“Someone should invent a machine to do that”

Lately, I find myself saying this a whole lot.

The conversations in which I’m saying this follow the pattern of these examples:

Me: “Let me understand your problem – tell me why you don’t want to have expiring passwords on this service account?”

Other guy: “Because when we change passwords, we’d have to change the password at the domain controller, then log on to each machine that runs the service, change the passwords, and stop and restart the service on those machines. Then we’d have to take note of which machines had issues with the process, so that we could work on troubleshooting those.”

Me: “Someone should invent a machine to do that … they could call it something like … a komputor. I’m sure they’d sell millions.”

Yes, it’s a little sarcastic when I put it that way, and for the most part that last piece is in my head. It usually comes out as “that could be done by a simple script”, or “can we justify the cost of buying one of the many programs out there that manages that entire process automatically?”

When you take a boring and mundane manual process and turn it into an automated process, whether through scripting or purpose-built applications, you significantly reduce the likelihood of error, and you can take your staff and turn them to other tasks that require human thought and are interesting.

One Response to “Someone should invent a machine to do that”

  • Couple of additions – if you use 2 accounts, you can just roll them over. When account 1 password gets close to expiration, change the password for account 2, then you can spend the next week rolling the services over to use account 2, which makes it not a fire drill, especially if you script it (sc.exe is the thing).

    Second, Win2k8 R2 comes with a thing called ‘virtual accounts’ – this is an account you can use to run a service and the system manages the password for you. There’s a local and domain variety. Win2k8 SP latest has the local accounts available if that works for your service.

    Once you can move to this, problem solved.

    re: Great suggestions

    Those are really good suggestions, but of course that was really only an illustrative example.

    Monday, February 1, 2010 06:27 PM by Alun Jones

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