My Essential Software

I recently got a new laptop for work, and had to install a bunch of stuff. For what it’s worth here’s what made it in within the first couple of days:

  • 1Password
  • DropBox (these two together are literally the first thing I install)
  • Evernote
  • Quick Search Box (QuickSilver replacement; either is fine for what I do)
  • Skype (Needed for work, for personal IM I use Adium with the Skype plugin)
  • TextMate (with AckMate)
  • TinyAlarm
  • Xmarks
  • XSlimmer (because of my OCD)

Performance Testing – A Simple Plan

I was asked to outlline what I’d expect someone to decide before they started a performance test exercise. A quick look at StickyMinds shows this document, which looks very good. It is, however, 8 pages long, which is about 7.5 pages longer than I need if my target audience is going to bother with it. Here, then, is my simplified version. Slightly cryptic, perhaps, but workable (at least for a web server, which is what we’re dealing with).

*Performance Test – see what it will do
*Stress Test – see the most it will do
*Load Test – see what happens when it does more than that
*Sizing – Guide to customers on hardware requirements

Test platform?
*Number of machines
*Machine specs
*Network spec

Test Application?
*Low complexity to concentrate on platform
*High complexity to simulate real-life loads
*Think times emphasize load or real-life use.

Finally, how will results be measured?
*Throughput (or equivalents)
*Constraints (e.g. is app under test memory bound, CPU bound, network bound)
*Recommended hardware – e.g. X users per Y GB of memory and Z GHz of processor.

OpenSolaris 2008.11

A while ago I posted on my adventures getting OpenSolaris networking to move from its natural state of notworking (see what I did there?) on a mac mini. Well today I installed the latest release candidate of 2008.11, the forthcoming update, and it went much more smoothly. You still have to install a driver (tip – usb keys work fine for file transfers), but once done restarting networking worked first time.

Solaris, NWAM and Static IPs

A new feature in OpenSolaris is NWAM, the NetWork Auto Magic, um, thingy. It’s a handy tool that automatically configures your network connection. Unfortunately it unhandily has no GUI at the moment, though one is in the works, so if it doesn’t work right first time you can quickly get lost in text files and Google searches. In my case I wanted it to do its normal magic, but to use a static IP address at all times. Here’s how I did it:

svcs svc:/network/physical This should show that ‘nwam’ is online and ‘default’ is disabled. If it doesn’t, off to Google with you!

Edit the file /etc/nwam/llp so that it says something like yukonx0 static is the name of your network adapter (mine is for a Mac Mini ethernet port), is the IP you want to assign, and /24 shows that your subnet mask is Your values will vary.

Edit the file /etc/nsswitch.conf and add dns to the hosts line, to give hosts: files dns.

Now delete the default route entry (this may well not exist, but it’s safest to remove and recreate): route delete default (your default route may be different). Then add the entry back in permanently: route -p add default

Finally restart nwam with svcadm restart svc:/network/physical:nwam and wait for a moment. It should tell you that it’s connected with IP (or whatever you selected). Once that’s done you should be able to connect to the Internet, and more importantly be able to reboot and have it still work. Though it shouldn’t be necessary, if it’s not working immediately try rebooting.