IRL: Installation Revocation List

10 Mar

In the server admin world we often run through a single software install that hundreds of users will access. Increasing the user base is the best way to flush out bugs out of every nook and cranny of code. Sure there are advanced unit testing scripts and all kinds of UAT but not until it has been production battle tested can the developer sleep soundly. Even still the first few months of use can be a bit hectic for any iteration.

SAND, DEV, TEST, USER, QA, PROD might be familiar lingo to server admins who have been asked to build multiple environments for very important software. If you need to install vendor software, the server admin downloads and starts in SAND and that same install works its way up the ladder. Problem is the version iteration might be two months or more old by the time it reaches production.

So the day after a big prod release you find yourself on the phone troubleshooting an error with the vendor. One of the responses that gets under my skin is, “that is a known issue”.

Instead of getting angry, I decided to get creative. So I came up with the idea of a IRL. Just like a SSL certificate revocation list, the IRL is a list of bad releases that the vendor maintains. When the server admin launches the install, this list is checked and a message should come up… maybe something like, “This version has known issues discovered after it was available for download, please visit our competitor’s website for some better code.”

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Network Admin


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