Category: Errata

To New Adventures.

First and foremost, I want to express my profound gratitude for an amazing eight years at Sauce Labs. From 2016 to now, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to build not just one, but two world-class teams during my time at Sauce, working alongside many others of that same caliber. It is because of these incredible individuals that the following announcement is difficult to make: I will be ending my time at Sauce Labs on September 30, 2023.

I am leaving behind extraordinary people who will undoubtedly continue to drive Sauce Labs forward long after I am gone. Without them, none of the amazing achievements we accomplished would have been possible. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to those who believed in me back in 2016, when I was brought in to overhaul the infrastructure, to all of my staff who joined me as we tackled some really tough challenges, and to those who continued to have faith in me when I was promoted to VP and asked to oversee IT in addition to the Operations teams I already managed. It has been an exciting and educational journey, and I will dearly miss all of those who made success possible.

As I wrap up this chapter, I find myself uncertain about what comes next. I have been speaking with some inspiring individuals who are embarking on their startup journeys, and I am also considering starting my own consulting firm. What I know for sure is that I am ready for the next challenge. I want to help companies thrive and overcome small hurdles before they become insurmountable obstacles, so they can accelerate both their people and their business. If you’re looking for someone to assist you in this capacity, please reach out, and we can figure something out. If you’re in need of a COO or CTO class professional, I am also open to discussing those opportunities. With that said, I am officially Open to Work.

The Lost Year: Back to Work

2015 was tough just no getting around it.  I started the year working with an amazing team as the CTO of a company I really believed in and the COO of the company that was supposed to be my future.  By the end of 2015, I had been through 3 jobs (all of my own choosing), I had spent most of the year just trying to find out what my employers really expected of me and honestly never getting an answer.  I don’t know if I can explain in words what it is like to go from the top of your game with people counting on you to make all the right decisions to people not even caring if you showed up to work.

But for me, it was a combination of things.  For the first time ever I really experience depression.  Having grown up with parent’s who deal with it and my wife who has made huge progress in her own mental health this was a shock to the system.  But I found out that it is something that I can cope with when presented with it and push through so that was a win.  Anxiety was not new to me.  Starting in early 2014 when a critical project refused to go right no matter what I did I started having mild anxiety attacks and they really screwed with me.  Being depressed is one thing but feeling totally out of control and on edge is a whole other thing that I was not really equipped to deal with.  But through luck, hiking, and lots of time to let my mind and body disconnect from years of stress that I had never dealt with the anxiety slipped away and for now has become dormant.  However, the hardest part was the self-doubt and that compounded both the depression and the anxiety.

After years of winning and moving forward, I had started to face failure no matter how hard I tried in my mid-30s.  Let me tell you that is a tough time to face failure with 3 kids, a mortgage and staff counting on you not to fuck up.  So when I jumped from a CTO/COO role to just being a cog in a big company I did so with plans to do more big things and get back on the winning path.  Roughly a year later that had not happened.  For about six months I had really been wondering if I had what it took to get back on the horse and do big things again.  I considered a few things, start back from scratch and become the best network engineer I could be and downsize my expectations for my future.  Honestly, that had lots of upsides and no matter how hard I try I would never be as good as most of my friends and engineers I look up to but I could do what I was good at which if fixing broken networks.  Option 2 was to find a nice safe role where I was where I consistently bang out what was expected of me and hopefully retire in 30 years but there was lots of stuff wrong with that plan so I pretty much said screw that from day one.  I am a lot of things but I am not lazy and willing to lay down and die.  If I am going to go out it will be swinging even it is failing my CCIE for the 400th time if that is even possible.  The final and most challenging (thus most likely for me to choose) was to go find a challenge that was bigger than my experience but allowed me to use my strengths.  If you are reading this you probably already know what I chose.

Just short of a year on from the decision to take on a Sr. Director of Operations role things are still humming along.  I write this hoping others see it and know that they are not alone when it feels like it is all coming unglued and years of work is slipping away.  For me, it took a year of soul-searching and unexpected downtime followed by doubling down.  Just remember to keep moving forward.


