I recently ‘attended’ my first MySQL University presentation - Scalability Challenges in an InnoDB-based Replication Environment. The service itself is great, you sign up, log in and then watch the speaker present in one window while listening to him speak and reading the slides (in the main part of the screen). Everything you’d expect really. The subject wasn’t anymore exciting than you’d guess (but what do you expect with that title?) but the speaker knew his stuff and a couple of the Solaris commands shown will be useful to me in the future. Read on →

I’m going to try and get to more LOSUG meetings this year and the January presentation by MC Brown has done nothing to put me off. Although some of the audience tried their best… First up - the good. The actual presentation, MySQL/DTrace and Memcached, was very well done. The speaker was funny, well rehearsed and knew his material extremely well. The MySQL DTrace probes are made to be used in demos and are very enticing. Read on →

It took me a while to warm to Bill Bailey as a comedian. His slower, more laid back humour is a change in pace from what I normally like but Tinselworm, like all his live shows, is an excellent mix of music and mirth. If you like Bill Bailey then it’s another must have, if you’ve never watched him then go for a little trawl through youtube (start with this) and if you don’t like him then you’re just weird.

It’s been a while since I gave any attention to my CPAN modules but as an incentive to get more hands on with git I added them to my own gitweb, fixed the two that were failing tests and tided up some of the complaints from CPANTS. I’m sure I’ve missed something (or got it flat out wrong) but it’s nice to have at least a local copy of my modules without any issues remaining. Read on →

LOSUG is one of Londons best kept tech secrets. It’s hosted in a nice venue, often has a very knowledgeable audience full of Sun engineers and this month will be covering MySQL/DTrace and Memcached. If you’re a sysadmin or a developer interested in getting more, or better, metrics and understanding of how and what your system is doing make sure you book a place.

Now that chef is out and about people that accepted the massive improvement over all the existing host configuration managers that is Puppet will probably be casting a weary eye its way. I’ve got a little too much in puppet at my current position to look at moving for a while yet but now the competition is rising its time to get my boot in and point out what, for me, is the worst part of puppet; how difficult it is to add new types. Read on →

Despite setting up my own gitweb install I’m still not using git regularly enough to be comfortable with it so today I went through the Peepcode Press Git Internals book/PDF. While the diagrams and details of what happens under the cover are useful it’s the wrong level for me as a basic user. To ease myself in to the move from subversion for some of my personal projects I found Git Magic to be more useful. Read on →

… but the beer is very cheap. Which I know is an important thing for my readers. I can also agree with their choice of food, lots of pork and goulash with stodgy dumplings and thick sauce. Pig knuckle is much nicer than it sounds. I spent a long weekend in Prague, it was -10 for most of it but luckily the city isn’t very big and you can reach all the usual tourist spots by foot if you’ve got a day or two. Read on →

Penetration testing is tactical. It provides tangible, actionable information – Ivan Arce It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in pen testing but the above quote from Ivan is perfect and its meaning all too often overlooked. When you invest the time in something like pen testing or performance tuning you should always come away with a list of actionable tasks. By doing this you ensure the work wasn’t pointless (or if it was avoid repeating the mistake) and have something you can present to stake holders to get buy in for the next time. Read on →

Ever wanted to limit the number of ssh login attempts a user can make before their account gets locked? Well, not really, but when brute force tools are so common and easy to use it’s another useful trick in the sysadmins arsenal. In this example I’ll show you how to install, configure and audit failed ssh loging attempts on Linux. While the PAM mod_tally module is available for a number of different distros and Unix variants we’ll set it up on Debian. Read on →