Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ubuntu Server + VMWare Workstation

0/ Have your own virtual machine in your desktop is not hard!

0.1/ Some Terminology

  • OS – Operating System
  • Host OS – Underlying OS – in this you install VMWare Workstation.
  • Host needs to be stared for the guest to be able to start.
  • Guest OS – The extra OS you install inside the host or in VMWare Workstation.
  • VM – Virtual machine.

1/ Pre-install

1.1/ Storage space, memory, CPU

What do you want to do?
Do you have enough of it?
My desktop has an Intel i7-920, 8GB RAM and two 500GB hard drives.
Generally when testing I would give it 1GB or maybe 2GB for Windows. This can be decreased later if you feel the need.
You can also increase storage, memory and CPU after you create your virtual machine.
It is easy to create a new virtual machine so do not worry if you make it too small or too big.

1.2/ Network setup, LAN, Bridged, Hidden.

Do you want to be able to access your VM from your LAN, Internet or do you want a completely private network between your virtual machines?

Especially if you do set up a Windows guest OS (perhaps to use as a client in your test environment) please do remember that before you connect it to the Internet (to install patches etc) you should definitely think about installing an anti-virus solution on it.
I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) – it is free and takes up little resources.
I read recently that the time you have until your unprotected computer is infected is about 10 seconds. But if your computer is behind a NAT – broadband router (so it has an IP like 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x or 172.16.x.x.x) then it is safer, but not safe from other computers on your network.

2/ Install the OS

2.2/ Download Ubuntu, easy setup wizard

There are two versions of Ubuntu – desktop and server version. If this is your first time with Linux you may be better of starting with the desktop variant. I used the server version (uses less resources – no graphical user interface).

Here is a guide for using the Ubuntu Virtual Kernel with VMWare Workstation.

2.3/ Windows 2008 R2?

sharepoint-2010-foundation-windows-2008-r2-vmware-workstation

3/ Set up management

3.1/ sshd – autostart if you reboot host OS / Windows.

I haven’t managed to set up autostart of the VM when rebooting the OS.
But then again, I do not run “life-critical” services in the virtual machine, just some cheap bash-script and an EyeOS. Not sure if I want to have it autostart, I like to have a fast reboot.

3.2/ Timezone, time.

Quite frustrating, but here is how it worked out in Linux: time-sync-for-linux-vms-in-vmware-workstation

4/ Post-Installation Joy

4.1/ Something simple like screen + irssi

This is really easy to set up.
Basically all you need to do is install these in a Debian style Linux (like Ubuntu):

sudo-apt get screen irssi openssh-server

then start a screen session called chat and the command ‘irssi’

screen -S chat irssi

It then starts irssi in a screen.
You can hit CTRL+A+D (or, CTRL+A D also works) to detach it and get back to the terminal. You can then close the terminal / log off from the server. Next time you log on you can just type:

screen -rdx chat

Irssi is my IRC tool of choice, it’s slim and well, I’ve gotten used to it. It has scripts and you can do encryption and lots of nice little things with it if you want to.

Of course the screen does not resume when you restart the whole server / virtual machine.

4.2 Other ideas:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux in VMWare Workstation.
How small VM can you have for just IRSSI?
File share from Windows to Ubuntu in a VM.
EyeOS – OS in your web browser.


Nerves of steel: requirement for being a sysadmin?

Is it just me?

Whenever I have to restart something or do some actual maintenance on a server – that my heart starts pumping and I get really really nervous.

I’ve heard many times people say things like:

“pain is temporary, glory is forever” (quote from a movie) when it comes to dealing with servers.
Or “no pain, no gain”.

Guess these are the kind of things that do improve with some experience.

Firefox 5 Beta

You can download the Beta here:

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html

The release notes are here:

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/5.0beta/releasenotes/

Some cool stuff, but should you upgrade already? I ran the Firefox 4 beta for what feels like forever and didn’t have any issues with it. It’s nice to get updates whenever they are released, not have to wait for a long long time until the non-beta is out. I’ll sure be upgrading to FF 5 on my home desktop.

