Virtualization Projects

So, I’ve been lax in writing here lately. Quite a bit of my writing energy has been going into documentation since both jobs are using wikis now. (I’d blame Twitter, but that seems too much like a cop out.)

But, I’ve been pretty busy at both jobs with virtualization and storage projects. Just a few of the highlights:

  • Housing
    • Our ESX node installs are now as close to fully automated as I want to make them, using Leo’s Ramblings as a starting point.
    • All our nodes are now running the latest and greatest ESX3.5u4+patches, thanks to enough excess capacity to empty one node at a time with vMotion and reinstall.
    • The HP EVA 4400 SAN has had a second Fibre Channel switch added and all the ESX nodes are now dual path to storage. The original plan for this SAN was to only have development and test level VMs, but production VMs came online once management gained confidence in virtualization and P2V conversions. Hence the need to add dual path support.
    • Some of those production VMs will involve adding “on demand” capacity to a web app that has usage peaks once or twice a year, so we’ll be adding a hardware Server Load Balancer to the mix as well. HTTP load balancing is easy, SSL support not as easy.
    • I’ve started to look at vSphere, but it’s not a pressing upgrade need for us.
  • Hoopeston
    • We’ve been transitioning to ESX since finding more affordable pricing through a state contract. As we retire VMware Server, we’ve been able to greatly increase VM density on the existing Dell PowerEdge 2900. And, we’ve purchased a new Dell R710 and it’s showing promise to get much higher density than the 2900.
    • Since ESX supports iSCSI, we’re investigating using Openfiler with DRBD and Linux HA as a storage option. (Some very good howtos are here, here and here.

Over the next few months, Housing is planning on purchasing an additional SAN for “production” workloads and continuing to virtualize anything that seems like a good idea. (And maybe a few things that are a bit of a stretch.)


I guess “recidivate” is more appropriate.

recidivate: To return to a previous pattern of behavior, especially to return to criminal habits.

Is returning to a previous employer considered recidivism? What if the reporting structure and task lists have changed drastically since you left? What if those new tasks interest you more than what you are doing now? What if you miss what you were doing?

If you haven’t already heard, my light saber will be turning back to green on or about August 4th, assuming all the paperwork goes through.

I guess I should also respond to something I mentioned on Twitter, Gale’s excellent post about the hidden reasons people leave.

  1. The job or workplace was not as expected. – I can honestly say that the workplace and the job were just about as expected. I loved certain aspects of the job: learning new things, dealing with new people, interacting with the other groups in a large organization, trying to balance serving the customers and running a service. But, other parts were not so easy to deal with.
  2. The mismatch between job and person. – This is the big one. I’m not cut out to be a Service Manager for a campus wide service, let alone multiple services. I also miss the day to day work of solving problems, supporting individual users and building solutions for a slightly smaller, more nimble organization.
  3. Too little coaching and feedback. – Never really a problem, though some internal changes in management structure did leave me concerned about who I’d be reporting to and who I’d be taking orders from. But, those were mostly resolved long before I’d decided to depart.
  4. Too few growth and advancement opportunities. – Not a problem for me. Ever.
  5. Feeling devalued and unrecognized. – For others in the organization, yes, but not for me.
  6. Stress from overwork and work-life balance. – Not really the case, if anything, I’m going to an environment that will probably increase the stress and twist the work-life balance even more.
  7. Loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders. – Somewhere, at the back of my brain, maybe. But nothing bad enough to make me just up and leave.

Anyway, I’m hoping the new duties at an old place will lead to a return of work related blogging on some new and some old topics.

Silly, Silly vendors

Your DNS May Be EOL

So, I’ve gotten 2 separate notes from 2 separate vendors over the last couple of days proclaiming similar things. Recently, ISC has declared several older versions of BIND “End of Life“. These older versions are no longer supported and may or may not have security issues. But, if your boss gets one of these, you can be sure that he/she will forward it on to the technical people out on the pointy end of the stick to answer for. I hope you don’t even have to think twice, you shouldn’t be running this stuff anymore.

Some history

I was going through some old mail archives and I found this:

Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 01:02:01 -0500
Subject: Auto Reset of ipfwadm stats
Tue Apr 29 01:02:01 CDT 1997
Stats for yesterday:
IP accounting rules
 pkts bytes dir prot source               destination          ports
  144 28693 i/o all anywhere             n/a
 7336 2332K i/o all anywhere             n/a
    0     0 i/o all anywhere             n/a
    0     0 i/o all anywhere             n/a

That’s just the earliest mail I can find, it was running before April. Hard to believe we’ve had dialup running in Hoopeston for more than 10 years.