Wednesday Sep 23, 2009

Project Colorado: A minimal and modular HA cluster for OpenSolaris

As I wrote previously, we had a great Open HA Cluster Summit in San Francisco at the end of May of this year. I gave a talk about high availability clustering for OpenSolaris (codenamed Project Colorado), and I'm happy to report that the edited video is finally available for viewing.

Friday Mar 06, 2009

At CommunityOne East March 18

I'm looking forward to attending the CommunityOne East conference in New York City the week after next. Dave and I will be giving a talk on Becoming an OpenSolaris Power User, based on our book, OpenSolaris Bible. This session will be at 4 PM in Breakout 5. Come learn about ZFS, DTrace, and more! Also check out the complete session schedule for some other great topics. If you're new to OpenSolaris, I particularly recommend the Moving to OpenSolaris talk at 10:10, also in Breakout 5.

When I'm not presenting, you'll probably be able to find me in the demo pavilion. Swing by for a sneak preview of project Colorado (Open HA Cluster running on OpenSolaris 2009.06), or for help installing OpenSolaris on your laptop.

Finally, Dave and I will be happy to sign any copies of OpenSolaris Bible that come our way!

Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

Colorado Project Web Page and Requirements

I've launched a project page on for project Colorado. As this is quite a large project, there are several efforts occurring in parallel. One of these tasks is to write the requirements for the project. If you're interested, you can read a draft of the requirements and send any comments to by September 10.

Another task is basic building and bringup of Sun Cluster / Open HA Cluster on OpenSolaris. You can see some of the status on that effort on the project wiki. We are also starting to investigate what it will take to convert the existing SVR4 packages to IPS packages. There's a lot of work to do! If you're interested in getting involved with the project, please let me know.

Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

"External, Malicious Attack?" I doubt it

I tried to buy World Series tickets online yesterday, but instead ran into 90 minutes of “Connection Failed” and “Server Too Busy” errors. Looks like I wasn’t alone in my frustration.

I find it interesting that the Rockies are blaming an "external, malicious attack," but refuse to provide details. As best as I can tell, they just weren’t expecting 8.5 million hits in the first 90 minutes and so assume they were the target of some sort of denial of service attack. But if we do the math, 8.5 million hits is perfectly reasonable. I was attempting connections about once per minute on at least five different browsers. Over 90 minutes that leads to 450 hits from me alone. 8.5 million divided by 450 equals 18,889 (rounding up). That means it would have taken less than twenty thousand people doing what I did to generate that much traffic. Given that Coors Field seats around fifty thousand people for each game, that doesn’t sound at all unreasonable. Furthermore, if you add in the opportunists who are trying to buy tickets only to turn around and sell them on ebay for a huge profit, I don’t think these kinds of numbers should be at all unexpected. So it looks to me like they just didn’t do their math before opening up the ticket sales, and are now trying to blame an attack instead of admitting they weren’t prepared. This speculation on my part could, of course, be completely wrong. Perhaps there really was an attack. But I doubt it.

They’re opening up sales again at noon today. Let’s hope they’ve actually added more bandwidth, or we’ll see a repeat of yesterday’s fiasco. I also hope they aren’t going to accidentally lock out legitimate customers in their attempts to prevent against DOS attacks.

Monday Jul 23, 2007

My Upcoming Open HA Cluster Talks

I'll be presenting, "Discovering Open High Availability Cluster" at two different OpenSolaris User Groups in the next few weeks.

Both meetings are open to the public. If you’re in the area, please come by!

Wednesday May 09, 2007

Unpublished Letter to the Editor

In response to this article in the Colorado Springs Gazette, I wrote the following letter to the editor:

It’s almost amusing to hear state Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany attempt to explain his opposition to a bill that would bar workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians by dismissing the effort as a "divisive social issue." ("Bill to bar gay bias at work gets initial OK", Metro 1, April 17). By obscuring the issue with this rhetoric, the opponents of this bill can avoid stating the obvious truth: They support discrimination. Simply put, those who voted against this bill favor the ability of employers to fire or refuse to hire someone simply because of his or her sexual orientation. Luckily, the Senate Democrats didn’t heed this spin, and I hope the people of Colorado will recognize their votes not as "partisan politics" but as an important stand against discrimination.

Although my letter was not published in the Gazette, I’m happy to report that the Colorado House passed the bill, which the governor has said he will sign.

Monday May 07, 2007

More Snow

We had another small snowstorm last night (May 6!) in Colorado Springs. Here are some photos.

On the back deck

View from front step

Wednesday Apr 25, 2007

Digging Out

I thought I'd retired my snow shovels for the season, but our third snowstorm in April turned out to be unexpectedly heavy yesterday. We went to bed Monday night to rain and awoke to snow and wind resembling blizzard conditions. I spent about an hour this morning shoveling the driveway and sidewalks, but on the plus side there was enough snow to sled and build a snowman in the backyard with K.

Friday Apr 13, 2007

April (Snow) Showers

Having lived in California for the first 30 years of my life, I’m still adjusting to Colorado weather. Although we had a fairly nice March, I was warned that April, and even May, can be unpredictable. Well, it turns out we’ve had two snowstorms already in April! One aspect of the weather here that is particularly interesting (or exasperating) is that the forecasts are generally not very accurate. The weather forecasts as of a few days ago were predicting a blizzard, but when the storm turned up yesterday and today, it didn’t turn out to be too bad. I took the top photo from my back door earlier today. As you can see from the bottom picture, it doesn’t compare at all to the blizzard we had back in October.

Snowstorm, April 13, 2007

Blizzard, October, 2006


Nick Solter is a software engineer and author living in Colorado.


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