  • Added support for CSS animations
  • Added support for switching Firefox development channels
  • The Do-Not-Track header preference has been moved to increase discoverability
  • Improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance
  • Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas
  • Improved spell checking for some locales
  • Improved desktop environment integration for Linux users

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/channel/

It’s now possible to run ‘extremely beta’ – alpha? Called Aurora. I’m gonna give it a shot :)
It installs another Firefox and gives you a new icon (not the old fox around a blue globe).
Plugins, bookmarks, passwords are saved/kept so that’s cool.
It’s also noticeably faster than Firefox 4.
Besides that it looks just the same. Maybe that’ll change in the near future.

Latest FOS ( Fabric OS ) Firmware on HP’s Brocade SAN switches

How to find the latest firmware for an HP Brocade SAN switch:

How to find out which Brocade Firmware is the latest and which is the last supported one?

  1. On HP SPOCK: http://h20272.www2.hp.com/ (this required an HP Passport, they are free to create).
  2. Go to Switches, then click on B-series connectivity stream.

The B-series conenctivity stream document gets updated often and it has the recommended (usually latest) and the supported Fabric OS releases for each switch type.

How to find the last supported firmware for an HP Brocade SAN switch:

Usually the EOL of a firmware is announced when a new one is released.
See this customer notice of 6.4.1b:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c02766238

Upgrade Ubuntu 10.10 to Natty

Saw this note today in the MOTD – that I can upgrade with do-release-upgrade.

Official instructions/details from Ubuntu and here is another quality post  on unixtutorial.

My Ubuntu 10.10 is running inside a VMWare Workstation Virtual Machine on my Windows 7 x64.

I did it over ssh with ‘sudo screen -S upgrade do-release-upgrade‘ .
Probably not wise to do this over ssh, but the setup started an extra sshd service on another port, just in case something breaks.

It would need to download about 210MB of packages, if you press on ‘d’ at the right time you’ll get into a ‘less’ of all the removes, upgrades and new installs. Press q to exit that.

During upgrade:

  • I got to chose keyboard (I have an IBM Thinkpad T40, but it wasn’t in the list, took an R60 instead, looked pretty similar).
  • It then asks for which services that are using NSS (I had no idea, so just used the default of rsync, mysql, apache and one more).
  • memtest86?? Does it come with this automagically? This is pretty cool, I’ve only heard about this being used in an iso to quite thoroughly test memory. The OS uses quite a lot of the RAM so if you test RAM from inside the OS you will not be able to test all, thus the boot CD. However, later on it turns out that memtest86 is actually put in the grub/boot menu! Very handy!
  • apparmor – this is a security module – apparently you can give applications profiles
  • 2.6.38! woop! See the link for more updates in the kernels. On that page – kernelnewbies.org – you can also find details about the other updates. Kernel.org only has detailed change log as far as I could see (lots of text).
  • Later on it asks you, do you want to delete these packages (d for details): libisc60, libdns66, linux-image-2.6.35-22-generic, python-newt, libxapian15, byobu
  • Last question: do you want to reboot? – No pain, no gain. Is ‘adventurous’ to do kernel upgrades remotely ;)
  • VM came back online after what felt like just 15 seconds.
  • Welcome to Ubuntu 11.04 (GNU/Linux 2.6.38-8-generic x86_x64)!

Music of the Day 22nd of May

Dying is Fine – Ra Ra Riot – Sounds a lot like Morrissey occasionally, but not often enough for me to start hurling, so I liek. Beware of their main web site http://www.rarariot.com/ – you can get epilepsia for free there. Wild bass in the song Boy – check it out, nowz!

 

Whoa oh oh oh – The Ascetic Junkies – not only with a mandarin ;) – From Portland? Kind of make sense, definitely a hippie vibe to it :) They call it ‘whiskeystomp’ for no good reason! Is that a good reason?

