Installing Linux on a PowerEdge 860

I’ve got a couple of old Dell PowerEdge 860 servers. They are nothing to write home about but they are functional and good enough for playing around with (I’m investigating KVM and Xen virtualization at the moment). What I need to do though is install from a USB as I don’t have any CD’s to burn. Unfortunately how you achieve that isn’t obvious.Continue reading

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Installing and Running KVM on Ubuntu 14.04 Part 1

I’ve been running my own servers for many years now but recently I’ve started to get the feeling that I could be doing a better job of it. I’ve played with virutalization a little both on the desktop and on real servers (I run a small VMware set up for work) but I’ve never translated that to a home virtualization system. I want to start virtualizing at home because I want to separate my personal servers and software development from my work software development. I could run another physical server but the machine that I have a the moment is quite lightly loaded so there’s really no good reason to run another physical. My virtualization of choice is KVM on Ubuntu and that is what this seven article series is about.Continue reading

Understanding Bridges

In this article I’ll discuss network bridges and where they are commonly used (spoiler: they aren’t any more). Mainly though I want to discuss how bridges are used in an OpenStack set up as building a personal cloud is my final aim. Hardware network bridges aren’t as common as they once were as switches have largely replaced hubs in the network so there’s no problem with large collision domains. Continue reading

Understanding VLANs

The aim of this article is to explain VLANs to someone who has a reasonable understand of how a computer network works. Recently I’ve been reading up on OpenStack as I’d like to put together a small personal cloud for a project I’m working on. So far so easy but the one aspect that I’ve been really struggling with is the networking. Many many years ago I took a course on computer networking but it didn’t cover modern ideas like software defined networking and VLANs mainly because they didn’t exist (VLANs might just have existed, SDN certainly didn’t). I’ve tried taking a Computer Networking course over on Udacity but that only filled in a few blanks – some interesting material on how the larger Internet works though. Continue reading