What Certificate Authorities Are and Why We Need to Trust Them

After having introduced the very basic concepts about certificates, we need to dive into the trust issues I raised in the first part of this series. Working with certificates means trusting someone else because a certificate contains a foreign signature combining a public key with identity information. In this part, I will explain why that trust is necessary and how every one of us implicitly places trust in certificates through the operating system.

What Certificates Are and How They Work

In the recent past I have realized that certificates are poorly understood. But accompany us in our everyday life. In the case of IT pros this is very unsettling because they are expected to handle them with ease.

The first and most important concept about certificates is that you need to be thinking about two pieces of information. The certificate is the public part and it always has a matching private key. You may or may not require both for your needs – but continue reading and find out.

Statistical Analysis of Performance Data Part 3 - Histograms

So far, I have written about averages and correcting your data set. In both articles, I have stressed the importance of recognizing outliers and acting according to generally accepted methods. In this article, I will provide the means to identify outliers and their effect on a data set using histograms.

Server Management in Windows Server 8 Developer Preview

Since Microsoft has published Windows Server 8 Developer Preview through MSDN at Windows Build I have spent quite some time after dark getting to know this new versions. In the following I have collected some exciting news about the new incarnation of Server Manager.

My Slide Deck from NRWconf 2011 (Statistische Analyse von Performance-Daten)

For those interested, find attached the slides I presented at NRWconf 2011 in Wuppertal. Mind - they are in German!

My Slide Deck from ice:2011 (Wolkig mit Aussicht auf Fleischbällchen)

For those interested, find attached the slides I presented at ice:2011 in Lingen. Mind - they are in German! I also discontinue sharing the material via Amazon S3 as propagated in the slides.

Statistical Analysis of Performance Data Part 2 - Correcting the Data Set

In the first part of this series, I made a point that average values can be easily distorted and I explained when they can be considered to be secure. Now, I am going to show you how to clean up a data set using statistically proven methods.

The Performance Monitoring Poster

In the course of the last months, I have been working on a guide through the process of performance analysis. The poster introduces the individual subsystems and provides a step-by-step guide through important metrics and explains how to read the signs of a bottleneck. Read on for an excerpt from the poster.

Statistical Analysis of Performance Data Part 1 - Averages

In the first article about the statistical analysis of performance data, I will be dealing with averages. I will explain why it is a bad idea to work with averages of averages (like when storing intermediate results), why relying on averages can be dangerous and what good averages look like.

Statistical Analysis of Performance Data Part 0 - Primer

As I have announced a few weeks ago, this article kicks off a new series about analyzing performance data. The individual articles will discuss different aspects of correctly working with the collected data. They will provide the necessary mathematical and statistical background for processing and visualizing the data.