• Linux server remote admin and performance monitoring tools

    byobu on beisner.com

    This is a short video which demonstrates a “tabbed SSH” tool, persistent remote session features and network performance monitoring utilities that I like to use when doing remote Linux server administration.  Using the upcoming Ubuntu Server 14.04 Trusty Tahr LTS, I touch on byobu, htop, nethogs, nload and iptraf while stepping through some of the basic and practical uses of each.

    For more tales, stories and practical info about linux, virtualization, cloud, continuous integration, devops, Ubuntu Server, JuJu, MAAS, OpenStack and the such, watch for more on the SYSOPS FABLES channel on YouTube.  There is also a playlist which is specific to general Linux server command line administration, where I will post future guides.

    More to come – enjoy!

  • Joining Canonical: Ubuntu Server & OpenStack Team

    ubuntu-for-rbwordpressFor over 15 years, I’ve been leveraging the power of Linux and Open Source Software in business network deployments.   Through my former consulting company, and eventually the company which acquired that business, there have been many cherished experiences, and countless invaluable relationships forged.  The time has come to change direction from the managed services, business consulting and system deployment worlds, over to the planet where such Linux things are born.

    For the past 4 years, I’ve worked with the business and technology minds at SCTelcom to combine and transform my former business into the area’s premier IT solutions provider. Together, we have fine-tuned a serious team of talent to support this area’s businesses and our own ISP/Telcom operations. I am very confident in SCTelcom’s continued commitment to provide solid solutions, responsive support and top-notch talent. The company is strong and it is dedicated to the people and businesses of this area.

    canonical-250-for-rbwordpressNext week, I join Canonical on the Ubuntu Server and OpenStack team.  The team I’m about to join is a global group of developers, unified on the mission of producing the best open source platform in existence.  Working for Canonical will be a new culture and an exciting experience with a lot of new ground for me to cover.  Conversations with Canonical staff over the past couple of months have given me a glimpse into a work force who are each extraordinarily passionate about their work in open source.  I will no doubt miss my former coworkers, employees and long-time clients, though I know that they will be in very good hands with SCTelcom’s talented crew and bright future.

    Jenkins, JuJu, Launchpad, Ubuntu LTS, UDS, OpenStack Summit and work item burndowns – here I come!

    A big huge THANK YOU to the area businesses and individuals who have been a part of my business & career over the past 15 years. I am so grateful for the support, patronage and friendship! #blessed


  • Moving from CentOS to Ubuntu

    It’s no secret that I have historically been a RHEL and CentOS guy.  Red Hat Advanced Server before that.  I think the recent bond made official between Red Hat and CentOS is exciting for those groups and the affected communities.  Over the past several years, I’ve seen and heard from peers and others the industry … a massive excitement over Ubuntu.  But I already had my stable platforms humming along, so I didn’t pay much attention to Canonical or Ubuntu.  Or at least not until OpenStack.

    For anyone wanting to deploy OpenStack, Ubuntu is the reference platform to do so.  RHEL and CentOS can do it, but it is currently just not a natural fit.  Canonical has one heck of a head start with JuJu, MaaS and Landscape.  Granted – one can indeed use packstack or RDO on RHEL-based distros.  That is still a long shot from where Ubuntu already is today.

    When I decided to seriously consider a career shift in working for Canonical on the Ubuntu Server and Openstack Team, I rebuilt my business and home stacks with Ubuntu LTS.  Prior *nix experience made for a quick pick-up of the Ubuntu/Debian similarities and differences.  In the interest of not inviting yet another Linux distribution debate, I’ll just say that I quite like Ubuntu LTS.  Ubuntu server is now my platform of choice.

    What about Unity?  Mir?  Upstart?  I’m traditionally an X control freak, and enjoy XFCE’s ability to be tweeked and tugged how I see fit.  When I rebuilt my desktop powerhouse, I stuck with XFCE on Ubuntu LTS.  But on my new work laptop, Unity it is!  It just works, no manipulations necessary.  Linux for human beings, check.

