Thoughts Worth Thinking About

I was just chatting with a friend about software, infrastructure, modern architectures and methodologies, and just sysadmin stuff in general. After getting up for a few minutes to grab a drink, here’s what I found waiting for me in the chat room. I’m sharing it, with his permission:


I find it funny. Everyone is like, “my servers are cattle, not pets”, “no snowflakes” and “use Docker,” with the result that the infrastrcture and host systems are the worst form of this. xD

But to be honest, I am realizing that the cattle/pet thing is wrong. I want my server to be a shepherd dog and my processes/services to be cattle. I want my dog to be smart and take care of things and be reliable, exactly because my cattle isn’t.

I want it to do the right thing at the right moment and in the right way. I want to improve my servers every time something goes wrong and not have them be as dumb as the first time it happened.

And the snowflake. No, I don’t want my system to be like every other. In that case I would just make a distro that is like that and just install it. No architecture/design of system/infrastructure required.

It’s like.. just using WordPress instead of starting your own thing. “But that way it’s easier, and you don’t have your snowflake web app.”

Oh and you can google stack traces.

Why program at all?

It’s also a bit like when people thought it was a good idea to use Microsoft Office (or early versions of Frontpage) to make web pages. xD

The WP comparison probably also works with OSs. “Why not just use Ubuntu” is like “why not just use WP?” Big community, widely used language.


It’s worth considering. Thinking carefully about fads and hype, before going along with them, is a good thing. And even if a lot of these technologies and approaches have merit, they are not a ‘one size fits all’ answer. If something doesn’t make sense to you, always ask more questions, do more research, and try things out yourself. That’s what makes us better than machines :-).