been doing since ARPAnet/MILnet days. I'm also a service provider.

To me, three or four days to process a request is bordering on
negligence. We're seeing three and four months here. It takes litterally
45 seconds to create a user account, another minute to create a database
for that person and three or four minutes to create a VirtualHost
container so they can SSH in, do their work, upload their stuff, and
dance around in ecstasy.

I had no idea that even Max, being a Team Lead, was having such... Well
I can't even begin to imagine his frustration - it far exceeds what
we've been seeing here at MarCom. At least our team itself is pretty good :)

So what I think *might* help alleviate some of the problems here, at
least wrt prototyping and sandboxing, etc., would be to offer to deploy
a Mageia box for such purposes.

The only thing that would be left *wanting* is for whomever handles the
DNS to add an A RR here and there.

I would recommend that All development of the sort that Josh has been
doing adhere to a standard convention like agile or whatev, although I
could really care less and people could actually fly by the seat of
their pants.

What I mean by that is that it is prudent, to have development take
place on a desktop or home server, and then push everything up with git
and similar RCS tools to, let's call it a staging box that I launch for

I would give the root credentials to you and/or Trish, and aside from
snapshotting it, will take no part in administration of this box. My
stuff is in a private suite in One Wilshire, all storage is on a SAN
cluster, and so far I run a 100% Proliant network farm - no commodity boxes.

I've owned my own IP blocks for twenty years that were given to me by
nic.ddn.mil back in my MILnet days and command my own reverse DNS
directly at ARIN.

At this time I can deploy a box under ESXi 5 - fully HA fault tolerant
and clustered. For what we need I figure 512MB RAM and a couple of Xeon
cores will suffice - I can make adjustments where necessary but for a
web and database server that should be more than enough unless a bunch
of people are running Eclipse or Netbeans or something.

No ircd stuff or problematic daemons like that at this time please.
Anything not mentioned just lemme know and I'll prolly give it a nod as
long as it isn't something that script kiddies like to roll around in.

If more types of database servers are needed I may need to bump the RAM
a bit if traffic gets heavy, but it should be fine for MariaDB/MySQL,
PostgreSQL, and maybe even Sybase or Oracle 9i all at the same time - I
have noncom free licenses for the latter two if anyone needs to run
stuff that off the wall.

I would prefer to wait a couple or three weeks and then deploy it under
Xen, which would completely remove me from the loop, provide you with a
virtual serial console, and you would be responsible for all
backups/snapshots yourself.

If the need is urgent I could deploy the machine under VMware, but I
will have to do the install myself and turn over the root pwd to you.

If we can wait a couple of weeks I can simply provide you with the
customer portal credentials where you can manage this server, do one
click backups, destroy/reinstall from various distros (yes Mageia is one
of them and presumably the one we want to run Mageia related stuff
under), start/stop the box, etc.

The reason we would need to wait a couple of weeks for the Xen is
because at the moment, I have no stock. my stuff is in pretty high
demand and I'm sitting on three new Proliant's that I have to configure
the iLO for and then take then down to the datacenter and rack them.
Then I have to enable the stock in inventory.

I will do no firewalling. That's up to you, and you know what the big
bad world is like out there.

Personally, on all of my own machinery, you can't even FTP - only SCP or
SFTP, often to obscure port numbers, but it's all just the same thing if
you use Dreamweaver, Filezilla, Bluefish, whatev. I also usually enable
X11-Forwarding so a simple 'ssh -Y box.sld.tld' will usually suffice to
run whichever GUI apps that one really needs on the box.

I would offer to do more, launch a box, harden it, administer security
and access, etc., but given the cold shoulder I got when I joined the
sysadmin team almost a year and a half ago I figure they should be
accountable for something.

If that works out, bear in mind I have unlimited bandwidth, unlimited
resources once I allocate them, and PB's of SAN storage.

Oh, one other thing. More than anything I was making a suggestion as to
MariaDB to be the default INSTEAD of MySQL - no one can tell the
difference anyway, except that the prompt is different and it runs
circles around MySQL - it's the same thing by the same guy, but I
suppose that's a matter for the council and packaging team to deliberate
(Just thought I'd throw that bone out there :) ).

Well, think on that. And if it's something that will benefit the
community I'm more than happy to provide it. Sorry I can't be much help
with the actual web design stuff, I wish my CSS and javascript was better.

This would enable people to have sandboxes or prototype/poc stuff
without burdening the main Mageia server resources (Mine are I'm sure
more robust anyway). Whoever holds root though, I EXPECT that they will
be responsible when it comes to DR and security, as well as the creation
of DBs and VirtualHost containers and non-priv'd user accounts so those
who need to can sandbox.

I'm sorry I'm not offering more in the way of actually managing the box
for the community, hardening, and taking on a more active management
role with it, but I just don't see the responsiveness from other parts
of the community that I would require to take on that role, let alone
the responsibility - Max, Josh, you, and others are expressing a lot of
frustration there and I'm just not willing to put in that much work w/o
knowing it will actually be utilized.

Lemme know. Or if you have any thoughts on the matter, since this is an
open ended offer take your time and moll it around with a few other
(responsible and reactive) folks in the appropriate places before
getting back to me. On or offlist.

tallship now removes removes his SA hat and puts his MarCom hat back on
coz it's fun and challenging and outside his comfort zone :)

Kindest regards,

- -- 
Bradley D. Thornton
Manager Network Services
NorthTech Computer
TEL: +1.310.388.9469  (US)
TEL: +44.203.318.2755 (UK)
TEL: +41.43.508.05.10 (CH)

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