Alik Levin's

Clarity, Technology, and Solving Problems | 

July, 2007

  • Alik Levin's

    T-Shooting Kerberos


    I was delivering  "Authentication Explained" session for Security User Group.

    First off  - thanks for attending the session!

    The session was based on "Authentication Explained" workshop. During the session I was demoing the following topics:

    During the preparation for the session I struggled a bit with our friend Kerberos and I stumbled on very nice resource on technet:

    The articles are very comprehensive and detailed - very handy.

    Happy Kerberos t-shooting (troubleshooting)



  • Alik Levin's

    Performance Workshop In Munich MTC Labs - Lessons Learned


    How to get a hold of what's going on when getting ownership of the running project?

    How to achieve results when strictly time- and resource-boxed?

    How to keep team members focused on objectives and reduce distraction?


    Here is what I've done:

    • Visualizing and modeling. White board is my best friend to get fast hold on what is going on. White board defines clearly "theater of operations".
    • Setting clear daily goals. Allows evaluation of progress by end of the day.
    • Define fine grained tasks. Allows assign short term achievable tasks to each member and also see how it contributes to the whole project.
    • Making sure tasks are clearly understood and clearly assigned. Never assume "it is understood" rather ask for reflection. Even simplest things ever can be misunderstood.
    • Making sure there is parallel work can be done. Sometimes there are situations when one team waits on another to move forward. Find proper short task to avoid idle time.
    • Doing short sprints of tasks. Allows quickly get results or re-evaluate the course of execution when tasks are failed.
    • Conducting quick sync meeting before lunch (it ensures the meeting will be short). Allows to evaluate daily progress and adjust while it is not (there is another half of day).
    • Conducting sum up sync meeting by the end of the day. Reflects on daily progress and evaluates the goal.
    • Collecting and organize data while conducting tests. Allows re-evaluate the course of execution and saves time in the end of lab.
    • Focus on objectives.  Objectives help scope and keep things on track.  When things get off track, or things get emotional, focusing on objectives brings everybody back to common ground.  
    • Celebrate the day. Each restaurant we went in Munich offered fantastic food and of course a lots of beer. Recharges and set right spirit for another hard work day.

    The results:

    • The team overcame numerous obstacles to stabilize the system in the lab and actually conduct load tests and profiling of different types.
    • The team Identified ineffective data access approaches.
    • The team Identified ineffective algorithms.
    • The team Identified ineffective serialization mechanisms.
    • The team identified arch changes need to be made to reduce network round trips.
    • The team was able to collect and distill the data in the way decision makers can make their decisions.

    Here is a wonderful visual that Srinath shared with me - thanks!.

    It perfectly visualize how to not get lost among many tasks.


    It was my first time in Munich and Germany as well. Amazing country.

    Special thanks go to Rolf, Olaf & Olaf for warm hosting and professionalism each one offered in his area of expertise - Thanks!

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