Monday, April 14, 2014

Red Hat Software Collections

I just found out about a RHEL initiative to offer "software collections" which to me seems similar to Ubuntu's private repositories. From the announcement "Software Collections allow you to build and install applications without being constrained by the default versions that are installed on your system. Say you want to deploy an application that requires MariaDB 5.5 and PHP 5.4 or Python 3.3 on a system running CentOS 6.5. You don’t want to have to deploy a new OS. You don’t want to compile your own, and you may have other applications that depend on the system versions of those components." This certainly offers a very flexible option to install software on your RHEL servers. There is of course EPEL but this comes with the official RHEL support. This solves a number of my problems. Security audits always flag httpd packages on my servers as insecure just by looking at the major versions. Yes, there are ways to limit flags in our audit tools but it's not ideal. So for example, latest Apache release is 2.4, whereas RHEL offers 2.2. This will be flagged by the internal audit but if we're on the software collections release channel, we'd be running 2.4, etc. Further information can be found here. You can also participate in shaping the future of software collections by voting what you'd like to see in future releases. Here's the link to the survey.

MobaXterm: a full-featured terminal for Windows

From the site: "MobaXterm is an enhanced terminal for Windows with an X11 server, a tabbed SSH client and several other network tools for remote computing (VNC, RDP, telnet, rlogin). MobaXterm brings all the essential Unix commands to Windows desktop, in a single portable exe file which works out of the box". In the past few years of working with Open Source and Hadoop, I've come to rely on terminal emulators to interact with my servers. You have many options and I've used Cygwin and Console2 before but ever since I've come across MobaXterm, I haven't looked back. MobaXterm is a very stable terminal emulator with SSH. It includes a bunch of additional features like multiexec, which duplicates your terminal activity in additional tabs, so in other words if you'd like to execute the same command on multiple servers, SSH to all the servers and start typing out your commands, it will just work. It supports extensions, Git, SVN and a bunch more are available, it is admittedly limited but for the base of my work it will suffice. The other day I had to go back to Cygwin to do some work with Vagrant, I didn't figure out a quick way to get Vagrant to work in MobaXterm but otherwise I'd say I can do 90% of my work in Moba over Cygwin. The free edition is shareware and they have a professional edition for mere 60 euros. I think the investment is well worth the price. In the professional edition, you have an unlimited number of saved sessions. A feature similar to Keepass, it saves your session passwords, which makes your overall work streamlined. In the free edition, you're limited to two sessions at the time of writing. If you have no choice at work and use a Windows machine to work with Linux, MobaXterm is the way to go! MobaXterm Cygwin Console Keepass Vagrant

Friday, April 11, 2014

IBM Streams toolkits on Github and Streams on YARN announcement

We're always looking at improving our realtime processing and over the past six months or so I've been looking at Apache Storm and IBM Streams. There are a few others like LinkedIn's Samza and Spark Streaming but I haven't had a chance to look into them. I will leave my findings for another post but for now, I have great news for people getting started with Streams. IBM began open-sourcing their Streams toolkits. Here's the announcement and links for those interested. The other most awesome news as far as I'm concerned is that IBM Streams is now able to run within a YARN application. I mean, with Apache Slider project announcement recently this would've been a natural thing but I'm glad IBM released it even before any work on Slider was done and Streams is compatible with Hadoop 2.2. This is definitely a step in the right direction if Streams wants a piece of Storm's marketshare. I am genuinely excited about the news. On a side note, I'm going to the NYC Storm user group's next meeting with the author of a new book on Storm, are you?

Monday, April 7, 2014

First post in a while and my own domain (update)

If you can read this and it successfully redirects to then I've ported my blogger blog to my own domain correctly :). Currently it says I need to wait 24hrs to correctly redirect, so fingers crossed. In the last few years I've moved on from relational world and have embrased NoSQL. For the past two years I've been working with Hadoop, HBase and other tools in the ecosystem. I am going to share my discoveries along the way so stay tuned.. Thanks UPDATE: fixed redirect for the blog