    The asynchronous Upstart is probably my biggest acceptance challenge at the moment, but I attribute that to not possessing granular knowledge of it yet.  I understand the contrast and benefits, but that hasn’t stopped me from occasionally tripping over my init tendencies.

    Canonical’s goal of a unified code base for server, desktop, mobile and others is quite a massive and worthy undertaking.  While it may seem to many that they are reinventing the wheel with Mir, and that they have already reinvented the wheel with Upstart, these bold moves are what set Ubuntu aside from all other distros.  The community and the company are investing in some fairly major changes.  Change always brings stress and resistance.  Pushing through the uncomfortable and awkward beginnings is how change is made successful.

    Push on, push on!

    ——————– ——————– ——————–

    Addendum – a useful Ubunto Wiki doc for those making the same journey.  After completing a recent shift from RHEL/CentOS to Ubuntu, I found this nice reference:

    SwitchingToUbuntu – Switching from Red Hat to Ubuntu;  Switching from CentOS to Ubuntu;  an equivalent command translation reference.

    • chkconfig vs. updaterc.d
    • service start vs. invoke-rc.d
    • yum search vs. apt-cache search
    • yum install vs. apt-get install
    • rpm vs. dpkg


  • CentOS 7 Beta and RHEL 7 Beta

    It seems like we just made the transition from RHEL and CentOS 5.x to 6.x.   Our 6.5 boxes are running smoothly and…  here comes EL beta 7!  Red Hat announced RHEL7 Beta availability on Dec 11, 2013.

    Karanbir Singh and the CentOS community are posting news, views and reports about CentOS 7 beta downstream here:  http://seven.centos.org.

    I plan to have a box online shortly just to see if RHEL7 / CentOS7 plays well or doesn’t play well with OpenStack.

  • The Customer is the Key: Reflecting on Business Success


    Verity Information Systems – SCTelcom
    Medicine Lodge, KS

    Fourteen years ago this month, I came to Pratt, KS as a twenty-something tech geek with an entrepreneurial bug.  Someone wise once told me that a man can build a successful business if he simply identifies a need, finds a way to fill that gap, and then services it with a high level of dependability and integrity.

    So I went to work establishing relationships with area businessmen and women who had a very clear need:  solid computer information systems and responsive support on which they could depend.  I became involved with the local community of professionals, from CPAs to attorneys to utility companies, and focused wholeheartedly on building a business which served their needs.  The success of that business can be attributed to the work and support of many people and strategic business actions.  But ultimately I believe it was in going above and beyond to ensure the success of their business that allowed my business to thrive. Some say the customer is king.  I say the customer is the key.

    Fast forward a decade.  Four years ago this month, SCTelcom acquired my managed IT services business.  This ISP and rural telecom of 50 years had been a valued carrier and vendor for several of my projects.  There was a natural union of interests which seemed to be a no-brainer.   So, we joined forces to expand services, availability, resources and coverage area for our clients.

    Zip ahead four years.  I now have the pleasure of working with this area’s most diverse and talented team of business minds, telecommunications pros and network engineers that you can find.  These are a staff dedicated to the success of the company, and a board of directors diligently progressive and forward-looking.

    My peers at SCTelcom always ask the right question when implementing new systems or changes:  “How will this affect the customer?”

    The customer is still king.  And key.


    Related links and further reading:

  • Welcome

    Welcome!  Here you will find posts about things that I find interesting:  OpenStack, Open Source, Ubuntu Server, Linux, Cloud Computing, and other miscellaneous, sometimes random thoughts. 

    As with any of my content, this is not official documentation, and it may not apply to your your specific environment.  The opinions expressed here are my own, not the formal stance of any other party.  Take care, always test in a non-production environment, and remember to Read The Full Manual.

     I hope you enjoy.  Feel free to find me or contact me for discussion.

    Best to you!