Vol. 22, #23 - June 05, 2017 - Issue #1134
Bad day for BA
- Editor's Corner
- Ask Our Readers - CMOS wire broken (one more response)
- Ask Our Readers - Isolating "training" network from "work" network (closing the loop)
- Ask Our Readers - Sharing files between Hyper-V host and Windows client (new question)
- From the Mailbag
- Bad day for BA
- Send us your feedback
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- NEW! - IT Pro Fitness Corner
- Factoid of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- This Week's Tips
- Windows - Understanding how updates are named
- Security - Remove Tech Support Scam pop-up virus
- Security - Report tech support scams to Microsoft
- Events Calendar
- North America
- Add Your Event
- New on TechGenix.com
- Recommended articles from TechGenix.com
- Tech Briefing
- Cloud computing
- Office 365
- Windows Server
- Other Articles of Interest
- AWS data security comes down to native and third party tool choices
- And the next sexy technology is…Blockchain?
- IoT certifications land on data center admins’ to-do list
- Streamline cloud operations with Google automation tools
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- Amazing Real Life Trick Shots
- Richard Browning Breaks New Record With Jet-Powered Suit
- Will Tsai's Amazing Visual Magic
- Cappucino Artist
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Veeam User Group: online exclusive.
- Veeam User Group: online exclusive.
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter summarizes what we know and can learn from the IT disaster that hit British Airways last weekend. We've also added a brand new section called IT Pro Fitness Corner to our weekly newsletter so all of you "fat IT pros" out there (myself included) can become "fit IT pros" which sounds a heck of a lot better, doesn't it? And we have the usual tips, tools, articles and videos.
Being overweight is a common problem that plagues our stressful profession. About four years ago I chronicled my own difficult journey from fat IT pro to (moderately) fit IT pro in two issues of this newsletter: Issue #922: From Fat to Fit IT Pro - The Beginning and Issue #926: From Fat to Fit IT Pro - The Conclusion and one result of my sharing my story was that numerous readers of our newsletter sent me feedback on their own struggles to get fit and lose weight along with lots of helpful tips of which we were able to share a few with our readers at the time. But losing weight and getting into shape is ultimately a journey not a destination (to use an overworked phrase) which means I'm still struggling to keep my weight down and stay fit enough to handle the sometimes overwhelming stress of being a busy IT pro. And I'm sure that many of you, our loyal readers, are experiencing a similar struggle to balance your work and life so you can stay healthy and sane.
So let's not be like Dilbert and ignore our doctor's advice when he says we need to exercise:
Ask Our Readers - CMOS wire broken (one more response)
Last week we included some answers from readers to this question sent to us by a reader named Duff two weeks ago:
My name is Duff and I am always tinkering with computers. I have an IBM X Series 232 loaded with 4 SCSI 18g drives. My problem is that the CMOS battery holder is snapped at the contact flat wire. Me solder?? No can do. When I boot up the server I get an error msg "NO VIDEO". This server is a true workhouse and I do really enjoy tinkering with it, all 4 drives have WXP sp2, 4 gb of memory and 2 Intel chips running at 1.2 gbps I think, so the Cmos problem prevents the system to run. Can I get someone to tell me how to repair the Cmos holder?
Since then we've received one more response to Duff's question which is this comment from Jurriaan who works in the Netherlands:
Ask Our Readers - Isolating "training" network from "work" network (closing the loop)
Also last week we published some reader response to the following question from Alain:
Hi Mitch, thanks for continuing the very good WServerNews newsletter -- it always provides good tips. Can I ask you some advice on network setup? I want to extend my current small business network setup which works perfectly for my purposes to have a second "training" network setup so that trainees are not able to access my work network, but still have access to an application on the internet…
Alain graciously sent us this follow up comment yesterday to thank readers for their suggestions:
Hi Mitch, thank you for putting my query out to the world! I do appreciate the answers immensely! It looks like I will need to run two separate networks, as the most effective strategy then…. which doubles the connectivity cost and unfortunately impacts on the business case for the training. Thanks to everyone for the tips!
Ask Our Readers - Sharing files between Hyper-V host and Windows client (new question)
We received the following question from a reader named Geoff:
Thanks for your article:
Unfortunately I don't have anything set up in my lab at present to test this, so maybe a reader out there can suggest something that might help Geoff? Email me at [email protected]
Bad day for BA
British Airways to replace IT workers with Indian recruits flown in on temporary visas (This is Money, October 2015)
Have you experienced IT job losses because of outsourcing? How has this affected your organization and your own job?
GMB takes concerns over British Airways IT outsourcing to MPs (Computer Weekly, January 2016)
Do you think that unionizing the IT profession can help prevent these kinds of disasters from happening?
