My interesting way to end a week.

This is an account of Thursday the 29th of September 2011 when my cynical view on Londoners only thinking of themselves and not wanting to get involved with other peoples troubles was blown completely out of the water thanks to some really amazing people who I don’t have names for but would really love to thank from the depths of my heart for everything they did for me.

The story begins as I am making my way from Hertfordshire down to Camden on my commute to get to the office.

At about 08:22 in the morning I was driving down Hawley Road on my motorcycle and stopped for a Red traffic light at the junction with Jeffrey’s and Camden Street after a short while the light turned orange and then green for us. As this is normally when a load of cyclists jump the red light on the Kentish Town Road part of this junction I made sure to check that none had done so and then started to travel across the junction, once I had reached about ¾ of the way across the junction I felt the most unbelievable pain on my left side, felt myself hit the road surface on my right hand side and heard my self screaming. (and no it was not like a girl but close though)

The pain was something that was indescribable and all I could see was my bike over my left shoulder and the smell petrol that was leaking out of the petrol tank around me. I looked up to see if any cars were coming and unable to stop but thankfully none were.

(This is where people who I have never known stepped into my life to my eternal thanks)

Almost immediately I gentleman in a dark suite was leaning over me looking through my visor and asking if I was ok, All I could feel at the time was the screaming pain in my left foot and answered yes. I looked over my shoulder and saw another gentleman talking to a young lad in a grey helmet all I could hear was did you not see the red light.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw another gentleman in a black helmet and a white shirt (I think) take off his helmet and say “are you ok mate?”, “Do you know your Name?” I tried to answer him as best I could. I then realised that I had not hurt my head or hands or arms so decided to take off my helmet so I could see and hear better as I use earplugs in my ears to protect them from the motorway sounds.

After taking off my helmet and taking out my ear plugs the intense loads sounds flooded into my brain and I realised that my helmet had cut off my ability to realise that there were so many more people who had stopped on there way to work to help me.

I looked behind me and could see the young chap who had ridden into me sitting against the railings on the pavements clearly in a great deal of shock and I became worried for him as he was really pale. A bit further over I looked at what was left of his Vespa and thought Bloody hell how am I still conscious and he sitting there.

A wonderful vision in dayglo yellow cyclists gear was a lady who promptly informed me that she had called the ambulance and the police and that they would soon be here.

My attention was grabbed by a tapping on my Right hand shoulder another man in motorcycle helmet leaned in and said “I was right behind you and saw it all, here is my business card I will be a witness for you”, and with that he was off and climbed on his bike and road off. I did not even have time to say thanks.

All this time the gentlemen in the dark suite and white shirt kept talking to me asking me if I still felt ok. He asked me if I would like to get out of the road to which I agreed but then I realised that at 118 kgs and being over 6feet would make things difficult for them so I crawled towards the pavement.

I remained calm which I was pleasantly surprised about and this helped I think everyone around me to keep focussed on what they needed to do to help me.

For some reason I was worried about my laptop that was in the storage on the back of my bike and so asked the gentleman in the white shirt if he would mind getting it out for me. He duly did and I can only thank him for that. I was after my mobile phone so I could call my wife as I did not want anyone calling her first and scaring her. The gentleman in the white shirt said just use mine I don’t mind.

It was about 3 minutes later that the first ambulance arrived on the scene and two lady ambulance paramedics climbed out and started to do there work on me.

After a short while I was in the ambulance and through the open door I could see the man in the suite and the one in the white shirt smile at each other and then as if to say well no one else will do this they shrugged their shoulders and these wonderful people physically righted motorbike and wheel it onto the pavement.

The ambulance staff (I wish I had taken their names) then closed the door and started going through their procedures Blood pressure finger pricks blood oxygen levels etc… and they did this with a smile on their faces and in their voices. To anyone who ever says anything bad about the NHS ambulance staff I think you are completely mistaken.

We then heard the police siren and a Metropolitan police officer PC Barker knocked on the door and entered again these guys were the nicest people to talk to and were a credit to their profession.

After a few more questions and answers we were free to go and I was taken to the Royal Free Hamsted hospital where I was taken to the Minors 4 cubical where some really great medical staff came to my aid and scanned and prodded and x-rayed me whilst some learner Dr’s etc.. looked on and I am glad I could add one more addition to their education a RTC between two motorcycles.

The orthopedic staff determined that I had a fractured ankle and would not need screws etc.. (whew) and a cast would be all that is needed to med these broken bones.

