My server is kaput!

I currently use a small desktop running Windows 7 home edition as a backup/storage server, it’s only got a single 1tb drive in it, but it did the job fine.  Over the last couple of days it’s been crashing like crazy, every time I’ve come to use the machine, it’s got the dreaded BSOD.  Yay.  I can fix it, but it means I’ll have to move the machine from where it is currently, which is a pain in the bum.  It’s actually made me think of an alternative, and for that, I’ve decided to get 2 new WD RED drives and add them to one of my spare 1u servers, I’ll use that instead.  It’ll also force me to install Linux instead of using windows, which is always a good thing.  It’s quite easy to install Ubuntu onto the box, then setup samba shares so I can mount the drives on my laptop just as before.

Pain in the neck, but not all technology is infallible…..

 

Storage Server

I’m currently turning one of my servers into a storage server, I’ll be using CentOS 7, but not sure if I want to just use samba/glusterfs or have isci running on it so I can use the space as drives on my main servers.  I will report back when I have played a little.  Trouble is i’m never satisfied with one solution so might have to reinstall the server numerous times until I like something.  I’m going to have to redo it at some point any way as I’m getting some WD Red drives to put in it.  The drives I have in there at the moment are sloooooooooow, most likely because their old.

sigh, that’s the problem with me having servers, I just want to play constantly, I suppose it’s a good way of learning though.  I’ll get to work for RedHat one day ;)

I’m wanting to Fail.

Yes the title is correct, I’m waiting to fail, but it’s not quite as straight forward as you might think.  I personally don’t want to fail, I’m wanting my hardware to fail so I can test it.  I’m working on Failover clustering within Windows Server 2012, at the moment, I’m just using Hyper-v and replication, but soon, ie in the next day or so, I hope to have my Ubuntu Server configured as a iSCSI target so I can start to play with Fail Over Clustering.  I went with using a Ubuntu Server as it’s cheaper than buying a specific NAS that supports iscsi.  I had the hardware lying about and for my test lab, it’ll do the job fine.  I’ll write a more indepth post later with settings I’ve used etc, I just wanted to do a quite update for people that read my blog, er is anyone actually reading this?

I’m quite lucky that I have all the equipment to test this all on, it’s really fun to play about with this kind of think and is certainly helping me gain knowledge that i’ll need when doing my MCSE exams.

A lot of my friends will read this and think WHY are you using MS products and my answer to that is, well I like it, it works for me.  I can see myself in a few months time, doing the same project again but this time using Opensource tools, but for the moment, I want to stick to Microsoft so there.

/me waits for the backlash that I always get…..#sosad

CentOS 7 Text mode installer

I have 2 usb ports on the front of my Dell 1950 server, as the internal cd-rom drive on it doesn’t work, I’m having to use an external one, that leaves the other port for the keyboard.  That means that unless I have a really long cable and reach round to the back of the server, which let me tell you is a pain in the ass, I have to use the mouse in the front usb port.

It’s not so much a problem, just awkward when I use the graphical install mode.  I have to press tab a lot, so I wondered if there was a way to just use a text mode installer, well actually there is and it’s simple.

Boot of the install media, and when you see “install centos” press the tab to get the command line arguments for the actual boot settings.  Add the following to the end of the line     text  then press return, that’s it.  All you’re doing is telling the installer to use a text mode install.

Seems to work ok, the only issue I saw when I’ve just used it, is that when you select the software to install, in my case, “server with gui”, unlike the graphical install, you don’t get the option to add any additional software [unless i’m missing something], it’s not a problem as I can add them later, but it would have been nice to added the virtualisation tools at the same time.

I love linux :D

Online Passwords

Just a bit of advice passed onto me by a friend, who knows his stuff.  Don’t use the same password for all your online activity.  If it’s guessed, then it’s easy enough to check internet history to find the sites you’ve been accessing and try the password for them as well.  If you’re scared at the thought of remembering multiple confusing passwords, then let me recomment lastpass.com.

