13. October 2009, 16:33, by Steven Varco

Remote system cloning

Wieder mal ein Tipp aus der Linux-Admin Trickkiste. ;-)

In diesem Fall ging es darum ein System komplett auf ein anderes zu klonen. Sind die beiden Systeme baugleich, ist das mit dd und ssh relativ einfach einfach möglich.

Dazu müssen zuerst beide Systeme mit einer Linux-BootCD (z.B. sysrescuecd) gebootet- und das Netzwerk konfiguriert werden.

Dann gibt man auf dem Quell-System einfach:

quelle~ # dd if=/dev/sda | ssh root@zielsystem "dd of=/dev/sda"

ein und wartet bis der Vorgang abgeschlossen ist. Wer sich noch einen Status des Kopiervorganges anzeigen lassen möchte:

ziel~ # kill -USR1 $(pgrep '^dd$')

-Die Ausgabe erfolgt dabei auf der Konsole vom Quellsystem.

Nach dem Kopiervorgang sollte man das System mounten und die Netzwerk-, sowie Hostname noch anpassen; sonst gibt es danach einen IP-Adresskonflikt im Netzwerk.

Achtung: Dass das ganze klappt sollten beide Systeme (zumindest die Disks) relativ baugleich sein – Und natürlich gehen die Daten auf dem Zielsystem unwiderruflich verloren. ;-)


Komprimieren: Es wäre nun noch Möglich die Daten durch gzip zu pipen um Bandbreite zu sparen.

Erweiterter Status: Mit pv kann man sich erweiterte Statusinformationen über den Kopiervorgang zusammenbasteln.

Filed under: Arbeit,IT Infrastructure
29. August 2008, 16:55, by Steven Varco

Johnny Project: Filers arrived

The new filers for our Johnny Project* had just arrived and since our business has “quite a lot” to do with photos, I decided to do a little “unboxing fotostory” again. ;-)

The specs of these machines (per machine):

  • transtec CALEO 3U
  • Quad-Core XEON E5405, 2.0 GHz
  • 14 Seagate 1TB SATA-2 Disks, 7200 rpm
  • 2 Seagate 146 GB SAS Disk, 15’000 rpm

The three filers cleanly piled up, but still in the box

So, lets open the box!

Of course we all were excited about the inner values of those filers too, so we got them “prepared for surgery” (luckily we didn’t have to use a scalpel for that ;-) )

Some close-ups

As we can see, there would be “a little bit” of space for RAM extension… ;-)

View from the back…

…and from the front. -Looks cute indeed! ;-)

But whats even better than one server full of disks…?

Total Capacity: ~38 TB

The whole environment for our Johnny-Project in the lab.
Left: The Mogile Storage Nodes, Right: The Old new ASUS cache servers

*if you may wonder what’s that mysterious “Johnny Project” im talking about, stay tuned for further blog posts! -We will describe this at a later time. ;-)

14. August 2008, 16:45, by Steven Varco

Our new Mailserver

In the beginning of this year, we’ve decided to replace our old mail server, which was pretty at the end of its capacities, dealing with as “little” as 50’000 new mails (sent & received) DAILY for our 1500 mail users.
With also about 800’000 single mails stored, the old mail server ran out of disk space; we surely needed A LOT of disk space and even room for storage expansions.

Filed under: Arbeit,IT Infrastructure
, 09:07, by Maarten Manders

Webtuesday Lightning Talk Slides

This week, there was another webtuesday with lightning talks in Zürich. Leo and I each did a little talk:

“StubidDB” by Leo

Leo still dreaming about dumber databases. His own creation StupidDB might sound familiar to you…

“I’m in Ur Browzerz…” by Maarten

Harry had the idea to locate your users based on their history. I tried it out, giving another 8 minutes of fame to an old and well-known hack. The slides can be found here.

