Adventures in Ceph tuning

In early 2018, I started work on my Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) project PVC. Very quickly, I decided to use Ceph as the storage backend, for a number of reasons, including its built-in host-level redundancy, self-managing and self-healing functionality, and general good performance. With PVC now being used in numerous production clusters, I decided to tackle optimization. This turned out to be a bit of rabbit hole, which I will detail below.

Problems in FLOSS Projects #2 - Support Vampires

Welcome Welcome to part two of my “Problems in FLOSS Projects” series. In this entry, we talk about “Support Vampires” a.k.a. “Help Vampires”, how to spot them, what to do about them, and how to avoid being one. I hope you enjoy. Support Vampires In FLOSS communities, there is a kind of user dreaded by everyone who’s spent significant time in chat rooms or forums. They appear out of nowhere, and at first seem like simple, new users.

Problems in FLOSS Projects #1 - Feature: Burden or Boon?

Welcome Welcome to part one of a series I’ve decided to create on this blog, called “Problems in FLOSS Projects”. I intend this series to be a number of relatively short posts, each one investigating an interesting topic or issue I’ve seen or faced, mostly within the Jellyfin project, but also in FLOSS self-hosted software in general. Some are technical, some are managerial, some are neither, but all are things that I’ve thought about and want to write down for the benefit of others who may not have thought of these ideas, or who have and didn’t have a name, or even for whom these are constant struggles and who would like validation that they’re not alone.

Automating your garden hose for fun and profit

I love gardening - over the last couple years it’s become a great summer pasttime for me. And after a backyard revamp, I’m planning a massive flower garden to create my own little oasis. One of the parts of gardening that I’m not the biggest fan of is watering. Don’t get me wrong - it’s relaxing. But in small doses. And a big garden demands a lot of watering on a set schedule, which is often hard to do.

Patroni and HAProxy Agent Checks

Patroni is a wonderful piece of technology. In short, it allows an administrator to configure a self-healing and self-managing replicated PostgreSQL cluster, and quite simply at that. With Patroni, gone are the days of having to manage your PostgreSQL replication manually, worrying about failover and failback during an outage or maintenance. Having a tool like this was paramount to supporting PostgreSQL in my own cluster, and after a lot of headaches with repmgr finding Patroni was a dream come true.

Self-Hosted Voice Control (for Paranoids)

Building a self-hosted voice interface for HomeAssistant Voice control is both a new, and quite old, piece of the home automation puzzle. As far back as the 1960’s, science fiction depicted seamless voice control of computers, culminating in, to me, one of Star Trek’s most endearing lines: “Computer, lights”, followed by the satisfying brightness of hands-free lighting! In the last few years, real-life technology has finally progressed to the point that this is truly possible.

Building LibreOffice Online for Debian

DISCLAIMER: I never did proceed with this project beyond building the packages. I can offer no helpful support regarding getting it running. LibreOffice Online is a very cool project by the fine people at Collabora to bring the LibreOffice core functionality into a web browser. In effect, it’s a Free Software version of the Google Docs suite of productivity tools, allowing one or many people to edit and save documents in a browser.

Build A Raspberry Pi BMC

IPMI BMCs are pretty ubiquitous in the datacenter and enterprise computing, because in a warehouse full of computers, finding and walking up to one just to reset it or check its console is quite daunting. The same goes for a home server: it may just be in my basement, but in a closed-up rack it becomes a huge hassle to manage a machine without IPMI. I try to get it on every motherboard I buy, but currently my Ceph nodes are running with motherboards that lack built-in IPMI.