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Install OpenStack on One Virtual Machine, the Easy Way, On Ubuntu 16.04 LTS!

Many of you have emailed me or posted to voice your gripes about the painful process of installing an OpenStack environment to play around with. I feel your pain! My recent article on deploying OpenStack using conjure-up worked great until a developer committed some defective code.  Some of you even reverted to my old guide on deploying OpenStack on Ubuntu 14.04 from last year.  So, I set out to give you a fool proof, 100% guaranteed deployment method that’s EASY, STABLE, and works on Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial.  Here you go!

Requirements

 

For this guide, you will need a server at least as good as these specs.

  • Virtual Machine on a real hypervisor (ESXi, KVM, Xen, etc) or a bare metal server with virtualization support.
  • 14GB of RAM is the recommended minimum.
  • 100GB of hard disk space, at least.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server, having already ran sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  • About an hour and a cup of coffee.

 

Installing OpenStack

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How to Create an iSCSI Target & Extent / Share on FreeNAS 9 (and previous versions)

Today, I’m going to guide you through the process of creating an iSCSI target / extent on FreeNAS-9. This will also work on previous versions of FreeNAS, such as version 7 and 8. There are a few different ways you can go about creating an iSCSI share. You can dedicate an entire device (Hard drive, or RAID array) to the iSCSI share, or you can simply create a Volume, and create multiple iSCSI shares and each is simply a file on the volume. This approach works well because you can use part of a volume as an NFS share, part of it as a CIFS share for Windows, and if you want a few separate iSCSI targets you can just create a single file for each. Lets get started.

How to create an iSCSI Target / Share on FreeNAS

 

First, we need to add a volume using your hard drive or RAID array that is connected to your FreeNAS server. If you have already done this, you can skip this step.  Let’s get started with the rest.

Log into your FreeNAS web interface, and go to Storage > Volumes > Volume Manager.  Fill in a volume name (make sure it starts with a letter, and NOT a number, otherwise you will get an error).  Add one or more of your Available Disks (by clicking the + sign).  Select a RAID type if you wish to do so.  In my case, I’m using hardware RAID, so I will leave the default (single drive stripe, IE, JBOD).  Now click Add Volume.

 

freenas-1

 

Now that we have added a volume, we can begin the process of creating an iSCSI share.  This process required multiple steps, in the following order:

  1. Add a Portal
  2. Add an Initiator
  3. Add a Target
  4. Create an Extent (the file that corrasponds to the iSCSI share)
  5. Link the Target and the Extent together
  6. Start the iSCSI service

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FreeNAS 9 Error When Adding Volume – You must specify a new volume name…..

I’ve had quite a few friends and colleagues run into a problem trying to create a volume on FreeNAS.  This applies to FreeNAS 9, as well as older versions such as 8.  The error they get when clicking “Add Volume” is this:

“You must specify a new volume name or select an existing ZFS volume to append a virtual device.”

and under that:

“The volume name must start with letters and may include numbers, “-“, “_” and “.” “

Here is a screenshot:

 

freenas-error-1

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How to install GlusterFS + NFS on CentOS 7 for Virtual Machine Storage

GlusterFS is one of the fastest growing Open Source storage platforms in existence. It’s very simple to install, scale, and manage. What makes Gluster so amazing, is its ability to scale and replicate. It really sets the bar for software defined storage systems. It runs on whitebox hardware, or virtual machines. Lately, I’ve come across quite a few people that seem to be scared of Gluster and don’t know where to begin. I am here to help! Today, we’re going to install and configure GlusterFS on a CentOS 7 virtual machine; and, we’re going to make it NFS accessible for VM storage. Every hypervisor in existence supports NFS storage for virtual machines, including VMware ESXi / vSphere, Proxmox, Xen, KVM, oVirt, OpenStack, and all the others.

Installing GlusterFS Server and Client on CentOS 7 (two nodes)

I am using two virtual machines, each running CentOS 7. Their hostnames are gfs1 and gfs2. I have added a 40GB second disk to each VM that will be dedicated to GlusterFS. I suggest you have an identically sized second partition or drive on each of your systems as well.

As always, after connecting via SSH or console, go ahead and make sure everything is updated and upgraded on both nodes.

yum -y update

And, let’s go ahead and install a few useful packages (both nodes).

yum -y install nano net-tools wget

Edit the hosts file on both nodes. Make sure both nodes can resolve to each other via hostname.

nano /etc/hosts

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.44.35 PM

Now we can download and install Gluster (both nodes).

