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Blog / NanoJuice

a random developers blog

Building my Dev Network

On the weekend I decided to dust off some servers I've had lying around for a while and put them to good use. Apart from being really noisy and annoying my house mates they will become the first iteration of my personal development network. There are a couple of reasons why I want to set up a proper network rather than using the adhoc VM's on my local machine. Firstly, I'm sick and tired of installing ubuntu/centos and configuring them. Secondly, Authentication gets annoying when you need to create users on each box individually and Thirdly, I really need my home directory to be a mount as it gets a little annoying scp'ing everything to a new VM that I usually only keep alive for a month or two.

I spent the weekend installing ESXi on my two physical hosts, which provides me about eight VM's which is more than sufficient for me to mess around with. Currently I am working through some issues setting up Vyatta (free software routing appliance) which I am using as my gateway to my home network. Vyatta takes care of Firewalls, DHCP, DNS and VPN which makes life a lot easier for me. For some reason packets are leaving my dev-guest VM's but not being passed from Vyatta to my home network. To get around this I decided to give the Vyatta host its own external IP. This fixed one issue, but caused another. Hopefully I will get to the bottom of the issues sometime this week and get onto setting up my infrastructure.

The first cab off the rank will be setting up LDAP authentication on all of my dev guests so that every time I need to create a new user or change permissions I only have to do it once. Once LDAP is working successfully I will be setting up SAMBA mounted home directories so my configs (.bashrc .screenrc .vimrc) are common across the environment. Apart from making everything easier for me when using the environment, LDAP is something that I've wanted to learn inside-out for a long time now. I figured the only way to truly learn it would be to implement and maintain it. The other advantage is that most of the tools that I will be using require authentication and support credentials being driven out of LDAP. One-Login to rule them all (to put it in lame terms...).

After authentication and storage is taken care of, Monitoring is the next priority. I will be using Nagios and Cacti for the same reasons as above, I simply want to learn how to implement and configure them. I'm not expecting that Nagios will get used very much as its currently going to be a single user in a small environment, but it's defiantly going to be beneficial to know for when I have production hosts.

After I have acquired a few more grey hairs from learning this, my next update will include Dev Tools (Atlassian Products: Stash, Fisheye, Crucible.)

  • Dean