Deployable infrastructure to the rescue

For the last two weeks Gangplank’s bandwidth has appeared saturated. Our network performance has hovered around zero…

Since we knew the problem originated in the network, we needed a capable network analysis tool. Unfortunately, most network tools require a painful amount of configuration, display ridiculously complex options, and generally come across as “user unfriendly.” Luckily for us, Tempe based JumpBox made a great solution available.

JumpBox offers an array of ready-to-be-deployed virtual machines to quickly augment infrastructural support software. For us, this happened in the form of a pre-built, up-and-running-in-no-time JumpBox equipped with an instance of Cacti. Not counting the download time, which went by fast anyway, Cacti began capturing SNMP data from the network inside of 10 minutes. 30 minutes later, which included figuring out how to use it, we discovered the source of our bandwidth problem and rectified it.

No installation headaches. No clobbering software on another machine. No dependencies to deal with. Just a single virtual appliance running in Parallels on an iMac.

The lesson of this story: Ready-to-use Virtual appliances greatly ease the introduction of new tools into the IT environment.

4 thoughts on “Deployable infrastructure to the rescue

  1. The JumpBox Cacti virtual appliance quickly and easily helped us with our network problem. Thanks JumpBox and thanks Chandler for quickly solving the problem.

    And Chris likes to write in E-Prime, so keep it going.

  2. Chris,
    Can you tell me if “No clobbering software” appears in the RoR bible? As the marketing guy here at JumpBox now I must learn how to speak to users.

    That link to E-Prime cost me twenty minutes. Never do that again. (But, wow, very cool.)

  3. “No clobbering software” does not appear in the RoR Bible. If it existed anywhere it would most likely appear in the Systems/Network administration bible.

    For brevity I didn’t want to go into the specific details of virtual appliances and their respective context in a full IT environment. In my experience, larger IT organizations attempt to provision hardware with a “one box, one task” mentality. Unfortunately, sometimes a need comes up that necessitates software becoming available immediately without waiting for the tasks of provisioning/deployment. The danger of simply adding that software to another machine ranges from no-impact to possibly damaging shared libraries and bringing the entire box down. Virtual appliances provide a quick “drop load”-like functionality that functions essentially like adding a full-fledged machine onto the network immediately without violating the one-box-one-task compartmentalization approach. So no software clobbering needs to occur.

    I thoroughly enjoy that even the comments follow the E-Prime rules. 🙂

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