22. February 2008, 12:12, by Steven Varco

New DB Servers

Our Dell PowerEdge 2950 Servers for the new DB Cluster has just arrived and I’m very excited, unpacking them. ;-)

Boxed Servers


28. January 2008, 16:55, by Mario Rimann

Night shift: Server move

Moving all servers of tilllate.com in one night?

Maybe you’ve read our short announcement on the tilllate website last week: We were offline for some planned maintenance.

Lots of servers…

In detail, we moved all servers to a new cage in the datacenter. We like to give you some insight, of what happened after switching off the tilllate webservers. (more…)

Filed under: IT Infrastructure
6. December 2007, 13:43, by Mario Rimann

Building the fundament of our Corporate Network

We’re currently building up a corporate network for tilllate. This is about having VPN secured connections between our locations (the office, the data center, mobile users), clear splitting of internal and external hosts. We’re realizing this project with strong support of Open Systems which are specialized in this topic.

After weeks of planning and hundreds or versions of the network layout, we could install the first stuff yesterday. The guys from Open Systems pre-configured all the devices and brought them to the data center – where Stefan and I met them to install it.

First step was to get an overview on all the devices and cables. Thank god the fence around our cage was not built yet and we had enough space to distribute everything on the floor and bring it into some order.

Getting an overview

Filed under: IT Infrastructure
11. November 2007, 18:01, by Silvan Mühlemann

Squid and Mysql metric scripts for Ganglia

Ganglia Title imageAfter a long day of meetings and other tedious manager work the perfect way to relax is to code. The best is a mini-projects where you see your results after an hour or so. I call these tasks “Plausch-Projekte” (“plah-oosh project” =”fun projects”).

This week my plah-oosh projects were two metric tools for Ganglia. Besides Nagios Ganglia is the main monitoring tool for our cluster. We monitor something like 20 metrics like load, memory, disk usage, network activity.

Ciprian and Stefan recently built a script to monitor apache (bytes/sec, hits/sec, idle processes etc.) via the /server-status interface. Based on their work I hacked two scripts:

ganglia_mysql_metrics.php monitors multiple mysql parameters like queries/sec, slow queries/sec, threads connected:
Screenshot of mysql_* metrics in Ganglia

ganglia_squid_metrics.php reports regularly about squid metrics: Requests/sec, service time, available file descriptors:

Screenshot squid metrics in Ganglia

The scripts are quick and dirty code. Procedural. Not well documented. Does only read the mcast_port from the config file and ignores the rest. But it might be a good base to be used on your cluster too. Just call them every minute via the crontab.

3. October 2007, 21:09, by Silvan Mühlemann

Be our Gentoo-Guru!

Server close upSetup blade servers 40 and 41 via our standardized PXE based automatic installation process – Configure the Memcache extension and deploy it on our cluster – assist at the evaluation of a new VMWare solution – Program a new check for Nagios – Analyze Ganglia graphs – Optimize performance of a complex MySQL query – Give salesperson Raquel an advice on how to use the VPN software provided by Open Systems- Emerge a new PHP version via the portage system of Gentoo

If you’d enjoy doing these activities you should apply for the position of Linux Specialist. Along with our team of 13 developers and engineers you’ll help building Europe’s biggest nightlife website.

I am looking forward to meeting you!

Filed under: IT Infrastructure
11. March 2007, 20:23, by Silvan Mühlemann

Diät für die Foto-Tabelle

Orange on Diet“Silvan, das Hinzufügen von Fotos ist schweinelangsam am Weekend! Die Fotografen sind am jammern. Ich bekomme andauernd Anrufe. Mach was!”. So beklagten sich die Regionalmanager in den letzten Wochen.

Unsere Überwachungstool bestätigen die Situation: Wie aus dem Maschinengewehr wird mein Handy von Nagios mit SMS beschossen. Die graue Kurve, welche im Ganglia die Server-Load beschreibt, ist weit über der roten Linie. Moreti, unser Tool, um die Antwortzeit zu messen meldet mehrere Sekunden, um eine tilllate-Seite zu liefern.


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