Well, sort of.
This is an old howto that I apparently missed. I really know so little about Windows administration that finding gems like this makes me really excited :-)
Anyway, it’s possible to connect to a remote machine’s registry, alter the data in it, then remotely reboot the machine so that it can come back up with the server running. That’s pretty smooth!
Here are the details.
I know I’m missing tons more stuff like this. What are your favorites?
Well, it appears that one of the cables in my new rack is bad. Specifically, it looks like it’s the one going to the “red” switch. It’s not really surprising, I suppose, given the last minute rush to find color matched cables. What this means is that I’ve got to walk someone through replacing it remotely.
Having remote management ability is important. Whether it’s IP KVMs (we’ve got that), or the ability to perform web/ssh/telnet/rdp (we’ve got all those too), there’s literally only so much you can do when you’re not at the site, and that’s frustrating. I’m 400 miles away; I can’t just hop on over and change out a cable, and the timetable for us getting our stuff turned on precludes anything except using the remote hands service of the colocation.
I know most of us have a single location for our IT stuff, and it’s usually in the same building we do work in. Heck, at the ISP, my office was /in/ the server room. Bad for the ears, but I could hear when things like hard drives were dying. Pinpointing an exact location was a little harder, since almost none of the hard drives were hot-swappable.
Anyway, at this point, I’m extremely glad we have support at the colocation. If you decide to move into a colo, I highly recommend getting one with remote hands.
Just a small note that comes to mind as I register this Belkin IP-KVM that just came across my desk.
When you go to register an asset, hardware or software, invariably you are asked for an email address. The initial knee jerk reaction is to use your normal email address, but they really don’t want your email address, they want the email address of the systems administrator. Sure, you’re the systems administrator, but that won’t matter later, when you’re not.
I use an alias on my normal user account, [email protected] for these occasions. I know that I’m not going to be in this job for another 30 years (at least I hope not, Dear God), and when I hand the reins to someone else, they’re not going to want to deal with trying to figure out whether something is registered in my name, or the guy who came before me, or if they already did it and forgot. So I use my sysadmin alias, and they will too, I imagine.
Just another courtesy you can extend to your future usurpers.