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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

WobblyStack – Reading List

I had to read a lot before I could get to the point where I felt I could write a script that installed OpenStack for me. The links below are a selection of articles that I found useful. This is the complete list of things I read as I didn’t start compiling the list before I had finished the first script but it’s a good start. Obviously you should head on over to the OpenStack documentation page for the most up to date official documentation. Unlike a lot of projects OpenStack have got it right when it comes to documentation and I’m sure that if I had come at this project with a better understanding of networking it would have been a fairly simple installation.Continue reading

Installing VirtualBox Additons on Ubuntu Server

I have a number of Ubuntu 14.04 virtual machines installed under VirtualBox running on Windows 8.1 and occasionally I find it useful to have the VirtualBox additions installed. Unfortunately for me the documented process doesn’t seem to work. Whenever I mount the ISO image using Devices –> Insert Guest Additions CD Image… I find that /media/cdrom is empty whereas you would expect to find the install script. This article explains how I install the additions.Continue reading

WobblyStack – A Single Node OpenStack Install

For a couple of years now I’ve run a small VMWare virtualization system for my business. Broadly speaking it’s gone well and been fairly uneventful. The only panic came when I transitioned from the free to the small business version of the software – I installed more memory than was allowed in the free version, rather than just ignoring it the system refused to boot any VMs! Unfortunately I’ve never really had the time to fully explore what I could do with the system and I’ve long felt that there was more to be had. Rather than shell out more money on VMWare toys though I thought it was high time I learnt about OpenStack.

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