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Scaling a SNMP Version 3 trap receiver using Java

Phil explains how to write a scalable SNMP Trap and Inform message receiver in Java using SNMP4J. He also explains what SNMP is and surrounding ideas such as TCP and UDP.

Posted on: June 3rd, 2011 by Famous Phil

There are many reasons why you might be reading this post, but likely, you’re trying to figure out how to install this complex heap of code (that has its root node removed, no doubt, ha ha).  If you didn’t get my last joke, I feel sorry for you, but the show must go on.

Gitorious is an open source repository management system similar to Trac on SVN.  The software looks really nice (gitorious.org), and it has a lot of built in features for managing git repositories.  For those of you who are not familiar with coding, code repositories are often set up to enable many coders to work on the same project simultaneously (different portions of course).  Repositories also enable versioning so that you can easily revert to an older copy of your code base if something breaks along the way.  Repositories are often centralized so that only a single location has to be backed up, in this case Gitorious centralizes git repositories.

Truthfully, there are three memorable software programs that have been notoriously difficult to install and configure in my experience, these are as follows:

  • Shibboleth- I never did successfully install this myself, this was because I was asked to help a friend install it over the phone.  I don’t work well when I can’t see the problem and play with stuff, I test hunches, and doing it with this method would have taken way too long.  From what I’ve seen of Shibboleth, I would rate this as worst of the worst programs to install.
  • Gitorious – This is probably the second worst application I’ve ever installed.  It required a lot of research and resources since it is poorly documented and requires a lot of Ruby Gems to operate successfully.  Of course, I will hopefully document it a little more today!
  • Exchange – I wish I would have documented the install of my Exchange server internally so I could have shared it here.  Exchange isn’t awful to install, but the configuration of Exchange is very tricky and there are many gotchas.  This is why I place it as the best of the worst software programs to install.

With all of the above said, the installation process of gitorious isn’t for the leisure system administrator to install.  This took me approximately 3 days of research to successfully install and understand.  I installed it on a separate system only because I didn’t want it hurting any of my existing production systems.  In the end, I’m glad I did this because I learned that Ruby isn’t very memory efficient and this application easily eats up most of the 1GB of ram allocated to it in a VPS (Virtual Private Server).  And with this said, I invite you to continue reading if you really want to know how to install this software.

Update 6/14: After a few requests, I’ve decided that I will provide a Gitorious installation service on your CentOS server.  I will be happy to install Gitorious and make it work (as described below) for a one time paypal payment of $100.  For details, contact me directly (see my contact page).

LAST UPDATE: 6/8/2011 – Suggestions from Gitorious Discussion Group

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Posted in Hosting / Server Administration, My Site, Programming, Technology

Posted on: June 11th, 2009 by Famous Phil

First, I would like to offer my condolences to the family of K T Ligesh, the owner of HyperVM and LxLabs.  It is a tragedy to see such a brilliant coder take his own life.  You may read the entire story here

LxLabs develops the best control panel for OpenVZ/Xen which is a virtualization platform for hosting many servers on one physical server.  HyperVM allows clients to control their server by enabling power control, operating system reinstallations, and charts for server status.

A major users of HyperVM is cheapvps.co.uk (a2b2, vaserv, fsckvps) which I would estimate hosts at least 5000 vps clients at the very least and I’m underestimating.  They provide very cheap hosting and I did host with them for quite some time as a backup solution.  I then found space on a friends server and didn’t need them any longer (I’d say about 2 months ago).    To get back to vaserv, Their company took a big hit when a vulnerability was released (and as I understand it) was not fixed until 2 weeks after LxLabs was notified.  Anyways, their entire service was hacked and most of their data was lost.  I feel sorry for those who didn’t backup their vps regularly.

Back in the day when I was using LxLabs software: hypervm and lxadmin (which is like cpanel), the owner was very nice to help me with every problem I had.  Eventually I made the move to cpanel because there was always some kind of problem popping up and I needed something much more stable and proven at the time.  Cpanel did fix all of my woes.

Anyways, I bet there was a lot of pressure on the owner from everyone.  VAserv still isn’t back up fully and it has been 4 days now.  I really feel sorry for their staff.  They must be losing a lot of money because of this 1 tiny hack.  I can sort of see why the owner would kill himself over this, but because of his death, the programming community has lost a brilliant programmer.  In addition, the VPS industry has lost a source of cheap, powerful software, so vps prices will likely rise in the near future if the legacy of hypervm isn’t carried on.

One final note on this, as a result of this, I hope the programming community realizes that updates are extremely important both for the developer and the client.  I also cannot stress enough that proper backups should be made often and verified for redundancy!  I will be verifying my backups later today :)

So you may be wondering, how did I find out?  I have been looking at a vps server to host exchange 2003 or a similar email solution for mobile sync (to get away from the heavy ajax interface of mailxchange at 1and1 plus have control over my backups).  I went to cheapvps and they were down, then I checked vaserv and found out that way.  Because they have been down and I needed a server yesterday, I went with another provider who I might be reviewing in a couple of weeks or months :)

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Posted in Hosting / Server Administration, Programming