My wonderful wife then walked in to the cubical and I relaxed quite a bit as I knew that my day could only get better from then on. After getting a back slab plaster cast and with strict instructions not to walk on my leg and a booked appointment for the fracture clinic next Thursday We dutifully made our way out of the hospital. I had not used crutches in a very long time so it was slow going.

The wonderful people at the company I work for help arrange transport home from the hospital to home where I was happy to sit on the couch with my foot up. My motor mechanic friend woke up at 4am and went to pick up my motorbike on Friday I can’t that Duncan enough.

So to all you wonderful people

  • Gentleman in the Dark suite
  • Gentleman in the White Shirt
  • Lady cyclist dressed in dayglo yellow
  • Gentleman who gave me his business card.
  • The people who helped roll my motorbike to the pavement
  • The two ladies who drove the ambulance
  • PC Barker and his partner
  • The medical staff at the Royal Free Hamstead hospital
  • Duncan from Bikers realm

I wish I had had the forethought to get all your names so I could thank you in person all I can do unfortunately is thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my Mother, Father,Wife and kids thank you for helping to get me safely home.

Creating a Two Node Mysql Cluster On Ubuntu With DRBD Part 2

This blog is a follow on from a blog post I wrote ages ago and have eventually got round to finishing it off

In this part of the process we will create the disks and setup the DRBD devices
First we need to connect to the Virtual Machines from a terminal session as it makes life much easier and quicker when you connect remotely.
You will need to make sure that your servers have static IP addresses.
For this document I will be using the following IP addresses for my servers.

drbdnode1 =
drbdnode2 =
drbdmstr = (clustered IP address)
Subnet Mask =
Gateway =
DNS Servers = and

So to set the IP address as fixed you need to do the following.
Connect to the console of drbdnode1 and login
now we need to edit the file that contains the IP address of the network card
enter the following command and press return

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

enter the password for the user you are logged in as
You should see the following screen

now use your arrow keys on your keyboard and move the white cursor to the section that starts with iface eth0
press Ctrl K to remove the line then add the lines below with your IP address details

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

It should end up looking like this

Now press Ctrl X to exit
Then Y
Then press Enter to save
Now type in the following

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

Do the same for drbdnode2
Now that we have given each server a static Ip address we can connect via ssh to the server to do the admin remotely.
To do this you need to have a machine that has an ssh client installed most linux and osx clients have one already installed if you are on windows look for putty and use that.
So open a terminal on your machine and the in the following

ssh cluster@ and press enter.

You need to substitute the username you created on your server when setting it up for the word cluster in the above command.
You will be prompted to accept a key for the server. Type yes and press enter.
Now enter the password for the user and press enter.
You should see a screen like this

Connect to both cluster nodes to make sure you are not stopped down the line to fix the problem.
You are now ready to work on your cluster.
First we need to create host records for the two servers
type the following into your terminal session

sudo nano /etc/hosts

and add a record for each server it should look something like this

Save the file as before and do the same for node2 but swap the names and ipadresses
Now we need to install a few packages that will allow us to use drbd
in the terminal on drbdnode1 type

apt-get install heartbeat drbd8-utils

and press enter you should have a screen like this

Press Y and then Enter to install the software. Do this on drbdnode2 as well
Now we need to create the partitions that we will use for the drbd cluster
to find out which disk we will be using run the command

sudo fdisk -l

to see which disks have not been partitioned your screen should look like this

As you can see at the end is the disk /dev/sdb does not have a partition table
look for the line “ Disk /dev/sdb doesn’t contain a valid partition table “
to create a partition table we need to run the following commands

sudo fdisk /dev/sdb
n (to create a new partition)
p (to select a primary partition)
1 (for the first partition)
Enter (to select the start cylinder)
and enter (to select the end cylinder)
w (to write the changes)

the screen should look like this

Do this on both servers
once this is complete we now need to edit the drbd configuration files to set up our clustered filesystem.
In your terminal on drbdnode1 enter the command

sudo nano /etc/drbd.d/clusterdisk.res

Enter the password for your user and edit the file
Copy and paste the following code into your terminal screen and then change the details to match your server names and ipaddresses

resource clusterdisk { # name of resources

protocol C;

on drbdnode1 { # first server hostname

device /dev/drbd0; # Name of DRBD device

disk /dev/sdb1; # Partition to use, which was created using fdisk

address; # IP addres and port number used by drbd

meta-disk internal; # where to store metadata meta-data


on drbdnode2 { # second server hostname

device /dev/drbd0;

disk /dev/sdb1;


meta-disk internal;


disk {

on-io-error detach;


net {

max-buffers 2048;

ko-count 4;


syncer {

rate 10M;

al-extents 257;


startup {

wfc-timeout 0;

degr-wfc-timeout 120; # 2 minutos.



