Monday, February 9, 2009

File Sharing Distro Round-up

I'm overextended, I've got computers in too many places, none of them are secure server cages, and I need to protect my data. This computer under my desk is protected, but my desk is in a partially secure area; someone can walk by and shut off my machine, and I'm dead in the water until I get back to the office and turn it on. Worse, they could steal it!

They probably won't steal it.

My next computer is this laptop. This laptop is falling apart; I used to take it with me everywhere, now I just don't go anywhere. I've got this desk, nobody else wants it, I just leave the laptop here and work out of a single desk. It's not a reliable server. I used to run Subversion off of this machine by VisualSVN, but I shifted some data around, and now it doesn't work. The ports aren't listening, they'll have to take the disk home to get access to that.

Finally, there's my house machine; it's running Debian, it's got several chroot'ed environments, there are a handful of system services that don't come up unless I determine to use them, some of them run on conflicting ports, and most of them have issues stemming from the fact that the machine runs behind two firewalls. Not a big deal; we can forward ports left and right, but it should really connect with a VPN so there's a single point of contact in case the node vanishes from the network. If I go, it probably comes with me.

Or who knows, they might even buy it?

Great, I have lots of computers, but we need to tag assets, so they don't get lost, or accidentally misplaced. My buddy Pete has got a machine that he wants to put in a cage upstairs, the server cage, exactly the perfect place to put a safe backup data store. He's pretty sure we're going to have to run Windows. I'm still jockeying for Xen, so we can save on licensing and keep our hardware maximally utilized, but VMware has this concept of infrastructure machines that are not workstations, and I'm planning to run with it.

We're going to have to prove a list of assets and an automated collection process for the backup server, or Pete's not going to be interested. He's definitely not interested in buying a car that's got a little hole in the gas tank, and he's probably not thrilled about the idea of sharing such that his resources could become unavailable on-demand by someone else's request.

Who would want to have that? Today's business is built on downloadable, freely available systems with promotional, marketing, and educational materials supplied by Accellion, T-mobile, UserScape, VMware, rBuilder Online, cryptographers at large, and the many generous donors that are part of the Open Source community!