Monthly Archives: April 2012

Using ZoneMinder with a cheap CCTV camera

One of the server rooms I look after has an old CCTV camera in the ceiling, and I decided to press it into service to enhance security for that room. I now get alerts from Nagios when motion is detected, so that I can go and see who’s been poking around. Here’s how I got there.
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Filed under esxi, security

Restoring datastore performance graphs after upgrading to vCenter 5.0U1

Datastore performance data graphs just say 'No data available'

My recent upgrade from ESXi and vCenter 4.1U3 to 5.0U1 went so smoothly, I should have known that not everything was as it should have been. My battle scars from decades of fighting buggy software (in other words, software) were tingling, and it wasn’t too long before I found the problem. All my datastores’ non-realtime performance data graphs—which I rely on for troubleshooting slow VMs—were blank. ‘No data available‘ was all I got. A call to the refreshingly excellent VMware support folk resulted in a pointer to this KB article. It’s a bit involved, especially if you don’t already have PowerCLI installed, so here’s a quick walk-through.
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Filed under vmware

Getting ESXi 5.0 to use a remote syslog server

I just had a quick call with a very helpful VMware support guy about this. I’ve just upgraded my ESXi boxes from 4.1 to 5.0, but I wasn’t getting any messages at my remote syslog server any more. Here’s a quick guide to making it work.
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Filed under esxi, vmware

Dying of AIDS? Cheer up: you’d have died eventually anyway!

As I slowly go through all my old radio memorabilia, I’m rediscovering all sorts of interesting things that I haven’t seen for decades. They range from the mundane to the historically fascinating, but this particular example is perhaps the most unpleasant item I’ve found so far.
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Filed under rants, religion

Metered estate lock-in: an update

My previous post about supplier lock-in and metered estates generated a modicum of interest, both in the comments and in messages I’ve received directly. It seems that there is a small but significant number of medium-to-large metered estates where the consensus necessary for switching suppliers is rendered impossible by the inevitable turnover in fixed-term contracts. The Competition Commission’s order requires that all residents on a metered estate must be free of fixed-term contractual obligations before a switch can be made.

Rather than updating the original post again and again, I’ll summarise what I’ve found out so far.
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Filed under politics, rants