 

Ascetic Junkies

Ascetic Junkies - borrowed from t61.com

 

The Whigsnice rocking motion, especially in the beginning of “I am for real”. Not so many tunes on t61 but there is youtube as well ;)

Great Intro – \”I am for real – The Whigs\”

Server and Storage Tips from the ITRC

Just a good howto – tip – solution. It’s a little hard to find good threads.

Hard to find something.. should probably write it in here when I think of it.
Also the ITRC are moving to another platform in June 2011 so maybe these won’t be available after this.

** Update 2011-06-27: Yes, these do not work after the ITRC move. They take you to the main page of the new forum. Tried to find the posts again but couldn’t on the first two so I’ve given up :/

Storage

EVA Parity Groups – RSS
EVA Control RSS position while replacing disks.
Command View EVA cannot find EVA
SCSI Sense errors with HP SC11xe and Tape Drives
EVA DR resume
Go from PID Extended Edge to PID CORE format with Unix.

Servers

How are the ports mapped in a a HP BladeSystem c-7000 with Flex-10 Fabric Interconnect modules.

Operating System

How to remote to a Red Hat server:

 

HP P6000 – EVA – Thin Privisioning and Dynamic Lun Migration – XCS 10.000.000

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Storage-Area-Networks-SAN/XCS-10-000-00/m-p/4789795

2011-07-12: Updated with new link to new HP ITRC forum.

Also it looks like VAAI is not implemented in this firmware.

Some more news!

With Google Translate:
“Under the new EVA was also the XCS software updated and is now more stable and effi ¤ competitive. IT IS now available for r the EVA4000/6000/8000 EVA4100/6100/8100 and the version of XCS tion 6240 and for r the EVA 4400/6400/8400 and EVA XCS version of the P6000 10.000.00 to availability, with new features such as thin Provisioning “and” Dynamic LUN migration “for r coming EVA x400 systems.
In addition, the new EVA Command View v.9.4, which for r all generations of EVA systems can be used.”

The newsletter was in German – it mentions Thin Provisioning and Dynamic LUN Migration (a blog post about Tiering). Especially interesting I find that the x400 will also get this 10.000.00 firmware – which kind of makes sense as it’s already on 09.534.000 (one more number?).
I take this to mean that the architecture inside the P6000 Controllers are the same as in the EVA x400 -series (PowerPC etc.).

Sounds like a great move, as long as the new firmware is as stable as they claim.
EVA x400 was for most of the time not stable until the 09534000 firmware was released, unless you were lucky/did not have that many disk shelves.

It will probably be called XCS 10000000 , not 10.000.00 as written in the newsletter above.

Songs of the day 17th of May

From the front page of thesixtyone.com

Just Pretend – Hayley Sales – Soft and nice. I like the part when the bass is more pronounced with about 50s left.

Train Song – Felix Fables – Folk Frenzy? Doesn’t sound very folky to me. Maybe the background tunes and vocals are. Quite down to earth music anyway.

The Way I amIngrid Michaelson – Hearty and warm. Valentines day music?

Tea with Cinnamon – Katzenjammer – Now this is folky. Fast paced jumpy and happy music. Great for grill party. Also they are apparently Norwegian. They also have another song on t61 – “A Bar in Amsterdam“. Insane start. I love it. When the chorus kicks in, it sounds like lyrics of a power metal song a lá Iron Maiden. Great!

La-La-LushMegan Elizabeth Heise – Not much web sites about this one, but I found it in the open mic section so that’s OK I guess :) Pretty nice actually!

She’s All About The Love – Annie McQueen – singer/songwriter. Folky.

What do I do?

Hard to tell.. but if you see this pretty cool 6min movie: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1430

you’ll see that they mention a collider.
This thing sends out lots of data from each collision.

I administrate a system that gets a little bit (very little) of that data so that the scientists can look at it and maybe find out what’s going on :)

HP’s Brocade firmwares compatible with other switches?

After a question in my SAN switch firmware upgrade article I made a comparison of two downloads of 6.3.1b (one via IBM and one from HP) – the only differences were a file called ancillary and one called EULA.pdf. I used examdiff to find the differences.

