It's Always DNS's Fault!

It's always better to learn from someone else's mistakes than from your own. In this column, Kyle Rankin or Bill Childers tells a story from his years as a systems administrator, and the other chimes in from time to time. It's a win-win: you get to learn from their experiences, and they get to make snide comments to each other. Today's episode is narrated by Bill.

Nagging Notifications

In the February 2011 issue, I wrote about screen, the console window manager, and how I configure its hardstatus line to show notifications along the bottom of my terminal window.

Consolidate: Put Your Servers into a VirtualBox VM

Rather than installing a server, such as a web server, directly onto your main computer, why not install it in a VM? This sort of setup has a few advantages of security and convenience. These days, spreading resources out into the cloud is the in-thing, but consolidation is often underexploited. Hosting a server in a virtualizer such as VirtualBox is often a good approach for casual or occasional server needs on a home network.

Using an SMS Server to Provide a Robust Alerting Service for Nagios

I’m a big fan of the Nagios network monitoring system and rely on it to tell me if something goes wrong with the systems for which I am responsible. I have made a large investment in time configuring Nagios to monitor exactly what I am interested in, and this effort would be wasted if Nagios detected a problem, but failed to communicate that problem to me.