Patching, updates and change control

Another regular round of patching this week.

My Active Directory DC and primary Kerberos box needed updating from Windows 2003 SP1 to Windows 2003 SP2.

The update had been on the list for a while, but because of the importance of it for authentication for all workstations and PAM/Kerberos on the Linux systems it never found a window.

I started the work while at home taking calls today – and for some reason SP2 just didn’t want to install. Multiple errors complaining about INF file validity and internal errors.

In the end I had to remove SP1 and install SP2 onto the rolled back server. I’m going to be testing everything this evening to make sure nothing drastic changed.

What was planned to be a 30 minute outage with a rollback of ‘uninstall the SP2’ turned into a more complex change. Uninstall SP1; rollback to re-install SP1. Install SP2. Rollback to uninstall SP2. Final recovery – restore from backup.

The moral – even with good change control the unexpected happens.

Ximian – five years ago

It was five years ago this week that Novell acquired Ximian.

I clearly remember heading to the Ximian offices at the back of Fenway Park in Boston a few weeks after the acquisition; my task was to meet with the Red Carpet Enterprise team and work on integration plans with ZENworks.

I arrived at the offices at around 8.30am – and waited until around 9.15 before someone turned up. The RCE team started heading in at around lunch time. I quickly learned that they worked like me 🙂 Work late, up late.

So started one of the most rewarding and exciting times of my time at Novell. The Red Carpet Enterprise team were an incredible team – I don’t think any of us are left at Novell.

RCE evolved into ZENworks Linux Management and then became the underpinning technology for ZENworks Configuration Management.