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web servers that I support…

February 26, 2016

And how to look at them differently.  Too much philosophy lately, has me looking at this stuff different too.  As it should.

The server(s).  Three of them in the web cameras system echosphere.  I like this view, good and global.

The server is part of a process that includes, software, people, hardware and communication.  When the software hiccups, meaning the people logging into it on a daily basis to monitor entrance ways, cannot log in or access – generates a big reaction.  A priority 1 for our helpdesk.  The helpdesk is another part of the system.

Philosophical view?  James should never be the sole person responsible for getting things done when the system goes down.  The critical information, whatever that is, needs to be shared and understood by the people in the system.  Makes sense.

A more pragmatic view is when the system is down, we need to communicate that with the right people as quickly as poss. so we can get the system back on line.

The system is responsible for creating 30 days worth of video footage for about 90 cameras on three different campuses.  That is a good global view of the system.  Three servers are responsible for archiving or keeping that footage around and accessible if necessary.  After 30 days, the space is recycled.  There are two dedicated archive servers in the system with hard drives of over a terabyte. – lots of storage needed for camera video.  A picture of the storage capacity of one of the archive servers.  Four drives, complete with a recovery drive.  Their space should remain consistent – meaning the storage requirement for the cameras for 30 days would not change unless more cameras were added or a high resolution option.


The Genetec software is also installed on the archive servers, not sure why, perhaps to assist in the management of the recorded video footage…?  not sure.  There is no configuration data associated with the software, I just loaded it up and it is empty.

The main server that does contain configuration information also uses Genetec software to assign cameras IP addresses so they can be visible via the Internet.  The main server also has a large capacity hard drive and archives video too.

One of  the things I tried to do last week in the system, was change the behavior of my remoting credentials, so my password would not change every 45 days or so.   I reset the passwords and shared the information with others in the system and would like for that not to change automatically.

Additionally, I wanted to have the same permissions and behaviors for each of the accounts associated with each server.  Namely, the ability to restart the server remotely.  Although, from a systematic or operational view, the last couple times the main server hiccuped from either a Windows update or something, our technition had to physically go to the site and reboot the server.  A remote session or a reboot would not solve the issue.  A service had to be reset or bad drive sectors needed correcting via a checkdsk command, for example.

While researching this, I discovered a neat windows command that allowed me to access properties of my account on the server.  Depending on the version of Windows on the server (Windows 7 or Windows server 2008), the command was  a little different, and the way the account was implemented was a little different, from server to server.  One used groups, the others did not.

So I am wanting two things – really one, a better understanding of what my account can do and why – philosophical.  Pragmatically speaking, I need to change the account password reset property and the permission.

The Windows command to access the user account properties is:

Another factor in the system that caused confusion was the arrival of the servers 18 months ago and not getting registered via another system.  Consequently, people in this system would be confounded about details of the server, locations etc.  I have pieced that information together over the past year and shared it with others in the system.  I also made a inquery – action diagram in attempt to provide direction in the system when certain things happen.



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