Nov 07 2007

Whip me, beat me, make me maintain ....

Dag, we can't blame you for being brainwashed by IBM and still looking back at AIX tools, afterall you worked there twice already and who knows how may more times to come :)

But .. before you start to reinvent the wheel, or mksysb have a look at the following tools.
There's 2 tools that come to mind when looking at your requirements.

A tool I used a lot about 5-6 years ago is Mondo Rescue :
Mondo Rescue is a GPL disaster recovery solution. It supports Linux (i386, x86_64, ia64) and FreeBSD (i386). It's packaged for multiple distributions (RedHat, RHEL, SuSE, SLES, Mandriva, Debian, Gentoo). It supports tapes, disks, network and CD/DVD as backup media, multiple filesystems, LVM, software and hardware Raid.

I haven't used it for a while since my current preference off course goes to the SystemImager Framework. Apart from using it for automating installations off course you can use it to create a golden image of your running environment and restore that image any way you like, over network, from CD (with si_mkautoinstallcd) etc.

SystemImager makes it easy to do automated installs (clones), software distribution, content or data distribution, configuration changes, and operating system updates to your network of Linux machines.

On the other hand , if you manage your systems in an way , and you have good backups of your data. You don't need to restore a system from some media, as you will just be able to rebootstrap the failing machine in an identical way as you have been managing it and the only thing needed to do is restore your data.

PS. if you don't know what I don't want to maintain, skip the first result

Oct 26 2007

Linux is too fast

Linux is to fast for todays hardware, I think today was the 3rd or 4th time in the past couple of weeks that I had to put a sleep 15 in an installatiion or rc.sysinit script because by the time I wanted to access my disk the controller or disk just wasn't awake yet.
Waiting a limited amount of time resulted in perfectly being able to access the disk. And no this has nothing to do with old and slow hardware, it happened with different SAS and SATA controllers also, not just with an external USB disk alone.

Oct 09 2007

My First Linux

Pete and Dave are starting a trend that comes back every 2 years.

How long have you been using Linux ?

It must be the We're getting old week. With /. turning 10 etc

I recon it's pretty difficult to remember exact when and how after all these years. I do remember my first Linux Workshop in Brussels somewhere 1993 I also remember that when I started out writing a new project my first version always was 0.98 because I think that was the first Linux kernel I ever used ..
And yes it was an SLS and yes I remember going over to some friend before a Datalink meeting with a stack of 1.44 floppies then having to wait for another week since one of the floppies went bad and I had to make a new copy of that disk. We've come a long way :)

So when did YOU start with this Linux and Open Source thingie ? :)

Sep 26 2007

Oracle installer didn't speed up in 8-9 years

Seklos just posted a story on his Oracle blog on how he installed Oracle 10something in less than an hour.

I found the story hilarious. why . because about a decade ago .. when I was still into database & webdevelopment, Oracle first started shipping Oracle for Linus (somewhere in 99)
Back then some collegue had been struggling for a couple of days already to setup up Oracle on a Windows box and was thinking to just use SQL server.
So I went home found the famous CD with the typo (or did I really get the CD that should have been shipped to Finland ?) in my mailbox and as I had a new Siemens Server sitting in my basement, I installed a fresh RedHat and on a machine I never had seen before (that's the ninetees I`m talking about so no fancy just install it on most common hardware and it will work like we have these days) and then went on installing an Oracle version I had never seen before and guess what .. I completed that task in about just less than an hour.
So when I arrived at the office the next morning with an up and running Oracle on Linux server the crowd didn't believe me untll they fired up their SQLPlus clients and started creating their tablespaces and tables.

So now about 8 years later it still takes an experienced Linux and Oracle guy about an hour to install a basic Oracle ? What have they been doing ?

I bootstrap a fully operational MySQL server from blank disk to replying to queries in about 5 minutes.
Maybe I should move back to Oracle because as a consultant I get paid by the hour and if a similar job takes me about 10 times as long as I`m used to .. can you imagine ..

Now all joking aside .. the problem isn't with Oracle, the problem isn't with RedHat and not all the solutions are with MySQL, the problem is with people with little or no system experience trying to do a job they should grow in to over time, and failing to get proper help or guidance their first time.

Just one final thought.. with Unbreakable I really would have expected Oracle to go one step further not requiring the runInstaller thing anymore but just providing their customers with cleanly packaged software so a yum or apt-get install oracle would actually work.

Because as Luke learned us . If your computer can't install it .. the installation procedure is broken.

Sep 14 2007

On the Future of Lustre

So Sun bought ClusterFS
. I`m wondering what their focus will be now. What will be the prime platform on which Lustre will be developed Solaris or Linux ? Will other efforts in the open source cluster filesystem area react on this ? Will Lustre development speed up ? Will management become less complex ?
Time will tell .. I`m keeping an eye on it