Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Technology and the British Obsession for Weather

In the last few days, the UK media has gone mad on the fact that the UK Meteorology Office (Met Office) is getting a new 'toy' (yes, that's really what it was called on some channels!)  The interest in this story from a mainstream perspective is primarily aimed at the fact that the UK might have more accurate weather forecasts, more often and for a longer period... but if you're interested in the tech, there was scant information in any of the news broadcasts, I'll try and fill in the bits that were missing.

Firstly, what have they got now?  Well, they are currently running an IBM Power7 system running AIX and coming in at around 140 Teraflops.  It's processors are Freescale ARM based QorIQ that maintain PowerPC compatibilty and the whole thing came online in 2009. 

Now, according to all of the information available, they are returning to Cray (which they have used a couple of times in the past) for their new system and this time are going to use their XC40 range.  This system is based on Intel Xeon processors and the really exciting thing for me, is that this will be yet another supercomputer running Linux (The Cray Linux Environment is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with their own Compute Node Linux (CNL) kernel.)   It's rated at 16 Petaflops and will come online between 2015 and 2017 which should mean it will go straight into the Top 10 of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, for now anyway!  It will cost around £97 million and will weigh 140 tonnes.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

More Information About Linux File Systems

As part of my little guide to learning Linux, I've written some stuff about maintaining file systems and finding out what is using space on your disks... As always, I hope it helps someone;

A Little About Linux: Keeping File Systems Happy

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Finding Files and Applications in Linux

I've just added a small article on the Linux File System and highlighted some tools for finding out where files and folders are from the command line...

A Little About Linux: How Do I Find Where Things Are?

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Little About Linux - Part 2

Back in August when I started my Blog up again, I said that I was going make a little online guide about Linux to hopefully help other people but to primarily jog my memory about some of the basics.

Some of you will have seen that it's been progressing quite well and is appearing on the left hand menu as and when I get a new section finished.  Well, it's probably time to give it its own section on the Blog, so from now all of the topics will appear on the following page...

Saturday, 4 October 2014

XenServer: A Demonstration of Storage XenMotion

Following up from my last little XenServer 6.2 demo where I showed how we can move VMs from one host to another, this one shows how to live migrate from one iSCSI LUN to another using Storage XenMotion.

As before, the rig is;

  • 1 x Home Built Workstation with AMD Phenom Hex Core CPU and 32GB RAM
  • 3 x XenServer hosts running as 3 x VMs under VMware Workstation 10
  • 2 x QNAP TS-112 NAS Devices craved up into multiple LUNs
  • 1 x  TP-Link TL-SG1016 Gigabit Layer 2 Switch

How the Hong Kong Protesters Communicate

How do you organise protests when your government wants to block or cut your Internet connectivity?  Well, the answer appears to be to use Firechat.  Firechat is an app available for Andrioid and IOS devices and is produced by Open Garden, on the surface it's just another in a long line of Internet connected social media chat apps but the real uniqueness is when your Internet connection is no more.  By switching on your phone's Wifi and Bluetooth connections you immediately become part of a local social mesh network communicating with other Firechat users up to 200 feet away and they can then subsequently become a new node in the network relaying the messages around the extended local mesh.  It may be the new enemy of dictatorial regimes around the world.