With the rise of white box environments network equipment is being liberated from captive pre-installed network OSes. You can now choose your bare metal switch hardware and operating system separately and then change it trivially later. Surely this creates chaos and a compatibility nightmare I hear you say. Continue reading
Installing SaltStack can be a pain as there is some initial installation and configuration needed before Salt can actually be used. This post shows how you can install and operate Salt on a Cumulus Linux switch without ever needing to log into the switch directly. The operations shown below can easily be expanded to install many switches at once. Continue reading
Third time’s a charm. Microsoft, back in May 2014 at the Ignite Conference, announced Azure Stack (or Azure, but from the safety of your own home datacentre). Stack will be the third evolution of their Azure for on-premises offering and will now overshadow the existing Azure Pack (which is more like a wrapper around System Center) and non existing Azure Appliance. This having been said, Microsoft will be running the Stack and Pack side by side, so you are not forced to jump ship to the next shiniest thing. Continue reading
The SUSE Linux vendor runs a six-monthly survey on OpenStack users’ attitudes and deployments. The results of this bi-annual report, completed by some 1315 individuals across the planet, are just in.
Headlines include that 60% of deployments are now in production, compared to 32% under two years ago, and twice as many users filled in the survey this time. Over half the community works in cloud operating, which I guess is no surprise. What was more surprising to me was that the size of organisations using OpenStack (in terms of headcount) is fairly evenly distributed. For example, the number of OpenStack-using companies with 1 to 9 employees was similar to those with 100,000 or more. Although, as a trend, the uptake in larger companies is increasing survey to survey, maybe they are having a slower incubation time to get OpenStack into production. Continue reading
Recently we had the need to install a number of Ubuntu boxes for a client. Whilst our usual home-grown scripts with Kickstart and Salt work just fine, they are not the most intuitive to hand over or maintain. So we used Canonical’s MaaS or Metal as a Service. We are talking tens of machines, not thousands, so we created a single node MaaS installation. This gives flexibility for future deployments, as MaaS can install a number of different operating systems.
This is a walk through of what turned out to be a very quick and easy install. Now we can install servers on
mass maas. Continue reading
Are you still running down to the datacentre to install your Linux machines with a CD? Is it still taking you hours to install a new machine? You can’t be a hyperscaler if you don’t automate your server installs. Continue reading
Chances are, if you have thousands of servers, you are running some sort of hyperscale environment. But is your monitoring hyperscale-friendly?
In the beginning you might well have had 10 servers all running business-critical applications. You dutifully monitored everything on the server. Well, you dutifully monitored after you have had too many issues with no monitoring at all.
Then, over time, each new outage brought you a new set of checks and before you knew it, your boxes became extremely monitored. They have a multitude of ways to set the pager off. Your monitoring strategy continues like this as your server farm grows. Before you know it, you have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of machines with very basic false positive monitoring. Continue reading