Lost Treasures of the Ancient World

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 11:00amā€“11:45am

David Blank-Edelman, Apcera


In the deep, not-so-dark recesses of a former employer's data center lives an ancient server. This server was central to their infrastructure for years before I arrived and was still in active use after I left, 19 years later. Scared yet?

With the permission of its owner, I began an archeological excavation with this server as my dig site. What could I learn by studying the contents of a machine that was the backbone of the environment for at least 25 years? How has system administration changed over that time period? How has it stayed the same? What mistakes were made? What have we learned since then and what have we forgotten? Could it help us understand the future of our current state-of-the-art practices? All of this and more, my friends. All of this and more.

Dead servers tell no tales, but this server isn't dead yet. Come hear what the past wants to tell us about our future.

David Blank-Edelman, Apcera

David is the Technical Evangelist at Apcera. He has spent close to thirty years in the systems administration, DevOps, and SRE field in large multi-platform environments including Brandeis University, Cambridge Technology Group, MIT Media Laboratory, and Northeastern University. He is the author of the O'Reilly Otter book Automating System Administration with Perl and is a frequent invited speaker at conferences in the field. David is honored to serve on the USENIX Board of Directors. He prefers to pronounce Evangelist with a hard 'gā€™.

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@conference {201574,
author = {David Blank-Edelman},
title = {Lost Treasures of the Ancient World},
year = {2016},
address = {Boston, MA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = dec

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