Take a look at the new HP Procurve switches, or more specifically, the OS….
Out of the box set up is about 6 things you have to select by console, then you get a http gui that actually works, not a “it’s all there somewhere if you know the nomenclature” sort of web based gui you get with Draytek, but with visual representations and iconography and mouse click and drag select for a whole bunch of ports etc.
Of course you should disable the web gui from the console once done, but as a management tool it rocks.
Petersen in the states did a book years ago for HD, what fits what, can you put shovel barrels on a pan bottom end? and a knuck head on that? and so on? The Petersen book would tell you…… bit like the arcane knowledge that the old Bedford 6 cylinder petrol pistons would fit a BSA 440 single, with a minor mod in the lathe.
In my day job not a day goes by when I do not see questions such as will an 1921 ABC work in place of an 1921 BCD, and will IOS 124.22.t5 work in place of IOS 124.24.t3?
Of course the answers are that a lot of the times these things do work OK, provided you never unexpectedly hit an edge condition, where suddenly and unexpectedly it all just stops working….. yesterday’s two jobs were a bit like that, 29xx series Cisco with various ehwic cards, including a xdsl one for the adsl line, on which hangs 12 desks, all with a desktop PC running Citrix cloud, and a VOIP phone… the wonder in many ways is that it works at all….. the fix was as arcane and mystical, replace the apparently not faulty ehwic, rj11 cable and microfilter, oh, which just happens to mean powering down and restarting the system…. yippee, it works.
The Engineer in me weeps like a tortured soul, no smoking gun was found, so no fault can be declared to have been found and no fix declared to have been implemented, but with parts and all that’s 500 quid that cost someone…
The Engineer in me sees that Citrix / XenApp works when the client machines are running an office app, and that office app is word or excel or outlook, not powerpoint, and no other massive data streams like big powerpoints or streaming video in a browser, hello youtube, iplayer, or most fucking commercial websites now with flash video, just the basic three office productivity apps and NOTHING ELSE, you want about 256k per desktop, which is 5x what Citrix say is the minimum, even though Citrix refuse to answer this question with anything except “it depends”.
So 4 per meg, so you go to a adsl site and it’s getting 12 meg… DOWN, the a in adsl stands for async, so it’s getting 1.2 meg UP, so no more than 5 desktops running the basic 3 office productivity apps, or it gets sluggish…. and into this they have 12 desktops AND 12 VOIP phones.
Of course everyone lied to make all those sales, so saying “Guys, you need a 10 meg up/down line, either EFM or fibre” makes all those earlier sales lies obvious lies…. so whereas the xdsl connection is 30 quid a month for “12 meg”, a “10 meg” EFM circuit will start at 350 a month, plus install fees etc etc etc.
For a 12 desk office this is a pound a desk a day, which should be a no-brainer when it comes to productivity, but all the bean-counters see is 12 x 350 = another £4,200 a year blown out the window.
The cost of the office, light and heat, the desktops, the voip phones, the cisco kit itself, the managed switch, the vpn, blow all this away, somewhere in there is 12 x bags of meat on salary.
Fact is, NASA ****RAN**** the fucking Mars rover over a 56k connection with *staggering* latency, so really, 12/1.5 meg xdsl *is* enough to run a small 12 desk office, even one routinely dealing in high quality photos such as an estate agent / realtor.
1.5 mbit/sec = 5 gigabytes in an 8 hour day, it really is enough.
Provided you don’t play with broken things.
There is good anarchy and bad anarchy, what I see every single day of my working life is bad anarchy, there is no discipline, no order, no consistency, no integrity, no pride in workmanship, so instead of saying 12/1.5 is actually plenty good enough for a 12 desk office, provided we do shit right, so lets do shit right and make doing shit right a core part of the employment contract, what I do see is a bunch of separatist isolated groups all looking to their own ends and not quite in open hostilities with each other, but he who gets the most bucks wins.
In a previous life as a Marine Engineer I used to work for millionaires and billionaires, fixing their yachts, a conversation I had time and time and time again was regarding the full time engineers on said yachts, if they could do their fucking job, I would not have had one, so I did not complain.
