Monday, September 26, 2011

dumb network policies and systems practices

"jump server". just the term itself conjures up an image of "getting around" security or the network. it's a HACK. unless there's a big problem with your network, you should be able to allow access directly to the server you need to get to. connecting to one host just to connect to another host is retarded.

the only thing that is a potential benefit is that you're essentially forcing any network communication through one protocol (which can subsequently be circumvented on the jump server, depending) and (again, depending on the jump server) authenticating twice.

the bad things? it's incredibly, incredibly slow to transfer files. functionality with different protocols becomes broken. and you're circumventing the firewalls and network security. once you tunnel to the jump box it becomes much more difficult to determine who is connecting to where (after the jump box). and attacks on the internal network get much more interesting, not to mention if you escalate privs on the jump box you can piggyback any connection any other user is making from the jump box. not to mention you're forcing a new layer of complication onto your users so doing their job becomes more of a hassle - which almost by definition inspires people to break good convention for the sake of convenience. not to mention it's a waste of resources.

systems guys, don't jerk your users around. if there's a way you can get something done quicker, do it. for example: resizing logical partitions in a VM guest.

if your user wants 10GB more added to their work partition, get a procedure in place so you can do it live. rebooting the server should not be necessary for most admin tasks on a unix host.

don't believe me? read this blog post explaining how to extend an LVM volume while the box is still up. hey, now i don't have to wait a day to keep doing my work on a server which was allocated way fewer resources than it should have had!

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