IBM SDD driver troubleshooting on Linux

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The Subsystem Device Driver [SDD] is a pseudo device driver designed to support the multipath configuration environments in the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server, the IBM TotalStorage DS family, the IBM SystemStorage SAN Volume Controller. It resides in a host system with the native disk device driver and provides the following functions:

– Enhanced data availability
– Dynamic I/O load-balancing across multiple paths
– Automatic path failover protection
– Concurrent download of licensed internal code
– Path-selection policies for the host system

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Bootstrapping an Ubuntu guest for Xen

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First, some empty disk space is needed. Let’s create a logical volume for our new virtual machine:

Create a filesystem on the new logical volume:

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How to get VMware Server working with an unsupported kernel and the vmware-any-any patch

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VMware Server needs exactly two kernel modules running on the host system (there are separate modules for guest systems). These are the vmmon and the vmnet modules. Unfortunately, the vmmon and vmnet packages included in the VMware server distribution package don’t compile with the newest kernels. When I upgraded my laptop to Gutsy Gibbon a few weeks ago, I forgot to check if VMware server supports the new kernel. And, of course, it doesn’t yet. But luckily I found the vmware-any-any package, a patched version of the host kernel modules that works with newer kernel versions.

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Updated version of the flash64.sh script for Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

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A few months ago I released a script to install a 32-bit Adobe Flash plugin to a 64-bit Firefox, but it doesn’t seem to work in Gutsy beta. Here’s an updated one. I upgraded my laptop to Gutsy and used this one to get Flash working.

Edit: I did a complete reinstall later and learned that Gutsy knows how to set this up by itself. So there’s no need for this script anymore. And that is a very positive thing!

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Getting a Certificate for your Web Server

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To communicate securely using SSL (also known as TLS or Transport Layer Security), web servers need a key pair of public and private keys. This key pair can be generated and signed by yourself, but to prevent the web browser from asking “stupid” questions about the validity of a certificate, you must pay a company, called a Certificate authority, such as Verisign, Geotrust, or Thawte, for the added simplicity. That company will then verify that you are who you are (in theory, at least) and then sign your public key with their certificate. Their certificate is already bundled with most browsers and thus trusted by default, which also makes your newly signed certificate trusted as well.

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Creating a RAID array out of cheap USB disks

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A RAID array is a bunch of disks used together in co-operation to create a redundant storage facility. Hard drives are mechanical devices with moving parts, which makes them prone to failure. You can imagine what it means to spin the hard drive platters at 7200 rpm, for years without a pause in a typical server setup. Eventually, all disks die. A disk may run for a decade without a hinge, but another disk of the same type may die after a year. The problem is, there is reliable way to predict when a particular disk dies.

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Starting and stopping IBM Websphere MQ on a Redhat Enterprise Linux box

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Here’s a little script I made for starting and stopping Websphere MQ on a RHEL 4. It is useful for a simple configuration with one Queue Manager and listener. Just put your queue manager name in the QMGR variable and the listener port to the PORT variable, and save the script to your /etc/init.d.

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