Future request

Questions around SyslogAppliance, the virtual logging appliance.

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Future request

Postby mlist » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:53 am

Hi

I'm Marco from Italy
I just discoverd syslog appliance, installed and tried it for 1 months.
I think it is a good product and I thanks you for great work.
Anyway I had some difficulties with it and now I would like to provide you a feedback requesting some new improvements.

Futures request:

1) Support to more than one CPU.
I tried it with vmware server v1 and v2 but I haven't been able to add more than 1 CPU
2) Add some ESSENTIAL packages like
- dnsutils
- openssh-server
- openssh-server
Without dnsutil I wasn't able to execute commands like nslookup so...I was been forced to add ip's repository in /etc/hosts, add repositories in /etc/apt/source.list and than execute the following commands:
apt-get update
apt-get install dnsutils
apt-get install inetutils-ftp
apt-get install openssh-server
apt-get install openssh-client
I know your reasons maybe security and compactness but I think defaults configuration is too poor. Also because I think that beginners or non-unix experts would like to use your product because it is easy (just download,install and run) instead expert people (I'm not) probably would create their custom installation (maybe download rsyslog, phplogcon, mysql customized etc...). So providing commons basic packages could improve user's experience.

Please not that this is not a bad review but simply a suggestion. I thanks you for your good work!


bye
Marco
Italy
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Re: Future request

Postby rgerhards » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:28 am

Hi Marco,

thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. First of all, please let me know which version of the syslog appliance this feedback is for. I have done some tweaking especially with 0.0.5, and so I would like to know if you are aware of that.

mlist wrote:1) Support to more than one CPU.
I tried it with vmware server v1 and v2 but I haven't been able to add more than 1 CPU

This is something I have begun to work on. In essence, that requires a SMP kernel to be installed. I need to force that on ESX, which supports a single CPU only. News will be posted on the SyslogAppliance announcement mailing list when I am ready (if you are not subscribed yet, I recommend doing so).
mlist wrote:2) Add some ESSENTIAL packages like
- dnsutils
- openssh-server
- openssh-server


I have two questions:

In 0.0.5, the initial login dialog asks if you would like to install openssh-server. And does so if you want. I think this is a sufficiently good solution. What do you think?

The next question sounds a bit like bashing, but it is really honest. I try to understand the needs of the user basis. Why do you think these packages are essential? Especially dnsutils. In my current thinking, you should not need these tools as an appliance user (I thought that sshd is also not needed, but there was more feedback requesting it, so it obviously is). You may even start of with the first story in this syslog appliance use case thread ;)

mlist wrote:Without dnsutil I wasn't able to execute commands like nslookup so...I was been forced to add ip's repository in /etc/hosts, add repositories in /etc/apt/source.list and than execute the following commands:


The appliance is using the default debian repositories. So you should be able to use apt-get et al without modifying anything. Do I overlook a problem here?

mlist wrote:apt-get update
apt-get install dnsutils
apt-get install inetutils-ftp
apt-get install openssh-server
apt-get install openssh-client
I know your reasons maybe security and compactness but I think defaults configuration is too poor. Also because I think that beginners or non-unix experts would like to use your product because it is easy (just download,install and run) instead expert people (I'm not) probably would create their custom installation (maybe download rsyslog, phplogcon, mysql customized etc...). So providing commons basic packages could improve user's experience.


You are hitting the point. My current thinking is that the non-experts should not even need to bother about dnslookup. The appliance is designed to work out of the box without the need to change anything. So why do that? Installing all these things inside the image takes up a lot of space and, more importantly, makes the transfer longer. It also brings in some additional cost, as my web admin constantly reminds me. But I think a 500MB download is even today a show stopper for many folks.

The compromise I have tried with the latest release is to keep things quite compact but, during the first login, query for things that should be added. Then, these are downloaded from the official Debian releases. The download effort is even smaller than when things would already be present in the image. And those folks that do not need the functionality, do not incur the cost of a larger download set (plus my web admin is happy ;)).

I am not sure if that's a good solution. As I said, I am still trying to understand the typical use cases. The appliance should work well for those typical cases.

Once again, many thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated. Please let the thoughts flow.

Rainer
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Re: Future request

Postby mlist » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:58 pm

Hi rgerhards

I'm using version 0.0.4

Before all I agree that image should be as small as possible with only packages strictly needed.
I just saw that 0.0.5 is released and that now is possible to install openssh-server. This is very good solution in my opinion.
About dnsutils I think now to have understood the problem. I'll try to explain using my poor english..:
The first time I downloaded and installed 0.0.4 I wasn't able to rut apt-get because dns resolution failed. I saw that adding ip/hosname of repository in /etc/hosts I was able to install software so I thought that the problem was missing dnsutils (compulsory for dns client resolution). Instead maybe the problem was related to a bad /etc/resolv.conf configuration that also caused my phplogcon problem.So...please ignore this request, surely I'm wrong.
And finally..about MULTI CPU I'll wait for any news about it.

Great Great work!
bye
Marco
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Re: Future request

Postby mlist » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:39 am

As already explained in "Appliance Maintenance" section (post number: 26) I think that the most important futures that should be included are:

1)LVM
2)BACKUP MAINTENANCE FUTURE

bye
Marco
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