4 Years of Blogging!

Well it’s that time of year again when the domain renewal happens the holidays are about to wrap up and the year is about to come to a close. This week marks 4 years since I started this blog. When I set out to create this blog I was about a year into my first real systems administrator job in a mostly windows environment for about 100 users and managing a 4 node VMware ESXi cluster and a decent number of VMs as well as lending a hand at another site here and there. During this year I had also made my first foray into Linux and AWS and jumped into the world of DevOps. Fast forward 4 years and I’ve become almost exclusively a DevOps engineer working primarily with Linux. My career has taken me places I never thought it would, I’ve migrated large sites from on premise datacenters to AWS, on site at a large annual award show to work closely with content teams, and worked closely with development teams on the ground to help redesign and rebuild a video streaming service platform.


The purpose of this blog 4 years in remains the same as it started. Simply to help other admins/engineers with fixing odd and poorly documented issues, and to share cool tips and tricks that have been helpful to me in hopes of helping others. As this year wraps up I have a series blog planned for the new year around Ansible that should be a good 3-4 part blog. Drop me a comment if there’s something you’d like to see me cover in the new year!

Reflections on 2017

Well believe it or not we’re less than 48 hours from ringing in the new year. So much has happened this year, some of it good some of it not so good. Looking back on 2017 it’s been a huge year of personal growth, learning lots of new technologies and shipping new projects I’d never thought I’d work on before. I started this blog 3 years ago when I was working as a small business systems administrator looking to centralize some helpful knowledge to fix various obscure problems I’ve come across, or to share new and interesting things, or talk about coffee 🙂

After spending the last 2.5 years working for managed service providers I’ve been exposed to so many more technologies than I ever dreamed of, largely moved from Windows/Microsoft infrastructure to Linux/Open Source infrastructure and tools. Next year I look forward to diving in head first into more containerization and cloud native tools and stacks. It’s been a wild and crazy ride but a fun one. I have a few blog posts waiting in the wings for 2018 that will be fun. Expect to see some new posts in the new year on topics ranging from Docker, Kubernetes, Data Warehousing, and Infrastructure as code.

Guacamole Server For Home Labs

So you’re an IT pro with a home lab, that’s awesome! Except when you aren’t at home and you can’t get to all of your machines that you need to. Exposing RDP or SSH without multi-factor auth is certainly not something I’d recommend. This is where Guacamole comes in incredibly handy. Guacamole is a web based client that allows you to establish RDP, SSH, and Telnet sessions from within the local network. Port forwarding 8080 for Guacamole allows for outside access thus giving you SSH, RDP, and Telnet access on your local network without exposing your entire home lab to the outside internet.

Here’s the install process:

-Setup a Centos 6 or 7 VM with at least 2 cores and a good 4gb or RAM and a small 10gb drive
-run the following commands below (leverages the script to complete the install of Guacamole and all of its dependancies)

Install Wget
yum install wget -y

Wget the install script
wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/guacamoleinstallscript/files/CentOS/guacamole-install-script.sh

chmod the script to make it executable
sudo chmod 755 guacamole-install-script.sh

Run the script
sudo ./guacamole-install-script.sh

Open a browser and visit the ip or hostname:8080/guacamole

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 10.14.41 AM

Once logged in you can see any node groups you created in a tree along with their connections:
Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 10.14.55 AM

To add additional connections click your username in the top right, choose settings, and then click the connections tab and choose create new connection and fill out the necessary info:

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 10.16.51 AM

I’ve been using Guacamole for about 8 months now and it’s great to be able to make changes to my managed switches and access all of my lab machines. I hope this has been a helpful post and that you enjoy Guacamole server!