May 2013

Monthly Archives

Automated CentOS Virtual Machine Image Creation

This article shows how to create a CentOS Virtual Machine (VM) in unattended mode using a shell script and illustrates the main steps and options to reproduce the process manually.

The following script and commands will create a base image that can be used to deploy multiple nodes from a system like Ansible to define roles for each node. It is very useful for creating clustered virtual environments such as the vCluster stack.

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Is G-Cloud selling services or knowledge?

With a revised framework (version 3), a new cloud store approaching launch, and sales figures that are now being described as “exponential”, it is getting harder for industry analysts to continue to claim that G-Cloud is a failure (although they keep trying).

The G-Cloud team proudly tweeted some excellent sales figures for March, and the best thing is that the pool of suppliers making sales is growing and becoming more diverse.

I raise this point because in the early days there were a couple of companies making large sales which bumped the figures up, but this did not necessarily make G-Cloud a success with a core of companies winning all the business.

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SEO friendly web hosting. How friendly can it be?

One of the many considerations when choosing a web hosting service should be the impact it will have on the SEO of your website or a blog.

Laurence O'Toole - Analytics SEO

Laurence O’Toole – Founder of Analytics SEO

We met up with Laurence O’Toole, the founder and CEO of Analytics SEO, developers of an online SEO management software, to talk about the importance of hosting.

Do you agree with the term ‘SEO friendly hosting’? Is it correct to label some hosting as SEO unfriendly, and what are the signals that hosting alone will have a massively positive/negative effect on the SEO aspect of your online project?

That’s just a marketing ploy. A host could choose not to host dodgy or spammy sites, adult sites or any other type of site that is seen to be negative. In terms of hosting options, they could make configuring the server an easy task, as well as making sure it’s as fast as possible. They could also offer unique C class IPs as standard. But even if all those boxes were ticked, it doesn’t mean to say it’s “SEO friendly” as such. Short answer, it’s marketing fluff.

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Top posts on

With the CatN website and blog just over four years old, we have reviewed all of our content to find the top five most popular posts over the last four years.

We’ll start with number 5 on the list. The 5th most popular post is…

  1. Securing mod_php – without the vasectomy
    Mark Sutton wrote this post in the early days of CatN. He explains the basic insecurities of mod_php in a multi-tenant environment and goes on the consider all of the options available for improving security. This post is a cornerstone of the vCluster stack and gives an insight into some of the thought behind the cloud platform in the early days of CatN.
  2. P2V migration – a live CentOS server to a KVM guest
    Linux Engineer Dawid Golunski explains the process of migrating a physical live Centos server to a KVM guest. The key to this article is that he completes the clone and migration live with no downtime for the origin physical server.
  3. Preparing Procurve Switches for Production
    Here CTO Mark Sutton takes users through the required steps to make a pair of Procurve switches production ready. We took delivery of these switches for our cloud platform and during the build Mark took notes to share with our readers.
  4. T minus 1 year and counting – is your router about to go boom‽
    Another one from Mark Sutton here, identifying a potential issue to do with global routing table capacity. He conservatively predicted that in approximately 12 months time when the global routing table reaches 512,000 prefixes a large number of routers across the internet would be affected.
  5. Openindiana vs Nexentastor vs FreeNAS
    Written by storage expert Alex, he looked into why we initially chose OpenIndiana over the other operating systems offering ZFS support. The results are interesting and he has included some insightful performance analysis supporting the decision.

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