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Jan 31, 2011

How To Team/Bond NICs in Ubuntu

I have really been slacking on blogging lately. I hope that hasn't turned you guys off to Bauer-Power. I have been busy with work and family stuff lately, so I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and write. I promise you though that I am not abandoning the blog, and I will keep posting as often as I can.

With that out of the way, lets jump right in. In this post I will tell you how to team two NICs (Network Interface Cards) using Ubuntu Linux. If you have ever done it in WIndows it is usually pretty easy. Especially if you use an HP server. In Linux, it is actually pretty easy too. You just need to install one extra little package, create a config file for your team and modify your /etc/network/interfaces file. Simple right?

Now for a little back story. The reason I am writing about this is I am setting up an Ubuntu Fog server at work for Windows imaging and software deployment. The server I am building it on has two NICs, so I want to team them for redundancy and throughput.

For NIC teaming, there are 7 modes we can use. Choose whatever suits your environment the best:

  • Mode 0 - Balanced Round Robin
  • Mode 1 - Active-Backup
  • Mode 2 - Balanced XOR
  • Mode 3 - Broadcast
  • Mode 4 - IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation
  • Mode 5 - Balanced transmit Load balancing
  • Mode 6 - Balanced Adaptive Load balancing

For more information on what the different modes do for you, check out this link here: (Ubuntu Bonding)

If you visit the link above, you will see that I do the bonding slightly different. I prefer to do it using the method on the Fog Wiki. It just works best for me and my Fog server. As you will see below, I specified the MAC address of my bond to match that of eth0. I found that if I didn't do that, Fog wouldn't be able to upload images, and would give me an error saying, "Unable to connect to TFTPD Server". Here is how to do it the Fog way:

  • Install ifenslave

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ifenslave

  • Create a file called bonding.conf in /etc/modprobe.d

    sudo touch /etc/modprobe.d/bonding.conf

  • Edit /etc/modprobe.d/bonding.conf

    sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/bonding.conf

  • Enter the following information and saving the file

    alias bond0 bonding

    options bonding mode=0 miimon=100 downdelay=200 updelay=200

  • Find the MAC address of eth0 by running ifconfig
  • Edit /etc/network/interfaces

    sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

  • Comment out your eth0 section by adding a # before everything.
  • Enter the following information replacing the network info to match your network, and the MAC address to match the MAC you found using ifconfig

    auto bond0
    iface bond0 inet static
    address 10.1.102.192
    netmask 255.255.255.0
    network 10.1.102.0
    broadcast 10.1.102.255
    gateway 10.1.102.1
    hwaddress ether 00:AA:BB:CC:DD:EE
    post-up ifenslave bond0 eth0 eth1

  • Save the file when you are done, and reboot

When your server comes back up make sure you still have good network connectivity, and take a look at ifconfig now. You will see your new bond0 interface and it will now have the same MAC address as eth0 and eth1.

As you can see above, I used mode 0 for my team. You can use whatever you want, for whatever suits your environment the best. You make the call!

Jan 24, 2011

Tech Chop Episode 5 – What is Linux?

So I got an email a little while back from a viewer of Tech Chop who was obviously a computer newbie, and wasn’t sure what Linux was. Don’t laugh, because there apparently are a lot of people who haven’t been properly introduced to the wonder that is Linux, and open source.

So I decided to put together a quick explanation on what Linux was. If you didn’t know, Linux is an open source and usually free operating system that one could use as an alternative to Microsoft Windows or even Mac OSX. I say usually free because, like I mention in the video, there are some proprietary versions of Linux that aren’t free. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is an example of that.

So here it is, Tech Chop Episode 5 brought to you by TBC Creative Multimedia Design:

 

 

The Distros mentioned in this episode were:

If you are new to Linux, might I suggest my own personal distro? It is called Bauer-Puntu Linux, and is based on Ubuntu except I have pre-packaged it with some helpful computer troubleshooting tools, and a few hacking tools as well.

Are you a Linux newb? Got any questions? Hit me up in the comments.

Jan 17, 2011

How To Set a Memory Cap For Microsoft SQL

First of all, I would like to stat this article out saying that I am not a DBA (Database Administrator). I am sure there are plenty of DBA’s out there that know there way around SQL way better than me. Seeing as how my company doesn’t have a dedicated DBA, I am stuck messing with it in order to keep things working.

How many of you have deployed a Microsoft SQL 2005 or 2008 server and after you are done with the initial install and setups you notice that SQL is hogging every little bit of memory you have? How many of you have tried running SQL on VMware? You probably noticed that too right? There is a reason for this, by default Microsoft SQL is designed to take as much memory as you give it up to 2147483647 MB (That is 2 Petabytes of memory!) WTF is that all about Microsoft?

I have one SQL server that only has 8GB of physical memory in it, and it is constantly pegged because of this, so what I did was the following:

  • Went into SQL Server Management Studio
  • Right Clicked on the SQL Instance Name and selected properties
  • Under Memory, I changed the value from 2147483647 MB to 6144 MB (6GB)
  • Clicked OK, then rebooted

sql-memory

Once the server came back up, SQL was limited to only 6GB of RAM, leaving 2GB for the operating system. After that, everything ran a little smoother.

Are any of you DBA’s? Any idea on why Microsoft sets the default memory max so high? Let us know in the comments.

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Jan 14, 2011

How To Install Additional Drivers in VMware ESXi

Yesterday I ran into an issue I hadn’t before in VMware. I was setting up a new ESXi server to add to a cluster. Like all the other hosts in the cluster, I ordered it two PCI-Express 4-port NIC’s for use as redundant iSCSI and Virtual switch connections. The only problem is that this time I used a different model than before. The other hosts in the cluster had been around for a while, and I wasn’t the one who ordered them expansion NICs. I figured I would just get some HP branded ones, and we should be good because the servers are HP servers.

I thought wrong. When I installed ESXi it didn’t automatically detect the NICs. Every other time I installed ESXi it did. Like any other computer operating system though, the NICs won’t be detected if the proper driver wasn’t installed.

the NICs I bought were HP NC365T 4 Port Gb network adapters. In order to get them to be detected on ESXi, I first had to do a search to see if they were supported. I went to The VMware compatibility guide and did a search in the I/O adapters section for NC365T. There I saw at the bottom that there were two available drivers. I went ahead to the driver download page, and searched for one of those driver numbers. From there I downloaded the ISO with the correct drivers.

Now, I read on the VMguru blog that you can burn the drivers ISO on a CD pop the CD into the server, then run the following command from vCLI:

vihostupdate.pl –server [IP address] –username root –install –bundle [CD/DVD]:\offline-bundle\DRIVER-NAME.zip

For some reason, that command didn’t work for me. It kept erroring out for one reason or another. So what I ended up doing since I always enable SSH on my ESXi boxes was to extract the contents of the ISO file using 7Zip, then renaming the zip file in \offline-bundle to driver.zip (For ease of terminal commands), then I copied driver.zip to the /tmp directory on my ESXi server using WINSCP in SCP mode. I then placed the server in maintenance mode from the viConsole. After that I SSH’d in using Putty, changed into the /tmp directory and ran the following command:

esxupdate --bundle=driver.zip update

esxupdate

After that I rebooted, and like magic my NICs were discovered by ESXi!

NICs

Have you ever had to do this in your environment? Can you tell me why my vCLI command might not have worked right? Let us know in the comments.

NOTE: If you have the HP NC365T 4 Port Gb network adapter like me, I recommend using the 2.4.10 driver. I tried the 2.1.10.2 driver, and it cause the ESXi operating system to freeze. Just a suggestion ;-)



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