13/03/2017

Goaccess

One of the best software I start using this year is goaccess, it’s AWSOME!

Basically goaccess is a web log analyzer, like awstats or webalizer, like them It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s very useful, but unlike them it produces very very beautiful reports.

Just be careful, goaccess it’s not like Google Analytics or Piwik, it doesn’t track uses via javascript and does not analyze visitors but only access logs.
That’s another reason why I love it, if you need to quickly analyze your logs to find a problem or to find the reason of a particular load spike goaccess is your tool.

Another great feature if this tool is that you can simply pipe stdout to feed goaccess, for example you can parse your logs with sed, awk and grep and get a quick analysis.

Goaccess install is really simple, it’s included in the most used repositories for the major GNU/Linux distros, but I strongly suggest to clone it from the official git repository and follow the simple compile syntax, just remember some requirements:

  • GeoIP and GeoIP-devel
  • autoconf and automake
  • tokyocabinet and tokyocabinet-devel (for incremental analysis)

Last but not least goaccess has a very good support from its maintainer and the community, if you have a question, a problem or a request open an issue and you’ll have a quick answer from kind and collaborative people.
Recently I had a problem with some strange logs, I asked for a solution, I discussed directly with the project maintainer and he agreed to add a new feature to fix this kind of logs; if I had this problem with some sort of super-enterprise commercial software from IBM, Oracle or any other big company I will surely had to open tickets over tickets (with an active support subscription), write mails over mails, get some huge conference calls with people all over the world and *perhaps* have a workaround and the promise of a patch in the next major version of the product… :\

Here is a simple cheatsheet of goaccess syntaxes I use the most of times.

A simple analysis from command line (change COMBINED with COMMON if you want to analyze logs with common format):

goaccess --log-format=COMBINED -f /var/log/httpd/access_log*

Html output (very very beautiful for presentations or visual reports)

goaccess --log-format=COMBINED -f /var/log/httpd/access_log* -o /tmp/report.html

Parse logs from several directories

cat /var/log/httpd/access_log /var/log/apache2/request.log | goaccess --log-format=COMBINED

Exclude a pattern from the analysis

grep -v "GET \/exclude_this_path\/" /var/log/httpd/access_log | goaccess --log-format=COMBINED

Exclude several patterns from the analysis

grep -vE "GET \/exclude_this_path\/|file_to_exclude.html|gif_to_exclude.gif" /var/log/httpd/access_log | goaccess --log-format=COMBINED

Analyze only logs between two specific hours (for example 8:00AM to 9:10AM)

sed -n '/01/Mar\/2017:08:00/,/01\/Mar\/2017:09:10/ p' access_log | goaccess --log-format=COMBINED

Analyze COMMON logs with X-Forwarded-For ip format (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy, zzz.zzz.zzz.zzz)

goaccess --log-format='%h,| %^ %e [%d:%t %^] "%r" %s %b %^' --date-format='%d/%b/%Y' --time-format='%T' -f /var/log/httpd/access_log

Keep your goaccess database open for incremental analysis (database files in /tmp)…

goaccess --log-format=COMBINED -f /var/log/httpd/access_log --keep-db-files

…and add new logs to the analysis and keep the database open (database files in /usr/local/temp)

goaccess --log-format=COMBINED -f /var/log/httpd/access_log --load-from-disk --keep-db-files --db-path=/usr/local/temp

Give it a try and I’m sure you’ll love it!

10/02/2017

Rhel 3 P2V

Welcome to 2017!

One of my working goals for 2016 was to get rid of old systems, old OS’s and old products.
Well, I partially reach that goal but I still have some old monsters which still run on some prehistoric hardware and software.

Recently I had problems with and old Oracle 9i instance running on RedHat Enterprise Linux 3 on a glorious IBM x365 server and IBM DS4300 Fibre Channel SAN.
We already planned to migrate this Oracle database to a new Oracle instance installed on a beautiful blade server, but some problems on the SAN caused some performance issues and pushed us to accelerate this process.

The problem is that developers are not ready for this migration so I had to think to a temporary solution to fix the performance problem while people working on the migration. The SAN problem required some spare parts that does not exist anymore (that’s the direct response from IBM) so I had to find another way: virtualize!
I already tried some Rhel 3 P2v on Vmware ESXi, and after a lot of googling I found this procedure which seems to work very well.

The only requirement is a Rhel3 boot ISO from RedHat Network or from cdrom, you only need the first ISO/CD.

Install Vmware Converter Standalone and create the vm based on the physical system, you can do a live clone, just pay attention to your services, specially if they are locking files or things like that (think about Oracle tablespaces datafiles in my case).
I don’t explain this step because it’s full of how-to on Vmware Converter, it’s basically a “next next next” process…

After P2v finished you can try to startup your vm (always pay attention to network settings to avoid ip conflicts, disconnect virtual nic) but that’s the result. :(

Change the scsi controller on vm settings to BusLogic. I know it’s labeled as old and deprecated, but hey.. are we working on an old and deprecated OS or what? ;)

Now boot the vm using your Rhel3 ISO and start GNU/Linux in rescue mode typing “linux rescue” and press enter.

