Month: May 2008

Links May 2008

The Daily WTF has published an interesting essay on why retaining staff is not always a good thing [1]. The main point is that good people get bored and want to move on while mediocre people want to stay, but there are other points and it’s worth reading. Following the links from that article led […]


CPU Capacity for Virtualisation

Today a client asked me to advise him on how to dramatically reduce the number of servers for his business. He needs to go from 18 active servers to 4. Some of the machines in the network are redundant servers. By reducing some of the redundancy I can remove four servers, so now it’s a […]


Hosting a Xen Server

Yesterday I wrote about my search for a hosting provider for a Xen DomU [1]. One response was the suggestion to run a Dom0 and sell DomU’s to other people [2], it was pointed out that Steve Kemp’s project is an example of how to do this well [3]. Unfortunately Steve’s service is full […]


Xen Hosting

I’m currently deciding where to get a Xen DomU hosted. It will be used for a new project that I’m about to start which will take more bandwidth than my current ISP is prepared to offer (or at least they would want me to start paying and serious bandwidth is expensive in Australia). Below is […]


IPSEC is Pain

I’ve been trying to get ipsec to work correctly as a basic VPN between two CentOS 5 systems. I set up the ipsec devices according to the IPSEC section of the RHEL4 security guide [1] (which is the latest documentation available and it seems that nothing has changed since). The documentation is quite good, but […]


School Bag Weight

Matt Bottrell has written about some issues related to the acceptable weight of laptops for school use [1]. Matt cites a reference from the Victorian government stating that a school bag should not be heavier than 10% of the body weight of the child who carries it [2]. So the next thing we need to […]


Keith Olbermann on Bush At the above Youtube page there is a video from MSNBC where Keith Olbermann discusses Bush’s record. Before I watched that I thought that it was impossible for me to have a lower opinion of Bush, however Keith’s presentation achieved the seemingly impossible task of making me despise the cretin even more. Related posts: […]

Politics Terrorism

Installing a Red Hat based DomU on a Debian Dom0

The first step is to copy /images/xen/vmlinuz and /images/xen/initrd.img from the Fedora (or RHEL or CentOS) DVD somewhere convenient, I use /boot/OS/ (where OS is the name of the image) but other locations will do. Now choose a suitable Ethernet MAC address for the interface (see my previous post on how I choose them [1]). […]


Xen and Swap

The way Xen works is that the RAM used by a virtual machine is not swappable, so the only swapping that happens is to the swap device used by the virtual machine. I wondered whether I could improve swap performance by using a tmpfs for that swap space. The idea is that as only one […]

Benchmark Virtualisation

Security Flaws in Free Software

I just wrote about the system administration issues related to the recent Debian SSL/SSH security flaw [1]. The next thing we need to consider is how we can change things to reduce the incidence of such problems. The problem we just had was due to the most important part of the entropy supply for the […]