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Designing a Robust Monitoring System

By on Apr 19, 2011 in Article

Reading Ted Dziuba’s article Monitoring Theory article, I was reminded of several conventions that I have developed over the years to help with monitoring servers, network devices, software services, batch processes, etc. First, break down your data points into levels so that you can decide how to route them. Second avoid interrupt driven technology like email, it lowers your productivity and prohibits good analysis techniques.

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Decade of Storage: Analysis of Data Costs

By on Jan 21, 2011 in Article

Yesterday, I noticed this interesting tidbit from Rackspace calculating the cost of data over the last Decade of Storage. Of course, there a few bumps in the road that made me chuckle. Interestingly, in the last couple of years it plots the cost from $0.40/GB to $0.06/GB. This ties together a whole bunch of things that I have thought about over the last couple of years. First, now is a wonderful time to be a user buying storage for personal audio and video. Second, regular people are going to have to start to learn data management strategies. Finally, this cost isn’t even close to what it is for me in my data center. It is easy for us to celebrate the cheap cost of raw storage while loosing track of the total cost of ownership for data. I will elaborate.

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OpenSSH and Keychain for Systems Administrators

By on Dec 10, 2010 in Article

This tutorial provides guidance on best practices and configuration of OpenSSH/Keychain, but also includes some important troubleshooting techniques for which documentation is somewhat lacking. These techniques took me several years to develop and I have tried to compile them here in one concise post so that others do not have to suffer through the arduous learning process

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System’s Administrator’s Lab: Testing

By on Nov 12, 2010 in Article

Today, I got an email from the Fedora package manager, Red, who let me know that there was a problem with Petit. I don’t think he knew it, but it was actually my fault that the whole thing got screwed up, so I felt kind of bad. Well, to make a long story short, when I went to fix it, I realized I was most of the way through converting to Mercurial from...

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Systems Administrator’s Lab: Cacti Development

By on Oct 27, 2010 in Article

Background Today, I finally took the time to update a Cacti Data Query which I wrote a while back. When I took a look at it, I found out that it was never actually working for other people strait out of the box. This data query graphs BGP prefixes, messages received and messages sent. I developed it a couple of years ago and it can be difficult digging back in after...

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