Another day, another flashback. I don’t know about you but at times I have had some very odd and uncomfortable requests from vendors. It’s not wholly uncommon for them to want to log into your system to diagnose an issue for themselves. Or perhaps for whatever reason your manager says hey give this random outside person access to some important box. As a SA you get used to extremely odd requests and figure out how to just solve the problem.
Matt Simmons is trying to dust off some old articles he think some people may have missed. So I figure why not. A while back I talked about how to move a website (read DNS sucks , you need a reverse proxy). In fact I have talked about reverse proxies a few times since I tend to find them so useful. At any rate, this article stemmed from the first hand experience that opened my eyes to how bad DNS infrastructure really was.
The last few days I have been having a pretty good debate with a friend about the virtues of open source vs Appliances. At times its gotten pretty heated but its all in good fun. The current debate centers around email infrastructure. There are options on the table to use an appliance, or a 3rd party service to control the spam. Of course I was appalled that SpamAssassin and brethren were not on the table.Don’t get me wrong, I am a lazy bastard and appliances can be great. But there are budget crunches all over the place and saving money is important. Sure, implementing an open source solution can be costly in man hours. But a licensed product is guaranteed costly over the long term. The debate went into the gutter so far as to say no one uses SpamAssassin. I of course rebutted with the list of
Ewwww, scary isn’t it. No Its not Halloween, but you may have entered the twilight zone. Right, I never touch Microsoft products. Well in actuality sometimes I do (I just don’t brag about it). Some of the development at $work uses Microsofts Mediaroom, and I have a “Personal Server” (great name right?) that the developers use. I was trying to install the Mediaroom service pack yesterday and took some notes on the process. Some of my friends found it quite entertaining. I found it quite aggravating as you might imagine.
I’d like to thank Dale Mugford and Duane Storey from BraveNewCode for the nice WordPress plugin and bundled mobile theme. If you visit my site on your mobile device you should get a slimmed down page, let me know what ya think.
Many of you know that I had a son about 6 months ago now. What you may not know is that my wife decided to quit her job and start a home daycare so she could be at home with our son. We all know how hard kids can be on DVDs and the like, so its important to be able to back them up. I am not a fan of the encryption or the new copy protections that have been put in place (ARccOS, RipGuard).
Gah so I was futzing with the acl map on our subversion server. Organizing things into groups. I wasn’t thinking and started uppercasing the users ids when moving them into groups (yes i hate uppercase but its easy to highlight paste them). This of course stopped authentication from working for people who have cached auths returning a 403 error. So how to quickly lowercase a huge swath of ids?
I am sure you are aware of my affinity for the Xen hypervisor. In the last year I have switched over to Citrix Xenserver. With other people managing VMs as well having a nice GUI is helpful. One of my complaints is that the GUI (XenCenter) is a windows only app. C’mon, Citrix, please release a cross platform management console. I’ve got to run a windows VM just to use the GUI (granted I don’t have to use the gui, there is a nice API and console utilities). At any rate today I noticed that I could no longer pull up the console for a windows VM nor could I pull up the performance metrics available in XenCenter. A few searches turned up Kenneth Hunts blog and a post that showed me where to fix it. The windows box running XenCenter has a cache folder located in %AppData%\Citrix\XenCenterMain.exe_Url_xxxxxxxxxx. If you remove the cache you should be able to see the console and performance graphs again. If by chance you remove the entire folder you will need to re-add all dom0s back into XenCenter.
From time to time I have not so pleasant support experiences. Today I had another.
This comes up from time to time for me. Either myself or someone else needs to see what address are either in use or not in use (at least as far as ping is concerned). So here are a few oneliners to hopefully make your day brighter.