Administration

Welcome to my administration page. This page contains a listing of different operating systems and projects I have supported.



OS X

Mac OS X

Versions: 10.2 - 10.5
Platforms: PowerPC, Intel

I have been using Mac OS X for several years now, and have been more and more impressed. This OS is a terrific example of what a well thought out, well designed UNIX based operating system can be. Over the years, I have slowly migrated to the point where I am now using a MacBook Pro almost exclusively for tasks ranging from administration, dba work, development, you name it.




Solaris

Sun Solaris

Versions: 2.5.1 - 9
Platforms: Sparc, UltraSparc

I have been administering Solaris for about ten years now. During this time, I have become very familiar with the workings of this operating system. Typical usage includes user administration, installing packages and updates, NIS setup and configuration, NFS and Automounter. I have supported Solaris on Sun Sparcs 2 - 20 and Ultra Sparc systems ranging from the Ultra 1 - Enterprise 3500 - SunFire 480R. I have also installed cpu's, memory, disk drives, network cards and modems in these systems. Other intersting projects included customization of the Makefile in conjunction with a Perl script to automatically create and distribute AMD auto mounter files (for the BSD Unix flavors).




FreeBSD

FreeBSD Unix

Versions: 4.2 - 5.3
Platforms: UltraSparc, x86

I started using FreeBSD around eleven years ago. At first, I was converting from Linux, and really didn't "get" the whole UNIX thing. I had mainly been using Linux in stand alone configurations (routers and file servers), and just wasn't experienced enough to really see the beauty of a great OS. When I started at IBS, several of the admins there regulary used BSD based UNIX workstations. The machine that was assigned to me was running FreeBSD 4.3. It took some getting used to at first, but before long I was off and rolling. I've learned alot about FreeBSD over the years, and have always been impressed.




OpenBSD

OpenBSD Unix

Versions: 2.1 - 4.1
Platforms: Sparc, UltraSparc, x86

While I was working on an old SUN IPX box, I noticed it was running version 2.1 of OpenBSD. I started checking into what OpenBSD was all about, and realized I had found a really cool UNIX! This OS rocks! Proactive security is a *really* good idea. I have used OpenBSD in many different scenarious with varying results. As a router, firewall, embedded OS; it works great, hands down. As a workstation, I had trouble adapting because of my web programming. Many browsers have been unsupported in the past, and I usually had to use a Netscape 4.x Linux binary running under emulation mode. This was a major pain when trying to develop web apps . I have really been impressed with the kernel and networking side of things though. With version 3.0 they introduced a new builtin firewall utility called Packet Filter. This is by far one of the best firewalling packages I have used to date. The rulesets are easy to use, similar enough to IP Filter syntax that switching is easy, and above all, it has variables (called macros in the manual).




Penguins!!!

Linux Kernel 2.0 - 2.6

Flavors: Redhat, SuSE, Debian, Slackware, Caldera

I have been working with Linux for around fourteen years now. At the time I first started working with Linux, Novell was the really "in" thing. I personally wasn't all that crazy about it, and I found the IPX protocol very difficult to diagnose and troubleshoot. I had been playing around with Caldera Linux and a guy I worked with gave me a copy of Redhat, and off I went. Not long after that I replaced my Novell box at home with a Linux server running the marsnwe Novell emulation package. I have since used Linux in all kinds of applications, from simple cable modem routers to file servers to web servers. I personally like Linux because of its appeal to the broader community. I prefer BSD, but the Linux folk are getting so much support now, it's kind of hard to not use it.





Windows

Microsft Windows

Versions: 3.11, 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, 2003

I have been working with Windows since the early 90's when my mom bought our first desktop PC. With that machine, I learned how to load the OS, upgrade hardware, configure TCP/IP and perform basic troubleshooting. Since then, I have worked with every version of Windows that Microsoft has released. Most of my recent experience with Windows has been geared towards supporting development environments running IIS 5 & 6 with ASP.NET and ISAPI extensions. This has also included the configuration and maintenance of services and applications running on the servers, as well as IP Filtering using RRAS.





WebSphere Application Server - Console

WebSphere Application Server



I was working with WebSphere quite a bit in the 2004 - 2005 timeframe. IBS started doing more JSP web applications and some of our customers were using WebSphere. My administration of WebSphere was with versions 5.1 & 6.0, running on Solaris 8 & 9, SuSE Linux 8.1 & 9, as well as Windows 2003. I have also worked with setting up the JDBC/JNDI resource connections, as well as deploying the applications to the server.

I was fairly impressed with WebSphere. It is very good on the management side of J2EE. We were running several other Tomcat JSP servers, and I personally feel that the configuration is kind of difficult compared with the nice interface from IBM. The one thing that I have found that I don't really care for in WebSphere is the virtual host configuration. This seems to be a poorly documented area.




Tomcat JSP Server

Jakarta Tomcat JSP Server

Versions: 3.2 - 5.5


Since Tomcat version 3.2, I have installed, configured and maintained several Tomcat installations. These installations were setup to provide development resources for corporate clients. I was also loaned out to customers on an as needed basis for setup and configuration of their systems. These sites were mainly e-commerce sites for the financial services sector.




Resin Application Server

Caucho Technologies Resin Application Server

Versions: 2.1.4 - 3.1


I was introduced to Resin in mid 2005. I loved it! For a Java Application Server to be this easy to configure is awesome! Once employed with Cornerstone Brands, I began using Resin on a constant basis as their new platform was based heavily on Resin. I have configured Resin to run on several different operating systems including Solaris and RedHat Linux. One of the nice features is the easy integration with Apache. Because of this, I am able to frontend the App server with Apache running on pretty much any OS that Apache can run on. I have successfully built thier mod_caucho module on various Linux flavors, as well as OpenBSD (My personal favorite).

Alas, this was too good to be true. From a developer standpoint, Resin is pretty nice, but from a production support stance, it left a lot to be desired. While at Cornerstone, we had nothing but problems with the jvms. I also noticed instability in Apache due to the mod_caucho plugin and from previous experience, Apache is darn stable. I have left Cornerstone now, and am happily running Tomcat again, as well as using WebLogic for more intense workloads (ie, when it makes sense).




Apache HTTP Server

Apache HTTP Server

Versions: 1.3.x - 2.2.9

Since version 1.3.9 (I think I used it before that version, but that's the last version I can remember), I have been using Apache server for web hosting and development. I have compiled Apache in several configurations, from using PHP and CGI, to compiling in custom modules from various vendors.




Tomcat JSP Server

Sun Microsystems Java

Versions: 1.2 - 1.6

Java, Java, Java. Oh where to begin ;-). Seems like Java is every where these days. In some ways, I really, really like Java, but in other ways, I have found some projects to be almost nightmarishly complex. Its definitely a good tool for your toolbox, but doesn't seem to make sense for everything, as some of it's proponents would have us believe ;-). Support wise, I have done all sorts of projects tuning, dumping, coding, and everything else under the sun (no pun intended, ok, maybe intended).