Archive for July, 2007

ZFS Delegated Administration

ZFS keeps improving and now has the ability to delegate zfs administrative tasks to ordinary users.

Two styles of delegated permissions are supported. First the individual permission(s) can be explicitly specified, or the administrator can define a permission set. A permission set can then later be updated and all of the consumers of the set will automatically pick up the change. Permission sets all begin with the letter @ and are limited to 64 characters in length. Characters after the @ sign in a set name have the same restrictions as normal ZFS file system names.

Nice and simply unix style interface, with lots of scripting potential. I can see some usefulness in this once Solaris gets its iscsi stack sorted and I get it going with XenEnterprise.

Permissions are delegated with the allow subcommand to ZFS(1M).

zfs allow [-l] [-d] <"everyone"|user|group>[,<"everyone" |user|group>]  <perm>|@<setname>[,<perm>|@<setname>...] 
zfs allow [-l] [-d] -u <user> <perm>|@<setname>[,<perm>|@<setname>...] 
zfs allow [-l] [-d] -g <group> <perm>|@<setname>[,<perm>|@<setname>...] <filesystem|volume>
zfs allow [-l] [-d] -e <perm>|@<setname>[,<perm>|@<setname>...]<filesystem|volume>
zfs allow -c <perm>|@<setname>[,<perm>|@<setname>...] <filesystem|volume>
zfs allow -s @setname <perm>|@<setname>[,<perm>...] <filesystem|volume>

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Silent data corruption on AMD servers with 4G+ RAM

Seems there is a silent data corruption bug on AMD based systems with over 4G of RAM running Linux. Solaris has a similar problem. Luckily none of my AMD systems have more than 4G, but this is a pretty nasty looking bug.

From smugmug.

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Content may offend

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EDS virtualises its ANZ Unix server farms

I wonder what platform they intend to use: VMware or Xen.

EDS virtualises its ANZ Unix server farms:

EDS stands to save “hundreds of millions” by rolling out a massive 10,500-server rationalisation project for its clients in New Zealand and Australia.

The project is six months through its three-year time line which will see the entire fleet of Unix servers, spread across eight datacentres in the two countries, converted into a virtualised environment.

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New Stats Plugin for WordPress

Even though it didn’t work out, one of the reasons I was keen to stay on was the stats page they had. Now you can get the wp-stat to do the same for a self-hosted wordpress blog.

From. Photo Matt.

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wp-cache has been causing issues

The wp-cache plugin has been causing issues with my host, of some reason after a period of time it causes the php.cgi process to be killed by dreamhost’s process memory limiter. Since the site isn’t really that high volume, I’ve turned it off for now.

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Canonical Launches Web-Based Systems Management Tool For Ubuntu

Excellent. I’ve been waiting for something like Landscape for quite a while, thinking about building something basic myself. Web-based centralised management portal for pushing updates and installing packages is the best way to do this.

Canonical Launches Web-Based Systems Management Tool For Ubuntu Deployments.

About Landscape

With Landscape, users can manage, monitor and maintain all their Ubuntu machines simply by registering them with the service. Focused on being easy to deploy, Landscape is immediately available with an easy to use Web interface to common administration tasks.

Security and stability are enhanced with visibility of new security fixes and updates as soon as they’re available for Ubuntu. Individual systems, or groups can be updated making it simple and quick to keep them secure. With package management across a range of systems the total cost of managing an Ubuntu deployment of desktops, laptops and servers is reduced.

Key features of Landscape include:

Package management: All the package management features for remotely managing a system. Quickly find installed packages, view information about them and add or remove them.

System updates: Secure Ubuntu systems quickly and easily. Instantly view packages that need updating across all systems that Landscape knows about. Install security and feature updates as they become available.

Manage groups of machines: With Landscape you can manage multiple machines within a group, either acting on them all or just one machine within the group. Groups are flexible and fast to set up, whether you want to manage machines by location or function.

Semi-connected management: Safely and securely manage systems that are infrequently connected to the Internet. Landscape queues tasks for disconnected and distributed desktops, laptops, or servers. When they come on-line it carries out the queued instructions.

System inventory: Reduce the speed and cost of supporting users with the detailed information needed to resolve problems. Landscape reports on individual system hardware giving a view of all the system’s components. In addition, it reports how Ubuntu sees the system, including elements like the running kernel.

Performance reporting: An organization can compare the performance of multiple systems, viewing key measurements such as system load and disk usage, enabling workloads to be managed effectively.

System history: Administrators can audit the actions on their systems improving security. Landscape provides information on the tasks it will perform in the future. The historical view shows actions shows actions it performed and those done locally on the machine.

From osnews.

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How Microsoft conquered China

Billy Gates is a clever business person, this article from CNN discusses How Microsoft conquered China.

Today Gates openly concedes that tolerating piracy turned out to be Microsoft’s best long-term strategy. That’s why Windows is used on an estimated 90% of China’s 120 million PCs. “It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not,” Gates says. “Are you kidding? You can get the real thing, and you get the same price.” Indeed, in China’s back alleys, Linux often costs more than Windows because it requires more disks. And Microsoft’s own prices have dropped so low it now sells a $3 package of Windows and Office to students.

A basic desktop computer in China now can be had for about 200-300USD, with a Chinese version of windows pre-installed. Funnily enough if you can find it only full retail (priced) versions of English Windows are available.

From infoworld.

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Google writes a bad check

Some humour from Google for the end of the day: Adsense Nonsense 2.0 – Google writes a bad check at mobilejones.

From gspy.

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Xen 4.0 beta is out

Some details here and here. This thread in the beta forums has some useful context as well.

The most interesting new feature is NFS shared storage system based on VHD files and Live Migration (XenMotion). There is also iSCSI based shared storage and support for 64bit Windows clients. In order to deliver a product now XenSource have delayed releasing 64bit support for Linux clients and their new admin interface is Net2.0 base, thus Windows only. Currently they suggest that Linux users look at the xe cli client which has been improved to deal with many of the new features. Their final goal is a web based management system, if they did something REST based in rails it would be great.

I don’t have time to do any testing right at the moment, but I’ll be putting it though its hoops some time in the next month. One of the things I’m interesting in finding more information on is the new xva format. So I can do some work on a deployment system.

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