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Use open-source software for your servers

August 14th, 2009

We have been using open-source software for our servers at NDMC for the past months.  Being an educational institution on a tight budget, we cannot afford to buy licenses for commercial software so we choose to use open-source and free software, specifically GNU/Linux variants.

We were using Ubuntu 8.04 Long Term Support (LTS), which means it will be supported for the next five years (until 2013).

Then Bong, who has been experimenting with different variants of open-source server software suggested the following line-up:

  • pfSense – powerful Firewall, based on FreeBSD
  • Untangle – open source network gateway, web filter
  • eBox-Platform – domain controller, file server, print server, proxy server, mail server, and a lot more, based on Ubuntu 8.04
  • FreeNAS – file server, NAS server, based on FreeBSD

I added Proxmox Virtual Environment – an open-source virtualization platform to the list.  This allows us to create one or more Virtual Private Servers using just one computer.  This is our alternative to VMWare’s ESX.

The considerations for the above servers is also timely for our scheduled upgrade from 1.5Mbps to a 4Mbps Internet connection sometime next month.

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Computer cannot get an IP address from DHCP server

July 13th, 2009

My office-mate had this weird problem with his computer: It cannot get an IP address from our DHCP server.  The motherboard of his PC is an Asus P5GC-MX.  He runs VMWare Player and Virtual Box, desktop virtualization software necessary for job, and all virtual machines have IP addresses, except the host machine.  To cut the story short, we did the following to diagnose the problem:

  • checked the UTP wire;
  • checked Windows XP’s firewall and network settings;
  • checked that the computer is set to automatically obtain an IP address;
  • used his wire with another computer;
  • used a virtual machine in his computer to get an IP address;
  • reset the computer a lot of times;

All steps failed to get an IP address for his computer from our DHCP server.

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Author: Cyril Pauya Categories: Network Tags: , , ,