Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Five common mistakes that Linux IT managers make

Filed under
OSS

After seeing the same mistakes repeated by different IT managers over the years, I've noticed a pattern of common errors. Here are the five common mistakes, along with tips for avoiding them.

Mistake #1: Reactive, not proactive

The number one mistake made by IT managers of all stripes is to carry out their duties by reacting to problems only as they come up, rather than looking ahead to potential problems and having a solution in place ahead of time. This trait isn't unique to IT managers, but it can be a fatal flaw when the head of an IT department fails to take a proactive approach.

For example, proactive IT managers make sure they have disaster plans in place rather than trying to implement a disaster plan on the fly. A good IT manager will have plans to deal with hardware failure, natural disaster, compromised systems, and any other problem that might crop up. If you spend most of your time putting out fires, you're probably not being proactive enough -- or you're still cleaning up the previous manager's messes.

A proactive manager plans for the future in terms of capacity planning, upgrades, and support. What happens when an application outgrows a single server, for example? How difficult will it be to deploy on multiple servers, and is this even possible? When deploying open source software, you'll want to assess the health of the community that supports it. If it's a project without a long history and an active developer community, it may not be the best choice. Projects like Samba and Apache are safe bets, while a project that made its SourceForge debut three weeks ago is risky business.

Many organizations experience costly growing pains because the IT infrastructure wasn't planned with an eye to the future. You may only need to support five or 50 users now, but what about three to five years down the road? If that seems like it's too far off to worry about, you've already failed.

When it comes to hardware, be picky and choose servers and equipment that will have a long life span and support. Be cautious about choosing non-standard hardware with binary-only kernel modules. The vendor may provide support and upgrades now, but what happens if it chooses to stop supporting a piece of hardware after a few years? That leaves you with the choice of ditching hardware or not being able to upgrade the kernel.

Mistake #2: Failing to emphasize documentation and training

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

Citrix and Google partner to bring native enterprise features to Chromebooks

Chromebooks are making inroads into the education sector, and a push is coming for the enterprise with new native Chrome capabilities from Citrix. Google and Citrix have announced Citrix Receiver for Chrome, a native app for the Chromebook which has direct access to the system resources, including printing, audio, and video. To provide the security needed for the enterprise, the new Citrix app assigns a unique Receiver ID to each device for monitoring, seamless Clipboard integration across remote and local applications, end user experience monitoring with HDX Insight, and direct SSL connections. Read more

Is Open Source an Open Invitation to Hack Webmail Encryption?

While the open source approach to software development has proven its value over and over again, the idea of opening up the code for security features to anyone with eyeballs still creates anxiety in some circles. Such worries are ill-founded, though. One concern about opening up security code to anyone is that anyone will include the NSA, which has a habit of discovering vulnerabilities and sitting on them so it can exploit them at a later time. Such discoveries shouldn't be a cause of concern, argued Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP, the encryption scheme Yahoo and Google will be using for their webmail. Read more

Changing times, busy times and why Google will save Usenet.

Linux however has succeeded by way of form factors diversifying. Be it Android phones or tablets there is a big shift with the mainstream consumer in terms of what devices they want and here Linux has excelled. In 2008 my decision remove my Microsoft dependency was for reasons of the control they had on the desktop, the practices alleged against them and the dubious tactics some of their advocates used to promote the products. I also wholeheartedly agree with the ethos of FOSS which was another contributory factor. Today, my feelings about FOSS have not changed, there are caveats to my opinions of FOSS (especially in gaming) but I’ve covered that before in other articles. Today I avoid Microsoft not because I feel the need to make a stand against its behaviour, its because I don’t need them. I support Microsoft being a “choice” in the market as I support user freedom, but as for what Microsoft can offer me (regardless of its past) there is nothing. Read more

Eltechs Debuts x86 Crossover Platform for ARM Tablets, Mini-PCs

The product, called ExaGear Desktop, runs x86 operating systems on top of hardware devices using ARMv7 CPUs. That's significant because x86 software, which is the kind that runs natively on most computing platforms today, does not generally work on ARM hardware unless software developers undertake the considerable effort of porting it. Since few are likely to do that, having a way to run x86 applications on ARM devices is likely to become increasingly important as more ARM-based tablets and portable computers come to market. That said, the ExaGear Desktop, which Eltechs plans to make available next month, currently has some steep limitations. First, it only supports Ubuntu Linux. And while Eltechs said support for additional Linux distributions is forthcoming, there's no indication the product will be able to run x86 builds of Windows on ARM hardware, a feat that is likely to be in much greater demand than Linux compatibility. Read more