Home Office ignores plight of BA techies as job offshoring looms (The Register, June 2016)
Interesting that Theresa May was the Secretary for the UK Home Office at the time BA outsourced their IT operations. I wonder whether she would have been voted in as Prime Minister if this disaster had happened earlier in her Home Office watch.
BA faces IT jobs protest over offshoring (Contractor UK, Feb 2016)
BA defended its decision to outsource IT operations by saying it was a "very common practice." Is that really the case? I thought I read somewhere that outsourcing IT is on the decline not the upswing.
Now let's look at the news as events unfolded last weekend…
British Airways cancels all flights from Gatwick and Heathrow due to IT failure (The Guardian)
British Airways faces huge compensation bill following IT crash as stranded passengers claim (The Mirror)
I wonder what kind of hoops customers have to jump through in the UIK in order to obtain the compensation they're legally entitled to by law when this sort of event happens. Have any readers done this in the past?
BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge' (The Register)
Five questions for BA over IT crash (BBC)
The BBC reports that BA says "The root cause was a power supply issue which our affected our IT systems." It seems to me that the cause of the disaster couldn't have been a power surge but inadequate systems and/or procedures to handle the possibility of such a power surge happening, right?
British Airways could face £100m compensation bill over IT meltdown (The Guardian)
The Guardian quotes James Walker the chief executive of free flights compensation claim site Resolver as saying "This is not like an ash cloud or traffic controllers' strike that can't be predicted. The computer system breaking down is within its control." Do you think that's a fair statement given the complexity of the IT systems needed to support the operation of a large airline like BA?
British Airways flights are facing chaos for days after computer meltdown leaves more than 100k stranded (Independent.IE)
This article quotes Captain Stephen Wearing who has flown for BA for 29 years saying that last night was "the worst chaos I've ever seen". Do you think our overreliance on IT systems in our modern world is setting us up for even greater chaos?
British Airways boss 'tries to gag staff' over IT failure which hit 300,000 passengers after 'inexperienced (The Sun)
I'm not sure how reliable The Sun is for news, but I think it highly likely that IT staff are being pressured by BA's management to keep their mouths shut over all this.
Whistle-blower claims BA travel chaos was down to dodgy computer system - but 'bosses refused to fix it' (The Sun)
Another article from The Sun, but since the quoted source is anonymous I'm not sure if we should trust it.
BA boss 'won't resign' over flight chaos (BBC)
He won't have to resign, he'll get booted out for sure by shareholders pressuring BA's board of directors.
BA flights returning to normal after damaging IT collapse (Reuters via The Daily Star)
Did outsourcing cause the British Airways IT meltdown? (TNW)
The 64 million dollar question.
Commentary: British Airways has no excuse for the chaos at Heathrow airport (The Financial Times via Channel NewsAsia)
Anatomy of a very British Airways IT cockup (Ars Technica UK)
Ars Technica tries to go deep but rarely gets there IMO.
What went wrong in British Airways datacenter in May 2017? (UP2V)
This is a much better analysis article than Ars Technica. It's worth reading this article from start to finish. Here's a part that grabbed our attention:
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SEN), which manage the electricity distribution network in the area north of Heathrow where British Airways' headquarters are located, said its services were running as normal on Saturday morning. "The power surge that BA are referring to could have taken place at the customer side of the meter. SEN wouldn't have visibility of that," a spokesman said.
Also check out this part:
From the IT rumour mill. Allegedly, the staff at the Indian data centre were told to apply some security fixes to the computers in the data centre. The BA IT systems have two, parallel systems to cope with updates. What was supposed to happen was that they apply the fixes to the computers of the secondary system, and when all is working, apply to the computers of the primary system. In this way, the programs all keep running without any interruption. What they actually did was apply the patches to _all_ the computers. Then they shutdown and restarted the entire data centre. Unfortunately, computers in these data centres are used to being up and running for lengthy periods of time. That means, when you restart them, components like memory chips and network cards fail. Compounding this, if you start all the systems at once, the power drain is immense and you may end up with not enough power going to the computers -- this can also cause components to fail. It takes quite a long time to identify all the hardware that failed and replace it.
In conclusion, I certainly hope a full and independent investigation is done of this IT disaster and that the results of the investigation are made public so other large carriers can benefit. If you would like to comment on any of the above or have additional news about these events please email us at [email protected]
Send us your feedback
Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]
Recommended for Learning
Security Challenges: Integrating Apple Computers into Windows Environments
Windows Management Experts (WME) says that "Apple Mac devices are growing in corporate popularity by the day, and it is up to Information Technology departments to make sure not only that these Mac devices utilize all of the resources in the environment but also that these devices are visible and managed. How can this be accomplished? Download this whitepaper to learn how!"
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Databases in Azure
In this self-paced course, learn about the different types of database services available in Azure, as well as the tools to provision, manage and monitor those services. Primarily focused on Azure SQL Database, the course also addresses other database service offerings, and offers an introduction to Azure SQL Data Warehouse – a cloud based database management system for working with big data. Get started here!
