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It’s been a while since we’ve written an update on what the Infrastructure team has been up to behind the scenes. Last time, we told you about how we rolled Envoy out to improve the way our gRPC apps talk to one another.

Huge thanks to Matt Button and Leo Cassarani for helping me draft this piece and for providing amazing feedback on so much of it.

Geckoboard is a service that helps teams pull their important metrics from the tools they use, and share them prominently on TV dashboards.

Behind the scenes there are many services working together to…


Cover image by pexels

It made us stop worrying about our gRPC traffic.

In this post we’re talking about why we made the decision to start using Envoy and how we went about rolling it out in production. The whole process took us about a month — here’s how it went.

The services underpinning the Geckoboard platform are constantly evolving. Over the past 7 years, we’ve been moving from monolithic Ruby apps towards single-purpose microservices written in Go. This has allowed engineers to be able to work on specific functionality with confidence that their changes will be isolated to a single service.

Historically, all of our services have communicated using RESTful APIs over…


Your online security isn’t optional anymore.

Foreword: skip to the end if you want to know how to fix your online security holes.

I’d like to discuss something with you all, but before I do I want to get some stuff out of the way.

I work in technology. My literal job is keeping a small slice of the Internet visible to people who want to get at the information we host. I have to deal with recalcitrant servers, strange app behaviour, connectivity and security every day. I suppose you could say I have ‘tech privilege’.

I also grew up fascinated by computers as kid. I…


Translating Good Relationship Practices and Relationship Red Flags into the Real World.

During a conversation with a friend, the subject of relationships and how we measure success came up, which sparked off the following train of thought:

How do you implement those “Top 5 Healthy Relationship Habits”, “7 Things Emotionally Mature People Do” and “8 Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship” listicles in your everyday life?

Listing out both positive and negative behaviours is an excellent start as it raises awareness of both things which you are doing right and those negative things you might be doing without realising.

The issue is that essays on the subject can be quite polar and…


Not as painful as you may expect!

We are running out of IPv4 addresses, thanks to a whole bunch of reasons, mostly to do with the fact that everyone wants in on this “Internet” business.

A quick primer.

Skip this section if you know all this and/or don’t care.

The IPv4 publicly-routable address space — the number of unique possible addresses that can communicate with one another over the public Internet — is a 32-bit (2³² or 2 multiplied by 2 thirty two times) number. That means that there are about 4 billion usable addresses.

With some of those being reserved for private networks, we can shove many more devices…


Don’t be like this puppy and chew the grass. Humans cannot digest cellulose.

We all have that someone we look up to — someone who inspires us, makes push further, think more and be a better human. Inspiration is part of what makes us human, but it’s also not without its weakness.

Initially, I was going to write this post with a specific audience in mind. Teens. Then I got to thinking: we all do this.

We do this in our social lives

I wish I had such a busy social schedule — all I ever seem to do is stay home and watch Netflix.

We do it in our relationships

Those guys…


It’s not a replacement for Real Food but it has its place.

Snack!

In this post I want to discuss “meal replacement” drinks as something to help you when you’re not in a mental state to cook which often results in chowing down on entire family-size bags of chips just to fill your belly.

Some background.

There’s no real reason for you to have heard of Huel or its close cousin Soylent. One or the other may have crossed your feeds at some point, especially if you’re a tech nerd and self-avowed “life hacker”.

In a nutshell, Huel and Soylent, ignoring the unfortunate 1984 reference, are billed as “Meal Replacements”. …


A metaphor for ego. The hammer is not a penis metaphor, however.

Not scary. Also not about your ego.

As guys we’re conditioned to be the ones who are in charge, in control, always making the first move, the first kiss, the first anything — all the way up to initiating sex.

But when a lady grabs you by the tie and whispers “Take your clothes off, I want you right now.”, some of you might recoil. Your manhood is under attack — this is all wrong, it’s your job to say that: you’re the Man!

It feels like pressure. Suddenly you’re expected to perform. The focus is now on you. You must carry the show, as it were.


What’s this #MeToo hashtag?

This shit’s been covered by now from hundreds of angles, so this is nothing new, but I’m going to add my voice.

If you’ve been on social media anytime in the past week, you will have seen just how many women are coming forward with their own stories of sexual harassment/abuse.

Listen. Pay attention.

Pay attention to just how fucking many of your female friends have been sexually assaulted/groped/yelled at/sworn at/abused by total strangers or by people you both know.

Let it sink in.

This shit is not something that happens to other people. It’s happened to women in your…


Windows never does things by half measures…

Greetings!

In this post I want to cover what to do when Windows Server 2012 decides to corrupt its Xen I/O drivers, paravirtualisation drivers, thus rendering the Citrix Xen Management Tools unable to communicate with their host server.

I’ve yet to figure out why Windows does this — I’ve already lost one server to it before I managed to fix the second to succumb to this problem.

Symptoms:

  • Unresponsiveness to reboot commands from CLI or XenCenter.
  • Needing to force reboot/shut down affected VM.
  • Affected VMs take up to 20 minutes to boot and show the login screen.
  • Login takes anywhere between…

Poolski

Amateur human. Internet exploder. Sometimes I think about things.

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