The screen should look similar to this

ctrl x (to exit)
y (to save the changed file)
enter (to overwrite the file)
Now we need to create the DRBD resource
enter the following command into your terminal session

sudo drbdadm create-md clusterdisk

After running this command you should see a screen similar to this

On drbdnode1 enter the following command

drbdadm -- --overwrite-data-of-peer primary all

this will activate it as the primary drbd node
to see if this has worked you can run the following command

sudo drbdadm status

the result should look like this on drbdnode1

and like this on drbdnode2

you will see that drbdnode1 has a status of
and drbdnode2 has a status of
this tells you what role they are playing in the cluster
at the end of this line you will see a status resynced_percent=”3.8″
this tells you how much the drbd disk has synced.
Once the sync is complete connect to drbdnode1 and run the following command

sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/drbd0

this will create an ext4 partition on the drbd file system. Which will sync across to drbdnode2

Configuring heartbeat resource

Now we need to setup the Mysql resource in the heartbeat configuration
firstly we need to create a file called authkeys. The file should be created in /etc/ha.d directory. You can do this with the following command

nano /etc/ha.d/authkeys

in this file you need to add the following text.

auth 3


Replace [SECRETWORD] with a key you have generated.
This file needs to be on both servers in the /etc/ha.d directory.
After you have created the file you need to change the permissions on the file to make it more secure. This can be done with the following command

chmod 600 /etc/ha.d/authkeys

do this on both servers
Now we need to create the /etc/ha.d/ file to store the cluster config.
You can do this with the following command

nano /etc/ha.d/

copy and paste this code into the file

logfile /var/log/ha-log

keepalive 2

deadtime 30

udpport 695

bcast eth0
auto_failback off
stonith_host drbdnode1 meatware drbdnode2
stonith_host drbdnode2 meatware drbdnode1
node drbdnode1 drbdnode2

do the same for both servers
next is the haresources file. Create the file here

nano /etc/ha.d/haresources

paste this code in there

dhcp-1 IPaddr:: /24/eth0 drbddisk::clusterdisk Filesystem::/dev/drbd0::/var/lib/mysql::ext4 mysql

Your cluster is now ready to role.
All you now need to do is test the cluster which I will tell you how to do in a future blog post
Let me know how you get on

Connecting ESXi 4.1 to extreme x650 10G switches

I am busy working on a contract with a comonay that is implementing a 10G network for their ESX cluster.

We have been using extreme X650 10G copper switches for the core.

Migrating the current servers to the 10G environment was relatively easy and went with minimal issues.

Over the last 2 weeks I have been trying to get a new server to connect to the cluster ahnd have been frustrated. I have been unable to get the server communicating on the management VLAN. the server was configured correctly and so was the switch or so I thought.

It seems that to make this work you need to add the network cards to the vlan in the extreme os as untagged which then allows you to connect the server to vCenter and then once you add your NIC’s to the dv switch you lose connectivity again and have to readd the ports to the management vlan as tagged.

this post is more fo rme to be able to look it up in the future. Needs To Be Renamed

The Bongo-Project needs to be renamed

Now before you fall of your chair or swallow your phone while reading this let me explain why.

I have been wanting to create this post for sometime now and have been holding off as we are almost ready for our 1.0 release.

The problem I have is that even if we released a new version of the software and it was our 1.0 release I am not sure anyone will be able to find us. I have been doing some digging over the last few months about what actually we are and to be honest I am not convinced we are “Individual” enough. We as a project get lost in the Bongo Project mahem that is People who play bongo’s as instruments.

Right from day one when we started this fork we had a problem with the name, we chose ” Bongo” as a name as an interim measure so that we had something to call ourselves while we thought of a new name. This has obviously not happend and I would like to kick this discussion off before we are ready for 1.0 so we have time to get it all done so we can release both to the outside world at the same time.

Now I know that this is not something lightly taken on and also it would mean quite a bit of work on the part of the limited Dev’s we have to change the code as well as then changing the website and our images and stuff.

I am now thinking I will spend £30.00 on a prize for the winning name. So now I need to find out what the community think and if there is apetite for this.

