The one thing that makes all the difference...

Charles Max Wood |

Back when I was a new systems administrator at Brigham Young University, it was my job to set up the new servers. Both Windows and Linux. 

(It was a well paid student job, so I got all the grunt jobs.)

The job basically entailed grabbing the stack of CD's (yup, it was a while ago) and hiking a half mile from the building our office was in to the datacenter.

(I was a student, so I didn't rate a vehicle to drive myself up...)

Once I got there, I'd head into the small room where we provisioned servers, pop CD #1 in, follow a couple prompts, and then entertain myself until CD #2 was needed.

I'm sure you can relate.

Sit awhile... Next CD... Sit awhile... Next CD... Sit awhile... Next CD... Sit... Run updates... Add to Active Directory... Hike 1/2 mile...

Finally, at one of the conferences the full-time systems administrators went to, they were introduced to this novel new idea. NIC-boot. 

NIC-boot is when you boot your server from another volume on the same network. 

So, someone copied the contents of those CD's to a network volume and added a script to run updates.

Now, my job was to go up to the datacenter, hold down the Ctrl key until the boot prompt came up and select NIC-boot and pick the right network volume. Then I could go back to the office and do more interesting things.

Eventually, the university moved to VMWare and I didn't even need to get any exercise to get a server set up. Copy the base image, give it a name, update it, done!

It's amazing to me how implementing a bit of new technology can save someone a bunch of time and money. Again and again and again!

For example, Google Hangouts allows me to put on a conference without making you travel or making me book a venue somewhere.

And, you get the best speakers from around the world because they don't have to travel either. Time and money saved!

And, if you want to come and learn about DevOps and the tools that could be saving you the proverbial hike up to campus and an hour of swapping CD's, come check it out. 

(You get to save time and money learning how to save time and money.)

But, make sure you get your tickets soon because Early Bird tickets end on Sunday!

You can sign up (or submit a talk) at