Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Reducing the Friction: Using Keyboard Shortcuts

One thing that I personally have found extremely helpful in making common tasks easier—a key aspect of the “reducing the friction” idea I’ve been discussing—is the use of keyboard shortcuts. In this post, I want to talk about how you might be able to maximize your use of keyboard shortcuts to help improve your personal efficiency.

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Resources for Networking and Network Virtualization

Good friend (and now colleague) John Troyer asked me via e-mail if I had a “reading list” for networking and network virtualization. I didn’t have a formally-prepared “reading list,” so I just shared with John some of the resources that I personally use. John’s response was: “You should blog this.” So, here it is—a list of resources for networking and network virtualization.

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The Symbiosis Between Automation and Engineering

A little while ago Steve Beaver wrote a post titled “Is Automation Killing The Engineering?” In the post, Steve ponders whether the increased use of automation in today’s data centers is killing engineering knowledge. The argument, as I understand it, says that because tasks are becoming increasingly automated, data center professionals are increasingly less knowledgeable about how things actually work. But is this a valid argument? Is automation killing engineering?

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Reducing the Friction: Automating File Management

One of the key things you can do to help improve your efficiency is “reduce the friction”—make common tasks easier, simpler, faster. (This isn’t my phrase or idea, by the way, but I’ve forgotten exactly where I first saw it.) In my last Reducing the Friction post, I talked about how I use AppleScript to help automate part of my blog publishing process. In this post, I’ll share how I help automate some common file management tasks.

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Technology Short Take #33

Welcome to Technology Short Take #33, the latest in my irregularly-published series of articles discussing various data center technology-related links, articles, rants, thoughts, and questions. I hope that you find something useful here. Enjoy!

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Reducing the Friction: BBEdit to MarsEdit

In some of the presentations that I give on productivity and efficiency, one of the things I mention is reducing the friction; that is, making processes more streamlined so they’re easier to perform. In this post, I’m going to describe one way I reduced the friction for producing and publishing blog posts using BBEdit, TextSoap, MarsEdit, and some AppleScript.

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A Use Case for Policy Routing with KVM and Open vSwitch

In an earlier post, I provided an introduction to policy routing as implemented in recent versions of Ubuntu Linux (and possibly other distributions as well), and I promised that in a future post I would provide a practical application of its usage. This post looks at that practical application: how—and why—you would use Linux policy routing in an environment running OVS and a Linux hypervisor (I’ll assume KVM for the purposes of this post).

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A Quick Introduction to Linux Policy Routing

In this post, I’m going to introduce you to policy routing as implemented in recent versions of Ubuntu Linux (and possibly other Linux distributions as well, but I’ll be using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS). Policy routing actually allows us a great deal of flexibility in how we direct traffic out of a Linux host; I’ll discuss a rather practical application of this configuration in a future blog post. For now, though, let’s just focus on how to configure policy routing.

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VLAN Trunking to Guest Domains with Open vSwitch

In other articles, I’ve talked about how to use Open vSwitch (OVS) with VLANs to place guest domains (VMs) into a particular VLAN. In this article, I want to show you how to pass VLAN tags all the way into the guest domain—in other words, how to do VLAN trunking to guest domains using OVS. To do this, we’re going to leverage the OVS-libvirt integration I referenced in this post on using VLANs with OVS and libvirt.

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Learning NVP, Part 1: High-Level Architecture

This blog post kicks off a new series of posts describing my journey to become more knowledgeable about the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP). NVP is, in my opinion, an awesome platform, but there hasn’t been a great deal of information shared about the product, how it works, how you configure it, etc. That’s something I’m going to try to address in this series of posts. In this first post, I’ll start with a high-level description of the NVP architecture. Don’t worry—more in-depth information will come in future posts.

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