Unix – Active Directory Integration

Currently I support thousands of users on hundreds of machines in a mixed Unix and Windows environment. The legacy environment has 2 separate systems to administer user accounts. On Unix, we still (!?!) use plain old NIS. For Windows, we use Windows Server 2003 R2 with Active Directory (AD). AD can theoretically support Unix authentication, and promises to offer a “one stop shop” for integrated account management. Does it really work? Read more to find out… Read more

Monitor your stuff: Nagios

Nagios is a system monitoring tool that runs on Unix/Linux platforms, but will monitor practically anything – Unix, Windows, databases, environmental/HVAC, you name it. Nagios is good, and works well – but it isn’t easy to configure. Read more

Not-So-Ancient History: Hewlett Packard Unix Servers

We replaced the U5000’s with Hewlett Packard 9000 Unix servers. Wow, an actual TCP/IP stack. Along the way I wrote a number of how-to’s, notes etc.

An explanation of HP firmware (PDC and ISL) and how a HP boots. May be of use to someone, especially someone trying to load linux on HP hardware.

How to load HP-UX 11.00. Explains how to load HP-UX 11.00, step by step. Intended for newbies.

How to install MirrorDiskU/X. MirrorDisk is HP’s implementation of software mirroring, which I believe they basically licensed from Veritas. This guide takes you through setting up mirroring step-by-step. Intended for newbies.

How to update HP firmware. If you ever have to do this, it’s nice to have someone hold your hand.

Ancient History: Sperry/Unisys 5000 Unix Servers

When I started actually getting paid to be a computer geek, I started as a system administrator/database administrator on Sperry/ Unisys 5000 mini-computers. These were about the size of a small refrigerator, and were designed for mostly serial I/O with dozens up to hundreds of serial ports in the back. They were based on 40 MHz 68040 CPUs and ran a proprietary port of ATT System V Unix. We used Oracle version 6.0.36 (and later Oracle 7) on them with our own proprietary character based financial, logistical, and personnel applications. If you want to see what one of those looked like, enter the U5000 Memorial.

System Acceptance

This is a very funny and very true article by Gene Woolsey on how systems are accepted in the workplace. If you have ever tried to implement new automation, you’ll know what he is talking about.