NSX on a VMWare Homelab with limited resources

I run a VMWare lab at home, because I have a forgiving wife and a tendency to over-complicate everything.

My VMUG Advantage subscription gives me a license for NSX, which is something I’ve been wanting to play with for a while.

Unfortunately, the resource requirements for a minimal installation of NSX is 16 vCPUs and 28GB RAM.
In my setup, this is a significant chunk of my resources, not leaving much for any actual VMs Continue reading NSX on a VMWare Homelab with limited resources

A very big Networking LAB – DN42

I’ve always thought of JAWUG as a network lab the size of a city.

But now there’s DN42, which is describes itself as,

dn42 is a big dynamic VPN, which employs Internet technologies (BGP, whois database, DNS, etc). Participants connect to each other using network tunnels (GRE, OpenVPN, Tinc, IPsec) and exchange routes thanks to the Border Gateway Protocol.

I’ve joined DN42, and gone a little crazy with it. So far I have nodes in the US, Ireland, Australia and South Africa. This means I can interconnect with other DN42 members anywhere in the world, having resilience against failures.
I’ll probably be adding more to that, but my first step will be to upgrade my Australian node to something with a bit more bandwidth.

So, get over to http://dn42.us/ and get started.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Home Gateway Teardown video

I’ve pulled enough things apart to see what makes them tick. So I’ve decided to put them on video, with some commentary.

Here’s the first installment, a teardown of a very solid little Smart Home Controller from the massive Chinese tech powerhouse Xiaomi.

Continue reading Xiaomi Mi Smart Home Gateway Teardown video

DNSMasq suddenly stopped working?

If you’ve recently done an update on your debian or ubuntu Linux system, and you’re running dnsmasq, you might have noticed that it’s no longer responding to remote queries.

Check your /var/log/syslog
Do you have a line saying something like
dnsmasq[14673]: Ignoring query from non-local network

Well, thats because dnsmasq has decided to change the default behaviour for service DNS queries.
It will now only answer to itself by default Continue reading DNSMasq suddenly stopped working?

Getting simple data from MyEskom

Eskom has developed a great webapp it calls MyEskom. Once you create an account and tell it where you live, it’ll give you localised information on the state of the power grid.

It looks pretty good on a phone, better on a tablet, and aweful on a proper web browser.

Its great that they’re making the information freely available, I’m just not keen on having a web page open that hurts my eyes. I want a simple 2-line summary of what’s going on.

So I dove into the background and figured out which HTTP POST to fake to get all the information I needed. Then I wrote a simple python script to do just that, and print out what I wanted to know.

The output I get now is very simple, but it contains everything you need.

Power Status: high/up/red
Turn off: Electric Stove,Geyser,Pool Pump,Dryer,Dishwasher,Heater,Normal Lights

Code is available on github

Feel free to fork it, contribute and make something awesome.