When we introduced the network configuration using Ansible and AWX at a customer, we gradually extended the configuration scope. Over time, more and more configuration got added into the configuration pool and this lead to longer and longer run-times for the playbooks.

While the job-execution got really simple by using AWX instead of the plain CLI method for Ansible, the time to finish drew heavily on that benefit.

A complete job-run over the network infrastructure took at least ... [continue reading]

We’ve been to FOSDEM in Belgium this year. A couple of Many of Redpill’s Agents (so called: Consultants) have made the trip to Belgium to join the annual conference taking place at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

This year the conference was held during the first weekend in February, at the 1st and 2nd.

For those who don’t know: FOSDEM is a free software developer conference where you can attend talks about various different tools, processes and ideas and ... [continue reading]

While the AWS console gives you a nice point and click interface, and really helps you explore the vast service catalog of AWS, the use of the CLI should not be neglected.

Some of the advantages of the CLI:

  • Reusable, can the same command multiple times, perhaps with slight modification for quickly creating multiple instances of similar resources.
  • Reproducible, can run the same command, to reproduce exactly the same kind of resource as has been created before.
  • ... [continue reading]

This year we intend to upgrade all the routers in our network backbone to a brand new platform based on open networking devices from Edge-Core running Cumulus Linux. In this post - replete with pictures - we will take a close look at the new routers and the topology of our new network backbone.

Why upgrade?

Our network backbone is today based on the Juniper MX 240 routing platform. Each of them occupy 5 ... [continue reading]

Sometimes I need to quickly remove one of our data centre switches from production. Typically this is done in preparation of scheduled maintenance, but it could also be necessary if I suspect that it is misbehaving in some way. Recently I stumbled across an undocumented feature in Cumulus Linux that significantly simplified this procedure.

The key is the file /cumulus/switchd/ctrl/shutdown_linkdown. This file does normally not exist, but if it is created with the contents 1, it changes ... [continue reading]

(Update: This post has been updated to reflect changing backup tool from WAL-E to WAL-G. WAL-G is a more modern and faster implementation of cloud backups for postgreSQL)

Several Redpill Linpro customers are now in the kubernetes way of delivery. Kubernetes has changed the way they work, and is acting as an effective catalyst empowering their developers. For these customers, the old-school way of running PostgreSQL is becoming a bit cumbersome:

The typical PostgreSQL installation has been based on bare ... [continue reading]

Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a technology that uses cryptographic signatures to make the Domain Name System (DNS) tamper-proof, safeguarding against DNS hijacking. If your ISP or network operator cares about your online security, their DNS servers will validate DNSSEC signatures for you. DNSSEC is widely deployed: here in Scandinavia, about 80% of all DNS lookups are subject to DNSSEC validation (source). Wondering whether or not your DNS server validates DNSSEC signatures? www.dnssec-or-not.com ... [continue reading]

I recently needed to remove a couple of decommissioned switches from one of our data centres. This turned out to be quite an ordeal. The reason? The ill-conceived way the rack mount brackets used by most data centre switches are designed. In this post, I will use plenty of pictures to explain why that is, and propose a simple solution on how the switch manufacturers can improve this in future.

Rack switch mounting 101

Standard rack-mount switch... [continue reading]

We have all done it. When SSH asks us this familiar question:

$ ssh redpilllinpro01.ring.nlnog.net The authenticity of host 'redpilllinpro01.ring.nlnog.net (2a02:c0:200:104::1)' can't be established. ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:IM/o2Qakw4q7vo9dBMLKuKAMioA7UeJSoVhfc5CYsCs. Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])? 

…we just answer yes - without bothering to verify the fingerprint shown.

Many of us will even automate answering yes to this question by adding StrictHostKeyChecking accept-new to our ~/.ssh/config ... [continue reading]

These are essentially my notes on setting up a single-node Kubernetes cluster at home. Every time I set up an instance I have to dig through lots of posts, articles and documentation, much of it contradictory or out-of-date. Hopefully this distilled and much-abridged version will be helpful to someone else.

... [continue reading]