Tag Archives: servers

On-Prem IT Infrastructure Endures, Talent Needed

Despite steady adoption of public cloud services, organizations continue to invest in their on-premises IT infrastructure and the people who run it, according to a new report from 451 Research.

The firm’s latest “Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenter Transformation” study found that organizations are maintaining healthy capacity in their on-premises data centers and have no plans to cut back on the staff assigned to data center and facility operations. Almost 60% of the nearly 700 IT decision makers surveyed by the firm said they have enough data center floor space and power capacity to last at least five years.

Even though many companies expect the total number of IT staffers to decline over the next year, most expect the number of employees dedicated to data center and facilities will stay the same or increase, according to 451 Research.

The reason for the continued data center investment, cited by 63% of those polled, was fairly generic: business growth. Christian Perry, research manager and lead analyst of the report, said analysts dove a little deeper. As it turns out, companies are finding that keeping workloads long term on public cloud services isn’t all that cost effective.

Regardless of the type of workload in the cloud – ERP, communications, or CRM for example – or size of the company, when an organization expands a workload by adding new licenses, seats, or functions, the cost over time winds up close to what it would cost to keep the workload on-premises, Perry said. Costs include opex and capex for IT infrastructure – servers, storage and networking – as well as the facilities that contain it.

“It still is dirt cheap to go to the cloud, but to stay in the cloud, that’s a whole other story,” he told me in a phone interview.

While some companies manage their cloud costs well, unexpected growth, a massive new project or a new division coming online can make cloud costs unwieldy, Perry said.

Another factor that’s playing into the continued data center investment is the “cloudification” of on-premises IT infrastructure. Converged infrastructure has enabled companies to reach greater levels of agility, flexibility, and cost control, Perry said, adding that hyperconverged infrastructure boosts that trend.

Data center skills shortage

While organizations continue to invest their on-premises IT infrastructure and facilities, they’re running into staffing challenges, 451 Research found. Twenty-nine percent face a skills shortage when trying to find qualified data center and facilities personnel, Perry said.

As companies are shifting away from traditional IT architectures to converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, demand for IT generalists has grown, he said. “Specialists are still critical in on-prem environments, but we’ve definitely seen the rise of the generalist…There’s a lot of training going on internally in organizations to bring their specialists to a generalist level.”

Of the 29% facing staffing challenges, a majority (60%) are focused on training existing staff to fill the gaps. Those attending the training tend to be server and storage administrators, 451 Research found. “There’s a certain sense of fear that they’re going to become siloed and potentially irrelevant,” Perry said. “At the same time, there’s a lot of excitement about these newer architectures and software-defined technologies.”

Companies cited a big skills gap in the areas of virtualization and containers, technologies companies view as transformative to their on-premises infrastructure, he said. They’re also key technologies to facilitate the continued enterprise focus on data center consolidation.

“The jump in cloud has had an impact on IT staffing overall,” Perry said. “A lot of cloud service providers have scooped up a ton of good IT talent. That’s not just Tier 1 cloud providers, but also Tier 2…They’re pulling away skilled IT staff and leaving gaps for on-prem.”

A separate 451 Research report that looked into enterprise server and converged infrastructure trends found that VM administration was the top skill enterprises have trouble finding. A third of organizations reported a networking skills gap.









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Calculating IPv6 Subnets in Linux | Linux.com

We’re going to look at some IPv6 calculators, sipcalc and subnetcalc, and some tricks for subnetting without breaking our brains. Let’s start with reviewing IPv6 address types. There are three types: unicast, multicast, and anycast.

IPv6 Unicast

The unicast address is a single address identifying a single interface. In other words, what we usually think of as our host address. There are three types of unicast addresses:

  • Global unicast are unique publicly routable addresses. These are controlled by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), just like IPv4 addresses. These are the address blocks you get from your Internet service provider. These are in the 2000::/3 range, minus a few exceptions listed in the table at the above link.
  • Link-local addresses use the fe80::/10 address block and are similar to the private address classes in IPv4 (,, Some major differences are link-local addresses are not routable, but are confined to a single network segment. They are automatically derived from the MAC address of the network interface; this is not a guarantee that all of them are unique, but your odds are pretty good that they are. The IPv6 protocol requires that every network interface is automatically assigned a link-local address.
  • Special addresses are loopback addresses, IPv4-address mapped spaces, and 6-to-4 addresses for crossing from an IPv4 network to an IPv6 network.


Multicast in IPv6 is similar to the old IPv4 broadcast: a packet sent to a multicast address is delivered to every interface in a group. The IPv6 difference is that only hosts who are members of the multicast group receive the multicast packets, rather than all reachable hosts. IPv6 multicast is routable, and routers will not forward multicast packets unless there are members of the multicast groups to forward the packets to. Remember IPv4 broadcast storms? They’re much less likely to occur with IPv6. Multicast relies on UDP rather than TCP, so it is used for multimedia streaming, such as efficiently streaming the video feed from a single IP camera to multiple hosts. See IPv6 Multicast Address Space Registry for complete information.