I want to apologize to all of you who may have been trying to use the site.  Earlier this year I moved off of a shared hosting platform that had served me well for years.  However in the year prior to the move things had just bogged down no matter how I tried to optimize the site.  So I jumped over to DigitalOcean.  I love these guys and if you have not tried them yet you should!  They have all sorts of dedicated hosting options starting at $5 a month including one click applications setups and just raw servers.  Anyway I had initially opted for the bare bones server mode and I did the entire LAMP and WordPress setup on my own.  Ever since then I have had odd issues with poor MySQL performance and more recently (past few months) the database just quits responding to the application.  So I decided to do yet another transition to one of the Digital Ocean WordPress installs.  So here you find yourself on the new server with a clean install of all the goodies and hopefully I can start focusing on content not troubleshooting for awhile.

Pardon Our Mess: StaticNAT.COM

If you have been following me for any amount of time you will know that has gone through a few changes.  This is no different.  Sorry for any hassles this causes.  The reality is that I moved to a dedicated host for this site I think about a year ago.  Things have not been right since them.  My RSS for the #WhoIS series has been borked, and all the iTunes listings have vanished. Randomly some posts have the wrong permalinks and that was an issue I fought for months to get somewhat working.

The good news is that I have really been learning and writing a lot in the past six months.  I have used Medium for what little content I have published but as much as I LOVE that platform it is not mine and I don’t get control of my work.  So I am doing a refresh on my core site.  I plan on continuing to use Medium as an outreach tool for my past and future content here and in other places but StaticNAT is not going anywhere.

With that comes a new Theme:  Make by The Theme Foundry which is free, easy and super clean.  I really wanted the ease of use of Medium but the reality is that current blogging platforms don’t give that ease of use yet.  Also a few years go I bought the great Genisis Framework but for what I am trying to do there are to many nerd knobs to turn to get a clean usable platform to write on.

Since the very beginning back in 2006 when I started this site I have been trying to figure out some branding.  Branding is hard with you use a technical term like StaticNAT that does not have an icon to go with it.  So this last year my friend Wes Kennedy Twitter did a rework of his blog and had his sister Thea Kennedy do up some new graphics and design principles for him.  I love the branded no logo concept they ended up with and asked here to do something similar for StaticNAT.  What you see with the new styling, colors, typography and images are all thanks to Thea!

Well to wrap this up keep looking for new stuff and bear with me a bit as I clean up some of the old messes.  I will get the #WhoIS podcasts back up to where you can access them and hopefully do some more this year…no promises.  Thanks for being my readers!

WordPress: Doing Root the Right Way.

I’m going to try to keep this brief as I am not a big WordPress hacker.  For the most part WP just works and allows me to get on with what I really want to do which is write and interact.  When I first started I had all sorts of crazy ideas and to this day I still do.  But back then I had not clue how to really setup a blog, I just dove in and hoped for the best.  Well it turns out what how I did it is really not all that bad but I had just not configured everything in a way that was optimal.  So here is what I did.

On the Initial WordPress install I told the installer to use / as the directory for all my wordpress install files.  That is all well and good but I ended up having to go to to get to my blog, and that was not so good.  The quick and dirty fix was to use an index.html file that looked just like this:

< !DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">StaticNAT

The problem was that it just ended up pointing back to and quite honestly thats ugly. As I have been cleaning up the site in preparation for all the cool new things we are adding I decided I needed to make a change even if it was painful. My plan was to backup my WP data and DB then create a new install of WP at / the root directory for this site. After that was all done I would import all the old data re-install all my plugins re-create the Admin users and move on. But I was a bit concerned about how clean this would be especially from and SEO perspective.

Digging a bit I found out that the way I deployed five years ago was really not wrong and that WP had provisions already to live in a unique director but still present itself without the index.html file. So off I went to find out how to do it. What I found was this support forum post on DreamHosts site. This was convenient since Dreamhost is my web host so I was sure it would work out well.

To sum it all up for you what you have to do is go to Settings –> General –> and change the Site Address (URL) to Once you have done that you have to create a .htaccess file and place it in both the / and / folders. I did not like all of the things that were in the .htaaccess file that was shown in this forum article so I modified it to look like this;

# protect the htaccess file

order allow,deny
deny from all

# disable the server signature
ServerSignature Off

# limit file uploads to 10mb
LimitRequestBody 10240000

# protect wpconfig.php

order allow,deny
deny from all

#who has access who doesnt
order allow,deny
#deny from
allow from all

#custom error docs
ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.php
ErrorDocument 403 /forbidden.php
ErrorDocument 500 /error.php

# disable directory browsing
Options All -Indexes

# set the canonical url
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

# BEGIN WordPress

# END WordPress

Then you have to copy the index.php files from / to / That should be all there is to it. But for me it was not. I ended up having to go into the index.php files and change the following:

/** Loads the WordPress Environment and Template */


/** Loads the WordPress Environment and Template */

That did it. I have a few custom links that are not working following the change but thats minor and should be resolved pretty quick. Keep in mind if you end up using this any of the references to should be replace with your domain name for it to work for you.

