There's even some good news from the work front: they've opened up access to the money in my budget that lets me acquire some new network and server management software. I've been waiting for 6 months for this, and now it's time to roll it out. The downside to this is that the management has set a highly aggressive timeline for the implementation -- mid-February, a completely unreasonable goal. I don't know if we'll necessarily make it, but I aim to do my best. This is a challenge to me, and because it's something that really is right up my alley (computer software that runs on fast-fast servers and talks via obscure protocols to my network equipment and servers? Yeah, that's definately something I like) I'm excited about the challenge. Randy Wheeler, the other guy who will be involved in this project, is also rather excited about the chance to finally implement this system. So we're rising to the occasion and doing it all the right way the first time to prevent any unforseen, stupid delays. Maybe, just maybe, we can pull this off. If we do, we're going to look very cool. Finally, something I'm excited and happy about at work. If they'd let me slip my leash in this manner more often I'd be a lot more pleasant person to work with; I'd probably be about a hundred fold more productive, too. Oh well, I suppose I should count my blessings where I can.
Last night I did something that was both incredibly cool and yet rather stupid in terms of risk. My new 18 gig drive arrived for "panther," the main server I administer on my home network. Yes, I know there are 120 gig HDs available for PCs these days. This is a SCSI-2 system, and drives for it in that size aren't something I can afford even on my salary. Add to the equation that SCSI continues to be more reliable and a hell of a lot more expandable and I'll settle for my "paltry" 18 gigs (I remember when you were the bomb if you had a 650 meg drive!). I had an internal drive bay all lined up for it but didn't want to take the system down to install the disk, as is the usual (even prescribed) method. I eyeballed the drive for a little bit, then decided Hey, it's an SCA connector, it's worth a shot. Worst that can happen is that the box crashes. I popped open the case, slapped the drive in, closed the case again and stood back with crossed fingers. I could hear the disk powering up, and there was no sound of heads meeting platters or processors catching on fire. Hurrah, I have met with success and installed the disk into the chassis without crashing the server! Okay, now comes the next tricky part: I have to get the operating system to see the drive without forcing a reconfiguration reboot. Thankfully I've done this a time or two on the UE-450s at work, which quite clearly state they support hot-swap/add/removal of disks and components. I could only hope that my system had the same level of intelligence designed in. Luckily, my hopes were not in vain, at least it seemed that way so far. The problem I ran into was that I was able to remember only one of the two commands necessary to detect and configure a hot-added drive. After running that lone command I still couldn't see my disk, which didn't really surprise me but did leave me feeling a bit frustrated. The knowledge was there, dancing around in the back of my head and mocking me the way a word that you "just can't spit out even though it's on the tip of your tongue" does. So I brought out my old friend man(1) and did a little research, using the command I remembered as a starting point. Pretty shortly I came to the "See Also" section of the "disks" man page and that was where I found the other magical command I needed. Okay, good, so I know the commands I need. What order do I need to run them in? Well, let's try "disks" and then "drvconfig." No good? How about "drvconfig" and then "disks?" Yep, that was the one! I got Solaris to rebuild the device tree on the fly and add the disk into the chain. Let me tell you, folks... this is something I still have yet to see a PC do with any sort of ease, minus server-class equipment from Dell or Compaq (Keep in mind that my so-called "server" is just a SUN Microsystems Ultra 2, which is discontinued and described as a desktop-class workstation on their website). I was immensely pleased with how well that drive installation went. I didn't have to adversely impact my uptime (I take great pride in the uptime my systems achieve) and I didn't have to adversely impact the service I provide to my users, as well as the IRC network I am a part of.
Bleah, I've a staff meeting in 30 minutes. With luck it'll be short and sweet, and I can get back to my main task of rolling out OpenView Operations.
If there's somebody calling me on, she's the one