NEW! - IT Pro Fitness Corner
Weightloss Tip - Reclining exercise bike
Some years ago when I needed to start losing weight I had to choose from different types of cardio machines. In the end I chose a reclining exercise bike because it was cheap and I could play online chess on my iPad while I exercised to keep from getting totally bored. I definitely rejected a treadmill because I'd heard of several people who had accidents falling off them. And while a stepmill would have been neat, it just wouldn't fit with the low ceiling in our basement where I exercise during the winter.
I've personally found that long, progressively intense cardio is the best way for me to lose weight because for some reason I'm just not hungry afterwards, so I get the double benefit of fat burned and fewer calories consumed the rest of the day. Weightlifting on the other hand while making me feel terrific also drives up my hunger so I tend to eat more when I do any heavy resistance training.
Disclaimer: I hope this helps! I'm not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions I make "as is" with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. And send me your feedback and any fitness tips of your own you might have by emailing me at [email protected]
Factoid of the Week
Last week's factoid and question was this:
The last words of Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce, were: "I wish I’d spent more time, in the office." What are some other notable last words of famous people that have inspired, amused, or infuriated you?
Here are a couple of responses we received to this question:
Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary: "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." --Don from Iowa, USA
Gertrude Stein's last words, quoted by Thornton Wilder: "What is the answer?" [Wilder was silent] "In that case, what is the question?" --Mary from California, USA
Rosebud. --Brian from Ohio, USA
And here's one more military acronym from a reader named Tom in response to the previous week's factoid/question:
Not sure which war this came from, most likely the Cold War: WOOT -- Waste of our Time. We actually had a server named that for 8 or so years -- never knew what it was used for. The person who built it argued against creating it, and lost. Back then we could name our servers any name we wanted, so he named it WOOT.
Now let's move on to this week's factoid:
Fact: Motorists waste 29 hours every year using sat navs
Question: What was the worst thing that ever happened to you when you relied on GPS to drive to some destination?
Email your answer to us at: [email protected]
Until next week,
GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
NEW Veeam Availability Suite v10 supports any workload; virtual, physical or cloud on any infrastructure; private, managed or SaaS in multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments. See more:
Advanced IP Scanner shows all network devices, gives you access to shared folders, provides remote control of computers (via RDP and Radmin), and can even remotely switch computers off:
AxCrypt is an open source file encryption program that integrates seamlessly with Windows to compress, encrypt, decrypt, store, send and work with individual files:
SlimDrivers not only detects when a driver needs updating, but also identifies the proper executable for your system and initiates the driver install automatically:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
Windows - Understanding how updates are named
Moti Bani has a post on how you can secure your Bitlocker-enabled devices against a common attack vector, namely a Direct Memory Access/Side channel attack:
While you're at it be sure to read my recent interview with Michael on our Techgenix.com website:
Rebuilding MDT with PowerShell: An interview with Michael Niehaus
Security - Remove Tech Support Scam pop-up virus
MalwareTips has a detailed tip on how to fix your machine if it's become infected with adware that pops up messages asking you to call a phone number to fix your Windows or Apple computer:
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 9-13, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Microsoft Ignite on September 25-29, 2017 in Orlando, Florida
Add Your Event
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You can now use Amazon WorkSpaces with Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung DeX
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'Deep Dive' into Office 365 PowerShell cmdlets: Groups
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Outlook Customer Manager now rolling out worldwide
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Tier to AWS Cloud Using Starwind Cloud VTL and Veeam (ms4u)
Weekend Reading: Amazon Aurora: Design Considerations for High Throughput Cloud-Native Relational Databases (All Things Distributed)
Unable to RDP to Azure VM From Hotel WiFi (250 Hello)
End to End SSL with Azure Application Gateway (Cloud Solution Architect)
Zabbix- A Simpler way of Monitoring (Cloud That)
Azure AD Connect 1.1.524.0 brings a ton of new functionality to Hybrid Identity (The DirTeam.com)
Product Review: Exclaimer Cloud -- Signatures for Office 365 (IT Pro Central)
How To Install AD FS 2016 For Office 365 -- Part 3 (250 Hello)
AWS data security comes down to native and third party tool choices
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And the next sexy technology is…Blockchain?
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IoT certifications land on data center admins’ to-do list
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Streamline cloud operations with Google automation tools
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This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Amazing Real Life Trick Shots
Richard Browning Breaks New Record With Jet-Powered Suit
Inventor Richard Browning puts his jet engine-powered suit through its paces, beating his own record for speed and distance:
Will Tsai's Amazing Visual Magic
Will Tsai amazes the judges and audience of America´s Got Talent 2017 with his unique and incredible visual magic:
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7www.mtit.com.Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.