All the sub-directories were the same, only the above two files were added in the HP one.
I believe quite strongly that you can use the HP firmwares to upgrade Brocade switches that are branded by other vendors.

At least IBM and normal Brocade ones.

As they are using the very same Brocade firmware that Brocade themself use, it might be hard for the vendors to change the switch that much.

It would be interesting to investigate if other vendors add something to make theirs not, but I have no way of acquiring such a firmware.

The EULA looks like a normal HP standard end user license agreement form. The HP ancillary.txt file contains this:

“This ancillary.txt file provides information as to how to obtain the open source or other third party licenses in this distribution. To obtain such licenses, run the following CLI command at the prompt, “opensource”.
This ancillary.txt file also provides the instructions for customers who require a copy of the
machine-readable GPL Source Code by written request.  Upon your written request, HP will provide to You, for a fee covering the cost of distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the GPL Source Code. Your written request for GPL Source Code can be sent via email to FC_Infrastructure_OpenSourceRequest@hp.com. In the request, include product name, version number, your name, and your shipping address. “

HP Virtual Room Installation on RHEL 6 x64

http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=1478734

I couldn’t get it to work.

Eventually I installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS in a VM in Virtualbox and in there it worked.

However, resolution is only 800×600. So I found this page: 

http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=15679

 

That told me to install some stuff and then install the Guest Addition stuff. After that and a reboot HP Vroom no longer worked. But resolution was fine! Grah. Then I just used the “Live CD” of Ubuntu instead, or the normal .iso but no need to install, just boot from it.

 

Windows 7 Blank Windows Update Screen

Ever noticed this?

blank windows update

blank windows update

I googled my behind off and saw some posts about registry , re-registering, runing as administrator but any way the last one did not work. A restart do get them back.
Maybe not the most awesome ‘fix’ but I think a restart might be good every now and then for Windows ;)

HEPIX Spring 2011 – Day 5

What day it is can be told by all the suitcases around the room.

Version Control

An overview of the version control used in CERN. Quite cool, they’re not using Git yet but they are moving away from CVS to SVN (subversion) which is not updated anymore. Apparently hard to migrate.

They use DNS load balancing

  • Browse code / logging, revisions, branches: WEBSVN – on the fly tar creation.
  • TRAC – web SVN browsing tool plus: ticketing system, wiki, plug-ins.
  • SVNPlot – generate SVN statsw. No need to checkout source code (svnstats do ‘co’).

Mercurial was also suggested at the side of Git (which is founded by Linus Torvalds).

Cern – VM – FS

Cern-VM-FS (CVMFS) looked very promising. The last one is not intended at the moment for images but more for sending applications around. It uses Squid proxy server and looked really excellent. Gives you a mount point like /cvmfs/ and under there you have the softwares.

http://twitter.com/cvmfs

Requirements needed to set it up:

  • Rpms: cvmfs, -init-scripts, -keys, -auto-setup (for tier-3 sites does some system configs), fuse, fuse-libs, autofs
  • squid cache – you need to have one. Ideally two or more for resilience. Configured (at least) to accept traffic from your site to one or more cvmfs repository servers. You could use existing frontier-squids.

 

National Grid Service Cloud

A Brittish cloud.

Good for teaching with a VM – if a machine is messed up it can be reinstalled.

Scalability – ‘cloudbursting‘ – users make use of their local systems/clusters – until they are full – and then if they need to they can do extra work in the cloud. Scalability/cloudbursting is the key feature that users are looking for.

Easy way to test an application on a number of operating systems/platforms.

Two cases were not suitable. Intensive – with a lot of number crunching.

Good: you don’t have to worry about physical assembly or housing. They do have to install the servers and networking etc. Usually this is done by somebody else. Images are key to making this easier.

Bad: Eucalyptus stability – not so good. Bottlenecks: networking is important. More is required to the whole physical server when it’s running vms.

To put a 5GB vm on a machine you would need 10GB. 5 for the image and 5 for the actual machine.
Some were intending to develop the images locally on this cloud and then move it on to Amazon.

