Its Your story. Not who you are. Just what made you - wisewoman
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A/S/L: 37, Male, Weston-super-Mare, UK
Marital: Relationship
Interests: My kids, movies, music, literature and computing

Friday, 16th October 2009

Errata from previous post:
Its only 7U not 8U

And the disk layout has changed:

1 - 146.8Gb (Logical Drive 0 - RAID 1)
2 - 146.8Gb (Logical Drive 0 - RAID 1)
3 - 72.8Gb (Logical Drive 1 - RAID 5)
4 - 72.8Gb (Logical Drive 1 - RAID 5)
5 - 72.8Gb (Logical Drive 1 - RAID 5)
6 - 72.8Gb (Logical Drive 1 - RAID 5)
7 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
8 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
9 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
10 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
11 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
12 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
13 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
14 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)

Thats 620Gb of über fast disk thanks to eBay and someone selling 7 36.4Gb drives for £24.99...

The DL360 is currently running iRedOS - a mail server distribution, which I am testing for internal usage for providing free POP3 accounts to customers who buy managed internet connections. Its fast and easy to administer - although I suspect I shall get one of my guys to write a small control panel for it.

I've have convinced my boss that the internal Sales Order/Helpdesk/Asset/CRM/Change Management system we are writing could possibly be open-sourced or even marketed in the wild (under a chargeable support structure).

In other news, I am currently investigating some new products for our customers - incl. reverse proxy solutions for some of their intensive web applications. Chances are I will plum for Varnish as its open-source, supported and frickin' quick.

Think I might be buying some servers off of eBay for work as well as our development boxes. We have loads of stuff we need to try out as we move forward and I don't want to tie up "proper" resources doing it. There are drawbacks - have ever tried buy 2nd user servers that actually come with rack mounting kits? Try it and then weep :o

[ 1 comments : Add | Read ]

[link]   Posted @ 19:43


Monday, 21st September 2009
New stuff

So I have opened a new blog.
Aural Fellation

Its music related (something I have been promising to do for some time). It will have my mixes on and also stuff that I like and want to share with you.

In other news - a small problem I had with my hosting environment has been sorted. Every now and again, if I was uploading/downloading from another machine in the network, the firewall and everything inside would disappear. I tracked this down to being a duplex mis match on the switch - the firewall was running at 100Full and the switch was doing 100Half. Once the errors rocketed up, it would reset the port causing a brief outage. All fixed now though.

Again in other news - I have another server in place (as well as 2 upgraded Raq3 boxen). A dual Xeon 2.8Ghz DL360 with an external SCSI array (MSA30) using a 6402 array controller. The MSA30 is maxed out presently with the following setup (drives scavenged from wherever I could get them):

1 - 146.8Gb (Logical Drive 0 - RAID 1)
2 - 146.8Gb (Logical Drive 0 - RAID 1)
3 - 72.8Gb (Logical Drive 1 - RAID 5)
4 - 72.8Gb (Logical Drive 1 - RAID 5)
5 - 72.8Gb (Logical Drive 1 - RAID 5)
6 - 72.8Gb (Logical Drive 1 - RAID 5)
7 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
8 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
9 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
10 - 36.4Gb (Logical Drive 2 - RAID 5)
11 - 18.2Gb (Logical Drive 3 - RAID 5)
12 - 18.2Gb (Logical Drive 3 - RAID 5)
13 - 18.2Gb (Logical Drive 3 - RAID 5)
14 - 18.2Gb (Logical Drive 3 - RAID 5)

I installed CentOS and set them up as a Logical Volume meaning I have 529Gb of Ultra320 10K disk space spread across multiple RAID drives - very fast and very safe :) As and when I get some more drives...

So my setup now consists of:
Cisco PIX 515E (upgraded to latest release, extra memory, extra ethernet, VPN+ PCI card)
Cisco Catalyst 3524XL switch
Raq3 (upgraded to 512Mb RAM, updated BOIS and running StrongBolt)
Compaq DL360 G3, 2x Xeon 2.8Ghz, 1Gb RAM, 2x 18Gb (RAID1)
External MSA30 (14 drives, 803Gb in 529Gb RAID arrays)

Thats 8U of space in total...

[ no comments : Add ]

[link]   Posted @ 13:23


Friday, 21st August 2009
Ho hum!

Once upon a time, there A, B, Y and Z.

Y and Z had a big falling out.

A says to B "I don't want to see Y any more cos they were nasty to Z"
B says to A "Well Y wasn't nasty to Z but OK, if thats what you want"
B thinks this is fair as Y has accused Z (and vice versa) of forcing B to do and say things and A isn't like that.