An anycast address is a single unicast address assigned to multiple nodes, and packets are received by the first available node. It is a cool mechanism to provide both load-balancing and automatic failover without a lot of hassle. There is no special anycast addressing scheme; all you do is assign the same address to multiple nodes. The root name servers use anycast addressing.

IPv6 Subnet Calculators

What I really really want is an IPv6 equivalent for ipcalc, which calculates multiple IPv4 subnets with ease. I have not found one.

There are other helpful tools for IPv6. ipv6calc performs all manner of useful queries and address manipulation. It does not include a subnet calculator, but it does tell you the subnet and host portions of an address:

$ ipv6calc -qi 2001:0db8:0000:0055:0000:0000:0000:0100
Address type: unicast, global-unicast, productive, iid, iid-local
Registry for address: reserved(RFC3849#4)
Address type has SLA: 0055
Interface identifier: 0000:0000:0000:0100

SLA stands for Site Level Aggregation, which means subnet. If you change 0055 to 0056 then you have a new subnet. The interface identifier is the portion that identifies a single network interface. Think of an IPv6 address as having three parts: the network address, which is the same for every node on your network, and the subnet and host addresses, which you control. (Network nerds use all kinds of cool terminology to say these things, but I prefer the simplified version.)

|---network---|  |subnet|  |---------host-------|
2001:0db8:0000    :0055     :0000:0000:0000:0100

IPv6 addresses are in hexadecimal, which is the 16 characters 0-9 and a-f. So, within the subnet and host blocks, you can use any numbers from 0000 to ffff. So even if you count on your fingers this isn’t too hard to figure out.

Having calculators helps check your work. (Free tip to documentation writers and anyone who wants to be helpful: examples of both correct and incorrect output are fabulously useful.) There are two IPv6 calculators that I use. subnetcalc is actively maintained, while sipcalc is not, though the maintainers accept patches and bugfixes. They work similarly, and present information in slightly different ways. Sometimes all you need is a different viewpoint.

Let’s say your ISP gives you 2001:db8:abcd::0/64. How many addresses is that?

$ subnetcalc 2001:db8:abcd::0/64
Address       = 2001:db8:abcd::
                   2001 = 00100000 00000001
                   0db8 = 00001101 10111000
                   abcd = 10101011 11001101
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
Network       = 2001:db8:abcd:: / 64
Netmask       = ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff::
Wildcard Mask = ::ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff
Hosts Bits    = 64
Max. Hosts    = 18446744073709551616   (2^64 - 1)
Host Range    = { 2001:db8:abcd::1 - 2001:db8:abcd:0:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff }
Properties    =
   - 2001:db8:abcd:: is a NETWORK address

18,446,744,073,709,551,616 addresses is probably enough. The Wildcard Mask shows the bits that define your host addresses. But maybe you want to divide this up a bit. There are 128 bits in an IPv6 address (8 quads x 16 bits), so let’s plug that into subnetcalc and see what happens:

$ subnetcalc 2001:db8:abcd::0/128
Network       = 2001:db8:abcd:: / 128
Netmask       = ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff
Wildcard Mask = ::
Hosts Bits    = 0
Max. Hosts    = 0   (2^0 - 1)
Host Range    = { 2001:db8:abcd::1 - 2001:db8:abcd:: }

Zero hosts? That doesn’t sound good. sipcalc shows the same thing in a different way:

$ sipcalc 2001:db8:abcd::0/128
-[ipv6 : 2001:db8:abcd::0/128] - 0

Expanded Address        - 2001:0db8:abcd:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000
Compressed address      - 2001:db8:abcd::
Subnet prefix (masked)  - 2001:db8:abcd:0:0:0:0:0/128
Address ID (masked)     - 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0/128
Prefix address          - ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff
Prefix length           - 128
Address type            - Aggregatable Global Unicast Addresses
Network range           - 2001:0db8:abcd:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000 -

So we want something between /64 and /128.