Previous Days:
Day 4
Day 3
Day 2
Day 1

HEPIX Spring 2011 – Day 4

Dinner on the 3rd night was amazing. It was at the hotel Weisse Schwan in Arheilgen outside Darmstadt and it was a nice reception hall with big round tables, waiters with lots of wine and great buffet food. A+

Cloudy day!

Or – Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS

A few had the standpoint that the HEP community is not ready for cloud, not secure enough and we have something that’s working. But maybe a mix period would work. At least for now it’s quite awesome for non i/o intensive applications.

There were talks about virtual images and how to (securely) transfer them between sites. Several options about this, stratuslab cloud distribution of images and cloudscheduler.

One great use case for running computing nodes in the cloud is at the moment for when the cluster is maxed out – then you can kick up some more vms in the cloud to help speed up the run. Or when running the jobs it keeps the VM running as long as jobs that require that kind of VMs are in the queue. Or for testing – quite easy to set up several VMs with different operating systems/platforms and then run testing on them. See cloudscheduler.org

Infrastructure as a Code – IaaC – see Opscode and Chef. A pretty interesting looking  configuration management system.

Terms:
fairshare
json

Oracle

Maybe the most interesting presentation at the end of the day – and the debate following was maybe the most – it was the presentations from Oracle Linux and Oracle Open Source.

Before the presentation they had a nice slide stating that they don’t make any promises based on the presentation. That presentation is not available but the other one is – the one about Oracle and Open Source..

Oracle Linux (OL) looks pretty good, it’s free to download but if you want any updates you need to pay them. They have an upgrade thing so if you’re on RHEL6 you can apparently update easily (changes some yum repos). A lot of advertisement – but it was a presentation about the distribution. It’s based on RHEL, they take the updates from RHEL, then add their own magic to it. They have a boot setup so if you want to you can boot OL in Red Hat Compatibility mode. Apparently Oracle wants to put Red Hat out of business (after which they were asked: “Where will you get the kernel then?”). x86-64 only.

On the horizon:  

  • btrfs(fs that supports error detection, CoW, snapshots, ssd optimization, small files are put in metadata)
  • vswitch(full network switch, set up virtual network in the OS, ACL, VLAN, QoS, flow monitoring with openFlow)
  • Zcache(keep more pages of the fs page cache longer in main memory, more cache using LZO compression and thus fewer I/O operations – a lot faster to compress/uncompress than to access disk)
  • storage connect
  • linux containers (resource management, jails on bsd, zones on solaris, own apps/libs/root, runs on top of the kernel, not a virtualization).

From the discussion:


Pidgin – some wanted Video. Pidgin said: no way. This is how Oracle will run their open source projects like MySQL, Lustre.

“If you don’t like how the project is going – fork.” – Gilles Gravier.

Two reasons to fork: proactively (worried) or because they are unhappy with how it’s going (how it’s going or not going).

People in the audience are afraid that a lot of times a company acquires an open source project and then closes it down.

“When you acquire a company and it’s the projects. You have two options if don’t want the project. Drop it or kill it. Kill it does not work for open source.” – Gilles Gravier.

Openoffice is not dropped yet. Lots of other options. Fork and work on closed source (like Grid Engine). Drop it and stop working on it. Drop it and “talk to the community”.

No info about Lustre – when asked about it Oracle did not want to comment. Asked to e-mail gilles.gravier@oracle.com for more information.

Will Oracle port debconf to Oracle Linux? Oracle will take a look.

There was lot of angst against Oracle that surfaced, but Oracle handed it quite well and had good answers.

From one of the Oracles: “Allow me to be a bit provocative: If Oracle’s prices were lower; would you consider buying an Oracle product?”

“It takes 25 years to make a good reputation, 5 minutes to loose it.” – CERN employee.
“SUN used to make hardware and give away software for free; Oracle is .. the other way around.” – Lenz Grimmer
“Laughter” – Audience.

