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How long? - MegaZone's Safety Valve
The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
How long?
Someone emailed me today with a RADIUS question.

I left Livingston in February 1998. People still track me down when they can't find the answer to RADIUS issues...

I am: tired tired
Current Media: cleaner's vaccuum in the office

profesor From: profesor Date: September 30th, 2004 06:55 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
It's probably because your resume is on the web. I got a random email from someone a couple weeks ago about something I worked on at Sun, which was about as long ago as when you were at Livingston, and when I asked him how he found me he told me it was via google he found my resume.
elfs From: elfs Date: September 30th, 2004 08:24 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Ha. I remember those days.

<OLDFARTMODE>Back around 1997 I had to implement a RADIUS-with-Oracle solution and my company at the time (CompuServe, which had bought Spry) insisted that we use some NT-ported-to-Solaris piece of crap RADIUS server, which used some third-party NT-ported-to-Solaris database interface to an equally ill-chosen set of interfaces to Oracle. This was insisted upon because CompuServe was an NT house, and Spry was a Solaris house, and this was CompuServe's idea of a "compromise." They wanted something they could conceptually port to NT when the time was right.

The DB interface never worked. The RADIUS server had a memory leak that constantly grew out of control-- and when we complained to the vendor they said, "Just reboot it. That's what NT people do." I was stunned-- do they not understand that in the Unix world, "Just reboot it, that's what NT people do" is an insult right up there with saying nasty things about a Klingon's mother?

So, my extreme programming partner (we were very avant garde) and I did a stealth project-- he reinforced the Livingston reference implementation and I wrote an OraC-to-shared-queue shim that would work with the Livingston server.

It worked like a dream. We did the changeover on a Monday at two in the morning, and nobody noticed. Two RADIUS servers, and two Oracle servers, on four SPARC 20s, supported 1000 customers.

Back on the east coast, CompuServer was trying the same trick with a different customer base. For 3000 customers, they had some 60 NT boxes-- which they could not keep running. And one day, the entire subnet of 60 servers went down and their mobile customer base was off-line for four hours.

We never had so much as a hiccup. The Oracle servers were self-mirroring; the RADIUS servers did round-robin DNS and were capable of taking the other's IP as a VIF it the neighbor failed.

I remember asking you something about it then. I don't remember what. But those were fun days.</OLDFARTMODE>
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: September 30th, 2004 09:10 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Nice work. :-) It was a lot of fun, Livingston was a great place.
rbarclay From: rbarclay Date: October 1st, 2004 01:30 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
People still manage to dig up no-longer-existing RIPE records, with an email address that euqally doesn't exist any more. And then they apparently go hunting on google for my private address to ask me dumb questions about RIPE documents that've been superseded 3 or 4 times. And I only worked for an ISP, not RIPE.
z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: October 1st, 2004 12:33 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
"Say it with me: 'The MicroAnnex ELS was never any good to begin with. I should go buy a real server.'"