With this site, you have a master password, that enables you to access your own personal vault.  You can then add websites to this vault and have a plugin on your laptop/pc which connects you to the lastpass service.   You can then log into all your sites, with your new complicated passwords, without having to remember them.  Due to certain prank events today, I’ve started using this service and so far it seems ok.  I’ve changed most of my online sites to use this service, with some of the passwords being over 20 chars in length, with capitals and chars such as !”£$£%£%

Just remember folks, don’t use the same password on all sites you use.  It’s a 1 min job to get your pc hacked and all this information found out.

Access Granted

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Fedora Ambassador

If you know me, I’m a Fedora Ambassador and Mentor for the UK.  One of my friends asked me what that involves, and so began a long stoIMG_0690ry.  To be honest, it wasn’t that long, but it allowed me to tell them all about Fedora, what it’s like not only to use the OS, but what it’s like to be part of the community.  I participate in a lot of IRC channels and get to get to speak to a lot of people doing the same thing, and what’s that thing?  Promoting Fedora.  If someone asks what Fedora is, your promoting it.  If, while I’m at a friends house, I boot their PC into a Fedora Live system from my USB stick that I’m always carrying, then I’m promoting Fedora.

Even if someone asks for a CD to try it them selves, or even if they borrow said USB stick for a bit, I’m promoting Fedora.  Now this is a small part of a larger picture, but it’s somewhere to start, there isn’t a minimum you can do to promote Fedora, even if all you do is tell someone about this great alternative to Windows/Mac, you’re promoting Fedora.

If you’re liking what you’re hearing, or if you’re unsure what to do next, or where to go, then go visit – https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors

If you’re used to IRC and are on the irc.freenode.net network the come into #fedora-uk or #fedora-ambassadors and have a chat to people, if I’m about, then ask for MooDoo :D

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Fosdem 15

If you didn’t know, and if you didn’t why not, then it’s FOSDEM this weekend, you can read more about it here – https://fosdem.org/2015/

To quote from the site

“FOSDEM is a free event that offers open source communities a place to meet, share ideas and collaborate.

It is renowned for being highly developer-oriented and brings together 5000+ geeks from all over the world.”

Unfortunately, if you’re like me, and you’re unable to go physically, then do not dispair, you can participate remotely.

I’m going to be in the irc channel on irc.freenode.net #fosdem, so if you’re about say hi, I’m MooDoo.

Other years the tracks were streamed but I can’t see any information on the site about this, so if you know more, please let me know so I can post it here.

And for all you going to the event, have fun, and maybe I’ll see you next year.

 

CentOS KVM GlusterFS

I had a rather productive tech weekend last weekend.   I changed my virtual server setup from hyper-v to Centos/KVM/GlusterFS

While I do like windows server, it was only a demo, once this runs out, then I’m running on unlicensed software which I don’t really like.  So as I’m a CentOS lover, I decided this was the way I had to go.  I’ll do a longer post with a step by step on how I have it setup, but for the moment let’s just tease you with how it’s currently setup

Server1 – CentOS / KVM

Server2 – CentOS / KVM

Both servers have the same spec, Dell 1950’s, 16gb ram, hard drives [this is pretty much the only difference between the two, until I get my WD REDS, they are just using a mishmash of different size drives.

Both servers have GlusterFS setup on them and the virtual machine disk images are on this Gluster volume.  Which effectively means, that what ever changes are made in the VM’s on Server1 are replicated to Server2.  Seeing as I’m running a webserver on the server, it’s helpful to know that if one fails due to hardware failure, I can just spin up the other VM.

I do need to read up a little more on GlusterFS as I’m sure there are a million tweaks I can do so it’s running at optimal performance, but for now it seems to be working ok for me.

I did a lot of the setup after watching this video done by a friend of mine for his local lug, so have a watch and if you like it, give it a thumbs up.

Windows 10 Folder View

When I click the folder in the task bar at the bottom of the screen it takes me to a folder where it shows me all my recent history, this to me is ugly, I don’t want to see it, I want to see the old view where I can see my drives and the main folders.  Well it’s easy to change, just open a folder, click the view icon over on the right and click options.  You’ll then see these folder options.  All you need to so is click the top drop down and change from Quick Access to This Pc, then click Apply.  Bingo

 

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** Please note, this isn’t my image, I blatantly stole it from the internet, if it’s yours, then sorry, can you let me know and I’ll either remove it or credit you with it ***