European Open File System SCE

  • http://www.eofs.org
  • one repository of lustre
  • hpcfs.org is another lustre open source – this will merge with opensfs.org. Both are American.
  • Close work together with eofs.org – the two above have agreed on a set of improvements.
  • 2.1 lustre will be released by Whamcloud in summer 2011.
  • LUG – lustre user group – reports and interviews at http://insidehpc.com

 

Next Day:
Day 5

Previous Days:
Day 3
Day 2
Day 1

HEPIX Spring 2011 – Day 3

Day 3 woop!

An evaluation of gluster: uses distributed metadata, so no bottleneck that comes with a metadata server, can or will do do some replication/snapshot.

Virtualization of mass storage (tapes). Using IBM’s TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) and ERMM. Where ERMM manages the libraries, so that TSM only sees the link to the ERMM. No need to set up specific paths from each agent to each tape drive in each library.
They were also using Oracle/SUN’s T10000c tape drives that goes all the way up to 5TB – which is quite far ahead of LTO consortium’s LTO-5 that only goes to 1.5/3TB per tape. Some talk about buffered tape marks which speeds up tape operations significantly.

Lustre success story at GSI. They have 105 servers that provide 1.2PB of storage and max throughput seen is 160Gb/s. Some problems with

Adaptec 5401 – boots longer than entire linux. Not very nice to administrate. Controller complains about high temps – and missing fans of non-existing enclosures. Filter out e-mails with level “ERROR” and look at the ones with “WARNING” instead.

Benchmarking storage with trace/replay. Using strace (comes default with most Unixes) to record some operations and the ioreplay to replay them. Proven to give very similar workloads. Especially great for when you have special applications.

IPv6 – running out of IPv4 addresses, when/will there be sites that are IPv6? Maybe if a new one comes up? What to do? Maybe collect/share IPv4 addresses?

Presentations about the evolve needed of two data centers to accomodate requirements of more resource/computing power.

Implementing ITIL with Service-Now (SNOW) at CERN.

Scientific Linux presentation. Live CD can be found here:

www.livecd.ethz.ch. They might port NFS 4.1 that comes with Linux Kernel 2.6.38 to work with SL5. There aren’t many differences between RHEL and SL but in SL there is a tool called Revisor, which can be used to create your own linux distributions/CDs quite easily.

 

Errata is a term – this means security fixes.

Dinner later today!

 

Next Days:
Day 5
Day 4

Previous Days:
Day 2
Day 1

HEPIX Spring 2011 – Day 2

Guten aben!

Darmstadt is a very beautiful city. It’s quite old and there are lots of parks and eh, cool, houses.

A person from the UK said yesterday (in the pub Ratkeller) something like this: “A particle physicist’s raison d’être is to find complexities, they wouldn’t turn away from one if their life depended on it. These are the people we provide IT for.”

So no wonder that their IT systems/infrastructure is a little bit complex too!

Today’s topics are: Site Reports, IT Infrastructure (Drupal, Indico, Invenio, Fair 3D cube) and Computing(OpenMP, CMS and Batch nodes).

Site reports

Some of these institutions have a synchrotron which is a cyclic particle accelerator – looks quite cool on the pictures. Some use cfengine for managing the clusters – as in they want to avoid logging on to each node and doing configuration but instead do it from a tool. One such tool that is quite common (Puppet) can also be used for Desktops.

Not many use HP storage stuff, DDN is quite common. Nexsan, bluearc

One site had big problems with their Dell servers – caused by misapplied cooling paste on the CPUs – Dell replaced 90% of the heatsinks and fixed this.


One also had disk failures during high load.They ran the HS06 – Hep Spec 06 – test and while running that disks dropped off.Disk failures traced to anomalously high cooling fan vibration. After replacing all components, and then moving fans to another machine, they saw the error.

IT Infrastructure

CERN is working on moving to Drupal for their web sites. Investigating Varnish (good for ddos, caching and load balancing). Drupal is hard to learn.

Then there were some sessions about programming – CMS 64-bit and OpenMP.
One thought here: is it possible to discern the properties of an Intel/AMD CPU based on the name? Like E5530? Maybe this link on intel.com can be of some assistance.

