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Aug. 18th, 2010


Supermicro Atom IPMI firmware annoyance part 2

So it turns out that if I want the newer firmware for IPMI to properly read sensors on the board and not have critical alerts that are fake, I have to factory default the IPMI config. So basically I have to be within walking/driving distance of the machine to go into BIOS and reconfigure IPMI's IP config, or rely on remote hands to do the same.


Aug. 17th, 2010


Atom server + SSD = more servers per Amp used!

Here, have an awesome GIMP job.

Picked up an Intel x25-m G2 160GB for my workstation at home for Win 7. Ubunchu is already on an Intel x25-v 40GB, and got the larger better performance SSD for game storage and playing.

Wanted to see how much lower in wattage I could get my Atom servers down to. Normally they Idle at 29W and hit 31W Active with a WD Black system drive. "Data" is stored on a FreeNAS box local in the cabinet, the system drive only has the OS and no user data. I have a 2W 8800rpm fan in there as well. Took one of them down, and swapped out the WD for this newer Intel SSD (yes I know it isn't SLC/x25-e) and it dropped the WD's 8W (10W@80+) easily. Idle vs. Active makes no difference since the drive Idles at 0.075W and is at 0.15W active (7.5% and 15% of 1W). If I yank the fan, I'd drop another 1-2W :D

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Aug. 15th, 2010


Come on Supermicro, get IPv6 IPMI correct!

I bought their Atom X7SPA-HF mostly because it was a kick-ass board with IPMI. I found that it allowed you to even get to IPMI over IPv6, however only using DHCPv6 or Router Advertisements. I did figure out a way to set the static IPv6 address, however there isn't a way to set a default IPv6 gateway. I do not run DHCPv6 or RA in my colo, and do not want some additional machine being wasted on an OOB router solution.

So while I've got the X7SPA-HF board, they released an X7SPE series also with IPMI. In fact I find no difference between the model series at all other than SPA has different sata configuration of 4/6/6+IPMI and SPE has 6/6+IPMI. However the new one's IPMI firmware is v2.01 and my model is still at v1.34. The firmware ZIP has a "supported motherboards.txt" file included, which happens to list my X7SPA-HF. So I run the firmware update on one of the Atom servers, and it takes. However two negative things came out of it:

1) STILL no static IPv6 address/gateway assignment capability
2) now my system temp. is being incorrectly reported as -90C

Please Supermicro, please please please get this fixed/corrected/made right. Not every network can rely on DHCPv6 or auto-configuration.

May. 5th, 2010


Meanwhile, at the fortress of work....

For last 5 weeks I've been trying to reboot my health. Not that I'm poorly, but rather I stopped getting any real form of exercise for the last 7 years and while I was stuck at 230lbs, it was turning from muscle to fat. 5 weeks ago I started biking again, a little at first, like 15-20 minutes riding around the building I work in. On rainy days, I'd bike inside the building (helps to have 100,000sqft not built out yet). Then I started to manage 30 minutes every workday, consistently. I also stopped the fast food lunches and have been eating .5lbs of sliced turkey and 1 Ready-Pac chef salad for lunch. I realize now that when I'm at home, I overeat, so that is something else I'll need to curb.

This weekend I decided to pick up cleats and shoes for my bike, as I was tiring of the stock pedals that I put toe clips on. On Monday, I survived my first trek onto California streets, and managed just under 11 miles of riding from home to the Shoreline marsh fields out behind Microsoft/Google/Ampitheater. Yesterday at work, I figured out a nice 5 mile loop starting from work and ending at work. There is a bit of construction on the route, but at a nice casual pace, I'm done in 30 minutes. I ache a bit, but I really need to keep pushing. I'll be 33 this year, and am really tired of being overweight. I managed to hit 220lbs last Friday, but am back up to 223lbs. More importantly my blood pressure for the first time yesterday, was in the norm. 117/77 89bpm. My BP is better, my resting heart rate isn't around 112 anymore.

