Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Open Engineering: snmpXdmid follow-up

Just for kicks I did a search on Google for the same problem I encountered only a few days ago: How to disable snmpXdmid in Solaris 10. The first time I searched for this information I found a wealth of Solaris 8 and 9 information, but very little about Solaris 10, and nothing about the alleged bug in SMF.

After finding the solution, I posted to this blog documenting the answer. Having given the Googlebots a little time to work their magic, I returned to the scene of the crime and entered the following search query: "disable snmpXdmid Solaris 10". SolarisJedi shows up in the #3 position for that query with all the information necessary for remediation. It feels pretty good knowing that someone else might get to complete a job in five minutes rather than five hours.

While I was riding the warm-fuzzy, I started thinking about how many large Corporations with legions of skilled SAs and Engineers maintain private knowledge bases rather than using public resources. I'm not talking about internal problems and proprietary issues - I'm talking about solving problems related to the generic off the shelf products they leverage. Let's face it, there isn't much proprietary about sendmail and DNS other than perhaps some parameters that are easily scraped clean.

Companies like Sun Microsystems have really paved the way of the future by encouraging their employees to blog, and trusting that proper standards of professionalism will be maintained. I believe Sun recognized that many of the problems they generate revenue from solving are based on the Internet's ability to act as a research assistant. I'd like to see more IT professionals invest back in the community.

One of the points in the System Administrator's Code of Ethics, a joint statement by LOPSA, USENIX, and SAGE, is the following:

RESPONSIBILITY TO THE COMPUTING COMMUNITY: I will cooperate with the larger computing community to maintain the integrity of network and computing resources.

Sometimes the definition of "network and computing resources" is one of hardware and software, but I suspect that other times it ought to apply to the operators of those resources since you cannot have one without the other.

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