Fair 3D Tier-0 Green-IT Cube

Quite cool concept(patented) that they are very soon starting to build here in Germany.
Using water vaporization with outside air (and fans in summer) to cool the air, and also water based heat exchangers in each rack to push warm air (by pressure built up by fans, so the racks needs to be quite air tight) from the back of the servers through the heat exchanger that cools the air, and then pushes it over the aisle to the next row of racks. They managed to get down to a PUE of 1.062 at best.

Next Days:
Day 5
Day 4
Day 3

Previous Day:
Day 1

 

Next Generation EVA – P6000

On theregister there was recently a post that maybe HP will announce the new EVA’s in Vegas in June – the P6000.

I just opened a discussion on the ITRC forum, maybe we’ll see some more posts there. I myself am hoping for some thin provisioning or why not SAS backends instead of the quite notorious FC loops. How about native iSCSI or FCoE?

*** 2011-05-05 Update, HP has now officially announced some information about it. For example that it will have the SAS-backend! Whoop! No more loop problems :)

*** 2011-05-05 Another one! Now it came – Thin Provisioning!
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/05/hp_p6000_data/

HEPIX Spring 2011 – Day 1

Morning.
Got in last night at around 2140 local time.
I should’ve done a little more exact research for how to find my hotel. Had to walk some 30 minutes (parts of it the wrong way) to get to it. But at least I made it to see some ice hockey.. . to bad Detroit lost.

Today’s another day though!

First stop: breakfast.

Wow. What a day, and it’s not over yet! So much cool stuff talked about.

Site Reports

The first half of the day was site reports from various places.

GSI here in Darmstadt (which is where some of the heaviest elements have been discovered). They have started an initiative to keep Lustre alive – as apparently Oracle is only going to develop this for their own services and hardware. They are running some SM – SuperMicro servers that have infiniband on board – and not like the HP ones I’ve seen that has the mellanox card as an additional mezzanine card. Nice. They were also running some really cool water cooling racks that uses the pressure in some way to push the hot air out of the racks. They found that their SM file servers had much stronger fans at the back, and not optimized airflow inside the servers so they had to tape over some (holes?) over the PCI slots on the back of the server to make it work properly for them. They were also running the servers in around 30C – altogether they got a PUE of around 1.1 which is quite impressive.

Other reports: Fermilab (loots of storage, their Enstore has for example 26PB of data on tape), KIT, Nikhef (moved to ManageEngine for patch and OS deployment, and Brocade for IP routers), CERN (lots of hard drives had to be replaced.. around 7000.. what vendor? HP, Dell, SM?), DESY (replaced Cisco routers with Juniper for better performance, RAL (problem with LSI controllers, replaced with adaptec), SLAC (FUDForum for communication).

 

Rest of the day was about:

Messaging

Some talk about messaging – for signing and encrypting messages. Could be used for sending commands to servers but also for other stuff. I’ve seen ActiveMQ in EyeOS and it’s also elsewhere as well. Sounds quite nice but apparently not many use it, instead they use ssh scripts to run things like that.

Security

About various threats that are public in the news lately and also presentation of some rootkits and a nice demo of a TTY hack. Basically the last one consists of one client/linux computer that has been taken hacked, then from this computer a person with access to a server sshs there. And then the TTY hack kicks in and gives the hacker access to the remote host. Not easy to defend against.

There was also a lengthier (longest of the day) 1h-1.5h presentation of a French site that went through how they went ahead when replacing their home-grown Batch management system with SGE(now Oracle Grid Engine).

*** Updated the post with links to some of the things. Maybe the TTY hack has another name that’s more public.

Next Days:

Day 5
Day 4
Day 3
Day 2

HEPIX Spring 2011

I’m heading to Hepix this whole week!

Looks like there’s some really interesting topics like:

Lustre, glustre, ipv6, stuff about the CERN it facilities, Scientific Linux report, cloud/grid virtualization, Oracle Linux.

I’ll sure be doing a bit of blogging about what’s going down.