SysAdmin

Rsync, It's GRRRRaphical!

Every year for our Readers' Choice survey, the venerable tool rsync gets votes for favorite backup tool. That never surprises us, because every time I need to copy a group of files and folders, rsync is the tool I use by default. more>>

Introducing Vagrant

Have you ever heard the following? "Welcome to the team! Here's a list of 15 applications to install, the instructions are in the team room, somewhere. more>>

Ubuntu's New DNS: Unknown Host

If you're the type of person who installs Ubuntu's server edition, you're also likely the sort of person who knows how to configure network settings. For most distributions, especially those based on Debian, the process is a bit strange, but familiar. more>>

The Sysadmin's Toolbox: iftop

Who's using up all the bandwidth, and what are they doing? Use iftop to find out. more>>

Stop Waiting For DNS!

I am an impulse domain buyer. I tend to purchase silly names for simple sites that only serve the purpose of an inside joke. The thing about impulse-buying a domain is that DNS propagation generally takes a day or so, and setting up a Web site with a virtual hostname can be delayed while you wait for your Web site address to go "live". more>>

The Sysadmin's Toolbox: sar

As someone who's been working as a system administrator for a number of years, it's easy to take tools for granted that I've used for a long time and assume everyone has heard of them. more>>

Puppet and Nagios: a Roadmap to Advanced Configuration

Puppet has provided baked-in Nagios support for a long time now. When combined with Exported Resources, Puppet is well suited to manage an intelligent Nagios configuration where nodes are automatically inventoried and monitored. more>>

System Administration of the IBM Watson Supercomputer

System administrators at the USENIX LISA 2011 conference (LISA is a great system administration conference, by the way) in Boston in December got to hear Michael Perrone's presentation "What Is Watson?" more>>

keyboard

Book Review - The Linux Command Line

Do you ever have that moment when someone asks you for a recommendation on a book, and when put on the spot you spin around in your office chair, scan your ever-growing library of books that you bought over the years of IT experience but either:A. Never read? B. Flipped through but never finished? C.Passed out halfway through the first chapter?  more>>

A Penetration Tester's Toolkit

Ever wonder exactly how vulnerable your network is? Using these tools can give you an idea and provide the means to protect yourself. more>>

Ahead of the Pack: the Pacemaker High-Availability Stack

A high-availability stack serves one purpose: through a redundant setup of two or more nodes, ensure service availability and recover services automatically in case of a problem. Florian Haas explores Pacemaker, the state-of-the-art high-availability stack on Linux. more>>

OpenLDAP Everywhere Reloaded, Part I

Directory services is one of the most interesting and crucial parts of computing today. They provide our account management, basic authentication, address books and a back-end repository for the configuration of many other important applications. more>>

Tales From the Server Room: Zoning Out

Sometimes events and equipment conspire against you and your team to cause a problem. Occasionally, however, it's lack of understanding or foresight that can turn around and bite you. Unfortunately, this is a tale of where we failed to spot all the possible things that might go wrong. more>>

Complexity, Uptime and the End of the World

Poorly implemented monitoring systems can drive an administrator crazy. At best, they are distracting. At worst, they'll keep whoever is on pager duty up for nights at a time. This article discusses the best practices for designing systems that will keep your systems up and stay quiet when nothing is wrong. more>>

Tunnel

SSH Tunneling - Poor Techie's VPN

"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it is the light of the oncoming train" ~ Robert Lowell. Oh yes, another good quote. This post is on SSH tunneling, or as I like to call it 'Poor Man's VPN'. Contrary to the sysadmin's popular belief, SSH tunneling actually can be very valuable use for both techies and home users. more>>

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