Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

15th System Administrator Appreciation Day

_DSC0554It’s Sysadmin Day today. Oh, I see, you don’t know what it’s about? Well, let me tell you. No, seriously, there is really such a day. It’s the most important 24 hours of the whole year to pay tribute to the heroic men and women who, come what may, keep the world going. They prevent IT disasters and put out tech fires left, right and centre.

Officially known as the System Administrator Appreciation Day, it’s celebrated on the last Friday of July. Today. Remember to go find your sysadmin to offer your appreciation.

I wear many hats. System administration is certainly one of them. I’m not sure if I should receive appreciation or offer appreciation. Heh. Never mind. I’ll do something else instead, and mention some great developments sysadmins will appreciate. Probably. It’s something that I’m really excited about.

As you know, I’ve blogged about CentOS 7 recently. Great timing for a new major release of an enterprise Linux to come out now. One nice feature in CentOS 7, or basically what RHEL 7 has put in, is support for Btrfs (pronounced Butter F S). Btrfs is still considered experimental. RHEL 7 describes it as a technology preview. It’s something really cool, and it’s something I’ve already been trying to adopt some time back, but had trouble with at that time. This time, I’m having better luck with Btrfs.

I’m going to share more details in another post, but the short of it is this. My previous tests were a failure. This time around, I managed to intentionally write rubbish data into a mounted live Btrfs physical disk, then perform a scrub, and the scrub passed. I then verified the data on the Btrfs filesystem with the original copy I have, and the data checked out perfectly identical. Superb. I can finally put my data on Btrfs.

My excitement with Btrfs has got to do with its ZFS-like style of pooling storages. It’s actually even better than ZFS. If you don’t know ZFS, never mind. Here’s what I mean. In Btrfs, you can add physical disks into an existing filesystem. You don’t need to migrate your data. You can choose RAID levels for your data, and you can change your mind and go with another RAID level, live, without having to recreate the filesystem or moving your data around. You can also remove disks, and obviously also replace a failing disk with a good one, all live, without losing access to your data. Yes, I mean live, as in not even down time. You can still work on the computer and access your data as if everything is just running along normally.

Another geeky news for today is about OS X Yosemite. Well, alright, this is only for Mac users. Apple’s next operating system, OS X 10.10 Yosemite goes into public beta today. Redemption codes have been given out to 1 million beta testers, and if you’re one of them, you can go ahead and claim the download from the Mac App Store. Yes, I’m one of them. You’ll be seeing me talking about Yosemite soon. Good thing we have a long weekend this weekend, Monday being a public holiday. (Oh yes, sysadmins are likely to forget about that since their jobs are 24×7…)

To all system administrators, have a happy Sysadmin Day!

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