Restoring Access to Microsoft SQL Server

by Dmitry Kirsanov 26. August 2013 05:29

As a note to system administrator – what to do, when your one and only administrators account is locked on your SQL Server.

You need to perform 5 quick steps. More...

A short note about using Windows Updates

by Dmitry Kirsanov 15. August 2013 16:00

The Perils of Playing Russian Roulette With Windows Updates

Let's talk about a high-stakes game that you may be unknowingly playing in your server room. It lurks under the innocuous name "automatic Windows updates", but if you've been in the trenches long enough, you know it better as Russian Roulette.

Windows Updates: A Necessary Evil

Ever second Tuesday of the month, our friends at Microsoft bequeath us a fresh batch of patches for Windows. These patches — necessary to keep our machines secure, efficient and bug-free — often require a restart to take effect. But not all of these 'restarts' are equal. You see, sometimes, during the reboot process, instead of simply restarting, the machine shuts down. And sometimes, it won't even shut down gracefully. It's a gamble, a flip of the coin, a spin of a bullet chamber — it's Russian roulette.

The Danger in The Server Room

Now, this game of chance may seem insignificant, just another quirk of the IT industry. But consider this: in many cases, production servers have the "Install updates automatically" setting turned on. A server going offline without warning? That's the stuff of nightmares for any business. It can lead to unanticipated downtime, loss of productivity and worst of all, loss of revenue. Not to mention the chaos it wreaks on your IT team's peace of mind!

Morale of the Story: Let's Be Safe Out There

So, what's the solution? It's simple: Do not enable automatic installation of updates on production servers or any machines that you can't easily power back up. The minor inconvenience of manually installing important updates far outweigh swiftly falling into the pitfall of unexpected system shut downs.

In the world of IT, unexpected surprises are rarely welcome. Let's keep Russian roulette out of our server rooms and ensure consistent, reliable operation for our businesses. And remember, a mindful approach to updates is the mark of a truly professional system administrator.

Creative Ideas for Pond Owners

by Dmitry Kirsanov 12. August 2013 05:09

So, you have a pond. Now, what to do if the fish is lazy to breed? Here is the answer from LinkedIn.

First, let’s see if Bob was looking for Alice in Wonderland. Let’s say, there were 20 different Alices, but not the one he was looking for. Let’s wait for about a month and send invitation from random Alice from the previously displayed list to Bob, and from Bob to Alice. They both will think that they initiated the invitation. But first we need to make sure, that they can’t ask questions before accepting the invitation, so let’s remove that feature.

Yeah, that’s how it works in LinkedIn now. Now let’s hope that Alice is not ex-wife of Bob, or his ex business partner, or even better – a partner of his ex wife.

What happens when you leave your Windows session unattended for days

by Dmitry Kirsanov 11. August 2013 00:33


This is a CPU usage graph of a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, with all latest patches applied, and Internet Explorer 10 left opened for a few days. It had only two pages opened, both are Microsoft’s own support pages with no active content.

Remote session (RDP) was opened for about 5 days, and every hour Internet Explorer process took more and more memory and CPU, until it took most resources from server.