I have created a poll on my site for some active feedback

let me know I really want to know


This will be put on hold untill further notice

Creating a Two Node Mysql Cluster On Ubuntu With DRBD

Creating a Two Node Mysql Cluster On Ubuntu With DRBD

To create this cluster you will need 2 ubuntu node servers installed as follows.

I am creating this cluster inside of vMware so I created 2 VM’s with:


1 10GB hdd for the root (/) partition.

1 20GB hdd for the database store.

I downloaded the ubuntu 9.10 server iso and presented this to the VM’s and started the install.

This is by no means an in depth install instruction.

I have just captured screenshots to show what I did.

So here we go with the install of the machines.


You should see this screen on booting the VM. Select the language you want to use.




Then push the F3 key to select your keyboard.


Then use the up and down arrows to select the install ubuntu server option and push the Enter key.

Then select your install language using the up and down keys.



Then select your Country


Then Enter the hostname for the system



We then need to partition the disks.


I selected the guided – use entire disk option as these are new servers.

Then select the first disk Which is 10GB here. We are only formatting the system disk as we need to make some changes to the other disk before we format it later on in this series.

Selecting this option lets Ubuntu manage the system partition in the default manner.


You will then be asked if you really want to write the changes to the disk. As these are new servers you select YES.



Now we create a new User that will be used to access the server to administrate it. Enter the Full name e.g. “John Doe”




After you select continue you will be asked to select or type a username.


Select continue after you are happy with the username. And you will be prompted for a password.



Enter a new password and select the continue option. You will then be asked to enter the password again.


After entering the password again select the continue option. You will then be asked if you want to encrypt your home drive. As this will be a server I selected No.


You will then be asked if you need to add a proxy address to access the internet. In some businesses this is a required solution for me it was not necessary. Select Continue when finished.

You will be asked to enable updates for the server. The choice is yours. I prefer to automatically install security updates.



The next screen is related to the software patterns that you would like to install.


I moved the red bar down and used the space par to select the openssh server. The reason for this is to allow us access t othe console of the server via an ssh terminal.



Once you select continue the install will take place. After a while the following screen will come up that shows the install is complete and that the server will now reboot.



This is the last task for the install process We will move on to the configuration of the server once it has rebooted.

Part 2 can be found here


Standing up and being counted.

I have for some time now been wondering how many people actually use Bongo.

The reason for this is that we have had images available for a while and I am still non the wiser as to how many people actually use them.

I faithfully spend hours and hours building packages and getting them out the door but have no markers to see if they are being used.

While reading the docs for the ESVA appliance ( I noticed that they have a cronjob that downloads a file and immediately deletes it. This allows for roughly seeing who is using their appliance .

They have documentation that tells people how to remove the cronjob which effectively turns off this tool.

I propose that the Bongo project perhaps use something similar to allow us to know how many people use the products we produce. it would be nice to know how many people are using Bong while the Web-UI is not working and then once we release something if that number increases and at what rate.

I am really  interested in ideas as to how we can achieve this with or without having some kind of phone home too.

Please leave a comment on this post if you like, or send an e-mail to the user or devel list or even come and have your say on the IRC channel.

I have also added a simple poll on the left

Thanks in advance

vMware workstation 6.5.3 on openSUSE 11.2

I have just upgraded to 11.2 from ubuntu 9.10 on my IBM / Lenovo T61 laptop. ( I will post a better blog about that later)

What I wanted to mention here is that the current vMware workstation 6.5.3 does not want to run on my system.

I have found this post http://k—–

Which has steps for compiling the modules yourself but by the look of things is based on 32bit openSUSE.

I will see if I can get it working here on my 64bit machine

Great News About rPath Images

I have great news about the images on the rPath system.

I have been able to get Bongo 0.6.1 to build on the rPath system with a json patch from Alex.

I have promoted it to the QA and RELEASE repo’s so it should be available for you guys.

Please test and let me know if you have any issues.

You can find the images here

Bongo rPath Images

I have been trying to get the latest 0.6.1 release of Bongo onto the rPath images. This unfortunately has not been possible due to our reliance on a newer version of Python than what is available on the rPath system.

This is a sad moment as I have been doing that for quite some time now and will not be able to continue.

So for those that have images which contain Bongo on a rPath system please use either the Fedora, Suse or Gentoo packages that we have created.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me over the years and especially Stu Gott who was instrumental in moving the images forward.

If  rPath eventually support python 2.6 I will revisit the images on their platform.