Category Archives: S3

The Constitutional issues of cloud computing

Would James Madison, for example, agree with some current interpretations of the Fourth Amendment, which hold that old-fashioned letters stored in a dresser drawer enjoy stronger legal protection against search and seizure than an e-mail stored on the Web or a private post left for a friend on Facebook?

In a world where every computer is connected, where it doesn’t matter whether your e-mail is on the hard drive in your bedroom or a server half a world away, where your critical company documents can be viewed from anywhere, where would the Founding Fathers draw the line for law enforcement? The “cloud,” already well formed with Hotmail and Google docs, is a potential treasure trove for police investigators. But how can we make sure the cloud doesn’t rain all over Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights to avoid unfair searches?

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How to Build a Lean Startup with Free and Open Source Software – Part 1

The keys to success!I have been reading recently about the “Lean Startup” concept, which is funny since I have been working with and been part of more than a few without knowing there is a nifty catch phrase for them. So now I am all up on the lingo and hash tag #leanstartup I can speak on it. Today is the perfect time to take a gamble and dive into a lean startup. Being that there are so many free tools and services you can use along with very inexpensive solutions to infrastructure that were not available even a few years ago. By using the power of Open Source software, free online services, and cloud computing one can build a scalable and very cost effective lean startup.

Core Needs

Let’s first look at your new companies hosting and servers.  being that you are lean you may most likely be working from home.  So let’s look at hosting and services you will need in order to host some of the Open Source applications will will talk about in a moment.  In my experience the basic things you need to get going in terms of setting up shop are the basics:

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Using Zabbix to Monitor Scalr Farms

Scalr

Since I have been using Scalr to manage my Amazon Web Services farms I have been wanting more monitoring in terms of statistical information on services, traffic, disk usage, and uptime to name a few.  Scalr has built in means of basic event notifications such as host up, host down, etc.  Along with providing very basic load statistic via RRDtool.  In the past I have always used Zabbix for most projects I have worked on so I wanted to be able to use it with Scalr.  I am still testing the setup I am going to speak of so please keep that in mind.  This is NOT a howto, but more of a brainstorming of how I plan on getting Zabbix integrated into my Scalr setup.  In the Zabbix documentation (PDF) there are a few ways to use the auto-discovery that they cover (page 173).  You can have Zabbix monitor a block of IPs to find new Zabbix Agents running for example.  So here is what I will have my Zabbix Server do:

  • Look for new Zabbix Agents on my AWS internal IP range.
  • If the system.uname contains “Scalr” it will add to Scalr server group
  • Server must be up for 30+ minutes

There will be other stipulations in order to get the server added to Zabbix.  I will have system templates for each of my Scalr AMI roles.  Once the server is added to Zabbix it will add them to to their respective groups and monitor for items and triggers listed in the system template.  There will also be a rule to remove old instances after 24 hours from Zabbix after receiving the host down trigger.  This way I will not have a bunch of old instances that were once monitored still cluttering Zabbix database.  If you happen to also have Windows AWS instances you can add a rule to monitor these as well.  The AMI just needs to have the Zabbix Windows Agent installed.

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