$ subnetcalc 2001:db8:abcd::0/86 -n
Address       = 2001:db8:abcd::
                   2001 = 00100000 00000001
                   0db8 = 00001101 10111000
                   abcd = 10101011 11001101
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
Network       = 2001:db8:abcd:: / 86
Netmask       = ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:fc00::
Wildcard Mask = ::3ff:ffff:ffff
Hosts Bits    = 42
Max. Hosts    = 4398046511103   (2^42 - 1)
Host Range    = { 2001:db8:abcd::1 - 2001:db8:abcd::3ff:ffff:ffff }
Properties    =
   - 2001:db8:abcd:: is a NETWORK address

The -n option disables DNS lookups. We’re getting closer:

$ subnetcalc 2001:db8:abcd::0/120 -n
Address       = 2001:db8:abcd::
                   2001 = 00100000 00000001
                   0db8 = 00001101 10111000
                   abcd = 10101011 11001101
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
                   0000 = 00000000 00000000
Network       = 2001:db8:abcd:: / 120
Netmask       = ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ff00
Wildcard Mask = ::ff
Hosts Bits    = 8
Max. Hosts    = 255   (2^8 - 1)
Host Range    = { 2001:db8:abcd::1 - 2001:db8:abcd::ff }
Properties    =
   - 2001:db8:abcd:: is a NETWORK address

255 hosts works for me. So, while this isn’t quite as easy as ipcalc spelling out multiple subnets at once, it’s still useful. You might want to copy the Range blocks/IPv6 table and keep it close as a handy reference. It prints out the complete 2000::/3 range in a nice table, and also explains the math.

Next week, we’ll learn about networking in KVM, and using virtual machines to quickly and easily test various networking scenarios.

Learn more about Linux through the free “Introduction to Linux” course from The Linux Foundation and edX.

8 Infrastructure Trends Ahead for 2018

The cloud is making inroads into the enterprise, but on-premises IT infrastructure remains a critical part of companies’ IT strategies. According to the Interop ITX and InformationWeek 2018 State of Infrastructure study, companies are continuing to invest in data center, storage, and networking infrastructure as they build out their digital strategies.

The survey, which polled 150 IT leaders and practitioners from a range of industries and company sizes, found that 24% said their organization plans to increase spending on IT infrastructure by more than 10% in the next year. Twenty-one percent plan to spend 5% to 10% more on IT infrastructure spending compared to last year while 18% expect to spend no more than 5%.

Twenty-seven percent of IT leaders surveyed said their organizations plan to increase build out or support of IT infrastructure in order to support new business opportunities. Another 30% cited increased workforce demands as the driver for a bigger focus on infrastructure.

Enterprises are investing in a variety of technologies to help them achieve their digital goals and keep up with changing demands, according to the study. Storage is a huge focus for companies as they try to keep pace with skyrocketing data growth. In fact, the rapid growth of data and data storage is the single greatest factor driving change in IT infrastructure, the survey showed.

Companies are also focused on boosting network security, increasing bandwidth, adding more servers to their data centers, and building out their WLANs.

At the same time, they see plenty of challenges ahead to modernizing their infrastructure, including cost of implementation, lack of staff expertise, and security concerns.

Read ahead to find out what organizations are planning in the year ahead for their IT infrastructure. For the full survey results, download the complete report. Learn more about infrastructure trends at Interop ITX in Las Vegas April 30-May 4. Register today! 

(Image: Connect world/Shutterstock)

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Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Gabriel Rojo Argote | Linux.com

The Linux Foundation offers many resources for developers, users, and administrators of Linux systems. One of the most important offerings is its Linux Certification Program. The program is designed to give you a way to differentiate yourself in a job market that’s hungry for your skills.

How well does the certification prepare you for the real world? To illustrate that, The Linux Foundation will be spotlighting some of those who have recently passed the certification examinations. These testimonials should serve to help you decide if either the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer certification is right for you. In this installment of our series, we talk with Gabriel Rojo Argote.

Linux.com: How did you become interested in Linux and open source?

Gabriel Rojo Argote: I started to get interested while studying at the Instituto Tecnológico de León in Guanajuato México. One of my professors taught a subject called “Introduction to Computing” and began to talk about the variety of operating systems that existed in the market. The professor put a lot of emphasis on the Unix and GNU/Linux operating systems, talking about the versatility and robustness they had. This sparked my interest in knowing GNU/Linux and, because it was distributed in disks in some city magazines, it was easy for me to be able to acquire a distribution—an easy route to use the operating system and get to know different free applications. I got involved little by little in the management of the same GNU/Linux.

Linux.com: What Linux Foundation course did you achieve certification in? Why did you select that particular course?

Gabriel: I selected (and was certified in) The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) course. I chose this particular course due to the importance, quality, and credentials offered by a certification granted by the Linux Foundation. And, I was very interested because each of the items within the evaluation represented a need and opportunity to reinforce the knowledge I had and the ability to learn from things I did not know.

Linux.com: What are your career goals? How do you see The Linux Foundation certification helping you achieve those goals and benefiting your career?

Gabriel: One of my professional goals is to become a future independent consultant of GNU/Linux solutions. One of my personal goals is to involve more people with this type of technology and to know the potential, flexibility, and possibilities that the world of open source in general offers.

Linux.com: What other hobbies or projects are you involved in? Do you participate in any open source projects at this time?

