Thursday, February 19, 2009

How To Kill Redundancy With a Redundancy

Terry Childs was a network administrator of the San Francisco FibreWAN. When I say a network admin, I really mean the network admin - given that he was the only one who looked after it. So while I'm impressed he is one of the world's few CCIEs, I do think that this is really a bit too much for anyone to take on by themselves.

So when he went rogue and wouldn't disclose the passwords to the Cisco routers and passwords he administered, I was somewhat gobsmacked. Not at Terry Childs, mind you, but at the dumb-arse morons who left a sole employee the administrator and contact for their entire critical networking infrastructure. Seriously, what would have happened if the man had expired? If he'd dropped off the mortal coil then they would not have been able to recover the passwords at all. Luckily Childs turned them over to Mayor Gavin Newsom, so a big problem was averted.

I'm sure that the San Fran network infrastructure had built-in redundancy. But it looks like they forgot the most important redundancy of all - the people to administer it.

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