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Brad Cowie's blog

20

May

2013

What happened this week:

  • Spent a large chunk of the week working with Shane and Brendon to clean up some of our Wand projects (BSOD, AMP) to show off to potential students at open day. Ran into some pretty funky bugs in BSOD that Shane spent time fixing.

  • Met with a student who wants to do some work experience in the Computer Science department in July. Potentially going to spend some days with Wand, so if you have any fun projects for them to work on to get them excited about Computer Science flick me a message.

  • Met with our Dell pre-sales guy to work out what Dell solutions we can use to build some new hardware for AMP / ISP capture boxes. Going over what was discussed and getting some invoices generated next week to see how much they cost.

  • Finally, Friday was our annual Open Day. We manned the stall in S-block most of the day trying to generate interest by showing off Wand projects. Talked to many potential (and current) students.

06

May

2013

What happened this week:

  • Helped Grace get up to speed with the KVM/Libvirt knowledge required to run an openstack instance. Also touched on how the virtual networking inside openstack works and how linux bridging works. I believe we're pretty close to having a working cloud controller and I've begun building a second server which will be used as a compute server in our "cloud".

  • Spent a bit of time working on bearwall and with the help of Chris Browning released version 1.08 which you can get from http://bearwall.org

  • Started building a looking-glass server for use at Wand, found bird-lg which looks quite shiny. Have deployed bird-lg in a testing environment at the moment, in talks with an ISP for a BGP feed that will carry a full route table.

  • Got the ENEL211 marking system up and running for an assignment that is coming up soon.

29

Apr

2013

What happened last week:

  • Upgraded our teaching cabinet switches/routers to the latest firmware as recommended by Juniper/Cisco TAC. They are all now running the crypto (domestic) versions which means SSH will work on all of them now.

  • Picked up Wand's new toy, a Juniper M320 router from a warehouse in Auckland. It is currently sitting in TSG's storage room until we have arranged space/power from ITS in the G block datacentre to host it.

22

Apr

2013

I'm going to make an attempt to start writing these again so everyone knows what I'm up to.

This week:

  • Got fullscreen video playing back with network synchronised mplayer on the symphony display wall for Science & Engineering for their open day demo. Don't forget open day is coming up fast (17th May), if you have any good demos/projects to show off let me know.

  • We've been having a number of issues with warlock (web/mail server) over the past couple of months where it likes to stop responding to requests and require a reboot before it will work again. I've in the past put in measures to stop this happening which has helped a little bit but since it keeps happening I have spent some more time trying to fix this. I suspect warlock is a little over capacity so I have optimised the applications it runs to reduce the load on the machine. I spent some time optimising trac which is the heaviest application the machine runs, I have also migrated from mod_python to modwsgi and installed a varnish cache in front of apache (for webscale).

  • Spent some time researching juniper routers and reading juniper documentation.

07

Dec

2012

Spent this week working on amp2 web interface stuff. Have fixed a few bugs and tried to keep the source code clean and ensure we're following the current best practices. Also managed to check off a few items from my todo list regarding a few sysadmin related jobs.

Worked with TSG this week to help configure their switches for the new replicated SAN setup they will be using. Managed to get 2 VLANs from ITS to split our management traffic from the iSCSI traffic for additional security.

04

Dec

2012

Spent a bit of time on amp2 this week. Me and Brendon got the git workflow sorted out for developing amp2 and introduced our amp2 students to it. Also helped out with planning the new amp2 web interface and making sure everything is on track.

In other news, I've finished up our migration to cms.waikato.ac.nz this week, which hopefully no one noticed.

27

Nov

2012

This week was spent looking at how new amp2 is going to work and Brendon and I started writing a Python library to query data out of AMP. Also have been helping out with a few student projects and making sure everyone is happy.

We cleaned out G.1.01 which is going to be temporarily occupied by Wei Minn while F-G link construction is going on.

20

Nov

2012

Short week this week. Spent time sorting out our summer research scholarship students who started this week. Some interesting projects to follow along with.

Rest of the week was spent in Wellington at the Kiwicon conference. Lots of interesting security and hacking talks as usual. Also caught up with Jamie and the REANNZ team on Monday and saw their new toys and discussed future work and collaborations.

13

Nov

2012

Spent this week migrating a few more machines to cms.waikato.ac.nz and spent some time patching all our machines. Also deployed our first (and probably only) Windows 8 machine with Visual Studio 2012 for Shane to help get a new Windows version of BSOD released.

I also cleaned up some desks ready for our new summer students who are joining us next week.

05

Nov

2012

I have been back working this week since semester is now over.

Have been working on the migration to cms.waikato.ac.nz and working on a few things that have been on my todo list for a while that I haven't had time to work on.