• OpenStack, Outer Space & Left Eyes

    I just realized that I have a conflict of abbreviation.  Common interpretation of “OS” in the industry is generally operating system, and sometimes open source.  To those outside the cloud industry, perhaps one-size, outer-space, or even oculus sinister (the left eye).

    Not to minimize the importance of an operating system, a left eye or outer space, but for the sake of saying:  I hereby propose that the old-skool meanings of OS are obsolete.  Used in a naked context, or without clarifying qualifiers, the OS acronym shall now equate:  OpenStack.  Granted, I could be biased.  Just a silly thought this morning, there you have it.

  • Trusty Tahr 14.04 Server Upgrade from Precise 12.04

    Trusty Tahr

    Today is the day of the Trusty Tahr!

    The next Long-Term Support version of Ubuntu Server lands today, with a 5-year support life cycle.  We’ve been testing Trusty every which way for the past couple of months.  I wanted to test Trusty Server + Samba4 against Windows 8, so today I captured some of this work for the ‘tubes.

    First I brought up a Windows 8.1 Enterprise trial guest on qemu/kvm, also demonstrating one way to enable virtio SCSI and NIC guest drivers.  Then I configured a freshly-installed Precise box as a very basic and simple samba file server.  Next I confirmed that the Samba 3 shares functioned as expected among Precise, Win8 and Trusty.  And finally, I upgraded the Precise VM to Trusty, and re-tested Samba 4.  Enjoy!   [Read More…]

  • Virtual Bare Metal Provisioning Lab with MAAS on KVM

    MAAS on KVMMAAS (Metal As A Service) has caught my eye over the past couple of years.  It has tremendous system deployment value.  Imagine the cloud automation methods in use today, and apply that to racks full of traditional server hardware.  That’s where MAAS is maturing.  But then, perhaps, through some sort of rabbit hole, that bare metal provisioning concept could be turned inside out to expose further power and value back in the virtualization realm from whence it came.  Yes.  It can.  I predict that it will thrive in both.

    If you haven’t seen it in action, it’s definitely worth taking for a spin.  But what if you don’t have a bunch of servers, or a pile of old computer hardware to throw at building a test lab?  Enter, my general system deployment rule #1:  “Virtualize By Default.”   In other words, show me a good reason *not* to virtualize in scenario X.  Granted:  I’ll admit that there are some good reasons, but IMHO, there are few.

    Moving along then… as I was executing some ISO testing for the upcoming Ubuntu Server 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) release, I decided to capture pieces of that work.  The YouTube playlist below is the net product of that little journey.  [Read More…]

  • 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