Skip to main content

Making a case for a purchase to management

An issue I've come across many times now is how to properly present a purchase request to your manager/his boss. There are occasional managers who will just take your word for it, but some (hopefully most) will question the need for it. As a technical person, I find it really easy to get caught up in what something can do rather than why we need it in the first place.

Case in point.

An upgrade was required for some KVM servers - more RAM required - and I put through the request for purchase to my superior. He sent it over to the director, who immediately shot back an email requiring a really nice reason to approve it. After some futzing about via email (I was out of the office that day), it became clear that he was fine approving it, but we needed to make the case as to WHY he should approve it. Frankly we needed to prove it to ourselves first, but he was technically-competent and was not just going to stamp everything 'a-ok'.

There was a clear reason to me and my co-workers why the RAM upgrade was needed - existing VMs were using 10GB, and only the primary KVM host had enough RAM to run them. If it needed to fail over to the secondary KVM host, bad news bears. If we needed to use the backup host, bad news bears. So two servers needed upgrading from 4GB to 16GB.

Wait, you say - 16GB? I thought you said 10GB.

*Blank stares from us.*

A nice stereotype we've set up for ourselves, eh?

What we should have said was:
  1. CentOS requires 1GB overhead.
  2. VM1/2 require 3GB each, thus 6GB.
  3. VM3 requires 1GB.
  4. VM4 requires 2GB.
Total of 10GB just to function at present levels. Now, to be prudent, we should never run at more than 80% capacity - this means we need a minimum of 12GB (note these are all 2GB sticks). Furthermore, to allow for future expansion, we should set ourselves up at 60% capacity, thus 16GB total.

Can you make a case for future expansion?

Yessir, we want to virtualize Physical1 and Physical2 in the near future, each requiring 1GB, bringing the total up to 12GB to function, 14GB as a minimum, and 16GB is a nice medium in-between.

Instead of spending a morning emailing back and forth, one tidily summarized email of the above could have resulted in a single 'approved' email, and less wasted time all around. I will strive to put this method into practice.

As a side note, the more money you want, the more research/proof you need. This was a relatively inexpensive venture, so one proper email would have sufficed. If we're talking a SAN expansion...better make sure you have your ducks in a row and every reason accounted for.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DFSR - eventid 4312 - replication just won't work

This warning isn't documented that well on the googles, so here's some google fodder:


You are trying to set up replication for a DFS folder (no existing replication)Source server is 2008R2, 'branch office' server is 2012R2 (I'm moving all our infra to 2012R2)You have no issues getting replication configuredYou see the DFSR folders get created on the other end, but nothing stagesFinally you get EventID 4312:
The DFS Replication service failed to get folder information when walking the file system on a journal wrap or loss recovery due to repeated sharing violations encountered on a folder. The service cannot replicate the folder and files in that folder until the sharing violation is resolved.  Additional Information:  Folder: F:\Users$\user.name\Desktop\Random Folder Name\  Replicated Folder Root: F:\Users$  File ID: {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}-v0  Replicated Folder Name: Users  Replicated Folder ID: 33F0449D-5E67-4DA1-99AC-681B5BACC7E5  Replication Group…

Fixing duplicate SPNs (service principal name)

This is a pretty handy thing to know:

SPNs are used when a specific service/daemon uses Kerberos to authenticate against AD. They map a specific service, port, and object together with this convention: class/host:port/name

If you use a computer object to auth (such as local service):
MSSQLSVC/tor-sql-01.domain.local:1433

If you use a user object to auth (such as a service account, or admin account):
MSSQLSVC/username:1433

Why do we care about duplicate SPNs? If you have two entries trying to auth using the same Kerberos ticket (I think that's right...), they will conflict, and cause errors and service failures.

To check for duplicate SPNs:
The command "setspn.exe -X

C:\Windows\system32>setspn -X
Processing entry 7
MSSQLSvc/server1.company.local:1433 is registered on these accounts:
CN=SERVER1,OU=servers,OU=resources,DC=company,DC=local
CN=SQL Admin,OU=service accounts,OU=resources,DC=company,DC=local

found 1 groups of duplicate SPNs. (truncated/sanitized)

Note that y…

Logstash to Nagios - alerting based on Windows Event ID

This took way longer than it should have to get going...so here's a config and brain dump...

Why?
You want to have a central place to analyze Windows Event/IIS/local application logs, alert off specific events, alert off specific situations.  You don't have the budget for a boxed solution.  You want pretty graphs.  You don't particularly care about individual server states.  (see rationale below - although you certainly have all the tools here to care, I haven't provided that configuration)

How?
ELK stack, OMD, NXlog agent, and Rsyslog.  The premise here is as follows:

Event generated on server into EventLogNXlog ships to Logstash inputLogstash filter adds fields and tags to specified eventsLogstash output sends to a passive Nagios service via the Nagios NSCA outputThe passive service on Nagios (Check_MK c/o OMD) does its thing w. alerting
OMD
Open Monitoring Distribution, but the real point here is Check_MK (IIRC Icinga uses this...).  It makes Nagios easy to use and main…