May 27, 2013

Free DNS Servers on Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

Filed under: Networking,T3city — pj @ 7:47 pm

Recently, I was researching how to run Ubuntu instances on AWS. I found The free tier includes 750 hours for EC2 Linux Micro Instances and 30GB of EBS storage. After clicking around, I figured out this is what you get with the Micro EC2 Instance running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS:

  • The default Ubuntu 12.04 LTS AWS image boots on a 8GB  root partition created on EBS. This allows you to run a a normal Ubuntu server. If you create a larger EBS partition, Ubuntu will automatically expand the file system on first boot, but 8GB should be plenty for a typical DNS server.
  • The Micro Instances includes 600MB of RAM
  • I thought I read that the Micro Instance includes 2 CPU cores, but the image I booted only shows 1 CPU.

This should be fine for a backup DNS server. (more…)

July 7, 2008

How to get the best deal on a notebook computer (a.k.a. laptop computer)

Filed under: Networking,T3city — pj @ 1:28 pm

This is a question I get a lot. Notebook computers are extremely popular… everybody is tired of all the wires and space required by a traditional desktop computer. People are printing less and not everybody needs a big tower case that can hold the latest and greatest $500 video card! Kids want a computer they can easily take to college or class. They problem is that the typical budget notebook runs $700 – $800 (both online and in the stores), but everybody wants to pay $400 – $500. (more…)

June 5, 2008

Debian Etch, Samba and Windows Server 2008 Domain Controllers

Filed under: Networking — pj @ 3:25 pm

Teztech is in the process of upgrading one of our customers from Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2007. Exchange Server 2007 requires a Windows 2003 or newer domain controller. This client happens to still have a Windows Server 2000 PDC, so we first have to upgrade the PDC. We decided to go ahead and dive in and replace the PDC with a server running Windows Server 2008.

After promoting the 2008 server to a domain controller, I noticed that our file server running Debian Etch could no longer resolve Windows domain usernames and groups. (more…)

May 4, 2007

PSTN Killer Coming Soon

Filed under: Networking — pj @ 12:00 am

The local phone companies were right to panic about cell phones and VOIP. It looks like T-Mobile will be the first to offer the service that will fundamentally change telephone service in millions of homes. I don’t care what the lame survey survey says:  When people have this service, they will stop using their home phones. One day, they’ll get the home phone bill, realize they haven’t use the home phone in months (except to talk to telemarketers) and have it disconnected. This process will take time – lots of people are in multi-year cell phone contracts and, at least in my area, the local phone company has cleverly tied DSL service to having a local phone service.

I am surprised that flat rate carrier, MetroPCS, doesn’t already offer this service (if only to offload their cell network!), but I’m not suprised to see T-Mobile offer it first. Verizon, Sprint and AT&T get a lot of highly profitable income from local phone lines.

T-Mobile could jump into commercial service as well by having your cell phone become an an office phone extension (only when you are in the office, of course!) when it detects your corporate WLAN.

February 15, 2007

“Green Address Bar” SSL Certificates

Filed under: .Net,Networking,PHP,T3city — pj @ 8:02 pm

I’ve written other places about SSL certificates. Once upon a time, you bought your SSL certificates from either Verisign or Thawte. Back then, all (both) SSL Certificate Authorities (CAs) did some real validation on the entity (business or person) that was applying for the SSL cert. To validate the entity, they did things like review corporate records to make sure addresses matched, looked up phone numbers in public directories and matched drivers licenses to domain registrations.

I can understand why they wanted a bit of money for the work that was required for validation that first year, but overall, SSL certificates have long been overpriced for the value they provide. After that first validation, the next year’s renewal costs the CA practically nothing, but they used to give no renewal discounts at all and, even now, renewal discounts don’t exist and multi-year discounts are not as substantial as they could (should?) be. (more…)

February 9, 2007

Blackberry “Enterprise” saga continues

Filed under: Networking — pj @ 2:09 am

A customer of mine has a voice mail system that forwards .wav files to the Exchange Server email address. They also have a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) that (on good days)  keeps their Exchange Server mailboxes in sync with their Blackberries. Naturally enough, these users would like to listen to their voice mails on their Blackberry units. The emails are already there on the Blackberry with the .wav files downloaded. All they needed was the ability to play the .wav file attachments.

It turns out that the ability to listen to .wav files was added to Blackberry Enterprise Server 4.1 Service Pack 2. We were only running Blackberry Enterprise Server 4.1, so an upgrade was in order. After downloading the 225MB “upgrade” file, the upgrade program managed to run just long enough to wipe out our Blackberry Server. The error message I was getting said something about being logged into a different account than the one that started the setup program. I might have even believed that message if I weren’t so very careful about logins. After a sort time of trying to get things fixed on my own, I decided to wait until morning to call BES support. (more…)

Enterprise = Overly Complex and Slow

Filed under: Networking — pj @ 1:46 am

A lot of the  “enterprise” hardware and software I’ve been exposed to these last few years is really badly designed. Take for example, those Dell rack-mount servers I see everywhere. On the surface, they are really nice machines – dual CPUs, RAID with hot-swap, all kinds of fancy diagnostic tools. Right off the bat, though, they take forever to reboot. And of course, everything you have to do on them (work on RAID, upgrading Windows, installing just about any software) requires a reboot. (more…)

January 31, 2007

Primary Data Center Switch Upgraded to Gigabit Ethernet

Filed under: Networking,T3city — pj @ 4:14 pm

We’ve been meaning to upgrade our switches to GigE for some time. Last week, I swapped out our trusty Cisco 2924 switch with a NetGear GigE Prosafe Smart Switch. So far, so good on the NetGear switch.

The web UI is a little clunky, but overall, it’s better than most other switch configuration UI’s I’ve used in the past. I still prefer a script based configuration, but you don’t get that in these lower cost “web managed” switches.


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