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VMs On The Edge

What started as a basic VM test has taken on a life of its own; it looks like we'll be walking the virtualization talk, pushing a VM host out near the edge of my production network. Wish me luck ...

Joe Hernick

January 31, 2008

1 Min Read

What started as a basic VM test has taken on a life of its own; it looks like we'll be walking the virtualization talk, pushing a VM host out near the edge of my production network. Wish me luck ...I wear many hats. One of them involves the care and feeding of a campus network. My organization is in the midst of planning a summer upgrade to fiber, Internet2, etc., via a zippy connection to CEN. While there eventually will be much rejoicing, we're spending a bunch of time redesigning our edge components to make sure our world keeps working when we cut over from our current last-mile providers.

To keep things under control on our existing ~17 Mbps in and ~3.5 Mbps out lines, we rely on a Squid proxy running on a 2.6 distro of Debian and a homegrown Perl-based "Exiler" traffic-shaping tool running on top of BSD 4. Exiler sits transparently on our default route while the Squid box is a sidestep off our core switch, annoyingly soaking up supervisor module CPU cycles under heavy traffic loads due to the loop-de-loop hops for cache misses. Damn you, iTunes U and your legitimate giant files.

So why am I writing about this in a virtualization blog? Stay with me.

About the Author(s)

Joe Hernick

IT Director

Joe Hernick is in his seventh year as director of academic technology at Suffield Academy, where he teaches, sits on the Academic Committee, provides faculty training and is a general proponent of information literacy. He was formerly the director of IT and computer studies chair at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT, and spent 10 years in the insurance industry as a director and program manager at CIGNA.

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