2012 What a Riot! And More Fun to Come

We have introduced a new blog series called a Few Easy Steps. This series is really what I always intended to be from when it started in 2007. I would highly recommend you check out this series and add us to your RSS reader, bookmarks or whatever means you use to remember to check us out from time to time. To date we have published 22 of these articles that allow the reader to walk away and do something right away with that they have just read. Most of these posts have been dealing with very entry level configurations steps around Cisco IOS devices. In the near future we have plans to extend this series not only into configuration of other networking devices but move into server configuration as well. Keep and eye out because there is much more to come.

Read more

REPOST: The lemming way…how Cisco jumped off the cliff.

So I was talking to one of my guys at work tonight and he indicated that my shots have Cisco have been a recent thing in my career.  I told him he was wrong and went back to a post that I had taken private.  It ends up being this post.  I want to start by saying I took this private when I went to a Cisco Gold VAR.  I did so because after this post I had seen some good indications of change and I felt like it was a bit to hard of a slap in the face for people who were in large part paying my salary.  That said after re-reading it I think I had lots of things right.  So without further adieu here is my original post Published on: May 11, 2007 @ 13:52 taken right from my WP Dashboard.  Enjoy! Read more

Microsoft OEM Lic and Legally Imaging.

So one of my guys came to me today and indicated that since all of our Video Call Center systems were OEM lic from Microsoft we had a big problem with Imaging.  In my old out of date head this made little sense because we used to do this to systems by the hundreds back in the Windows XP days.  Well as we talked and I started being a geek and not a manager again it  clicked that in Vista they implemented the whole limited activation thing to eliminate piracy.  Fair enough.

But here I am with quite a few legal systems and the prospect of having to spend about $10,000 to get them all added to my select agreement.  That just stupid.  Now let me be clear after working through a BSA suit and then building a large portion of our new back-end platform on Microsoft Products I am very used to stupid licensing issues generated by lawyers and other asshats inside Microsoft to make sure they can screw their clients out of every possible penny.  Luckily there is a legal and pretty fair solution to the issue.  It lies in the term “Reimaging Rights”.  What this allows is any holder of a MS Volume Agreement to purchase a single copy of a Volume Lic of the any OEM product you have legal rights to.  you then create the image for that system using the Volume Lic CD/DVD.  DO NOT TRUST ME ON THIS!  See THIS LINK.  Furthermore I plan on having this validated with a MS rep not my LAR who as usual has not a clue about MS lic that they sell me.

Hope this helps someone out.

Cloud oh sorry I mean….Clown Vendors.

VMWorld 2012 Disclosure Statement

So VMWorld 2012 is my first true IT convention.  I have done regional education conferences, industry conferences like HIMMS and some trade show type stuff to promote my company.  But for a true IT convention this is it.  I am going to start by saying there is a lot of amazing stuff going on here and I mean A LOT.  But I am going to cover that in another post or twelve.

My focus for this post is the number of people who are not here for the right reasons and this includes the vendors.  I am going to go way out of my way to not name anyone by name but if your here your going to associate quickly.  When I think about these conferences these should be really cool venues to put your best foot forward.  This is for vendors, partners, clients, press and anyone else who bothers to show up.  Since I have been here I have seen quite a few people doing just that.  But sadly I think there are quite a few people who are here to waste their employers money.

So let me say if your trying to sell me a product don’t start with a gimmick!  If I have never heard of you then a chance at an new sports car might get me to let you scan my badge but it wont help you sell me a product.  I WANT Substance!  Ask me about my company, ask me about what problems we solve or need solved.  Engage your technical staff and have them available.  DO NOT put F’ing magicians, mind readers, jugglers, pro skate boarders, unicyclists  and booth babes in your booth.  If you do I wont talk to you and neither should anyone else.  By doing these thing you tell me how little confidence you have in your product to begin with.  If you think you need to entertain me to stick around for the real reason your here in the first place then you really have nothing to show me.  Just to wrap this up its cool if you want to give cool stuff out to help spread the word or say thanks for  someone get put into your lead generation system.  But do so respecting yourself, your product and the intelligence of your prospective clients!

