Posts

Linux NIC teaming recommendations

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Introduction In my job as a network engineer, I am constantly looking for ways to increase the availability of the network. This is especially true in the data center, where services are expected to always be available. One of the ways to increase the network availability of a server is by using multiple network interfaces. This technique has many different names, but I am just going to call it NIC teaming. Purpose of NIC Teaming NIC teaming increases network availability by removing single-points-of-failure (SPOF). These SPOFs are components that will cause a service outage if they become unavailable. If we consider a single network connection from your server to your switch, we can identify quite a few SPOFs: Server NIC failure Network cable failure (such as being cut or unplugged) Network switch failure (such as a planned firmware upgrade or unplanned outage) Methods of NIC Teaming The reason I am writing this blog is to help people understand the different options for N

Is ZipTie a good candidate for a fork?

I have followed the ZipTie project ever since it's first release . If you have not heard of ZipTie, it is an incredibly powerful open source network management tool that allows you to discover and manage hundreds of network devices, all with an easy to use interface. Does that sound too good to be true? First, I'll give you some background. The project was created in November of 2006 and was sponsored by a company called Alterpoint. This was great because they funded four developers to work on ZipTie for over two years. Here is a link to my first review of ZipTie : I started using ZipTie on a university network that contained hundreds of network devices. ZipTie automatically discovered my devices by crawling the network. Then it automatically made a backup of my configs, and kept a history of revisions that I can use to recover from. Additionally, I can send commands to hundreds of devices at once, saving me countless hours of time. The amazing thing about ZipTie was that I co

Random Ubuntu Planet Spam?

I just wanted to share that I have no idea why a random selection of my older posts decided to jump on the Ubuntu Planet again. I know that this sort of thing happens when I edit an old post, but I had nothing to do with this recent incident. When is it wrong to fix a typo? On the planet I apologize for all the noise, and I'll try to figure out what happened. Thanks for your understanding! :)

ZipTie: New features, new name, new license?

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Introduction It has been over a year since I last posted about an exciting open source project called ZipTie . We use ZipTie to automatically discover our network devices, backup their configurations, and perform a variety of functions related to these devices. Many things have changed with ZipTie since my last post and I want to share those with you. I'll start with the positive changes first, because I am a positive type of person. New Features The most obvious improvement is the slick web interface that replaces the previous Java fat client. This interface is powered by Adobe Flex , so it has a great look and feel to it. Having a web interface also simplifies deploying ZipTie, because you don't have to worry about installing a Java application and all the required dependencies. Check out the screenshots : ZipTie has also added a great community resource called ZipForge , which is a place where anyone can publish custom tools that perform specific functions o

The evolution of open source software

Introduction If you have followed this blog for a while, you will know about my passion for open source software. I have always predicted that open source software would revolutionize the software industry, but I didn't quite understand how this would happen. My initial views expected that open source would disrupt traditional software companies so much that it would eventually put them out of business. I am now realizing that the future of open source software looks much different than I first expected. Proprietary software will be quietly built on open source software One of the primary benefits of open source software is that it reduces the cost to produce software. Gartner agrees with this point; open source software is the most efficient method to create software. Traditional proprietary software vendors are realizing this fact , and are beginning to quietly build their closed software products using lots of open source software. I say "quietly" because

DimDim 4.0 is here!

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I blogged about open source web conferencing software a while back, but I wanted to share this significant update of the DimDim project. They have justed released version 4.0 of their software which adds significant functionality and makes DimDim a serious competitor to proprietary web conferencing solutions like Webex and GoToMeeting . Because there are so many new features, I am only going to list my favorite ones below. For a full-list of features, go visit the DimDim website. Recording and Archiving Any Dimdim session can be recorded and made available with the click of the mouse. Simply press the record button. You can email the recording URL or grab an embed code and paste it on your blog or website. You can even upload your recording to YouTube or Blip.tv. Mac Screensharing Mac users can share their desktop with other Mac (and even Windows) users - even if they aren’t using Dimdim. With Mac live screencasting you can share your desktop with anyone (it’s like iChat

Reminder: Physical access = Root access

Today I needed to reset a password on an Ubuntu system. While doing this, I was reminded of just how simple it is to get root access on a default install of Ubuntu. I wanted to share these steps on this blog to remind people that if someone has physical access to your Ubuntu system, they can get root access in just a few seconds. Boot up your computer When asked, hit "Escape" to enter the GRUB menu Select the option that displays "recovery mode" Select the option labeled "root prompt" You are now logged in as root with the ability to change anything It is really just that simple. This root console is great for advanced users who need to reset a password, but the average user will have no idea what to do. For instance, here is how I found the main user of this system: root@laptop:~# cat /etc/passwd | grep 1000:1000 tristan:x:1000:1000:Tristan Rhodes,,,:/home/tristan:/bin/bash This output shows that there is a user named "tristan" who is the m