When in doubt, turn off the firewall, right?

These two software developers are constantly having trouble with their middleware configuration -- and this pilot fish is having trouble figuring out what planet they're from.

One day they call fish asking for help. "The application won't start," they tell fish. "Can you reboot the server?"

Why? fish asks. Is there anything wrong with the operating system? "No, there's nothing wrong the OS," they reply, "but the middleware won't start."

Have you checked the application log? What does it say? "Huh -- what's the application log?"

Fish logs in and checks. According to the log, there's a process that's unable to open a port on the server itself. He relays this to the developers.

"OK," they say. "Can you turn off the firewall then?"

It's a local process trying to open a local port, fish points out. It's not firewall related. Besides, this box doesn't even have a firewall daemon running.

"You're not helping," they tell him.

Sighs fish, "I said, 'You should check your configuration -- it's not an OS issue. Why don't you check the configuration on a working box?'

"But to this day, they still don't get that a local process talking to a local port doesn't involve the firewall."

Talk to Sharky. Tell me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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