This is (not) Sparta

Posted on 2015-09-04

intro meta

Hello, and welcome!

It's been a rather long time since I last updated my website. It seems to be part of the ebb and flow of my life: furious activity followed by comfortable laziness. Well, I'm attempting to break free of that comfort yet again. Of late, I've gotten frustrated with the laid back approach I've been taking toward my projects and personal development; and it's time that I change that.

Part of that change is going to involve me selecting and directing my personal and professional growth, and growing the knowledge that I believe will be of the most use to me. Rather than sitting idly by waiting for others to decide which challenges I need to solve for them. Yes, this is a considerably more selfish stance I'm taking with regard to my studies, but among all the areas of my life, where I might question whether it's right for me to take a selfish stance; unquestionably, this is a valuable one, and a good choice.

Over time, I'm sure that I'll eventually start to fill this site with notes related to all of my hobbies and interests, but at least initially, a couple topics will be receiving the majority of my focus.

  1. RHSA & RHCE studies
  2. Logfile collection and aggregation

“Why these two subject areas?” you might ask? Go ahead… I'll wait. Well, work was hoping to send me out for these certifications 5 years ago, but plans changed. As a result I now have the CISSP (I can't really complain I suppose), but I'd really like to be able to point at a certification that actually applies to my daily job. Since I work with RedHat Linux daily, and am the “grey-beard” on the team who always knows the answers, I might as well fork over the out-of-pocket costs, and get the certification to go along with that knowledge. I currently plan to take the RHSA this winter, and the RHCE (pending some warm-fuzzies from the RHSA) next spring or summer. In this pursuit, I'll be writing about lessons that I've learned in the transition from my RHEL6 knowledge to the RHEL7 knowledge tested for on the exams.

As for logfile collection, my daily job involves statusing 500+ systems, in an environment where the syslog channels are flooded with user generated messages. Unfortunately, I can't force that djinni back into the bottle, so I need to uncover alternate solutions. Because our environment generates so much syslog output, most of which is largely ignored by the SA team as a whole (haystack is too large, can't find the needles, etc). I need to find a solution. In the past I've written scripts to filter out the noise, but there's still so much coming from so many different places, that a correlation tool is a requirement. For starters I'm going to play with splunk, and I'll be working my way out from there.

Oh, you read this far, and were hoping for some conversation about the movie 300, given the probable reference in the title of this posting? Well, this posting really doesn't have anything to do with it. Though, I do like the mental image of my id suggesting that this endeavor is too much work and that we should just go play another round of Hearthstone instead. Only to be faced down by my Ego, who channels king Leonidas, screams the catchphrase, then kicks my id into a well.