Wednesday Mar 18, 2009

Convergence

There is a conversation on google groups, cloud computing [XML] about CISCO's plans to enter the server market, kicked off by this article at Business Week.

The dimension, only just, missed in that conversation is the opportunity to get design synergies on the hardware between networking and systems. Why do large scale users have to buy switches and servers as seperate procurements? Perhaps the next stage is to migrate the network functionality to a software appliance, so one buys a box and then decides what to do with it. (I know that a switch needs a lot of ports where a non-switch system only needs two, but modern blade systems are modularising this design area as well.)

The interesting questions then left are whether the data centre, or network can consolidate to one cabling standard and perfromance. When will the need for seperate networking (or interconnect) technologies between CPUs and Systems decline? (If ever?)

I know some computer scientists thinking about tomorrow's problems are interested in this sort of thinking.

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Tuesday Oct 28, 2008

Using Virtual Box's shared folders

I have taken advantage of Virtual Box's shared folder feature. I used the GUI to define one of the windows host folders as readable and then issue a mount command

mkdir /public
mount -t vboxsf ${vbox_folder_name} /public

proving this works, I then insert a line into /etc/fstab,

import    /public    vboxsf

issue the mount -a command. There are no errors reported and df shows the file system as mounted. I have rebooted the VM and the filesystem mounts fine.

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Virtual Box 2.0.4

I have taken the opportunity to upgrade to Virtual Box 2.0.4. The upgrade for Ubuntu 8 goes fine, although EZ-Web is barfing on the upgrade; I have forgotten some password I need. (Hmm, I wonder if I should try the command line, or closing the postgres service first.)

I have amended my proxy set up script. I had not read the documentation carefully enough and tried to set up the proxied ports while the VM was running. This is bad. The new script now displays the parameters set,


case $2 in
make)   echo $0 make proxy
        ./VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu 8" \\
                "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/${key}/Protocol" TCP
        ./VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu 8" \\
                "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/${key}/GuestPort" ${port}
        ./VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu 8" \\
                "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/${key}/HostPort" ${port}
         ;;
show|list|display) echo $0 list parameters for $key
        for property in Protocol GuestPort HostPort
        do
           ./VBoxManage.exe getextradata "Ubuntu 8" \\
                "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/${key}/${property}"
        done
        ;;
rm|remove) echo $0 remove proxy
        ./VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu 8" \\
                "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/${key}/Protocol"
        ./VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu 8" \\
                "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/${key}/GuestPort"
        ./VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu 8" \\
                "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/${key}/HostPort"
        ;;
esac

I set the key variable earlier in the program. As you can see I have used two idioms now, i.e. iteration and sequence and I am sure a horrendous function could make the code much more economic. However it would have a non real name like act or do which is a clue to a design error. I wonder what it would look like in Python. Mind you, another reason this code is so repetitive is that the shell interpreter doesn't do associative arrays. Boo!

The program now takes two arguments one to define the service and one to define the action. This is why the example above uses $2 as the case argument. The previous version of the code was published earlier this month here on this blog.

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