You Gotta Trust Yourself

April 19, 2009

I had a strange technology issue last weekend, it cost about 12 hours of troubleshooting and frustration, and even though it is now fixed, I cannot exactly say why, or what caused  it to happen.

If you do on line banking, or have ever purchased something from Amazon, or E-Bay, you should be familiar with the little gold lock and the https:// part of the web address that defines that the Web Site is protected with what is called a Secure Sockets Layer or SSL certificate. (yes they can be hacked, but that is outside the context of this post)

In this case, when I applied those SSL security certificates to a couple of our sites, it killed them – completely! Dead as a door nail.

Some Background

1) We provide a web based application for a particular customer, so we own that portion

2) The customer is the one that wants, and supplies, those secure SSL certificates, so they own that piece

3) As a small business, I don’t have the capability for the 24×7 tech infrastructure to support the applications, so the physical server is contracted from a company that does does that for a living, they own that piece

(if you are a tech type, the organization supplying the SSL cert had moved to an internal KPI system and had changed the org and org unit, so we could not do a plain renewal of the certificate)

To make a long story short

After that 12 hours of sitting on the phone with the other two stakeholders and trying every thing we could think of, I called a halt.

I killed everything we had done and basically put everything back to the way it was before we started.

I then had the data centre team completely shut down that server, and do a clean restart.

Once that was done, the process went along as easily and quickly as it should have done the first time we tried.

The SMB Takeaway

When you have started at first principles and you know that everything was performed as it should be, yet something is wrong, don’t be afraid to call a time out. 

Cruft creeps in and shit happens.

So don’t be afraid to start from scratch.

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One Response to “You Gotta Trust Yourself”

  1. That’s what I suggest to clients as well a lot of the time. Starting over from scratch is sometimes the best method.

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