Now on to you Ass Hats who call your self IT professionals.  If you just spent $3000 to $8000 or so of your company’s training budget to come to an IT conference to get vendors to give you cheap plastic toys, get 100 tshirts, grope booth babes and in general act like a drunk assholes please quit coming.  There is a huge segment of the IT professional population that fights every year for time and budget to attend events like this and you half wit punks make it harder for them to get here so just stop!  And for crying out loud have some self respect.  You have no idea if you could go from making $50,000 a year to making $250,000 a year by making the right contacts at an event like this and elevating yourself.  Don’t get me wrong if a vendor wants to say thank you for a purchase or wine you and dine you once you have showed interest in their product great but when you leave don’t be so trashed that the homeless people on the way back to the hotel are appalled by your behavior!

I know I am a buzzkill.  But I don’t care.  Some of the behavior I have seen this week would prompt me to fire people if it was my staff acting this way on our employers dime.


VMWorld 2012 Full Disclosure Statement

VMWorld 2012 Full Disclosure Statement

This year I was asked by Nutanix, who is my storage and compute vendor to be in their booth as a customer of reference.  Nutanix was gracious enough to pay for my Conference pass, my hotel and my airfare to get here.  However Nutanix did not pay me for my time nor did they compensate my employer for that time.  I accepted this invitation because I strongly believe that their ideas and their products are the way forward in virtulalization for me and many other clients.

This Statement will be referenced in any post here on StaticNAT.  I am in no way obligated to talk or not talk about Nutanix and their products.  My statements and opinions are my own and are not endorsed by and/or moderated by Nutanix.  Quite possibly I will write about competing products now or in the future and in no way should any such commentary be linked back to Nutanix.

So in other words I write for me and only me and if you don’t like it take it up with me.

Vendors Beware

Simply put I am not going to target a specific vendor in this post but if you work for an IT vendor (Telco, SP, MSP, Hardware/Software maker, VAR, LAR, distributor, consultant) this list is a warning of the things you can do to really piss me off. It is not just me it is all of us. We have way to much to do on a daily basis to have to babysit the people who we pay to help us. So read, pay attention and don’t do this stuff!

1. Lie – Tell me what you can or can’t do and stick to it. This includes what your products can or can’t do.
2. Have a messy house – If your provisioning team does not talk to your sales team and no one talks to support you’ll piss me off.
3. Wing it – If I wanted to you to wing it on my project I would not have paid your your stupidly high rate. My 7 year old can wing it.
4. When you are getting it wrong ask me to not be me – Piss Off I am the customer I am right because I pay you monies.
5. Cover up your lie/mistake/bug/whatever else your covering up – Be honest with me I may not fire you.
6. Presume you know me by watching my twitter feed – I am more than 128 characters.
7. Blame your contractors – You hired them you fix it. I have to do that when you mess up!
8. Get me in trouble – If your stupidity makes me eat a bullet for you the world will know!
9. Lead with List price – We all know its BS. Give me the best deal you can and we’ll each do better by wasting less time.
10. Take a social or political stand corporately that makes me have to hate you – Really an Internet company siding with SOPA….

I am sure I have like 1000 more and I encourage my readers to jump on board and add them to the comments. In the end we all have jobs to do please don’t make me regret engaging you by making mine harder.

Fresh Coat of Paint

Not going to be a crazy long post here.  Just wanted anyone who is returning to my humble site to know that ownership has not changed, just some new paint and and a really cool framework in the background.  After being at Network Field Day 3 I wanted to clean some things up.  Talking with Greg Ferro of Packetpushers about some of the thing he as done with his sites to optimize them for SEO and for functionality.  Outside of the normal web opt stuff Greg recommended the Genesis Framework and the Themes that go with them.  So I bit the bullet and purchased their Pro Plus pack since I have a few other blogs that I run as well.

So far I really like it.  I have disabled all of my pre-existing plugins to help clean things up.  Plus in the background I have been deleting lots of stuff that was tied to ideas that never really took off.  In the end I expect these changes to help me focus on the core product of the site and offer more content in the near future.  So many cool thing to write about might as well have a nice clean place to publish it all.

