My 10.04LTS servers are nearing the end of the line, but the move to get them upgraded is starting to get close....
At first I was waiting for the 12.04.1LTS update to appear, so that I might try upgrading them to Precise. But, then it struck me that it struck me that it might be time to replace one of the servers with new hardware.
The boxes had been servers for many years now, but in 10.04 they dropped support for 32-bit hardware as servers....which means one of my servers, and the more important one...is nearing EOL.
So, back in August....I came across a Shuttle XS36V open box on newegg.com....so I ordered one, along with an 8GB SODIMM memory set (a pair of 4GB)....the computers support a maximum of 4GB, but in my mind I was thinking that if this worked, I might get another to make a pair.
But, then it sat around as I go on to other projects....I had figured on using one of the 120GB SSDs that I had acquired earlier....
Realized what was strange about these boxes was they had serial ports, so I started thinking about network serial and setting these boxes up headless. Since I had done a server at work for serial with FreeBSD, I got to thinking that I would do the same with this. Plus I was really finding to be much more predictable/stable than Ubuntu....something that's good in a server.
I started revising the plans as I went....ended up deciding that I would have one that is default cable and one that is default dsl, and running the usual core...one would be master DNS, and the other one be the primary slave....just as one would be primary DHCP and the other secondary....both would do freeradius. Both would NTP servers. Both would do mail, though zen is my main mail system. They would have both apache and nginx on them...apache to run local web services....and nginx doing reverse proxy to the other web apps on my home network (kind of important since current cable router is a step back with it only supporting 16 port forwards....though I have a replacement that I'll get to setting up some day...)
Then while I was poking around on newegg.com, spotted that there was another open box Shuttle XS36V....so now I had two boxes. I had picked up once Cyclades ACS1 earlier on ebay, so I got a second....a 'new' one for about the same price. Just needed to find time. Perhaps after FreeBSD 9.1 drops.
Well, it dropped....but I still wasn't ready...now I needed some SSD drives for the machines. So, I used the $30 in RewardZone for the new TV I had gotten in September, and picked up a pair for 128GB SanDisk Extremes. And, then I started setting up the ACS1s....hmmm, wonder if I have any serial cables. Okay, I'll buy some of those first.... I end up ordering from TigerDirect, as they have a better price on RJ45 to DB9 adapters....not that I need them for the actual ACS1 to Shuttle XS36v connection...that's just a 9F to 9F null modem cable.
The backstory is that I've been working in a primarily Sun shop, and one of the things we've been doing is running Solaris 10 on large boxes, such as T2000's, T5120's, M4000's and cutting them up with Solaris zones/containers with the global native into a management vlan and tagging appropriate vlans for the zones, and the zones have their own default route specification so all has been great.
ipf on the global so the zones can't tamper with their own firewalls, and on some of the 'zone' servers using:
/usr/sbin/ndd -set /dev/ip ip_restrict_interzone_loopback 1
The zones remain isolated from each other. Or it avoids problems of short circuiting (asymetric routing + wrong IP)....because some of the zones are behind the F5.
For years, we've tossed around the idea of introducing FreeBSD into our datacenter, and finally one of our customers decided that while they really like the containers/zones and ZFS, the cost of replacing their aging Sun server would be better done by replacing it with a FreeBSD server. While they own the hardware, and it resides at their facility...we provide the system administration support. But, this opened the door to having FreeBSD on our work site. I was in the process of replacing my aging Sun Ultra 20 with an Optiplex 990...which originally I was looking at install Ubuntu on, but instead I went with FreeBSD 9.0 (though the effort in getting the Desktop working on it, and recreating my Sun desktop/work environment on it...made me question if that was really the right way to go. But, I got it working.) And, it helps me try some of the things before doing them on the customer's server (which is headless in a closet [well, they have a monitor & keyboard for console access], so all the desktop stuff was for my benefit...it paved the way to me getting a working FreeBSD desktop at home .... though I may end up with a different system for my main desktop at home and have the FreeBSD machine go headless with my other FreeBSD servers....unless there's some way to easily share between the two....switching doesn't qualify.)
So, in needing to deploy some new internal services (such as monitoring) and not really wanting to go through the major process of find all the bits and pieces and creating packages under our CM system for Solaris. Its quite the pain building each and every perl module as separate CM packages, instead of having some system that automatically builds and installs (or makes packages) for you...ala ports or CPAN. I've done package install requests that start out as install one package, and end up building 100 or so packages instead.
I had contemplated sneaking Ubuntu in since I run the same monitoring servers on an Ubuntu server at home, but the work to incorporate Ubuntu into our configuration management infrastructure got sidelined by FreeBSD. And, there's no decision on whether Ubuntu will come into play (though the high cost of RedHat licenses to just get patches...for systems that are rarely patched....is making Ubuntu look attractive.)
Anyways things led to me starting work on pxe boot installing Proliant DL380s with FreeBSD 9.0 and creating 'jail' servers to work like our 'zone' servers.
Cloning interfaces to do VLANs was simple ....
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