I've also started eating breakfast for a change. Something I've never really done, as generally I'm a 2 meal kind of person. I'm doing oil packed sardines/brislings and miso. Then the salad and turkey at lunch. And then trying not to snack or get a huge dinner.

Just need to keep this up!

Mar. 27th, 2010



Oh the range of customer you meet on any given day. Yesterday, while walking back to the NOC, customer pops out of the bathroom and asks for some caching resolvers to use on his servers.

At first glance, he is the kind of older nerd that makes your inner nerd turn into Ogre and point and scream "NERD!!!" Pasted down thin hair, double pocket protectors with string holding the pockets closed as buttons cannot contain the multitude of pens and pencils. The conversation continues with:

me: I'm heading back to the NOC, I can write them down and bring them back to you at your cabinet

him: no I've got some pens and paper

*hands me a mechanical pencil, and proceeds to open his wallet and pulls out a rather large wad of waxy paper and hands me a strange oval shaped piece*

him: I suppose I can spare one of these. They make for great quick pieces of paper

me: oh?

him: yeah, you know the toilet seat protector sheets? I save the punch-out for the hole, as scrap paper because you never know when you need some.

At this point my mind is reeling in horror at realizing I'm about to handle another man's used ass-gasket parts, figuratively hot off the presses. And he had a wad of like 10 of these punch-outs. Either from previous locations, or just used them all a few moments ago. So I choked down my repulsion all while maintaining the traditional blank look of datacenter staff, wrote down the IPs and we went our separate ways.

My way was to the janitor closet to find something stronger than soap.

Feb. 26th, 2010


My updated colo cabinet


Updated photos and notes about the colocation cabinet.

Jan. 29th, 2010


nerdraging customers

Just had a customer's customer stomp their way out of the building swearing at us. Then they found out the shelf rentals were just that, rentals. They hulked out on my poor support techs saying they owned them. They were told we can provide copies of the rental not sale agreement, and eventually they gave up, swearing at my techs some more, then stomping out the door.

I will buy my techs a $0.25 soda for their hard work at not bursting into mocking laughter at the nerdrage.

Jan. 19th, 2010


New servers

Here is the new $432.40 (after tax) server (HDD was $0, have a surplus)

Corsair 2x4GB DDR2-667 SO-DIMM (not ECC)
Supermicro X7SPA-HF Mainboard (with IPMI for 2D/SVGA remote console access)
Supermicro SuperChassis 502-200B (w/80+ certified PSU)

The pink ring is around the IPMI chip which usually adds $100-150 but in this case probably only added like $20-40.

Jan. 15th, 2010


Ok haven't posted since August, recap for the LJ I totally forgot about

In charge of getting a dual-stack (IPv4/IPv6) Wi-Fi HotSpot rollout tested and possibly deployed into the city of San Francisco (and probably San Jose later on), providing free internet access using municipal resources.

Working on creating some sort of professional online classroom with courses and course materials for teaching people in the industry the basics of IPv6 on systems and networks.

Upgrading/swapping colo hardware. I'll be removing the 4 Sunx2100s and replacing with an army of Atom D510s with IPMI 2.0 (remote svga console access and virtual media support). Basically remove one 1.2A server and put in up to three 0.25A servers for just that one server removal. So like, 12 servers replacing 4, and the Atoms are basically the same CPU horsepower and have the same amount of RAM available. Thinking of reopening the Servers-for-friends thing again, and offering each one at maybe $25-50/mo. The colo is on a full dedicated 100mbit port, so I can't generate any overages anymore. I think I've finally found a decent vendor for the Supermicro hardware in the Bay Area.

Ate a $250 6-7oz Wagyu steak at Alexander's in Cupertino, because I can, and wanted to do it at least once. Also I wanted a really really nice dinner prepared for me, and this was a very very nice treat. They handed me a printed lineage certificate, "proving" the authenticity of the meat having originated from Japan.

Aug. 13th, 2009


I welcome my killer robot from Skynet

$100, mine, going to see if it can get IPv6.


Probably have it end of next week or mid week after.

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