< a handful of weeks pass >

A says to B "I'd quite like to see Y now"
B says "OK. I'll find out when you can see them"
B texts Y and asks when A could see them. Y replies with "I don't know"

< a couple of weeks pass >

A says to B "When can I see Y?"
B says "I'll ask again and see what they say"
B texts Y and asks when A could see them. Y doesn't reply

< a few weeks pass >

A and B are somewhere having fun. Y arrives as well.
B and Y see each other and are happy to see other but the thing with Z is still going on.
A says to Y "why wont you see B?". Y replies "I love B and want to see B but cant until this thing with Z is sorted out"
A says "Is that what you want me to tell B?". Y says "Yes"
A tells B what Y has said and B shrugs and says "oh well"

Weeks and weeks pass and then A finds out that Y has been slagging A off in public.

A is mad, sad and confused as all A is doing is making sure B is happy, content and living a normal life.

[ 1 comments : Add | Read ]

[link]   Posted @ 16:32


Tuesday, 14th July 2009
Strongbolt pt. II

So the installation on the second box worked a treat - eventually!

After it not booting from the net after several attempts, I plugged the xover cable into the other interface on the host PC - then it all burst into life. Oops!

No stalls, no failures! Just one session and it was done. Then set the IP address from the front panel, rebooted, did all the YUM updates and then relocated into my little part of the computer room.

It appears to be a lot faster in use than the standard Cobalt OS. Blue Quartz is a dream interface with everything you can think of. There are couple of panels I might need to write to make the home machine was as a home server (fetchmail interface, Samba sharing, etc) but I shall see how it goes.

Next step - getting a rack mounted NAS or 2 (1 for using in anger and 1 for DJing with). eBay here I come :)

[ no comments : Add ]

[link]   Posted @ 17:12


Monday, 13th July 2009
Strongbolt

So I picked up the 2 RAQ3 boxen on Saturday on the way to see the Electric Boys and Thunder in concert at the HMV Apollo, Hammersmith.

Thunders last ever UK concert. I saw their first tour in the Colston Hall, Bristol, 13 times since and finally on Saturday night. Bye Thunder - you've given me huge amounts of enjoyment, many sore throats, damaged ears and I've loved every minute...

So Sunday afternoon saw me awake and moving around (failing to meet up with some friends in Bristol) and got around to upgrading the ROM image on one of the boxes. Worked perfectly. So I had a play and tried to work out how to upgrade the OS on it. Got hold of the Raq 550 install CD and tried that but the installer is incredibly picky about what ethernet cards it supports - so that failed. However, I have many machines in the office I could try!

Took the other box to work to try it out. ROM upgrade went fine but none of the machines there had a supported card either :( And nor did any of the modded versions of the ISO. Which left me scratching my head a bit until I got hold of a Strongbolt 1.06 ISO. Tried that, followed the procedure but got a Kernel panic.

Brought the CD home, booted it up on the laptop and whammo - it started installing. And failed. Restarted. Stalled. Restarted. Stalled. Restarted. YAY!

It took a while but I now have a RAQ3 with SB1 installed and it is currently installing all the YUM updates. Very nice it looks too.

Tomorrow will see me trying again on the other box - I reckon the problem may have been due to another machine on the network running DHCP or something which would have cocked it all up. Thats what I'm hoping anyway...

Once all the updates are done - I will check to see what capabilities I now have - USB and Samba support are the priorities. Updates to follow

[ no comments : Add ]

[link]   Posted @ 20:20


Monday, 6th July 2009
Rack Mounted

Currently in my hosting setup I have:

Cisco Pix 515 Firewall (1U, 64mb, VPN+, Additional FastEthernet, PIXOS 8.0(3))
Cisco WS-C3524-XL-EN Switch (1U, 24port 10/100)
Generic UltraSPARC AXe Server (1U, UltraSPARC IIi 300MHz, 384Mb, 20gb, 5x FastEthernet, OpenBSD)

From a networking/security PoV this is quite awesome. The server however is pants. It runs. But it runs slowly. So I have bought 2 more slow servers :)

2x Cobalt RAQ 3i (1U, AMD K6-II 300, 256mb, 20Gb)

I will upgrading these to the latest Strongbolt 2 distribution following a few tweaks (incl a dangerous ROM upgrade!)

One of the Cobalts will go into my hosting setup and the other will end up at home to replace my existing SME Server as with Strongbolt it can run SAMBA and process all my email and home web serving needs (with a 500Gb USB drive attached). These RAQs are low power and almost silent.

Also in my sights is a 1U NAS box - a Quantum SNAP m4100 - capable of running 4x 120Gb as either RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 or JBOD. Plenty of space for storing websites stuff and such (esp. setup as a 360Gb RAID 5 array).