I would love feedback from anyone about what other info you would like to see on the site.  I look forward to hearing form you.


DuctTape and Popsicle Sticks

So I hear all the time from people how smart they think I am and how much value I bring. I will be honest I have a really hard time with this. I may not be what most would consider humble but I don’t blow sunshine up my own ass either. I am limited, I think we all are. I have so much to learn, I think we all do. I have no patience for stupidity and laziness and that is something I need to work on more, because not everyone is wired like me. But back to the core issue am I really as good as people keep telling me I am? The answer is no.

What I have discovered about myself from 24 years old to 34 years old is that I am really good at connecting dots, DuctTaping a one million dollar product to a five dollar product to accomplish my goals and jamming popsicle sticks into things to re-enforce them and make them work even it it ends up being one of those stupid and lazy peoples asses so they get done what I need done. So no I am not the smartest kid in class just ask any teacher I ever had.

But IT tolerates people like me calling ourselves engineers (even if it is with a small e) when we did not even finish college. I would even go as far as to say that we are often rewarded for not being a capitol E engineer because we are not saddled with the constraints of what can an cannot be done either in general or with a product. I don’t know how many times I have talked to Engineers and said I love that I can do this with your product and I get the response of “You can’t do that with our product.” Clearly they designed it better than they thought. Read more

Quit loosing your KEYS!

I know as a Network professional I should never forget a WPA key. Docs Docs Docs. But tonight I was setting up someone else ‘s computer and forgot our general WPA PSK and did not want to dig for it in the password vault. So I cheated.

In OSX go to Spotlight and type Keychain Access
Then on the right hand side choose the System Option under Keychains
Then select the wireless network you lost your key to, right click and choose “copy password to clipboard”

At this point you will need to jump through the local password hoops but then you can past it into textedit and get back to doing whatever you were doing.

Here is to not loosing your keys and if you do hopefully a way out of the mess.

Storage Wars the Epic Battle Rages On

So tonight as I was getting into bed I did my normal scan twitter to see who I have pissed off or what might be going on that should rob me of sleep.  Well tonight @david_Strebel asked the following questions;

“Who thinks FCoE will win over iSCSI?”  and I responded “Not I” and then David asked the next logical question which was why not and here is what I had to say in the incredible detail that Twitter allows;  “l2 boundaries, specialized hardware other than nics, hate relationship from most network people.”


The problem with this answer is pretty clear though.  It does not really answer the question just gives a few power point bullets to appease the crowd.  I don’t feel like this is enough though.  So I am going to attempt to lay out my overall view on this issue of who will win iSCSI or FCoE and why.  For those of you who don’t want to read the whole article which might get a a tad windy I don’t think either will win.  But I don’t think FCoE will emerge as the leader until something better come along.  For those masochists who like this kind of crap read on.

Read more

Moving on up. From VAR to VP.

I left the world of Government employment about six years ago.  At the time I was questioning if I even wanted to keep doing the whole IT thing.  Some people are wired to work for lazy bureaucrats who lie cheat and steal their way through the governmental ranks.  I am not.  That 3.5 year experience  just about broke my will and my desire to succeed.  However I am a bit more resilient than that, and when I landed a job at a consultant with a now defunct Silver VAR it quite laterally changed my life and career.  What I learned was that my desire to succeed and drive solutions was not dead just beaten and bruised. Read more

Stupid Certs

So after a few weeks of messing around with my lab and getting my CCNP study materials ordered, I started prepping for my CCNP this weekend.  My plan was to knock down my CCNP by the January 2011 and then jump right into my CCIE R/S Studies and take my written no later than January of 2012 followed by the Lab no later than July 2012.  While this is all still very doable I ran into an annoying little hangup today.  I do not have my CCNA.  For me this was not a problem considering until a few months ago I had planned on just jumping into my CCIE R/S and it does not require that I pass my CCNA for go for it.  But today as I was looking up some CCNP info I noticed the annoying pre-req of CCNA to achieve my CCNP.  Cisco this is BS.  No other way to cut it.  Really you’ll let me take a run at your largest cert without jumping through knowledge hoop I passed years ago but you won’t let me go for the CCNP (which is the arguably my current point in my career). Read more