i need some suggestions

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at toybox.placo.com
Sat Nov 5 23:49:55 GMT 2005

Hi Bob,

  Sorry for the top post.  Here's the deal: your operative statement is:

"I do all the system administration and network administration"

  When do you go on vacation, guy?  It must be some time.  And I
would bet that when you do you leave detailed instructions for your
boss as to how to login, modify accounts, etc.  Whereupon when
the time comes to actually do it - he's left sitting at a command
prompt and is scared to death of following your instructions.  Am
I right?

  Even if you never go on vacation, what happens if you walk to
another employer?  Or if you get hit by a bus?

  Your employer, which I would bet money is also the owner, has
a sticky problem here.  He knows that it's unsafe for everything to
be dependent on 1 person, from a disaster recovery standpoint that it.
He is thinking if everything is pleskified, and you do get hit by
a bus, that he will be at least able to keep from being nibbled
to death by ducks while he looks for a replacement for you.  But
if he comes right out and tells you the truth, your going to think
that all he wants plesk for is so that the administration becomes
so easy that he can fire you and hire someone cheaper, or some such.
So he's probably giving you a load of bullcrap about the customers
wanting it so that you don't get rattled and walk.

  Now I've been in these situations before, both as employer and
employee.  And I can tell you that you need to sit down with him
and have a heart-to-heart talk.  This could potentially be a very
divisive issue that could damage the company.  Both of you are in
the wrong and you both need to acknowledge that to each other.

  For starters, you are in the wrong because you must understand
that there is a real, legitimate business need for multiple people
to be able to handle administration of the servers in the company,
in case of a problem.  If I was one of your customers and I knew
that only 1 person could do the administration on your systems, I'd
be out of there.  This redundancy/cross training could be accomplished
with plesk, or with webmin (which is how we do it) or some other
tool.   But it has to exist, and your employer is justified in wanting
it to exist.

  But also for starters, your employer is in the wrong by latching
on to a SPECIFIC solution - ie: plesk - and trying to ram it down
your throat.  He hired you to administer the network and he can't
interfere with your doing the job of administering it.  Otherwise
if he wants to micromanage, then he needs to do the entire enchilada.
He cannot cherry-pick parts of your job, and flit in and out as
the whim takes him, making pronouncements from on high.  If your
employer does not have the knowledge to install plesk and get it
running on the network there, then he is NOT qualified to evaluate
it as a solution for your company.  In short, he needs to trust
you - if that trust does not exist, then your wasting your time
working there.

  Now, let me tell you something else.  Right now YOU are basically
in the drivers seat.  The worst thing you could do is walk before
a solution like plesk is implemented - and your employer knows this.
That is probably his greatest fear right now.  So, if in the course
of talking to him, you even HINT that you are even AWARE of this,
let alone threaten to do it, it will utterly destroy whatever trust
you have and he will jump to conclusions that you are just going to
screw him over as soon as you find another job.  If that happens then
he's going to simply entrench himself and will demand you install
plesk immediately - and probably stand over you until it's done -
which will of course scotch everything and you will either get
disgusted and quit or he will fire you.

  So you are treading on thin ice here.  What you need to do is
approach this with kid gloves.  Ask him gently if he's really
interested in plesk because of the "bus factor" that will get
the issue out on the table so he will be more comfortable talking
about it.  Acknowledge that he has a good point and you understand
that since your growing that the administration must be made easier
so that he could do it in the event that you are incapacitated.
Remind him that once this is done that will help free you up to do
more complex, demanding admin tasks like upgrading servers and
such, because now he can start answering the phone and e-mail
and knocking off some of the piddly day to day stuff that your
being taken up with.  Once your both in agreement then you need
to carefully bring up the fact that since your intimately knowledgeable
about the administration stuff that you really want to eval plesk
and some other GUI administration tools before committing to it.

  Depending on his response you will know what to do.  If you have
a good relationship with him he will probably be willing to back down
as long as he sees some tangible movement towards a more redundant
administrative setup.  If he doesn't
trust you he's going to keep pushing for plesk, and at that point
you need to smile and nod, and start looking for another job.


>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
>[mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org]On Behalf Of Bob Ababurko
>Sent: Saturday, November 05, 2005 12:52 PM
>To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
>Subject: i need some suggestions
>I am looking for some ammunition.  My employer is all of a sudden
>enthralled with plesk.  I guess the customers are asking for it.  What
>can they want it for?  Mail account creation, web stats and i dont
>really know.  First I should say, what we do.  It is basically a little
>web/app developing, hosting gig which is growing.   I do all the system
>administration and network administration.
>I can say that my motivation is self centered for either reason, that I
>hate working with plesk.  I am hoping that I would be able to find some
>more reasons why implementing plesk is not a good idea so that I can
>approach him with something other than my own contempt.  Like I said, I
>do not seem to have these reasons in my head yet.  The reasons that I
>thought of already is that having all the services on one
>machine is not
>so good.....but why?  All I can think of is that administration is much
>harder, especially when there are more than one plesk machine.  We
>already have separate services running on separate
>boxes...mail, db, and
>many web, but it seems that everyone likes a gui.  btw, we are running
>all of our services on FreeBSD.  I didn't really know what
>other list to
>do this on since their isn't an anti-plesk list that I know
>of.....I wish!
>If anyone has any ideas or options of why we should not use plesk, I
>would like to hear some refreshing insight other than my brain at the
>freebsd-questions at freebsd.org mailing list
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