December 2008

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A project I was recently involved with was basically revamping a failing Backup system due to the environment outgrowing Symantec Backup Exec. The environment was mostly UNIX. Backups were inconsistent and a lot of administration and babysitting had to occur for a good set of tapes to get ready for the off-site vault.

Again, the recommended solution wasn’t approved. This time, it was clear NetBackup was needed for the ailments at hand. The hardware on-hand was great, but the Backup Exec software couldn’t compete. The $30k-$40k for the NetBackup software was no where to be found.

The final solution may have actually turned out better. That is, cheap storage + ZFS + rsync scripts.

The project was completed with 15 TBs of Linux servers backed up to one Solaris server with about 60 days of daily snapshots. Backup Exec manages the tape rotation from the backups on the Solaris/ZFS box and doesn’t touch any other hosts.

Users are happy because they can recover what they delete, management is happy because the price is right, and IT is happy because its reliable.

Mission accomplished!

Recently I attended The Landmark Forum and had a very positive experience. Luckily, I took the advice of my friend to take the class and did ZERO research before signing up. If I had done some research, I think I would have NOT signed up. I believed his word that The Landmark Forum was a positive experience and a few days before attending I heard it was a cult, nothing much else. I thought oh well, I signed up on a good recommendation.

The day after the class, I didn’t think about it much except when I talked to a friend who also took it about the impact it had and what we both saw after taking it. Our conversation went very well because the combination of friendship and both of us have had taken The Forum.

Later that day, I had another discussion with good friend who I thought might take it. I talked to him briefly on the weekend and I thought he would come to the “Tuesday” meeting after, but since he has changed his mind. We had a discussion about it on IM and I attempted to convince him it was a good idea to attend the Forum, but in the end he sent me links and ideas of how it was bad (pyramid scheme, religion, etc.) and he wouldn’t be attending. It was interesting to see how the phrasing and concepts of the forum could be applied to the discussion. I’m not going to get into that, but I found it very powerful.

This discussion was good and bad. It was good because I think I understand how The Landmark Forum operates as a business and as a perceived cult and why people are so fearful. It was a bad conversation because my friend isn’t interested because of what he read online.

Now I must ask the question to myself of why The Forum is received online so negatively. 1) I’m not a worse person after attending, 2) I feel I received my money’s worth, 3) No one has told me I’m not me today 4) I did not experience amazing results, 5) I experienced others experience amazing results.

How is The Forum perceived to get new students? Brain washing!

How does The Forum actually get new students in a way that is miss-interpreted as being negative? I’ll make it very simple; it works like a drug… Person goes to Forum, person experiences amazing thing, person feels high from the amazing things, person is excited for self and friends to experience amazing things, person wants friend to attend, friend feels pressured because person is high from amazing things. Friend doesn’t go because the combination of the stupid things online and the person telling him he should attend which friend misinterprets because he read it’s a cult and now thinks person is brain-washed.

Although I compare it to a drug, I’m not addicted, but I bet some people get addicted to their amazing results. Is The Forum bad? Well, if the person received something bad, then yes, it would be bad. But I’m sorry to tell you, there is no voodoo, brain washing, etc. It’s just a positive experience.

My feeling is that over-all, I think the forum is a great opportunity. A caveat of caution is that if you’re very vulnerable, you will probably get a good experience from it, but you may also not understand what happened to you because (a) you’re too busy having major breakthroughs and (b) you’re so high and excited from these you’re brain will be buzzing and lead to a non-realization. I would imagine after a few days you’d get it, but who knows.