Tunnel all your remote connections through ssh with a linux jumpbox

As many guys working in IT, I have my own lab. I usually prefer to use my own lab as the degree of freedom I can experience cannot be compared with a corporate lab. It often happens that some specific configurations (one for all, my vCloud Director environment) are better looking in my own lab than any other place, and so I also use my lab to show those technologies to partners and customers. This is easy when I’m at home, but I may be in an hotel room, in a conference room at the customer’s site, or another different place, and in many of these situations it may happen (and it happened enough times to justify this little project) that the connections to my lab are blocked by a firewall or another device. I have two ways to connect to my lab: an RDP to a jumpbox machine, published on a different port that the usual TCP/3389, and an ipsec vpn concentrator. In one case, none of them was possible at a customer, so we ended up with a colleague of mine tethering from his phone. I decided it was time to develop a better solution that was able to work in almost any situation. And my solution involves the always amazing SSH.

A new server for my lab

My Lab is built basically as a production environment: it has 3 * 1RU Rack servers, gigabit switches and a couple of iSCSI/NFS Storage array. It nothing as a home lab, it’s noisy and it consume a good amount of electricity. I was lucky enough to have a good friend with some free space in his racks inside a datacenter, and he’s hosting my hardware gear for free. As time goes by however my hardware is becoming old and start to show its limits. At some point, I decided it was time for a hardware refresh.

Test Veeam Storage Snapshots in your lab

In a previous post, I described how you can configure a virtual proxy to access an iSCSI storage, in order to test DirectSAN backups. Veeam has an additional functionality, called Storage Snapshots, that improves even more DirectSAN backups performances when you have a supported storage. I’m going to show you in this post how you can configure it in your lab.

Test DirectSAN backups without a physical Veeam server

One of the nice features of Veeam Backup & Replication, when it comes to backup speed, is the possibility to use DirectSAN as its backup method on vSphere environments. This option offers the best performances, but has some precise requirements at the hardware level. It could be easy to comply with them in a production environment, but what if you want to test it in your lab, where usually hardware options are limited? Don’t worry, there is a solution!

PernixData in my Lab: some performance tests

Few weeks ago I published an article titled “My new “I/O Test Virtual Machine”, telling you about the VM I built to run my performance tests for virtualized environments. After a first post running those tests against my “plain” Lab and its enhanced version using another server-side caching solution, many of you asked me if I was planning to do the same tests with PernixData. So i did, and here are my findings.

SkunkWorks Labs: my new vLab

Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird (my preferred one), the F-117 Nighthawk, and the F-22 Raptor. The designation “skunk works”, or “skunkworks”, is widely used […]

SkunkWorks Labs: il mio nuovo vLab

Skunk Works è la denominazione ufficiale della divisione della Lockheed Martin dedicata ai velivoli sperimentali. La Skunk Works è la creatrice e sviluppatrice di molti progetti di velivoli di grande popolarità, tra i quali l’aero-spia U-2, l’SR-71 Blackbird (il mio preferito), il caccia stealth F-117 Nighthawk, e l’ultimo caccia F-22 Raptor. Il termine “Skunk works” […]