Firewall Hero III: Legends of Packet Filtering

By | Technical | No Comments

Customer support can be fantastically rewarding sometimes. When your combination of skill, tenacity and knowledge produce a solution that’s straightforward and effective, the feeling of satisfaction is hard to match. It doesn’t even have to be something big, we’ll take those small victories gladly. Our work sometimes looks a bit like magic, and we don’t mind one bit. A few weeks ago one of our customers reported problems with streaming media from their server. Clients were taking about 20-30sec to connect, which was of course unacceptable, and they were suspecting something was wrong on our side, perhaps congestion or some over-zealous border firewall. The redundant connectivity we purchase is well above requirements even in the face of failure, and we don’t oversell bandwidth, so the former wasn’t a possibility. We…

Read More

A tale of two drives

By | Technical | No Comments

It’s no secret that we’d rather be working on Linux than Windows here at Anchor. It is, by and large, much more annoying to actually get anything done, but it also just breaks in opaque and unexplained ways. O Windowes, let me count the ways in which you are broken! This is one such problem we ran into yesterday. Hard drive failure is a fact of life when you run servers, by sheer virtue of that fact that you have hundreds of them. To mitigate the risk and reduce unscheduled downtime, we use Window’s built-in software RAID feature. It’s not an enterprise solution, but it gets the job done. What’s important is staying online and not losing data. Did I mention that trying to monitor a Windows box is a…

Read More