That shit is OK when it is some rich asshole’s private floating palace, that shit is not OK when it is every commercial ship on the sea, plane in the sky, or train on the tracks, or truck on the roads.
Name me one of any of the above, shipping company, airline, railroad or trucking company, that does all their own maintenance and repairs… go on… just name me one…
USED to be so, ain’t any more.
And now it has come to the telco’s and providers and everyone else in the digital age, enter yours truly, representing a different high street comms brand every day, depending on job and location.
This is BAD anarchy.
You’ve all heard of BT, British Telecom, well lets say I work for ACME corp.
Let’s say WalMart get into business as an ISP, effectively reselling a BT product, business connectivity.
So we have the end user, Wibble Enterprises, buying / renting “a thing”, that thing being internet connectivity etc, but that thing itself being comprised of a consortium of different folks, BT, WalMart, Cisco, Citrix, etc etc
Nobody in that consortium can fix the shit they supply, they can’t do it in house, they outsources and externalised all that shit getting lean and mean, they go to AMCE corp, who deploy me.
Last week I heard a guy, in his 50’s, ex BT, ex Kingston, ex Compaq, and he alone could do every single job from running the new cable from the street cabinet into the premises right up to configuring the switch and router and imaging the pc’s and everything else, and he was talking about “the good old days”… those good old days being when he could earn 2.5k in a single months.
Really, 30k a year is the fucking good old days for a guy as multiskilled as that? who could actually walk the walk?
ACME corp of course don’t value him, or me, as much of anything, minimum wage slaves who should be grateful for a fucking job.
So you tell me, when this shit breaks, which it will, because nobody gives a fuck about a rental car, and I mean breaks properly, not the ongoing attrition of anarchy that we have now, who is going to fix it?
ACME can’t, it’s not their property, all they have is a head office somewhere, and they don’t do shit unless they are paid anyway, and that anarchy too, the guys at the bottom away from that head office get fuck all, the guys in head office get spectacular salaries.
BT can’t, they don’t have the skills in house any more…. and of course there are other players that have to be included, you’ll need some Cisco kit, you’ll need some HP kit, some Avaya kit, some RAD kit, some Dell kit, and some copper to join it all up, and the last copper wire factory in the UK shut down years ago, so basically the only thing that doesn’t need importing is yours truly, dumb shit of the month ACME employee.
Which all means shit gets done without committee meetings and project scoping and management and costing exercises and estimates and quotes and job tickets and work orders and invoicing and billing and suppliers and couriers and a whole load of other shit I can’t be bothered to type.
Which is basically the worst possible model you can have to try to remedy catastrophic failure.
And even that, that depends on the catastrophic failure being an isolated event, not just one in a chain of cascade failures, because then they simply cannot even fix one single isolated failure, because other failures have removed their ability to do that.
Honestly, you have to see the utter helplessness that is a modern office, with cloud compute and VOIP phones, when the internet connection goes down, there is literally NOTHING they can do except drink coffee and chat and update fuckbook on their mobiles.
Then *I* will be dispatched on to site, and even here, in 2014, in the western world, with 4g on my phones right here as I type and a 100 mbit down 10 mbit up home cable connection right here as I type, I will get on site and wait two hours for the courier to bring the new Cisco box, and then I will discover that not only is the IOS on it wrong, none of the 630 IOS bin images I have on my laptop is right either, and there is no data signal for my work mobe on site, so no way to download the 40 meg IOS file or the 50k config file or to allow the 3rd line support guys in Mumbai to team-view in, and that shit happens at least once a month…. and this is when there isn’t a crisis and the mobe network does actually work, so I can get in the car with laptop and mobe and drive a mile or two until I can get a 3g signal and download the IOS and config…. no 9/11 / new orleans here thank you very much.
And right down at the end of that chain of bullshit, you get guys like me and the other fucker whining about the good old days when he could pull in a whole 30k a year, yeah, we could actually fix that shit, but we are unemployed, so it would be trespass, and let’s face it, no fucker would listen to us anyway.
LRFH, just noticed, on the left of this wordpress page, the menu, bottom item “Collapse menu”… yeah, always was a sucker for wordplay.