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I have just finished my last class towards my masters degree, which leaves me with a 16 week semester project.

I am an infrastructure architect working with VMware and Windows and the occasional Linux based appliance. But I do like to code my own applications.

I am looking for suggestions on something I could write that would be helpful in the day-to-day of architecture or administration tasks that does not exist, or could be improved upon.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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closed as off topic by Mark Henderson Jun 30 '11 at 0:54

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how about an api for libvirt that is lightweight, web based and easy to use ? –  silviud Dec 14 '10 at 15:24

2 Answers 2

You could build a lab, using vSANs you could make a moderately complex typology. Have a 3 sites, each being a datacenter in vCenter. Each could have it's own vSAN. 2 AD servers,a SQL server, file/print. Setup DFS replication, AD sites and services, Storage vMotion, vMotion, HA. Setup DR recovery option with replication. You could mix in a few Linux Web Servers that authenticate against AD and is load-balanced using virtual appliance.

Then there's the security setup using an IDS to sniff traffic off the vNetwork. On the client side you could setup SMS (or whatever Microsoft calls it now) and push out software. Also use RIS to push out client images to VM. Lockdown clients via GPO.

That covers virtualization, Windows, some Linux, some security, DR. Then document everything and write up DR procedures, it could be a useful reference typology if done well.

But that doesn't include any coding seems like something a infrastructure architect might do though.

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I don't know if this is what you had in mind but here are two ideas I have had but for various reason been unable to fully realize:

  1. This would be for Windows XP installs. It would be a rather simple application that would have two stages: prepping for the new install and running during the install. The first stage would be a list of options that will happen during the installation of XP such as registry files to import, drivers to install and a long list of applications you can pick and choose to install in this particular entry. This information would then be saved to some file format like XML or INI. Perhaps profile names could be given to each set of selected options. The second stage would be same application simple reading through this XML file and executing each line for the registry entries, drivers, applications, whatever all done in "silent install" mode during the auto-installation of XP. You could also have some kind of option for querying a network repository or automatically checking for and downloading the latest versions of applications from some where locally or directly from the Internet. (Yes, there are existing programs that do some but not all of them, do some of them but are incomplete or do all of them but are incredibly difficult to learn.)

  2. My second idea would basically be to create a very simplified drop-into-place mesh network for data backup. The idea came from all my relatives (who live within a 100 mile radius) having unbacked up data but not wanting to pay for any off-site back service. So my idea is to have either a cheap computer like a "net top" or simpler device that is a "node" that can connect directly to other "nodes" and sync all the stored data to some minimum number of other nodes using bit torrent or MS BITS protocol or whatever. Then have a convenient web-based admin screen to keep track of it all (disk space, disk failure, some form of defrag if necessary, etc.) as well as a dead-simple way of restoring the backup when the worst happens. So challenge is how to do something like this with the minimum of new hardware costs. Something that can just be connected to the network with a 500gig or 1TB drive and with a minimum of initial configuration "just work". It would also need some kind of software running on the user's machine to do the local sync before the actual over-the-WAN sync and perhaps take up very little power since it will be on 24/7. Pogoplug comes close but connecting them together in a mesh, NTFS support (I think), and a whole-mesh admin interface are noticeably absent.

I don't know if this is what you had mind but I for one would love to see either one of these.

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