Archive for September, 2009

Ramp Up #19-22: Deployment video bonanza

We have not one but four Ramp Up videos this week covering all the various deployment JumpBoxes including our newest addition, the JumpBox for Tomcat. Deployment JumpBoxes are handy tools for quickly evaluating web applications that don’t currently have their own dedicated JumpBox. They also make great development aides for software developers by enabling you to focus on building your application instead of configuring your development environment.

In Ramp Up #19 we’ll use the JumpBox for Ruby on Rails to deploy Radiant CMS.

In Ramp Up #20 we’ll deploy an instance of WordPress Multi-User on top of the the JumpBox for LAMP.

In Ramp Up #21 we’ll deploy the Railo Coldufusion runtime environment into the JumpBox for Tomcat and then install a Coldfusion application on top of that stack.

And in Ramp Up #22 we use the JumpBox for LAPP to deploy the OpenX ad server and connect it to an underlying Postgres database.

*Tip: With each video to view at full-resolution in hi-def, make sure the button is on and click the button to expand the screen. As always, leave comments on this post if you have questions about any of what we cover in the videos.

Ramp Up #18: Software Development nirvana with Redmine

If you’re a software developer do you have a bulletproof system for managing your projects? Are you making use of source control and issue tracking to ensure accountability or are you “free climbing?” What about documentation – do you have have a convenient way to build out your docs and cross-reference specific issues and revisions of the software? If you answered “no” to any of these questions you’ll want to take a look at the JumpBox for Redmine.

The Redmine application is a project management system that offers integrated source control, issue tracking, wiki features, message forums, roadmaps, flexible alerts and numerous other features for collaborating on a software project. In this video we’ll dive into the fundamentals of using Redmine. By the time you’re finished watching you’ll have what you need to get started with this powerful tool. If you happen to be using Trac already for your software development then you understand the fundamentals of Redmine but you should still check it out as it offers additional benefits like: multi-project support, native integration with GIT and a forthcoming REST api. Watch the video in full or use the time-coded index below to skip ahead and check out a particular feature. Enjoy!

Time Topic
01:06 Set up a new user & project
03:20 Add files to the repository
06:00 Browse the repository
06:28 Make a file edit and see changes with a diff
07:48 Get statistics on commits
08:08 Work with issues
10:53 Update tickets via SVN commit messages
13:44 Add material to the wiki
16:38 Add a message forums
17:54 Use the roadmap to track progress
19:42 Track your time
20:44 See a river of changes with the Activity tab
21:27 Configure email notifications
22:22 Visualize issues with Gantt and Calendar views
22:58 View your tasks across projects with My Page
24:07 Customize dropdown menus with enumerations
24:33 Admin settings: gravatars, LDAP, require auth, force SSL
26:11 Install the Timesheet Plugin
29:30 Migrate from Trac to Redmine
29:54 Redmine Mylyn connector for the Eclipse IDE
30:22 Get additional help

*Tip: To view video at full-resolution in hi-def, make sure the button is on and click the button to expand the screen.

Ramp Up #17: Host your own Instant Messaging System with Openfire

Do employees in your company use instant messaging services like Yahoo, AIM, MSN or GTalk to conduct sensitive conversations? There are many reasons why you might want to run your own secure instant messaging server instead of relying upon these services:

  • Security – For conversations between employees on the same network, instead of sending cleartext messages over the public internet they could be conducted end-to-end behind the firewall.
  • Monitoring – You may have situations where you need monitoring and content filtering on IM conversations to enforce policies related to abusive language or sexual harassment.
  • Search convenience – Your employees might benefit from a central, searchable index that serves a knowledgebase built from all past conversations.
  • Audit trail – Your company’s data retention policy might require that you log every conversation in a secure place to retain records of what & when critical statements were made (eg. financial brokerages, military or government programs, etc.)
  • Regulatory compliance – You might be obligated by HIPAA or SOX regulations to conduct sensitive communications exclusively through hardware and systems that you control.

These are just a few of the reasons why you might want to run your own instant messaging server rather than rely upon the free SaaS alternatives. The JumpBox for Openfire lets you do just that. As you’ll see in the video below we go from zero to live chat sessions in about three minutes. We’ll also show how to:

  • launch an IRC-style group chat room
  • configure the system to filter unacceptable language
  • setup conversation logging and search the index
  • bridge external IM networks so even outside SaaS-based conversations can be monitored
  • By the time you finish watching you’ll have everything you need to deploy your own on-premise IM system. Enjoy!

    Time Topic
    01:01 Interface orientation
    02:27 Set up new users
    03:12 Setup the SparkWeb web-based IM client
    03:33 Setup the downloadable Spark client
    04:17 Have an IM conversation
    06:16 Setup a group chat room
    08:02 Broadcast message to all users
    08:27 Install Plugins
    09:48 Use the Content Filter plugin
    11:09 Use the Monitoring Service plugin
    14:35 Proxy the Yahoo IM service using the IM Gateway plugin
    17:09 Get additional help resources

    *Tip: To view video at full-resolution in hi-def, make sure the button is on and click the button to expand the screen.

    Ramp Up #16: Using Zenoss to monitor your network

    Are you already running JumpBoxes and want a way to easily monitor their health? If so read on.

    Zenoss enables network administrators to manage the configuration, health, and performance of networks, servers and network applications. Monitor your network availability, inventory, configuration, performance, and more with the Jumpbox for Zenoss. Notable features include:

    • Event Monitoring and Management
    • Web-based Dashboard
    • Alerting and Reporting
    • Automatic Remidiation
    • Network Visualization
    • Integration API’s
    • Community Reports Library
    • Community Monitors Library

    In this video we’ll tour the interface and show how get Zenoss to scan your network and automatically add all the machines it finds. We’ll then set it up to send email alerts as problems (or pre-problem warning signs) arise and demonstrate this by taking down a machine. Lastly we’ll configure SNMP-based performance monitoring so it watches another JumpBox on the network and displays graphs on critical metrics like CPU and memory utilization, bandwidth and disk I/O. We’ll also touch on other topics like extending Zenoss through Zenpacks and how to assign location and logical groupings to your machines in a way that’s meaningful to you. Enjoy!

    Time Topic
    01:29 Interface orientation
    02:03 Auto-discover devices on network
    03:59 Events: sort, filter, acknowledge
    04:53 Setting up alerts
    07:15 Set up SNMP for performance monitoring
    14:46 Extending Zenoss via Zenpacks
    15:23 Walkthrough of various navigation elements
    16:30 Setting the geographical location of machines
    18:08 Help and support resources

    *Tip: To view video at full-resolution in hi-def, make sure the button is on and click the button to expand the screen.