Concert review: Dropkick Murphys

It seems like only yesterday I heard Sunshine Highway on Radio Wazee, and wandered over to the radio stations website to see who sang the song. This chance encounter is what sparked my interest in The Dropkick Murphys. After perusing the bands CDs on iTunes, I decided to buy The Warrior’s Code. This turned out to be a phenomenal purchase, and peaked my interest in seeing the band live. After two years of waiting for the band to come to my home town, I finally got my chance to see them two months ago at a small local venue.

The night started with two punk bands opening the way for the Dropkick Murphys. I didn’t catch the name of the first band, but the second one was named the Horror Pops. Both bands sounded good, and it was awesome seeing live punk. Once the Horror Pops went off stage, I could feel the energy in the venue rising. As soon as the Dropkick Murphys started into their opening song, the place came alive, and you could immediately tell that the band was was going to deliver a stellar performance. They did just that, and they sounded incredible when they belted out their hits “Tessie,” “I’m Shipping Up To Boston,” “The Warrior’s Code,” “Citizen C.I.A” and a number of other tunes I didn’t jot down. I had an incredible time, and am looking forward to seeing these guys play another show! Niiice!

Proxying requests through the Solaris SNMP daemon

Earlier this month I described how Orca could be used to graph JVM utilization. In order to get this solution working, you need to enable the Java SNMP agent. This can be a problem if you are running multiple SNMP agents on the server, and want both agents to use the standard SNMP port (UDP port 161). Fortunately the Solaris SNMP daemon (and anything derived from the net-snmp SNMP implementation) can be configured to proxy requests to one or more agents on the local machine (it can also proxy requests to remote systems).

To configure the Solaris SNMP daemon to proxy requests to a secondary agent, you can add one or more “proxy” statement to your snmpd.conf configuration file. The following example shows a sample snmpd.conf entry that can be used to proxy incoming requests for the JVM management MIB namespace to an agent that is bound to localhost on UDP port 8161, using version two of the SNMP protocol to communicate with this agent:

proxy -v 2c -c public localhost:8161 .

As you can imagine, this opens up a number of interesting possibilities. This allows you to enforce access policies from a single location (the snmpd.conf configuration file), and limit the number of services that need to use the wildcard address when binding to a socket. Niiiiice!

Concert review: The Smashing Pumpkins

It seems like just yesterday The Smashing Pumpkins announced that the band was breaking up, and the band members would be venturing out to do their own thing. James Iha joined The Perfect Circle, Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain formed Zwan, and I have no idea what Darcy ended up doing with herself (though — she quit the band prior to the band formally calling it quits). While these side projects were good, they definitely didn’t fill the void that was left when the pumpkins broke up. So when Billy Corgan took out a full page ad to announce that the pumpkins would be reuniting late last year, I was stoked, and planned to attend one or more of the reunion shows.

My first chance came this week when the pumpkins played a two night stint at the lovely Fox theatre. I was fortunate to get tickets to both shows, and am extremely glad I did! Billy opened night one with four acoustic songs, including my personal favorite “Disarm.” After the acoustic set, the other band members (Jimmy Chamberlain, Ginger Reyes and Jeff Schroeder) joined Billy and his electric guitar to play a number of new songs, as well as some of the classics. In addition to the four acoustic songs Billy played to open the show, the band played “Bullet with butterfly wings,” “Hummer,” “Drown,” “Glass and the ghost children,” “1979,” “Cherub Rock,” “Tonight Tonight,” “Today,” “Tarantula,” “Set the Ray to Jerry,” “Heavy metal machine,” “Perfect” and a few songs I didn’t recognize. The opening night was awesome, and I was hopeful night two would be just as good!

On night two, the band came out dressed in white and immediately went to town on what turned out to be one of the best sets I have ever heard them play. The band opened with their mega-hit “Today,” and followed that with “Stand inside your love,” “Ava Adore,” “To Sheila, “Bullet with butterfly wings,” “Tonight Tonight,” “1979,” “Cherub Rock,” “Tarantula,” “Bring the light,” “Rocket,” “Drown,” “Zero,” “Thirty-Three,” “Starla,” and a drawn out version of “Heavy metal machine” (the songs are not listed in the actual order they played them). Night two was definitely the better of the two nights, but I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t play “Disarm.” I can empathetically say the band sounded incredible live, and it appears they didn’t drop a step from when I saw them on their Machine fair-well tour several years ago. While I have no idea what the future holds for the pumpkins, hopefully Billy will decide to keep making and playing music under the pumpkins name. Viva la rock and roll!

Slides from my FMA presentation

I gave a presentation on the Solaris Fault Management Architecutre (FMA) at the Atlanta opensolaris users group meeting this evening. If your curious what was discussed, you can look through the slides that were used for the presentation. I would like to thank everyone for coming out, and for being such a great audience. I would also like to thank Scott Dickson for putting the meeting together, and for getting the attendees some tasty pizza!

Running the Solaris SNMP daemon as an unprivileged user

During much of my IT career, I have needed to support SNMP in one form or another. Typically the companies I have worked for deploy an SNMP agent to each server, and a network management station periodically polls this agent to retrieve health information. Most of the SNMP daemons I have worked with run as the user root by default, which opens a big gaping whole in system security. The Solaris SNMP daemon is no different in this respect, though you can configure it to run as a non-privileged user. To do this, you can add the “agentuser” directive and the name of an unprivileged user to the snmpd.conf configuration:

$ grep agentuser /etc/sma/snmp/snmpd.conf
agentuser snmp

This directive will cause the daemon change it’s effective user id to the user snmp once it binds to UDP port 161. If you want to take this one step further, you can follow the directions in the Limiting Service Privileges in the SolarisTM 10 Operating System to alleviate the need to use root altogether.