Infrastructure tools that made the first week in a new job easier…

(Update: I am no longer affiliated with Etelos, and have edited this entry accordingly.)

Three tools that make life much easier:

  • Apple Remote Desktop – The asset management & inventory tools alone are worth $499. My only complaint is that it doesn’t work for remote users without a VPN. (Note to Apple: You need to offer a full-function trial. Also, if you gave it away for free you would sell more Macs to corporate customers.)
  • Webmetrics – I started evaluating Webmetrics for site and transaction monitoring have been very impressed despite its “clunky” configuration UI. It has a 30 day full-function trial for most services. The company is also building public dashboards for service providers like this one:

    // <![CDATA[
    var so = new SWFObject("", "widget", "175", "175", "8");
    so.addParam("wmode", "transparent");
    so.addVariable("widgetId", "GsgfutggFFKI8JkyixohkWakxeGVO");
    so.addVariable("ref", document.URL);
    // ]]>

  • Hyperic HQ – This is the first time I’ve deployed Hyperic systems monitoring in a heterogeneous production environment. Hyperic’s auto-discovery worked like magic… even detecting and pulling in legacy Nagios monitoring. Unfortunately the agent requires an open port which is a security problem and requires a lot of tedious firewall configuration. It sounds like this is something that they will be fixing soon.

It’s been 5 years since I last managed SSL certificates, and it’s still a comedically irritating process. Are there any resources that I should know about? (Hint: I think this would a great talk for Velocity and the CFP is still open.)

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