Monday, May 31, 2010

The Information Paradox

Almost every IT shop has a methodology. Where I'm currently working, they're using Macroscope which, from what I see in the IT market in Montreal, has been in good use around many places here for two decades (I even studied one of its ancestors in College in 1994)

Fujitsu is now in charge of that methodology, and they offer for free an electronic version of a book named The Information Paradox which, I thought, could have helped me understand better that methodology.

I was dead wrong. I tried reading the first two chapters and couldn't finish a paragraph without phasing out and thinking about, oh, various subjects such as home improvement, Star Trek, Bangladesh or Yonge Street. Yep, that's right, a technical guy like me just cannot read this book and remain sane. It's all talk about IT Portfolio, governance, and some other nonsense which doesn't ring a bell. But who actually reads this book? Lots of people, it seems, and I figure they're all working for what I used to call the IT Gestapo. Now that I jumped the barrier to architecture, they're supposed to be my friends now. Yet this friendship is only on paper; I think I'll never be able to share a beer with such people who would talk about IT portfolio the same way I talk about, say, the latest FreeBSD release.

So it looks like with a B.Sc., I'm not qualified to read that damn book. And it's fair game: people with B.A.'s could probably never understand why APUE is one of my favorite books.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

QLogic disabled BIOS in a blade can cause problems

Today I was called for help concerning a weird problem with blades that "didn't work" on the Virtual Connect FC. I'm no longer a sysadmin and shouldn't know anything but since I've worked with blades for three years, I must have become some kind of hot property at my new workplace. :)

In this case, the WWNs of the blades never showed up in Brocade's fabric manager, even though the configuration of the VC domain seemed correct with all profiles set correctly. I double checked everything -- most of the configuration in the VC-FC was correct, except a few missing things but nothing spectacular.

These blades had no OS installed yet, so the QLogic HBA driver couldn't be brought up to initialize the HBAs... thus the fabrics could never detect them. That should be expected to be "normal", but not so: how are you supposed to boot on SAN if you can't even install the OS in the first place?

Turns out that the QLogic BIOS was disabled on all the blades. Calling-up the BIOS configuration with CTRL-Q, and enabling it for all SAN-connected blades, fixed the problem.