data center

Project management software is not just for managing software based project. It can be used for variety of other tasks too. The web-based software must provide tools for planning, organizing and managing resources to achieve project goals and objectives. A web-based project management software can be accessed through an intranet or WAN / LAN using a web browser. You don’t have to install any other software on the system. The software can be easy of use with access control features (multi-user). I use project management software for all of our projects (for e.g. building a new cluster farm) for issue / bug-tracking, calender, gantt charts, email notification and much more.

Obviously I’m not the only user, the following open source software is used by some of the biggest research organizations and companies world wild. For e.g. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses track software or open source project such as lighttpd / phpbb use redmine software to keep track of their projects.

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Unplanned downtime may be the result of a software bug, human error, equipment failure, power failure, and much more. Last week was a bad one. We faced three different downtime:

  • First, there was a fiber cut for one of our data center resulting into routing anomalies due BGP reroute. Traffic was rerouted but updating those BGP tables took some time to update.
  • Someone from networking team failed to follow proper maintenance procedures for network device resulted into 55 minutes downtime.
  • One of our SAN hardware failure – Many internal UNIX / Linux web applications use SAN to store data including file server, tracking apps, R&D apps, IT help desk, LAN and WAN servers failed. This one lasted for 12 hrs. It was stared around midnight. The vendor replaced entire SAN hardware. Now we have dual stacked SAN as a backup device for internal usage.

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MAC Filtering (layer 2 address filtering) refers to a security access control methodology whereby the 48-bit address assigned to each network card is used to determine access to the network. Iptables, pf, and IPFW can block a certain MAC address on a network, just like an IP. One can deny or allow from MAC address like 00:1e:2a:47:42:8d using open source firewalls. MAC address filtering is often used to secure LAN or wireless network / devices. Is this technique effective?

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tail is one of the best tool to view log files in a real time (tail -f /path/to/log.file). The program MultiTail lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail program. The difference is that it creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses). This is one of those dream come true program for UNIX sys admin job. You can browse through several log files at once and do various operations like search for errors and much more.

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I’ve three nameserver load-balanced (LB) in three geo locations. Each LB has a front end public IP address and two backend IP address (one for BIND and another for zone transfer) are assigned to actual bind 9 server running Linux. So when a zone transfer initiates from slave server, all I get errors. A connection cannot be established, it tries again with the servers main ip or LB2 / LB3 ip. This is a problem because my servers are geo located and load balanced. However, there is a small workaround for this problem.

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I’ve already written about creating a partition size larger than 2TB under Linux using GNU parted command with GPT. In this tutorial, I will provide instructions for booting to a flat 2TB or larger RAID array under Linux using the GRUB boot loader.

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Linux and other Unix-like operating systems use the term “swap” to describe both the act of moving memory pages between RAM and disk, and the region of a disk the pages are stored on. It is common to use a whole partition of a hard disk for swapping. However, with the 2.6 Linux kernel, swap files are just as fast as swap partitions. Now, many admins (both Windows and Linux/UNIX) follow an old rule of thumb that your swap partition should be twice the size of your main system RAM. Let us say I’ve 32GB RAM, should I set swap space to 64 GB? Is 64 GB of swap space really required? How big should your Linux / UNIX swap space be?

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