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How to setup oVirt 3.4 virtualization on CentOS 6.6

oVirt, in my opinion, is the biggest contender with VMware vSphere. oVirt has the weight and development resources of Red Hat behind it, which has undoubtedly slingshotted it ahead of the rest of the open source virtualization solutions out there. It has almost all of the “out of the box” features vSphere has, and it works extremely well.

There have been two major holdback concerning oVirt in the past. First, early on it only supported Fedora. This definitely scared many people away, myself included. That is no longer the case as it now supports Fedora, RHEL, and CentOS. The second major drawback is the complexity of installation. Overall the methodology is pretty simple. At a minimum, you need two machines. An oVirt Engine, which is the brains of the operation and powers the web interface, and you have the oVirt Node, which is the “hypervisor.” Although the overall methodology is simple enough, it can really be a pain to install and get working. But, that’s improving as well.

I wrote this guide to help you get your oVirt infrastructure built on CentOS 6.6 easily, and quickly. You will need two servers, at minimum. The good news is that one of them, the oVirt Engine, can be virtualized, running on your currently configured hypervisor of choice. As far as specs, you’ll want to try to be close to the following.

oVirt Engine Minimum Server Specs (can be virtual or physical machine)

  • CentOS 6.6 x64
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 4GB Memory
  • 25 GB Hard Disk Space

oVirt Hypervisor Node (must be on physical machine)

  • oVirt Node 3.4 ISO installed as OS
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 6GB Memory
  • 40GB Hard Disk (or iSCSI / NFS storage available)

This is enough to work with and get a good idea of what the oVirt platform is capable of. It’s also a solid foundation that can be grown and expanded on to form a production worthy infrastructure. So, lets get started.

How to build an oVirt infrastructure on CentOS 6.6

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How to move a WordPress site to a new server or host with no downtime

Yesterday, I finished building a new and improved WordPress server. This means I had to migrate the serenity-networks.com WordPress installation from the old server to the new. I wanted to do this with zero downtime, which is actually quite easy and straightforward if you have a plan in place. The process works something like this.

  • Export the database from the old server using phpmyadmin
  • Copy all WordPress files from the old server to the new server
  • Import the database on the new server using phpmyadmin
  • Add temporary hostname entry into your local hosts file

You might be asking yourself, why on earth would I add a hostname entry into the hosts file on my workstation? Well, this will allow you to pull your website from the new server without changing your public DNS settings. If you are only hosting one site on the new server, and not using virtual headers, you can skip this step if you like. So lets get it started.

Moving a WordPress site to a new server

The only real requirement, other than a server capable of running WordPress, is having phpmyadmin installed on both of your web servers. Most already do, but if you don’t, click here to learn how. We need this to export and import the WordPress database.

First, log into phpmyadmin on your old server so we can download the WordPress database. It should be pretty obvious which database is for your WordPress instance, but if you aren’t sure you can see the name of it by looking at the wp-config.php file, located in the root of your WordPress installation.

Select your database in the left column and then click the Export tab at the top of the right column. Leave the selection set as Quick, and click Go.

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Need to recover a FreeNAS server? How to import an existing FreeNAS iSCSI target that existed on a prior installation

Last night I noticed a new version of FreeNAS 9.3 was released. Just two days earlier I built this FreeNAS server, so I wanted everything to be up to date. When I tried to update FreeNAS via the web GUI, it errored out. As I came to find out, this was one of the bugs addressed in the update I was trying to install. It was a catch-22. So, I downloaded the installation disc, burnt it to CD, and booted the FreeNAS server from it. That errored out as well. I had no choice but to blow away the existing installation and do a fresh FreeNAS load. All of my shares and iSCSI targets were stored on a 4 disk RAID-Z array, and FreeNAS itself is installed on an 8GB USB Thumb drive. So, I expected my data to stay in tact.

When I booted the fresh installation for the first time, it automatically imported the zpool stored on the RAID array. I was able to re-create the SMB shares and point them to the /mnt folders those shares pointed to before, everything was going well. Until I got to work trying to bring my iSCSI target volumes back online. In Storage > Volumes, I could see all of the volumes that matched up with my previous ISCSI targets, but I couldn’t import them. I couldn’t figure out how to do anything with them. All of my virtual machines were stored on these volumes so I was desperate to find a solution. I did.

Have you lost your FreeNAS installation? Just recovered from a catastrophe? Recently reinstalled FreeNAS and need to get your iSCSI and other shares back? Going through a FreeNAS recovery? You’ve come to the right place.

How to import an iSCSI target volume from an old FreeNAS installation

First, let’s make sure the volumes that previously correlated to iSCSI targets are visible. Navigate to Storage > View Volumes. Here is what mine looks like.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 3.08.37 PM

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