Another funny video

To follow up on the first video from “” (found here on the left) they have released a second video (found here on the right).  While nothing can match the original video, this is still quite funny if you’ve ever had to support users in a corporate environment.
Check out the videos, but don’t let your users hear you….they might get upset.

Disk Cloning

linux,dhcp,ping,ghost,nfs,tftp,pxe,disk cloning,open source

I have 23 Dell Desktops, and about 8 laptops.  I needed a solution to wipe and reload the systems as quick as possible.  I did some testing and the best free cloning software I found was PING.  PING is modeled after Norton Ghost and will allow you to put the images onto a network file server or a local partition.

Once I had PING down, I moved onto the network system . Since PING is capable of booting the computers through PXE, I wouldn’t need to burn any CDs or DVDs.  It even allows you to script the image creation or restoration.  Since the image creation was a one shot deal for me I just did it manually.

So in the end,  I ended up having a linux server with TFTP and DHCP for the PXE and NFS for image storage.  It took the Dell D800 image 4 minutes to restore from boot to shutdown.  A heck of a lot better then the 1.5 hours it took me to put on XP and all the drivers.

What to do with spare computers?

I haven’t posted recently, but I now have a reason so read through and let me know what you think.
If you didn’t know, I  have recently started working with a liquidator in my work life.  They usually call me in to backup the data of the company they are liquidating.  This time however they asked that I take care of wiping the hard drives of the desktops and laptops.

Therefore, I recently came into posession of around 20 23 Dell desktops.  Two different models, pretty similar configs.  So now that I have these sitting around awaiting their sale on eBay I am stuck with the question of what to do with them.

I thought about setting up a beowolf cluster.  However, I have nothing to run on it so what fun would it be?  So I am now open for suggestions.

Also, I have some other IT equiptment so if you are looking to buy some stuff check what I have for sale on ebay

Work updates

So I thought I would put some updates as to what’s going on at work:

Project: Dad’s Server

The order has been placed for one hell of a server.  The specs are as follows:

  1. Intel SR2500 Server Chasis
  2. Intel SRCS28X RAID controller
  3. Intel BX80574E5420P 2.5Ghz 45nm Quad Core Processor with 12M L2 Cache
  4. 6 Segate 500gb ES.2 SATA Drives
  5. 8 GB ECC RAM
  6. Rackmount Kit

The plan is to put VMWare server on the bad boy with a CentOS minimum install for the host.  On top will be:

  1. Microsoft SBS 2003 R2 to provide Email, SQL and Sharepoint.
  2. FreeBSD and/or CentOS to provide generic web hosting
  3. Openfiler to provide an iSCSI target so we can somewhat dynamically assign storage space (We got 2TB but we don’t want to be stupid now) it will also share out backup space through iSCSI or SMB for local backups
  4. FreeBSD or CentOS to provide outside DNS

The only thing I’m wondering is if you can do Xen and VMWare together to get the best of both worlds when hosting the linux and windows DomU’s