DR for Puppet

I recently had to set up a DR (Disaster Recovery) capability for our Puppet Master (Puppet 4, Open Source version); until now, we'd run with just a single puppet master in a single geographical location. Certain events brought DR to the forefront of our minds and priority lists, and the task fell to me.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong

At my work we often throw around the phrase WCPGW (What Could Possibly Go Wrong) in response to ill-advised or just plain crazy ideas. It's fun, and lets off some steam, but it occurred to me recently that there's a useful kernel of truth in it. Indeed, a good sysadmin is always asking this question; when designing systems, preparing to make a change, in the heat of an emergency, and in security design and response.

VarnishNCSA LogFormat hackery

Or, how I managed to avoid having to edit /etc/init.d/varnishncsa to set the log format

Fun times with random IPSec corruption

Let me tell you a story of woe, intermittent/random corruption, and confusion.

We had reason to stand up a new VPN, from a new data center, to a VPC in AWS. For some semi-philsophical semi-technical reasons, this was not a "VPC VPN", but rather a GRE-over-IPSec tunnel to an EC2 instance inside the VPC, and it was the first of this kind we'd deployed (i.e. GRE over IPSec, to/from AWS).

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