The UltraSPARC will then be retired for a Xeon or P4 based Dell PowerEdge or HP DL360 1U server. Both will be capable of accessing the SNAP server - which will be quite cool. A nice place to store all my MP3s and my huge mySQL databases.

Tried and tested. I don't need cutting edge for 95% of my stuff - but I do need silence in my lounge :)

[ no comments : Add ]

[link]   Posted @ 20:09


Saturday, 13th June 2009

So I was meant to be awake at 5am this morning so that I could register my facebook name. I was up at 7.30am and completely forgot about it until about 1/2hr ago... Still managed to get http://www.facebook.com/tudordavies which is pleasing.

Then noticed I could have been geekier and gone for something like /index.html or /yourmum.myface which would have been fun :)

In other news, all Friday booking for my residency have been cancelled due to lack of customers. I would like to point out that I haven't been scaring them away - they just dont come in on a Friday. Its not like I needed the money, so its not too bad.

Some tech thingies I will be writing about in the near future...
Getting Thunderbird updates work properly under Vista on Acer laptops
Getting mssql access working from OpenBSD/Linux
Multi level firewall configs
Windows 7 on a Compaq nc6000
amongst others :)

[ 4 comments : Add | Read ]

[link]   Posted @ 09:57


Monday, 11th May 2009
Erm... Oh yeah...

So yes I got back from the US.

Took in the delights on Houston, Dallas and New Orleans.

The wrestling was amazing (and if you watch Wrestlemania XXV you can see me several times!!!), Dallas was just huge and New Orleans was truly awesome.

And the weekend just gone - I went to Barcelona with Jam and enjoyed Gaudi, walked miles and loved it loads!

I am obviously not updating here very often, so follow me on Twitter or Facebook to see whats going on with me.

What I should really do is get some twitter integration sorted out here so that if I tweet - it updates here too. Hmmm - will talk to MrMan about that :)

[ 1 comments : Add | Read ]

[link]   Posted @ 08:02


Friday, 3rd April 2009
Texas

So I'm in Houston, Texas right now for a combined Andys 30th and Wrestlemania XXV celebration spanning 2 weeks!

Tonight is Smackdown, tomorrow is Hall of Fame and Sunday is Wrestlemania XXV.

We are staying at the Hilton Americas next door to the Toyota Centre (where HoF is being held).

Off to do some shopping in a bit and have a look around Houston. Updates (here and Facebook to follow).

[ 1 comments : Add | Read ]

[link]   Posted @ 13:11


Thursday, 19th March 2009
Netbook

So the new baby arrived yesterday afternoon and I now (barring XP updates) have everything installed and setup the way I want it.

Software installed:

Antivirus - ClamWin
Network Switching - Avanquest Connection Manager
WiFi Discovery - Network Stumbler
File Manager - xplorer2 Lite
IM: Windows Live
Twitter Client - TweetDeck (incl Adobe Air)
Codecs - XP Codec Pack 2.4.6 & Quicktime Alternative
Browser - Firefox Portable
Email - Thunderbird Portable
Office - AbiWord Portable
SFTP/FTP - FileZilla Portable
SSH/Telnet - PuTTY Portable
Media players - VLC Portable & Media Player Classic
PDF Viewer - Sumatra PDF Portable

Other - Startup Inspector for Windows, DCS Command Line Tools and ProcMon (from sysinternal/microsoft)

All the portable apps are available from PortableApps. Designed really for removable drives, they run fast and leave no footprint on the machine - just what I need.

With Firefox I have installed the following addons:
Foxmarks - bookmark management/syncing
Adblock Plus - to speed up browsing
Text2Link - to highlight text and open as a URL

To maximise my screen space while browsing:
Installed the Hide Menubar addon that hides the menubar and pops it back when you press Alt
Made all the icons small
Removed the status bar
Made the XP Start bar auto-hide
Removed the Bookmarks Toolbar (get Bookmarks with Ctrl-B)

Now its very useable :)

PuTTY Portable is setup so that I can SSH into my Linux box at home and it automatically sets up tunnels to IMAP and SMTP. This means I can get all my email from my home server inside an SSH tunnel (see my previous post about that) from wherever I am.

I have tested my external DJ drive on it and that works fine, I've tested MixMeister Fusion on it and that works fine (provided you make sure you don't run anything else much on the machine) and have also used by little USB soundcard (for live mixing/preview) without any problems. Whether I will actually ever use it for a live performance will remain to be seen, but I have the option.

NetStumbler allows me to find access points when I am travelling and hopefully find free APs to use.

Damned handy :)

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[link]   Posted @ 19:09


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