Category Archives: Tech

Technology related stuff

VMworld: Day 2

As day one resulted in me planning and feeling like I knew exactly what to do, it is only fair that day 2 show me exactly what I should not have done.  Here is a list of my first things I’ve learned not to do at VMworld.

  • Do not schedule back to back sessions during lunch.  The food is certainly better at 11.30am vs 1:45 pm.
  • Do not schedule sessions close together in time, but far apart in distance
  • Do not think you will have reliable Wi-Fi/LTE when there are 21,000 people using both of those on multiple devices.
  • Do not wear your “VMworld 2013” T-shirt that you got at registration to the first day of sessions.  Come on now.
  • Don’t take pictures of slides during the presentations.  You can download them later.

Some of that is joking, some of that is serious.

Getting serious now:  My first day of real sessions was probably too overbooked.  I found myself distracted during current sessions trying to figure out how much time I had to make it to my next session.  I should have left a bit more time in between to allow for things like snacks, walking, drinks, bathroom breaks, and other extra curriculars like the hangout space and hands-on labs.  I will be adjusting my schedule accordingly, because I think I’m confident in saying that there is just as much to be gained from “unofficial” networking and experiences as there is from the actual sessions.  Ultimately, cramming in as many sessions as possible is not necessarily the best way to do it.

Noted, VMworld.  Tomorrow is another day!

VMworld: Day 1

The 10th anniversary rendition of VMware’s flagship tech conference is officially under way!

I’ve been a user and fan of VMware for about 8 years, thus making it a mega techie sin that this is only now my maiden voyage.  I’ve never been lucky enough to make it out west for VMworld until now, and being a VMworld rookie is already an interesting experience. There is SO much to do that the entire experience is extremely overwhelming, especially for a first timer.

  • Hundreds of breakout sessions, hands on labs, and keynotes
  • Hundreds of presenters
  • Afterparties, meetups, tweetups, and vendor receptions
  • One of America’s coolest cities to explore

My first strategy for making the most of VMworld was to concentrate on being a savvy traveler.  I don’t travel much, so this is kind of a big deal for me.  I got electronic boarding passes, I put my hotel, flight info, and VMworld agenda into a synced Evernote notebook, and finally I planned out routes to/from my hotel via both hotel shuttle and Frisco’s impressive public transit system (http://tripplanner.transit.511.org is very helpful).  This all worked out pretty well, leaving me with a smooth travel experience.  It’s also really nice to  have a couple of free/low cost methods of getting around this city.  The first thing I did after checking into my hotel was to ride a cable car, which I found to be a really fun way to get around.  The Powell Street cable car was especially impressive because it provided some spectacular views of the city.  At Powell/California, for example, I could see all the way out to the bay bridge down a street luge’s dream of a hill.   All together, this planning and preparation left me feeling ready to hit the ground running when arriving in SFO.

My next strategy was to not worry too much about my sessions and labs.  Sure, you want to get into some of these things that are relevant to your interests and career, but you have HUNDREDS to choose from.  You could go over, over again, and still be making changes on your 5th time through schedule builder.  Sign up for the ones that make sense and then don’t worry about it anymore.  VMware makes them all available for download afterwards anyway.  Ultimately I forced myself to stop making changes and focus on making the most of the ones I picked.

Day 1 for me was designed to be registration, check in, and getting my bearings in the city.  It has been a success, and I’m looking forward to the rest of this experience.

My Cellphone History

Somewhat on a whim, I decided to compile a list of every cell phone I have ever owned.  It was challenging to come back with some of the models, but I have done so successfully. I may update with pictures of all these rancid devices at some point.

  • Centurytel Nokia 5190
  • Alltel LG vx6000
  • Alltel Motorola v710
  • Alltel Motorola Razr v3m
  • Sprint/Nextel Blackberry 7510
  • Sprint/Nextel Blackberry 7520
  • Sprint/Nextel Blackberry 7100i
  • Sprint Blackberry 8830 world edition
  • Sprint 8830 world edition (again, job change)
  • Verizon Blackberry Curve 8330
  • Verizon Blackberry Storm 1
  • Verizon Blackberry Storm 2
  • Sprint Epic 4g Touch Galaxy S2
  • Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4

By far, the worst phone on this list is the Blackberry Storm 1. RIM deserved to fail after releasing that device.

Building a Serviceguard Cluster on HP-UX 11.31

I have recently been working alot with HP-UX.  A big part of that work relates to managing Serviceguard clusters, something I have had little previous experience doing.  It was a challenge for me to find any sort of a quick start guide or simplified steps towards building a Serviceguard cluster, so I wanted to combine all the pieces and parts I have Googled and man-paged together so the next person can hopefully find this useful.