Choose language, keyboard layout, ignore network and when you are at the shell prompt you have to chroot using “chroot /mnt/sysimage”

Now you have to edit your /etc/modules.conf file adding BusLogic scsi module and nic module, this is my modules.conf file before…

…and that’s after

Now you have to create a new init image with these modules using your current kernel, look at /boot/grub/grub.conf file, as you can see the line starting with “default” has a value (zero in my screenshot).
This number identify (starting from zero for the first configuration) the default configuration which is loaded by the grub boot manager, in my example the first (zero) configuration is the one using 2.4.21-52.ELsmp kernel.

Use the same kernel version you are booting on the physical server and create a new init image with mkinitrd.
I suggest to not overwrite any other image, just use a different filename (initrd-2.4.21-52.ELsmp.vmware.img istead of initrd-2.4.21-52.ELsmp.img).

Now edit /boot/grub/grub.conf file adding a new configuration, you can copy the existing configuration for your kernel version and change only the title and initrd image path to the new image you created.
You can put it on the 1st place (zero) and leave the default directive as it is, or put the new configuration wherever you want, just remember to use that configuration by default as you complete the P2V prcedure.

The final step is to reinstall the boot manager using grub-install command.

That’s all, now you can boot your vm properly and install vmware tools.
Live long and prosper!

07/10/2016

Steve Jobs

Five years ago Steve Jobs passed away, I want to remember him with Richard Stallman’s words:

Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.
As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone."

Nobody deserves to have to die - not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. 
But we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing.

Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.

18/04/2016

A quick update

Well, time has passed since the last update on this blog, it’s time to do a quick recap on some of my new year’s goals.

First of all I archived one of the most important and desired goals: swimming!
During these first 3 and a half months I went swimming almost two times a week, sometimes three, starting with 20 pools at low pace and raising up to the actual 40 pools in 40-45′; as I expected each time I go swimming I feel better and better, actually it’s the only thing makes me feel really good and the only weapon I have against my terrible working stress…

nuoto1

Talking about work I can’t deny we have huge emergencies during the last month, as I predicted (I repeat the same thing for years…) we had great problems on our biggest customer with some stupid custom applications deployed on a huge WebSphere Portal cluster.
Remember the KISS model? My company did the exact opposite, this application produced huge out of memory problems on the Portal jvm, I sent logs and begged developers to fix the huge amount of exceptions we collected but nothing changed  since the problem went really crytical; at the end they fixed the exceptions and made changes to the code and all returned to work normally.

Remember: if you are working on some big enterprise software meatball like WebSphere Portal DO NOT deploy custom applications on that product unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure of their quality!
Use some easy Tomcat or Jboss instance, hundreds of them if you need to scale out for a big workload, you will live better, spent an infinitesimal part of money and will get a better result.

And what about Eve?
Well I finally get a second account, I used the buddy program and made a brand new cyno/scout alt and I’m skilling for the biggest and most ambitious project since I started play: two jumpfreighter pilots!
Yes, it’s not a typo, I need two JF pilots for take my future Rhea in null space and also in hi-sec, so I need a second JF pilot in npc corp to fly safe and now lose this huge ship in some stupid war brawl…
Look at that beauty, isn’t it gorgeous?

Rhea4

04/01/2016

2016 goals

Happy new year to all the four readers of this kender blog :)
I’m really happy that 2015 is gone, for me it was a really hard year, too much stress at work, to much time spent on stupid things and sadly to many people passed, relatives and people I really loved.

I think it’s a good habit to think at new goals for the new year, so that’s my list.

  1. Get rid of old OS’s
    At work and customers It’s plenty of old, really old systems based on Rhel 3, Rhel 4, Windows 2000 (yep, you read right, Windows 2000), Windows 2003.
    We always talk and plan to replace them with new OS’s but those activities always fall in the end of the to-do list, we got to move forward.
  2. Get an Oracle dbms certification
    It’s years I’m planning to get this damn OCA certification, this is the year I got to absolutely do this!!
  3. Move systems to virtualize environment
    I have too many systems and services running on old hardware, IBM xSeries 3xx, old DS4300 storage SAN and many other, I need to virtualize and get rid of these old machines.
  4. Push the KISS model
    Developers and commercials always try to push for more features and more complex environments, I have to push more and more for simple services and get rid of ridiculous complex services.
    If a web application can run an a simple and scalable Tomcat why you have to deploy it on that huge, complex and useless WebSphere Uber Application server cluster?
  5. Get a motocycle license
    Yes, It’s an old story and I reapeat it every year :)
  6. Swim
    I already have a swimming pool subscription in my hands (perhaps the most useful Christmas gift I ever had), It’s time to move my ass and start swimming.
    In past when I did it frequently I felt much better, much less stressed, my blood pressure problems vanished, no more headaches, all seemed better, so why don’t start again?
  7. Get a second Eve account
    I know that’s the less importart, but after a year of Eve experience I feel I’m ready for a second Eve account, my income from planetary interaction can cover a monthly plex so I think it’s the time to make this step.Maybe a Jumpfreighter pilot? :)

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