Monthly Archives: December 2010

Too many computers….

I’m currently looking over my network and computers and realising that maybe, just maybe, I have a few too many….

For example, here’s my production network:

That doesn’t include a lot of the test kit that’s racked up, that’s all production or development hosts that need to stay running.

The main issue is that I’ve ended up with a bit too much VM bloat, which isn’t a problem in terms of hardware (since one just sticks another 16GB of RAM into a box to fix that) but rather management and maintenance, the time it takes to check things like backups, verify correct operation, keep system secured, etc.

The other major issue, is that I’ve ended up with too much development kit in a small office/data centre, mostly running staging and development virtual machines but also with several specialist physical hosts (eg blade server, some sun kit, switching, etc)

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant lab to work with and very useful for spinning up projects to develop with, but the sad reality is that the cost problem doesn’t justify keeping so much physical kit.

Doing the math, I’ve found that if I pay commercial rent, power and internet services, this data centre would cost me about $10,000+ a year. For that price, I could buy a *very* nice server every couple years to run everything as a virtual machine instance.

For $10k, I could even buy a really high end machine every 3 years and rack it into a data center, however NZ’s insane data cap limitations mean that I still need to retain a local server for accessing the file server and backup servers.

So as much as I love the lab, I think I will make the decision to pull the plug and reduce/virtualise a lot of the kit. So if you’re after some decent servers, switches and other infrastructure at a good price, let me know, there’ll prob be some good auctions going up in the next few weeks or so.

2011 New Year’s resolutions

So 2010 has been a pretty eventful year….

  • Ran Amberdms as a three person company for a while and did entirely too much work, got pretty burnt out TBH.
  • Accepted a new job at my previous employer with exciting new challenges and saner hours.
  • Learnt a lot about myself – my interests, how I handle stress, love, rejection, etc.
  • Made many new friends and actually developed a bit of a social life which is now impacting on time available for geekery…. I blame Twitter entirely for introducing me to interesting and fun people.
  • Finally updated this blog to WordPress ;-)

So what do I want to achieve in 2011?

  • Reduce the amount of “stuff” I own. Not quite to the whole cult-of-less approach, but I really have far too many computers, gadgets and other bits and pieces that I’ve managed to collect over the past 10 years.
  • Tempted to sell off my data center gear and reduce to just a couple boxes running large numbers of virtual machines.
  • Get back into enjoying IT more – I still love it, but the amount of work I’ve done lately has it feeling a bit like a chore and less like fun. So I want to do some fun projects in 2011 just for my enjoyment :-)
  • Be a more relaxed, less stressed person. Not doing 60-80 work weeks will certainly help. :-)
  • Keep the flat tidier…. I’ve spent hours getting the place into a liveable condition and it’s far far nicer this way, aim to keep it that way. Reducing the amount of stuff I own will also help there….
  • Figure out relationships, love, sex, etc. What am I after, who do I want and where my interests lie. And have fun doing so. :-)
  • Figure out life goals – what do I want to achieve in the next 10 years?
  • Keep making regular blog posts, I actually really enjoy writing, it’s just tricky finding the time…

In terms of projects, there’s a few neat things floating around in my head that I’m considering:

  • Move from proprietary microblogging (eg twitter) to open source microblogging (eg statusnet or dispora) yet still maintain ability to communicate with all my friends on Twitter.
  • Really, really, want a better open source twitter and capable client, I may sit down and write one if I can’t find anything good soon.
  • Build a Linux From Scratch system. I last did that in college and it’s so much fun. Extracting tarballs, patching, compiling, etc, etc :-)
  • Considering writing a book on IT policy and professionalism, basically stuff I’ve learnt from the 5 years I’ve been in IT that I wish I could have known when I was first starting, rather than having to find the hard way.
  • Secret coding stuff I can’t talk about ;-)

So those are my plans/goals/resolutions- what are your ones for 2011?

2011 is almost here!

As you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front, slipping back into bad habits I suspect :-/

I got pretty caught up with busy work and life in November and December, something I’m still catching back up from…. on the plus side, the new job is great, lots of exciting challenges and a good team to be working with. :-)

Just starting a two week company office shutdown, so have a bit of time off for the first time in about two years, which is feeling pretty weird…. plus I’m only back for about another two weeks before heading away to and the associated AU holiday trip.

Going to spend the holidays catching up on blogging, releasing source code for some of my nifty projects and performing a number of infrastructure upgrades on my servers and other systems.

Currently trying to make a decision about my big two server racks, I don’t think they’re worth it for the cost vs what I could do by virtualising down into a single big bad server, but it’s a very fun setup to work with…. either way, I think I’ll shed some of the machines, so I’ll blog post when they go up for auction.

Will get some new year’s resolutions up on here later this week. :-)