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Light At The End Of The Tunnel

systems administration meanderings

systemd-networkd exanic cards

This post is to detail how I managed to reliably set the additional settings for Exablaze’s ExaNIC X40 card, the technique is applicable to other cards. I was performing this on a Dell R730 running CentOS 7.4 The Exablaze cards have additional capabilities like bypass-only mode, which needs to be set every time the system is rebooted. In the past, I’ve covered this by using udev, but it hasn’t proven to be reliable. Read more →

Kickstart overcoming UEFi or converting from MBR

Recently I had the opportunity to install CentOS 7 onto a new Intel Skylake based machine. The system using legacy bios mode installed via kickstart without any issues, repeatedly. I should say that the system had two 500Gb msata drives and an M.2 1Tb drive. The two msata would hold CentOS and would use Raid 1. Unfortunately, the system needed to be in UEFi mode, and this change meant a new kickstart file. Read more →

Data capture with ExaNIC’s

Capturing the data My scenario is that I wish capture some multicast data and analyse it later. I’d like this process to be automated, start at a specific time, stop at a specific time, and then process the captured data file. I’ll be using CentOS 7 which is based on systemd. Fortunately, the ExaNIC cards come with a great utility called exanic-capture, this tool is one of the features of the ExaNIC card outlined in this post on the Exablaze site. Read more →

Configuring Exanic’s under CentOS 6

We use the Exablaze Exanic X4 cards at work. The manual does explain what you have to do but doesn’t give you the CentOS/RHEL specifics. I’m assuming the driver is already installed. The first thing to notice is that when the exanic.ko module is installed it creates the /dev/exanic0 device. The permissions on this driver crw-rw---- 1 root root 10, 58 Aug 27 21:46 /dev/exanic0 This is ok if your software runs as root. Read more →

CentOS 6.5 on Super Micro HFT server

Recently I had the chance to test the Super Micro 6027ax-72rf-hft3 server, which is meant for HFT environments, being over clocked including the supported network cards. I was aiming to run performance tests with the ExaNIC X2 from Exablaze. Unfortunately, the Super Micro website doesn’t list CentOS 6.5 as a supported operating system. My first couple of attempts in installing CentOS 6.5 on this server resulted in kernel panics, upon investigation I realised it was not seeing the disk controller. Read more →