Solarwinds Geek Speak


I wrote a few articles for the Solarwinds Geek Speak blog that I’d like to share. They are short articles, but I think you’ll find some value in each. Start with the 80/20 rule below post below and read the rest if you have the time.

The 80-20 Rule of Analysis and Optimisation

Start with Continuous Improvement, then do DevOps

The pain of network variation – part 1

The pain of network variation – part 2

A disclaimer: Solarwinds didn’t ask me to promote these posts –  I’m sharing them because they’re posts I would have otherwise published on this blog.

Add a comment below if anything strikes a chord, or if you want to disagree, correct me, etc.


The Feynman Principle


Richard Feynman

Interviews often start with softball questions like…

So why are you interested in working for our company?

This question gives the candidate an easy way to warm-up and could give the interviewer some insights into the candidate. I’ve asked this question many time and sometimes heard a reply like..

I really want to learn about large scale networks. My current network is too small and is limiting my progress.

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Strain relief

I’ve got a problem with sagging cables, and I’ve got a simple solution. Examine the side-by-side images below which show the same fiber connection between a switch and a firewall. The image on the left shows a sagging cable which crosses in front of the switch in the rack unit just below it.

As you may know, this cabling install is a violation of the 167th rule of networking:

Thou shalt contain your cables to your own rack unit and shalt not, under any circumstances, impede access to other rack units or blades.

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Effectiveness – Network Truths, Principles and Fallacies

I gave a 13-minute talk to the Irish Network Operators Group (INOG) recently. In this 13-minute video I argue that you can become more effective, and happier, by standing back and reflecting on how you work, leveraging existing truths, fallacies and principles.

I introduce The twelve networking truths and the 8 Fallacies of Distributed Computing. I then describe a handful of my own learnings and fancy terms like Chestertons Fence and the Gordian Knot.

Check out the video folks, I’d love your feedback.

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Clear Pricing for Network Services

I had to buy some switches recently and needed to gather a second quote from another vendor. I went to the Dell website and was pleasantly surprised to quickly find a clear price and a buy-now button for each device on their website.

Normally you’d need an account of the vendors portal to get this information, so it is refreshing to have straightforward access to clear hardware pricing. However it was the list of professional services options shown in the attached image that caught my eye. Continue reading