How To - LSI SAS Controller for XP VM

I needed to build several virtual XP systems to test with the LSI SAS controller option in vmware. Below is a summary of how I was able to create an XP install media with the drivers as part of the media so I wouldn't have to remember to push F6 when the install process starts. Windows will not see a harddrive to install into without loading additional drivers.

How To - PHP Array Difference

Working on a project I had the need to look through a list of values, or in this case "id" numbers to find missing numbers in the sequence. The goal was to re-use an id that was not in use or simply increment to the next one. Here is a simple example of the code I ended up using.

How To - SMTP Relay from Subnet

In a testing lab environment, we have a LAN setup without external connectivity / services. We wanted to create monitoring / alerts that would email users about various conditions. Option 1 was to deploy a system that "straddled" the networks. Option 2 was to use an existing internal host with sendmail and open a port in the firewall.

Commentary - Barracuda Networks embarassed by hacker attack

A prime example of patient bad guys waiting for the right opportunity. Disabling a piece to your security formula in order to perform maintenance or an upgrade is gambling. Ideally you would disconnect/block the point of entry during the window, e.g. turning off internet connectivity.

Puppet on Ubuntu Configuration Notes Part 2

Some additional notes after working more with Puppet to try to accomplish the desired results. Specifically I wanted to trigger updates right away in select scenarios vs. waiting until the next puppetd update interval. This can be accomplished with the "puppetrun" command. You need to make a few configuration updates to enable this.

Puppet on Ubuntu Configuration Notes

Knowing I will be working with a cluster of Ubuntu servers that should be identically configured, I decided to teach myself Puppet to simplify the deployment of packages and configurations. Below are some notes on the configuration of the various files. I used NTP as a nice, simple test for a simple service that should be deployed and configured identically on each host.


Local Ubuntu Mirror Notes

My notes on configuring a local repository for Ubuntu that hosts on private internal LAN will use to update packages. I installed apt-mirror package on the "master" server. Also a proxy server is in place to protect the LAN.

apache conf file for sharing


  DocumentRoot /storage/aptmirror/repo/mirror

Linux Tip - Disable Reverse DNS for SSHD

A very typical fix to disable DNS reverse lookups by the SSH daemon. Several reasons to disable it including:

  • non-Production test/dev/lab environments where there may be no reverse DNS
  • external facing servers who may get scripted SSH brute force attacks
  • laggy DNS and you really want to get in fast

How To - Trunking VLANs, ESXi / Nexus 1000v through PowerConnect

I recently started evaluating the Cisco Nexus 1000v virtual switch in a VMware test environment. Once we jumped through the various hurdles (possibly future blogs entries) and had the VSM and VEM components installed, I was having issues getting the VEMs on the other ESX hosts communicating with the VSM on my first host.

Fix - Cannot create vCenter Server Directory Services instance

Recently I had to build a replacement VMware vSphere vCenter server. I did the usual 2008 R2 OS install and updates, installed some prerequisites and tools. However when I went to install vCenter, I received the following error:

"Cannot create vCenter server Directory Services instance"