I’ve seen many versions of this before, but I think the following version from friend and coworker Jim Michaud is the best yet.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through IT
Who knew this night, would soon turn to sh**!
No systems were hung, for we have taken much care
and nagios would tell me if a problem was there
The computers were clustered all snug in their rack
Unaware there was a problem with their Ethernet jack

I had enjoyed a big meal and a refreshing nightcap
and was deeply enjoying a long winter’s nap
When next to my head, my phone made a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter
Away to my office I flew like a flash
Tore through logins to try and mitigate the crash

I was needed at the office, and there I will be
Parking was easy, no one here but me.
When what to my wondering eyes do I see
but a “Login Timeout”, bad news for me!
With a login that hangs but the machine is not dead
I knew in a moment, I might be over my head

More rapid than normal my fingers did fly
And brought up the daemons to figure out why?
Now network, Now syslog, Now cyrus and portmap
On ssh ! On postfix ! On apache and LDAP
From single user mode in a login shell
but ssh logins still hang……what the h***?

As the RAID mirror rebuilds, I have time to waste
So back to my house to get food without haste
Then back to the office with no ideas that stick
Hoping the mirror rebuild would just do the trick

And then in desperation to bring up our email
I tried different hardware, but to no avail
As I rebooted the server, with a fair bit of doubt,
Same error as before, “Login Timeout”
But I did get a clue, but only just one
the kernel had a errors for UDP checksum

My heart lept with joy that email would soon send
but the switch showed no errors, another dead end
My eyes getting blurry, hard to see the screen
It was just about time to get a jolt of caffeine

I tried a new NIC, in case that’s the cause
and I don’t mean the saint or jolly mister Clause
It proved somewhat useful as the system surely ran
Until a reboot brought me back to where I began

I changed back the hardware as it probably was fine
So reboot again, what seemed like number ninety-nine
The system was perfect in single user mode
But turn on networking and things just got hosed.

I tried many things but nothing would work
Then had an epiphany, I’m such a jerk!
By plugging the cable into another switch jack
The logins succeed without even a “hack”
I sprang to desk to check my email
and just as I thought, they came without fail

It’s now four AM; twenty hours was this plight
Happy Christmas to all, and to all….zzzzzzzzzzzz