August 2012

Monthly Archives

P2V migration – a live CentOS server to a KVM guest

Recently we had to migrate a live physical server into a guest running under KVM. This article describes the physical to virtual process and can be helpful if you need to clone a physical server without taking it down and run it under KVM.

Preparing virtual machine’s disk image

If you can’t take your system offline to make an image of the whole disk (because you don’t have a physical access to it or it’s an imporant live server etc.) you can still recreate the image manually with a few steps. To get a working system image you’ll have to…

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Sustainability in IT

Time for confessions – I’m a closet ‘Swampy’ – My lifestyle might not be very ‘alternative’ but one thing I am quite passionate about is sustainability.

A lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon in recent years from a number of industries and for a number of reasons: Altruists; those with an agenda, be it political, financial or practical; and those who just want to get noticed. IT has been an industry which is often very cutting edge with its ideas, but sometimes struggles with the sustainability in practice. Demands for increased computing power have resulted in higher energy consumption and demands for hardware refreshes have caused often fully serviceable hardware to be disposed of for no reason other than ‘its old’.

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Unit Testing WordPress Plugins: The Right Way

Whether you are currently writing a WordPress plugin and have decided to embrace unit testing or you are about to begin development of a plugin and want to unit test it from the start, learning how to do it correctly is a must.

This guide assumes you have a working LAMP stack (or similar) setup on your development machine and have reasonable knowledge of databases. For easy set up of a LAMP stack see XAMMP (windows/linux) or MAMP (Mac). You should also have Git installed.

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From Azerbaijan to Belarus – Support System Updates

Recently I have been making changes to the Support System we use here at CatN and I thought I’d share what features have been developed and are in development to help us to help you more effectively.

Features added so far (v1.4 “Azerbaijan”)

  • The system is now in a GitHub repository – in the process of doing this I learned lots about git and GitHub and this should allow others to make changes to the system at the same time as me
  • More portable – I removed leading slashes from relative URLs that didn’t need them, tidied up the way that “include”/”require”s are used, removed duplicate files and replaced with symlinks, etc
  • Enabled per-project priorities for issues – this included the ability for clients to set a priority using e-mail subject and automatic calculations of SLA deadlines
  • A “tidy-up” tool for stripping ‘Re:’, ‘Fwd:’, etc from issue subjects
  • A merge tool for combining multiple issues into one
  • Removed unused links from menu and updated the logo – sometimes the smallest of cosmetic changes can make a big difference to the overall feel of a system!

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vCluster Development Update

As followers of CatN will know we have been in beta for a long time, this last beta stage has lasted for about a year. Technically we came out of beta for a couple of months and unfortunately went back to beta again when we found some underlying technology issues.

I have received a lot of emails and comments recently from beta testers and interested parties asking when we are going to be coming out of beta and opening up the product for new accounts again. I wanted to answer those questions with a development update so everyone can understand where we are up to and what tasks remain before we can launch.

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