Novice sysadmins

Rich Kulawiec rsk at
Wed Dec 6 10:52:34 CST 2017

On Tue, Dec 05, 2017 at 09:54:21AM -0700, Grant Taylor via NANOG wrote:
> The vast majority of what I've experienced in the last ~20 years has been
> people willing to help others who are trying to help themselves.

"Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it."

> If you are trying, make an honest mistake, and are willing to correct it
> when others politely let you know, you will quite likely find people willing
> to help you.  Especially if you return the favor in kind.

Yes.  That's how we all get better at this.  And when any of us learn,
we all benefit, so it's in our mutual best interest to share knowledge.
(I've learned more here than I can measure.  And I'm grateful for it.)

> If you are being a hooligan and not responding to problems reported to you
> or purposefully ~> wantonly doing things to others ... good luck.

And the latter is the problem: we are faced, unfortunately, with massive
operations that were designed, built, and deployed without the slightest
consideration for responsible behavior toward the rest of the Internet.
All the rest of us are paying the price for that arrogance, incompetence
and negligence: we're paying for it with DoS/DDoS defenses, with spam
and phish defenses, with brute-force attack defenses, with time and
money and computing resources,  with complexity, with late nights and
early mornings, with annoyed customers, and -- on the occasions when those
defenses fail -- devastating consequences for organizations and people.

These costs aren't always obvious because they're not highlighted line
items in an accounting statement.  But they're real, and they're huge.

How huge?  Well, one measure could be found in the observation that
there's now an entire -- large and growing -- market segment that
exists solely to mitigate the fallout from these operations.

And those same massive operations are doing everything they possibly
can to avoid hearing about any of this.  That's why [email protected] is effectively
hardwired to /dev/null.  And I note with interest that nobody from AWS
has had the professionalism to show up in this thread and say "Gosh, we're
sorry.  We screwed up.  We'll try to do better.  Can you help us?"

Because we would.


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