Letting a Customer Out of Their Contract

By |August 3, 2023|Categories: Business|

I've run a few companies over the years, and one inevitably wants out of contact with you. Maybe they're going out of business, or their business has changed and they no longer need your services. To make this decision, you need to weigh some data: What is the value of the contract they want out of compared to your entire customer revenue stream? A small percentage or a large one? What are the circumstances of their situation? Are they going out of business (inevitable) or just wanting a new vendor? Are you ready to ruin the relationship with the people [...]

Everything you could possibly want to know about Internet Email – Part 1

By |May 11, 2023|Categories: Email|

In this series of posts, I'm going to share what I know about email. Over the last 20 years, I've learned to set up, diagnose, and do just about everything with email that you can imagine at any scale. In this series, I'll be talking about email over the Internet, which uses protocols like SMTP and IMAP. I won't be talking about the inner workings of commercial email software like Exchange. Understanding how email is sent As mentioned above, email works with a few protocols, and the one used to send email is SMTP. The idea here is the sender's [...]

Figuring out US TIme zones

By |March 14, 2023|Categories: General|

Twice a year, many people in IT often get mixed up by time zones in the US. Understandably, as it is a little tricky to wrap your head around. Here are some tips when sorting it all out in the US. Timezones in the US change twice a year, in the fall and spring, with an offset of 1 hour in either direction. The exception to #1 are the States of Arizona and Hawai'i - they never change their clocks like the rest of the US. In the spring, around March, the US switches to Daylight Savings Time, so we [...]

Consider Benevolent Dictatorships

By |January 1, 2023|Categories: Business|

I've started, run, and sold a few successful companies. Each one was different from the last one because I was constantly learning. But early on, I took on a management method that I used throughout my career - I ran each as a Benevolent Dictatorship. Now before you go looking it up on Wikipedia, it's a term I used with my own definition. A Benevolent Dictatorship, in my terms, means I was very interested in other opinions on problems as they often brought me to see new ideas. Opinions of others added a perspective that fleshed out details I didn't [...]

Why Use Zabbix Templates?

By |December 20, 2022|Categories: Zabbix|

There's nothing as tedious as setting up the same type of server over and over, adding the same Items and Triggers. In any environment, we tend to use the same types of servers because we've standardized on them. It could be in your house ("My family is all on Apple products") or at work ("We're a Linux and Windows shop").  So if you're setting up 20 laptops, it's the same Items and Triggers on each one. To handle this headache, Zabbix uses Templates to make the configuration easier. At the Host level, you can add Items and Triggers one by [...]

Why Use Zabbix Global Macros?

By |December 12, 2022|Categories: Zabbix|

Once your Zabbix configuration starts to monitor for that a few hundred Items, you're going to be relying heavily on Templates. Along with using Templates to replicate the monitoring of more than one server, you probably need to start using Global Macros. The concept of a Template is "write once, use many", and Global Macros are very similar. An example might be a license key for an external service or the credentials for an internal service (there are better ways of storing secrets), perhaps a SQL database that is used just for Zabbix. Using these credentials and values scattered throughout [...]

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