We are satisfied with the basic architecture, but a number of improvements need to be made. Given the annoyances of managing multiple T1s in a bonded interface, we now are planning on upgrading the T1s to a second T3. When we do that, we may drop the circuit splitting entirely. Circuit splitting adds a whole new level of complexity to the entire system, and we are unsure if it is worth it.
We have to continue to improve our monitoring of both line status and line quality. It is difficult to complain to circuit vendors about performance if you don't have historical data to back up your assertions.
It would have been convenient to use off-the-shelf servers for the router boxes. We have been investigating the latest 1U rackmount from a major manufacturer, but for several reasons it is unsuitable. The showstopper is that the BIOS does not allow booting from any Flash IDE device. The vendor knows of this limitation but will not fix the BIOS. Thus, we see ourselves building our own systems for the foreseeable future.
We will be building additional internal router boxes for handling LAN traffic, based on the WAN router model we have developed—1U systems with Flash drives running a minimal Fedora kernel.
Although this project is not complete, I feel we've accomplished enough to take a moment to evaluate its success. The key question is: would we do it again? The answer is a qualified yes. Our WAN routers perform the task of providing redundant connections between our office and backup sites. The usefulness of splitting the WAN circuits for redundancy is a wash as it adds so much complexity to the design.
This project has taken significantly longer to complete than we anticipated, a general symptom of developing your own solutions. The answers are there, but you expend more time finding them. Having a sharp, dedicated team (as I did) is crucial to making it all work. Just make sure to budget extra time for all the annoying little problems that are sure to arise.
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Phil Hollenback is a system administrator at Telemetry Investments in New York City. When he's not upgrading Linux servers or skateboarding, Phil spends his time updating his Web site, www.hollenback.net.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
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