Setting up a Private PaaS – the journey begins.

Before I started evaluating PaaS, I know I need some servers.
Naturally I approached the infrastructure team for help.

Me: Hey, I have this amazing PaaS that I want to try out. It has a long list of benefits… (repeats to every person I encounter) It can also create and destroy other VMs.
Security: Not in our data center! Go isolate yourself in the lab.

Infrastructure: So do you need large or medium blades? barebone or VMs? I’d give you 3 ESXi hosts, and do you already have a chassis? what’s the storage requirements? Each server has its own storage but not sharable, so you will need a NAS.

Lab: We might have a spare chassis already racked. Your servers will need to be dual-nic between lab and corporate network. You will need a NAT server which also act as a DNS server. How many IPs do you need? A subnet of 24? Do you need a dedicated jump box? and which servers from corporate you need access to? tcp/udp? what direction?

Vendor: you need a wildcard DNS entry, and some open ports. We have a virtual appliance you could use. It will with any IaaS you have. Here’s a bunch of scripts to run on different nodes…

Me: ???

This is pretty much how the journey to PaaS, Virtualization, Linux, Networking began for me. This conversation went on for loops until we finally settled on some infrastructure design. A few weeks later, with the help of some very helpful folks from infrastructure and lab, I was able to use VMWare vCenter to setup and manage my 40 VMs, setting up a NAT & DNS server, configuring the networking of some VMs, and lots and lots of troubleshooting on different versions of Linux.

And on the journey, since I have access to servers, I also installed a bunch of other cool stuff, like Splunk and OpenAM/OpenSSO server. It is better than submitting and waiting for firewall requests to be completed. *stretch fingers*

the hardest thing in learning is:
you don’t know what you don’t know

Because sometimes you don’t know such things exist, you couldn’t even ask the appropriate questions to learn about it, unless someone brings it up. In this case, my passion for technology & curiosity kept me vigorous and drove the project forward through hurdles.
Fortunately, I eventually get to the other end of the rope.


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