Thursday, February 7, 2008

Behind the machines...

Did you enjoy our workshops ? We too enjoyed configuring our labs for it with Internet downtime, Pacific re-routing, power cuts and PXE.

It all began with Abhishek & Harish from Tech Team trying to configure Ruby on Rails in 207 in morning 2 AM. After a series of sudo apt-get and server/script webrick we woke up to the fact that nobody had ever boarded this Railgaadi. Robert Adkins came to the rescue around noon and gave us the tickets along with free snacks of insight in Synergy( and his sexy MacBook Pro and iPhone.

But the Gods of Power, literally graced us, with the first power cut of day. And down went the Rail configuration. So it was again building up from Ground Zero. Leaving us with instructions, Babuji(as Robert Adkins is popularly called) left for the Speakers' Meet. When the power came up, the Tech Team followed all the instructions to configure it but didn't know how the heck to test it. Vinay from MBA-IT came to the rescue. The Tech Team had to just open the browser at Platform No. 3000. At last it was all done and they didn't know it was done.

What followed now, was the replication excerise. How can you replicate 49 machines ? The new machines in the lab had SATA hard disks which aren't supported by the PXE imaging software used. So we had to enable the legacy mode which disables the SATA magic and speed. Now that gave us 10MBps speed of replication which would take us the whole night. But practically the speed decreased with each new replication client.

Deliberations, suggestions, crazy ideas on how to replicate and tea flowed in. It was finally decided that we try different methods on different machines which included replicating a dd'ed clone from external USB, installing from Internet and installing manually using external cdrom drive.

Finally we had the lab replicating till 8 in the morning with Abhishek, Harish, Gaurav, Bodhi, Kaushik, Samar, Dinesh and Hemant around.

You can read more between the lines at our Picasa Web Album


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