Using HAProxy and Keepalived for HA Puppet

December 2nd, 2010 Andrew Rankin 4 comments

I’ve had a “backup” puppet server for some time now, but the fail-over was completely manual. Meaning if the main puppet server failed, I’d actually need to change DNS to point to the other server. This if fine for environments where a bit of downtime does not hurt, but in a production environment it’s less than ideal. When I had a bit of spare time recently I decided to implement an automatic fail over for our environment. To do this I decided to use HAProxy for the load balancing and keepalived to manage a virtual IP.

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NVidia, Stereo (3D) and LCDs

September 1st, 2010 Andrew Rankin No comments

Back in December 2009 NVidia finally released a graphics driver for Linux that supported Stereo/3d graphics on a few LCD monitors. Since then we have purchased a few different brands of monitors but have decided to standardize on the NVidia supported Alienware AW2310. The Monitor appears very well built and has a fantastic image. When the driver was initially released there was some confusion on how to get the Stereo working on Linux under CentOS or RHEL 5. Since it’s quite simple, I thought I’d share our configuration. Read more…

Parallel BZIP2: pbzip2

July 7th, 2010 Andrew Rankin 1 comment

I find myself compressing files for archival purposes constantly – today I was sitting, waiting on one such compression on a SMP box and thought it seems silly that bzip2 does not use more than one CPU. After a quick flip through the man page for bzip2 I found no way to force it to use more than one core. A quick web search yielded pbzip2 ( – another project that does indeed allow you to use more than one CPU for compress and decompression of bzip2 files. A quick test showed a huge reduction in compression time: Read more…

Puppet Dashboard with Multiple Puppet Masters

May 26th, 2010 Andrew Rankin No comments

Mike Zupan’s blog has a nice how to on installing puppet’s dashboard on CentOS 5, following it I was able to get the dashboard up and running with ease.  Since I have two puppet master’s that I’d like to report to the dashboard I found you can easily accomplish this without a full dashboard install on each master.

You just need to:

  1. Copy over ‘puppet_dashboard.rb’ with a modified HOST line to the other host.
  2. Modify /etc/sysconfig/puppetmaster.
  3. Turn on reporting on the clients.
  4. Restart puppetmaster.

Since the puppet_dashboard.rb is just making an HTTP post to the dashboard server, it can be coming from anywhere.