Tuesday, May 27, 2014

10th ITS European Congress: A hot June in Helsinki



Are you in Helsinki in June? I'll be speaking at the ITS Helsinki Congress 2014. The largest Intelligent Transport System event in Europe. Join me, I'll buy you a beer 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Outsourcing and insourcing

A couple of days ago I had a short conversation about a company insourcing IT systems previously outsourced. IT is like other professional environments. There are strategies changing not really for technical reasons but only because they look cool according to the fashion of the moment.

I.e.: the very first modern IT operating architecture was a monumental mainframe connected to several dumb terminals. A central empowered intelligence organized in virtual machines to serve several applications assigning dynamically computational resources (are you so old to know what MVS/VMS mean?).
After, this kind of organization, probably also due to high maintenance costs, started to appear a bit fascist and every desk has been equipped with its own workstation. It can be considered the SUN/SGI/HP anarchist golden age when every hippie owned his/her "root" password to precipitate SAs groups in the worst nightmare of IT era.
Currently, a central intelligence distributing resources to (not so, but almost) dumb terminals looks cool again. So we have rack mounted blade servers running virtual servers in a way that not differs so much from MVS mainframes.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

e2Call research paper accepted for 10th ITS European Congress

Last Friday I was informed that the paper describing my e2Call research submitted to 10th ITS European Congress has been accepted as an "Interesting and timely topic". So it will be necessary some work to prepare the final paper submission that will be published in the online congress proceedings.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Being a Facilitator of Chaos

As described in one of my previous posts, being a system administrator in the IT business world is not like to supervise an assembly line.
A software development factory or a data center offering IT services are very complex systems with many unpredictable events to manage and control.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Capacity Planning: Do Know (measure) your Environment

As I wrote in my previous post, capacity planning for IT business is a real challenge. There are no reasons to make it harder than it already is.
For this reason, you have to keep in mind that capacity planning isn't some kind of esoteric guess, but only a disciplined engineering procedure.
Yes, I know. Appearing like a kind of Computer Guru making predictions with a four cpus Glass Ball can be really helpful in dating ladies. The scientific approach in analyzing reality hasn't the same appeal. Unfortunately our first duty is to serve IT business, so the work has to follow a well disciplined procedure.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

mafia Encrypted Messaging Lessons

As I wrote in past, I used to help Police work in specific investigations where a mix of knowledge between the military and information technology was required.
Encryption wasn't born with computers. It is an ancient discipline and one of the best lessons of my professional life comes from a 72 years old, almost illiterate, mafia  boss.

Previous investigations had shown that this person had been able to give orders to his organization when he was serving a life sentence under the strong controls provided by prison in solitary confinement rules of Italian Article 41-bis prison regime.

General De Gaulle at BBC Radio Londres


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Capacity Planning Basics

This is the first, and I hope not the last, of several posts that I want to write about the activity that I consider the "state of art" for a System Administrator: the capacity planning.
As every activity that tries to define the complex systems behavior in the future, capacity planning requires deep knowledge,  discipline, science, a great experience and a bit of luckiness. Is not easy to find all these stuff in just one person, especially the last. So, in every company, there are many programmers, some SA's and just few capacity planners.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

System Administration and Crime: The Really Hidden Data

Having competences both in system administration and in the military is sometime useful. Especially when I'm involved in Police operations to discover systems used by our fellow system administrators working for the dark side of the Force.
Yes, the first interesting thing is that crime uses Information Technology at the highest level not only to stole data but also to manage information about its business. If you still imagine mob guys acting like James Gandolfini in "The Sopranos" you need to update your eeprom. The lower level of crime organizations, people carrying guns and shooting each other, is only the tip of the iceberg. The real danger are people wearing tuxedo.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

MASELTOV: A System Administrator Helping Migrants

IT is all about data. That's definitely true. But, what about people? I'm not talking of wealthy customers ready to get in line for a couple of days just to be the first silly dude owning the last gold plated smartphone model. This kind of people are well placed in the middle of the heart of our companies. That's the business, baby. The business! And there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing!
Sometimes it is sad to think that we spend so more time to assure five nines uptime in order to let someone update his/her status on facebook to let the whole world know of his/her new toy.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sending Our Probes Around: The Intelligent Transport System

As we already wrote, IT is all about data. Mining data is like to extract gold with the difference that data are useful, gold is simply rare.
The whole world is a data mine, not only Internet, books or documents. Please, pay attention about the fact that sources of data and the media used to share information are often mixed up and this is really a great logical pitfall. The data (well collected and artfully analyzed) describe phenomena, any kind of media only shares the information. When the media start creating facts, we became all George Orwell characters.

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