Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Virtualization Fun with AoE

I think I will put fun in the title but I know our team would think of other descriptive words to put in its place. It has definitely been quite a learning experience, I will give you that much. A little background on what we had in mind with this.

The time had come to start thinking about replacing our aging servers with some more youthful, more vibrant servers but instead of just swapping out one for one we really started to think about the benefits of virtualizing our environment would give us. So the plan was made and everything was ordered but putting those pieces together of is not as easy as expected.

Here is what we have hardware wise:

Dlink DGS-3100-24
Custom Untangle Server
Dell Poweredge 1950 III
Dell R805 Dual Quad Core Xeon, 16GB RAM
Dell R805 Dual Quad Core Xeon, 16GB RAM
Coraid VS21
Coraid SR1521 (Raid 10 w/ 1TB drives)

We have the SR1521 on a separate VLAN for storage, the VS21 is on the storage VLAN and also a production VLAN, the poweredge is the management server and is on a management VLAN as well as the production VLAN, the R805 are on all VLANs, management, storage, production and lab. When we are done this will server around 30 internal users and around the same amount of users externally. We are trying to virtualize all of our servers and a few desktops for right now.

For the software side of the equation we looked at XenServer and possibly Vmware but we ended up with Virtual Iron because of the promise we saw in the solution. As of right now the storage is not fully supported with their software but we have been working with them to try and get things working. In the meantime we didnt want to sit around so we tried to find another solution that would work as well. We looked up OpenQRM and again things are looking very promising, AoE is supported but the Coraid boxes themselves are not specifically working as you would think but we are trying to work with them so that hopefully in the future it will be with now problems.

So right now we are not really doing too well with a solution that will support our setup but there is hope. The next step after this would be just using straight Xen for the solution, we'll see...

Once this is working then we'll start looking for more ways to increase redundancy and availability

Friday, April 4, 2008

TechLife: More SMTP errors

TechLife: More SMTP errors

I'll eventually start putting up more information that I have regarding the various smtp errors that I seem to run into on a daily basis. It's never until someone's email server starts throwing up error messages do you really get that full realization of what the hell is going on with the server or your mail.

I hate spam and I hate viruses so coming up with a layered approach to prevent the incoming and outgoing crap is much needed. Once your email reputation goes down the tubes tempers will rise just as quickly.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

IgniteRFQ - My attempt at PHP development

IgniteRFQ is a RFQ management application designed for small businesses that have a big need to have a better system for their RFQ purposes. It is currently very very alpha building up to a proof of concept stage, so there are very few features that work and more than a few missing parts.

Google Code

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

PHP, CodeIgniter, and Me

I am currently two weeks away from a looming deadline to have a pretty little interesting web app done. I have very little experience in the way of building web applications so why not just take up a project given directly to me by the president of the company I work for.

Seeing as how I had very little experience in developing much of anything I figured I better get on the ball and learn as much about PHP, application frameworks, and just application design in general. Man....that first week was great....We now fast forward two months thanks to Mr. Procrastination. Now I need to learn a whole lot in a very short amount of time. Even though I still have so much to learn about everything I've been making some pretty good progress lately. I almost have a complete dashboard for this mini Intranet-CMS-Procurement app thingy.

I've definitely learned a lot about CodeIgniter and I'm increasing my PHP skills then you can add on my uber leet element toggling skills. Yea Baby!!!

Deadline: April 15th

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

All Desktop Icons Open at Once

We have been having the weirdest issues with two computers in our office. At seemingly random times every icon on the computer desktop opens and every application is represented by a rectangle button tabby thing. This happens on Windows XP.

Anyone else have any issues like this?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

TechLife: could not deliver message time limit specified 4.4.7

TechLife: could not deliver message time limit specified 4.4.7

We had a problem with email not being delivered to various domains, the senders received a Soft Bounce. Here is an example of the email that was received by the sender:

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.
Subject: RE: DBA701 - Urgent
Sent: 4/13/2004 5:39 PM
The following recipient(s) could not be reached: 'test@testdomain.com on 4/15/2004 6:00 PM

Could not deliver the message in the time limit specified. Please retry or contact your administrator.

Resolution: We had to talk to the ISP of the receiving end and ask to get Reverse DNS set up for their account.

The problem turned out to be that there were no PTR records set up for the outside IP address. So the email that the sender was sending was valid but since there were no PTR records to go by it wandered off into limbo to die by the TTL. We had to find the problem by doing a search of the PTR records on www.dnsstuff.com using this format, the outside address is

Update: Of course now the format has changed at dnsstuff.com and you can just enter the IP address in the Reverse DNS Lookup box. While you're there you might as well get a full DNSReport too.

These errors can be pretty easy to troubleshoot if you use the error codes, You can reference those error codes using this document http://www.unixhub.com/docs/email/rfc1893.txt

4.X.X Persistent Transient Failure

A persistent transient failure is one in which the message as
sent is valid, but some temporary event prevents the successful
sending of the message. Sending in the future may be successful.

X.4.7 Delivery time expired

The message was considered too old by the rejecting system,
either because it remained on that host too long or because
the time-to-live value specified by the sender of the
message was exceeded. If possible, the code for the actual
problem found when delivery was attempted should be returned
rather than this code. This is useful only as a persistent
transient error.

Others have found out that their IP has been blacklisted, Am I blacklisted?

SMTP mail cannot be sent or received in Exchange Server

Welcome IT Gangstas

Let's get this started...