# Virtualization

## FreeRouter as a test environment

A few months ago Kevin Myers of IP Architechs introduced me to a really interesting project called FreeRouter. Being that I absolutely love alternative routing platforms and feature complete simulation environments, this really got me going. I tend to define “feature complete” in a routing platform as something that can do both IS-IS and MPLS. Given that there aren’t many platforms that do both correctly or within a reasonable budget, and offer simulation options, I was pretty…

## Ravello Systems review and use case study

There are a vast number of entities that offer the seemingly ubiquitous “cloud”. “SaaS”, “IaaS”, “BLAHaaS”, buzzword compliance is truly a sought after thing by marketing folks. With the proliferation of virtualization, containers and other “time slicing” of hardware by software the chatter can quickly become noise. As technical professionals and the warm bodies with the responsibility for actually making things work and keeping them running, the onus is on us to be able to decipher the useful…

## Monitoring VMware ESXi with SNMP and Cacti

VMWare is a powerful tool, and monitoring is a critical service. How does one monitor such an integral piece of infrastructure, and what do they monitor it with? There are powerful commercial ways of monitoring VMware, however, for those with existing SNMP based systems in place, specifically cacti, there are options. To that end, I’ll set aside my strong distaste for SNMP [yet again], because those are for a larger, less useful series of posts.

## Building a secured network in a box

In many environments, the move to virtualization is a path well traveled.  My home and lab networks are no exception to this and I’m sure nearly everyone who reads these pages has at least been exposed to it in one way or another.  I have played with nearly all of the virtualization platforms and am firmly in the camp that there will be a large segment of networking that will move to a virtualized platform especially in the data center and campus segments.  Virtualization of routing tables…

## VMWare ESXi CLI reference

One of my biggest complaints about VMware is that it is an enterprise application. It has historically catered to the masses, which I completely understand, but those of us that aren’t a fortune 500 company are figuratively and operationally shoved into a corner and forced to find hackish ways of doing things to work around the enterprise nature. One really, really good example of this is OS dependency. I hated architecture dependencies back in the old days (x86, SPARC, PPC) and I…

## VNC Console on VMware ESXi

Let me preface this post by saying that I am absolutely not an enterprise IT or systems guy, take everything that I write here on out with that as a side dish.  I’m also very, very cheap. That said, one of the things I really like about KVM is the ability to easily view the console of a guest system using free, non-windows software like VNC. However, much like everything in life, there are reasons to do one thing or another. I love VMware as well. It’s refined, well documented,…

## Why hardware firewalls are the walking dead

OK, maybe they’re not totally dead, but they’re being demoted. To the mail room. During the course of my career I’ve always had at least some responsibility for firewall and security devices.  In those ~15 years, how these boxes are built and function has shifted.  From the perspective of my career, there were IOS ACLs (yes, I know, not a firewall), there was the IOS firewall versions and there were software packages such as gauntlet, checkpoint.  There was the Cisco PIX. One…

## CentOS KVM Install - Quick Start to a VM

I am a network engineer by profession, but with the proliferation of SDN and OpenFlow, I have had to spend a lot of time re-learning a lot of system admin skills that I’d shelved years ago.  Now, I’ve been a virtualization user forever. From VMware (Fusion, ESX), VirtualBox, to Parallels, I’ve used them at least in testing if not in production environments.  I’d not really spent any mentionable amount of time with XENqEMU or KVM, but some projects I was working on…

## Headless VirtualBox host on CentOS

Starting from a base CentOS system with nothing configured, and referencing the CentOS wiki, here is how I like to set up a headless virtualbox environment: Disable selinux. It’s overly cumbersome and is enabled by default in CentOS.  I like to permanently disable it even though the default is permissive.  I ride the edge, I know.` vi /etc/selinux/config