First off, thanks for the emails you have sent me the last months, I love to hear about whats going on in your part of the world. That being said, the contact form is not a support line.. I fully understand how frustrating many of the ins & outs might be, hey, my blog is called rantville for a reason. If you come with relevant info to a thread, I’ll help out as best I can. Sharing the knowledge goes both way, and that would be lost in an email.. mkay?

With any MythTV setup utilizing more than a couple of tuners you are faced with a few things to consider. New motherboards rarely come with more than 2-3 PCI slots, and 1-2 PCI-E slots. Now, lets make matters worse, say you need to extend your raid array and are all out of PATA/SATA ports.. And.. we all know how rubbish onboard NIC’s can be. Unless you suck at math, or are so unfortunate that you have cut off half your fingers, you are all out of PCI slots by a good margin.

So, what do you do? Up till now, Ive been using somewhat older hardware, where PCI slots still are in majority. And, if I ran out, I setup a slave BE.. Fair enough, good heating, and the electricity company loves me(I better get a golden xmas card from them this year!).

Thats about to change now tho, Im going to try and become more ‘green’ with my computing this year. It wont be a major cut, but anything helps, no?

First step is to cut down on the number of servers thats running 24/7, thats currently 5;
2x OpenVZ servers(1x Quad ,1x Dual)
1x Fileserver(amd64 with a variation of PATA drives & a 4xSATA array)
2x Myth servers(one amd64x2 with 3xSATA array, other amd64 slave BE with nfs mounted array from Master)

The 2 OpenVZ servers got NFS mounted VZ storage from the fileserver, and run a vast variation of services. They are by no means utilized to its fullest extent, so this is where Im gonna make the first change.
The main servers(OpenVZ) are located in a different house on the farm than where my MythTV BE’s are. They will be split up in the coming revamp, Ive changed switches on all main exchange points to HP Procurve Gbit, this makes it all alot leaner.

I got ahold of a new(older) LGA775 mobo; Asus P5GC, which will be placed in the OpenVZ server with the Intel D940 CPU(Dual 3.2Ghz). All the tuners from the 2 Myth BE will be moved to this box, since it has 6 pci slots, I’ll also move over 2 of the SATA arrays(Chieftec backplane) to this maxi tower.

This will make both the old Myth BE redundant, and the old file-server will only hold the PATA drives thats done their duty well. I’ll shut it down when the majority of the drives have died, only right that they are given a proper retirement plan. They dont hold any data of value, all such is properly raided on new SATA drives.

The new MythTV BE currently got 3x DVB-S tuners(2xSkystar2 & Cinergy 1200-S) and one PVR-350, the latter is used with Zoneminder and the odd analogue captures I do of old VHS/other sources.

The hdd was allready setup with Hardy, and I see no reason to go with Intrepid here, Hardy got 2.6.24 OpenVZ kernel, thats not tagged as “stable” yet by the moderate OpenVZ devs. I had a few kinks with migrating VE’s from my Gentoo OpenVZ server(2.6.18), the ‘in-famous’ udev issues re-emerged. Ironic that it works flawlessly on Gentoo(Ubuntu VE), but not Ubuntu on Ubuntu? Easy fix, but I had to shake my head at that one..

8 hours in, and I got the best of all worlds, -2 servers sucking the wall socket, better utilization of the 24/7 servers. And still 2 PCI slots to spare in the new MythTV BE(ok, 1 really, Im still waiting for the pci sata card I ordered before xmas).

In case I dont post anything the coming week, I will be gone(from the 8th) till first week of february. So no respons from me before Im back, enjoy my absence. 😉

Back & forth with VoIP

| November 14th, 2008

Ive been messing(I couldnt use a better term really) with VoIP in many shapes and forms over the years. Had many plans on how to set things up, integrate with existing analogue adapters, fail-over to PSTN, soft-phones, cell-phones with SIP, insanely long & tedious IVR setups.. the list goes on an on..

Well, last night, like many nights, sleep mode did not init, so I kicked off a VE in one of my servers running OpenVZ. After about an hour I had FreePBX running and connected to a Voipdiscount.com trunk. A few minutes later Wengophone registered and made its first call through the trunk.
So far, so good, could the rest be equally easy? Well, no, had I known then, what I know now, it would have all been done in 30min. But where would the fun be in doing something you know all aspects off from the get-go?

The biggest time-killer were my Nokia N82, I have used it alot with various VoIP providers, but not with my own Asterisk server. Where I did wrong? I did NOT omit 3 entries in the Registrar settings, and believe you me, I tried many combos & read alot of pages before that solution smacked me in the face.

Next up was to get a ATA registered, I have an old Sipura SPA-2000 thats been collecting dust for years, this one was up within minutes.(hey, I cheated, found good info on the SPA-300x series on FreePBX site)

The rest of the night Ive spent documenting some of what I did, and started planning the layout of the IVR & what to record there.
Anyone planning to call me/us using a hidden number, expect to spend the rest of your life in IVR menu.. or just dont call at all, it will be your lost time, not mine. 😉

I have ordered another trunk number from a national Telco which should hopefully be operational within not long. Will no doubt have alot of fun getting both in- & outbound calling setup with several trunks.

You can check out the Wiki for info on whats done, and whats to come.

I’ll let Mr Geldof end this post..

I hear a heartbeat
it’s ringing out across the universe
It sounds so lost and lonely
must come from somewhere deep inside of us.
And the operator says:
AII is calm and all is quiet

close your eyes and sleep tonight.
This is the world calling
this is earth
this is the world calling
this is us.