Simian Demo

If you ever thought in having Munki in the cloud then you have probably considered using Simian.

Simian is in short a Munki server that sits on Google’s App engine. Compared to the web server that you could build to use as a Munki server it has some cool additions like:

  • Manage Apple SUS with auto-promotion!
  • Collect client logs when needed
  • Client-Server and Server-Client authentication based on SSL certificates
  • Client statistics like uptime, free disk space, Munki and Simian versions, OS X version, off-corp time (requires your own script logic), stolen status…
  • Logs which admin modified what
  • And obviously being cloud-based. But that is something you could also do yourself

The three major drawbacks that I could think of would be:

  • Managing the certificates can quickly become a mess if processes are not in place. Generating, signing, deploying and revoking certificates are usually not easy tasks.
  • Price? from my testing I don’t think this will be an issue for any business, but hey who knows what budget you’re dealing with.
  • Being in someone else’s hands. Hosting things in the cloud and having a control panel there that can potentially compromise you whole client base is worth discussing internally.

For the Munki admins out there I’d say that Simian has a slightly different way of doing things, but it is nothing you can’t get around with some practice.

As I did recently for MunkiReport-php2 I have put together a demo site for you to check it out live. Click on the following image and authenticate with a valid Gmail account to play with the console.



PS: Today I’m a happy admin with my internal Munki, Munkireport and Reposado servers for managing software on my clients.

Please leave a comment below if you like. Opinions are always welcome.

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Caching server stats

I recently saw this on my twitter and realised that I never shared how I monitor my caching server

Jedda pinged back my 2012 post about the caching server and that is how I came to know about his Nagios ability. If you use Nagios and Macs be sure to check out his blog here.

In any case, I do not use Nagios and never got around moving to logstash (+ elastic search + kibana) for keeping track of the server logs. This is mainly to the lack of time but seeing the latest Kibana I might be able to find some time :P

I use the free version of Splunk and it has been configured for quite a while now without any issue.

Back to the topic, for the caching server I created a dashboard and made a query to the logs that looks like this:

source=”/Library/Server/Caching/Logs/Debug.log” “bytes served,” | rex “(?i)(?P<BYTESSERVED>[^ ]+) bytes served, [0-9]+ from cache, (?P<DOWNLOADEDBYTES>[^ ]+) downloaded” | eval GBSERVED=round(BYTESSERVED/1024/1024/1024,2) | eval DOWNLOADEDINGB=round(DOWNLOADEDBYTES/1024/1024/1024, 2) | timechart sum(GBSERVED) AS Served sum(DOWNLOADEDINGB) AS Downloaded span=1d

This worked fine until 10.9 came around and changed it a bit. Then I changed the query to this:

source=”/Library/Server/Caching/Logs/Debug.log” ” served,” | rex “(?i)(?P[^ ]+) MB served,” | rex “(?P[^ ]+) MB downloaded from origin,” | eval GBSERVED=round(MBYTESSERVED/1024,2) | eval DOWNLOADEDINGB=round(DOWNLOADEDMBYTES/1024, 2) | timechart sum(GBSERVED) AS Served sum(DOWNLOADEDINGB) AS Downloaded span=1d

I know it only cares about megabytes, but that cover most (all?) of the downloads I’ve seen anyway, and I don’t want to spend  too much time writing a better query for something I consider non-critcal.

Here the end result:

splunk caching

Easy to monitor, right?

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This virtual machine might have been moved or copied

might have been moved or copied

I published on twitter few days ago a comment complaining that the message that you get when you move virtual machines in VMware is not explicit enough, and by the comment I’ve seen I am not alone in this belief.

Well, so that is the reason for such a simplistic post. What does it mean when VMware asks you this thing?

This virtual machine might have been moved or copied.

In order to configure certain management and networking features, VMware Fusion needs to know if this virtual machine was moved or copied. 

If you don't know, answer "I copied it".

[I moved it]		[Cancel]		[I copied it]

It just means that it has detected that the virtual machine is not in the last known location and if you answer that you copied it, the software will change the serial number and mac address of the VM to avoid network conflicts.

The way it does it is by editing the .vmx file and modifying the values of this three lines

uuid.bios = "56 4d 00 0b da 10 0a 64-6d 61 87 40 6b 06 b1 d7"
uuid.location = "56 4d 00 0b da 10 0a 64-6d 61 87 40 6b 06 b1 d7"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:06:b1:d7"

It is simple and in fact quite useful but, if you ask me, not properly documented.

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