Prerequisites

  • Two hosts (nodes) running the same build of HP-UX
  • Same version of Serviceguard installed

Here are the steps to build a ServiceGuard cluster on HP-UX 11.31

  1. Run csshsetup <secondary nodename> on your primary node, enter the root password.
  2. Run csshsetup <primary nodename> on your secondary node, enter the root password.
  3. Run cmpreparecl -n <primarynode> -n <secondarynode> to set up the Serviceguard relationship settings
  4. Create a basic cluster configuration file by running cmquerycl -v -C <clustername.ascii> -n <primarynode> -n <secondarynode>
  5. Edit the newly created ascii file to your specific needs, noting things like:
    • Cluster name
    • IPs
    • Quorum server hosts or volume group
    • Cluster shares storage/volume groups
    • Take some extra time here, this is really important!
  6. Validate the cluster config file by running cmcheckconf -C <clustername.ascii>.  Deal with any warnings or errors that are of concern.  (The setup will apply with warnings, but they should still be considered)
  7. Apply the config and create the cluster by running cmapplyconf -v -C <clustername.ascii>.
  8. Review all the output and make sure the cluster relationship was successful; run cmviewcl which should show both nodes, likely in a “down” state
  9. You can bring up the nodes now if you want, starting with the primary node by running cmrunnode <nodename>. Run cmviewcl again to check and make sure everything looks good.  You’ll see a cluster, and nodes but no packages yet
  10. Now its time to create some packages.  This is where the real meat of Serviceguard starts to develop, so pay special attention to these configurations
    • You can create a very basic template config by running cmmakepkg -m sg/failover -m sg/package_ip <packageconfig.conf> – which would give you failover and IP capabilities
    • Or, you could create a “full” config by running cmmakepkg -m sg/all <packageconfig.conf>.
    • Edit the package config file to suit your needs, consider adding: IP Addresses, package names, filesystems and volume groups
  11. When you’ve got your package config file in order, you can validate it by running cmcheckconf -v -P <packageconfig.conf>.
  12. Review your output and check for any errors.  If you’re satisfied with everything, go ahead and apply the config to create your cluster package!  cmapplyconf -P <packageconfig.conf>
  13. Run a cmviewcl again to check out the cluster now, you should see your newly created cluster package, in a down state.
  14. To  bring the package online, run cmrunpkg -n <nodename> <packagename> and then make sure it is up and running (with another cmviewcl)
  15. Optionally, you can set the package up for auto run by cmmodpkg -e <packagename> to allow it to startup automatically after a failover.

You can also use the HP systems management homepage to click through the steps of creating a Serviceguard cluster, but really where’s the fun in that? 🙂

A list of some of the useful commands to use for Serviceguard clusters:

  • cmviewcl
  • cmquerycl
  • cmrunpkg
  • cmhaltpkg
  • cmrunnode
  • cmcheckconf
  • cmapplyconf
  • cmmakepkg

How to Stop YouTube from Sucking (DD-WRT Version)

This awesome blog post at MitchRibar.com outlined a great way to improve YouTube’s sometimes crappy load times and performance.  It works very well and I’m glad somebody took the time to share this knowledge on the internet.

His method is a local client only option, so if you have alot of computers like I do it may be a pain to set this up on every computer, phone, etc that you have.  Instead, I decided to try and block it at my router which I happened to have flashed with DD-WRT.

Here’s how you do it!

  • Log into your router’s admin interface
  • Click on “Administration” and then select the “Commands” tab
  • Paste the following lines into the commands text area:
    iptables -I FORWARD -s 173.194.55.0/24 -j DROP
    iptables -I FORWARD -s 206.111.0.0/16 -j DROP
  • Now click “Save Firewall”
  • You should now notice a firewall section with these lines added, which looks like this:
    firewall_settings

Congratulations!  You’ve now improved YouTube’s performance on your entire network.  I did this on a DD-WRT enabled router; but this could be done on any device that runs iptables.  Open-WRT, Tomato, Linux boxes, etc.  If you have ipables, give it a try!

Creating an HP Integrity Virtual Machine on HP-UX 11.31

When I was trying to find a way to create an Integrity VM, I had to do alot of research. It was difficult to find updated information and correct syntax for later builds of HP-UX and later versions of the VM software.  Being the thoughtful and forward thinking internet citizen that I am, I figured I’d give back a little…

So, without further adieu, here is the steps necessary to create an HP-UX Integrity VM on HP-UX 11.31 using HPVM version 6.x

Create a virtual switch first

  • hpvmnet -c -S <vswitchname> -n <lanID>
    • The LanID references the numeric portion of the name. Run netstat -in to find yours
    • Example: hpvmnet -c -S vswitch1 -n 10
  • Boot up the switch by running:  hpvmnet -b -S <vswitchname>
  • Run hpvmnet to see a status

Now, create the virtual machine

  • hpvmcreate -P <servername> -l <label or description> -O HPUX -a network:avio_lan::vswitch:<vswitchname>
    • This creates the VM with a default network connection.
  • hpvmmodify -P <servername> -a dvd:avio_stor::file:/path/to/HPUX1131.iso
    • This will create a virtual DVD device connected to an iso for installation later. If you’re going to install from ignite or something else, dont worry about this part
  • hpvmmodify -P <servername> -a disk:avio_stor::lv:/dev/vgname/rdevice
    • This is adding storage for the VM to use. You could also add a disk image file instead of a real logical volume if you wanted
    • To create a disk image file, run something like hpvmdevmgmt -A -S 10G /path/to/vmdir/diskimage.fd
  • Your VM is now created!  You can run hpvmstart -P <vmname> to boot the VM up
  • If you need to install via an iso, just connect to the console by using hpvmconsole -P <vmname> and then selecting boot to file from the boot menu, and then selecting removable media.  Or, just wait and it should boot automatically if you added the DVD device.
  • hpvmstart, hpvmstatus, hpvmstop are useful commands to manage your VMs