Gabriel: In my personal life, I have some hobbies like exercising, cycling and (recently) swimming. In my professional life, I have become interested in realizing projects with Raspberry Pi; which, by the way, I acquired in the purchase of an OpenStack course that is offered by The Linux Foundation. I am also involved in projects where we use mostly open source technology.

Linux.com: Do you plan to take future Linux Foundation courses? If so, which ones?

Gabriel: Yes, I plan to continue taking courses in The Linux Foundation. I am currently studying the OpenStack Administrator course and plan to take the High Availability Linux Architecture course in the future.

Linux.com: In what ways do you think the certification will help you as a systems administrator in today’s market?

Gabriel: I think it helps a lot that, as a system administrator, it can contribute certainty and validity of my knowledge to those who place their trust in me. The preparation must be continuous and will pay off by improving your knowledge, such that it shows a greater responsibility (for when someone entrusts the elaboration of their projects in you).

Linux.com: What Linux distribution do you prefer and why?

Gabriel: The distributions that I like most are CentOS and Debian. For my production projects I have opted for CentOS, since it is one of the distributions that has shown great strength and performance in environments of high demand. The validity of software package updates is a very important point for me, as well as the compatibility it offers with the vast majority of hardware and the support it offers for the implementation of other technologies.

Linux.com: Are you currently working as a Linux systems administrator? If so, what role does Linux play?

Gabriel: Yes, among my activities is the work of administering GNU/Linux systems. I currently manage multiple server environments (both physical and virtual), and we use the following technologies:

  • KVM for Virtualization

  • Apache Mesos, Apache Zookeeper, Marathon for clustering manage resources

  • Docker and LXC for Linux Containers

  • CEPH, DRBD for Data Storage

  • Percona MongoDB, MariaDB, MySQL and PostgreSQL for Databases

  • Zabbix for monitoring services

  • Samba, LUKS, NFS for file servers, domain controllers and encryption

  • Apache Web Server and Nginx for web services

Linux.com: Where do you see the Linux job market growing the most in the coming years?

Gabriel: I think the market will continue to grow even more in the coming years. The growth will be greater in the cloud-oriented solutions, mobile devices, IoT solutions, as well as the improvement of computer security solutions.

Linux.com: What advice would you give those who are considering certification?

Gabriel: The advice I can give you is to practice, practice, and practice. To be more specific, one thing that can help is to use Linux as your desktop for daily use. This ensures everyday tasks (such as installing software, editing texts, configure services from the console) become second nature. Do not always use the graphical environment to do these jobs, as this will discipline you to manage the console. Also, for those who use other systems, look for alternatives in the GNU/Linux environment and implement them; that, in addition to improving your knowledge, allows you to work in a Linux-specific management and maintenance environment, which will improve your skills over time.

Linux.com: If you have found employment in the IT industry, do you feel like your certification was crucial or beneficial?

Gabriel: I think it was both crucial and beneficial—crucial because organizations are looking for staff to take care of their systems with the skills to do it; beneficial because it allows you to improve your skills while becoming more knowledgeable and professional.

Learn more about Linux through the free “Introduction to Linux” course from The Linux Foundation and edX.

Read more:

Linux Foundation LFCE Georgi Yadkov Shares His Certification Journey

Linux Foundation LFCS and LFCE: Pratik Tolia

Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Gbenga “Christopher” Adigun

Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Karthikeyan Ramaswamy

Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Muneeb Kalathil

Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Theary Sorn

Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Ronni Jensen

Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) Released and Download links Included

Codenamed “Artful Aardvark”, Ubuntu 17.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technology
into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. As always, the team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features
and fixing bugs.

Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.13-based kernel, glibc 2.26, gcc 7.2, and much more.

Ubuntu Desktop has had a major overhaul, with the switch from Unity as our default desktop to GNOME3 and gnome-shell. Along with that, there
are the usual incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, and updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice.

Ubuntu Server 17.10 includes the Pike release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when
deploying distributed applications — whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86, ARM, or POWER servers, z System mainframes, or on developer
laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to juju, have been updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features.

Ubuntu 17.10 Download Links

You can download ISOs and flashable images from:

http://releases.ubuntu.com/17.10/ (Ubuntu Desktop and Server)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/releases/17.10/release/ (Less Popular Ubuntu Images)
http://cloud-images.ubuntu.com/daily/server/artful/current/ (Ubuntu Cloud Images)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/netboot/17.10/ (Ubuntu Netboot)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/17.10/release/ (Kubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/lubuntu/releases/17.10/release/ (Lubuntu and Lubuntu Alternate)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-budgie/releases/17.10/release/ (Ubuntu Budgie)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntukylin/releases/17.10/release/ (Ubuntu Kylin)
https://ubuntu-mate.org/download/ (Ubuntu MATE)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntustudio/releases/17.10/release/ (Ubuntu Studio)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/17.10/release/ (Xubuntu)

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