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Old 01-10-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
jorran
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RHEL Review


For all you Linux experts out there - if someone asked you to look at their system (which is not having any major issues right now) what are some of the first things you would look at? Would you even really bother looking at how the file structure is set up if everything is working? Would you look at the logs to see if there were strange messages? do you have a list of things that you check first when someone tells you to look at their system just to get a second pair of eyes on it?
 
Old 01-10-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
T3RM1NVT0R
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Hi jorran,

Here are the things that I will check:

1. Version of RHEL they are running on.
2. Which kernel they are using on that version.
3. Whether that version of RHEL is supported by Red Hat or is an EOL version.
4. Services running on that server.
5. Relative log files of those services.
6. Server uptime
7. Memory utilization. Report if any process using more memory.
8. Server log files.

As of now these are the things that came into my mind. There may be more but these are the things that I will check initially.
 
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorran View Post
For all you Linux experts out there - if someone asked you to look at their system (which is not having any major issues right now) what are some of the first things you would look at? Would you even really bother looking at how the file structure is set up if everything is working? Would you look at the logs to see if there were strange messages? do you have a list of things that you check first when someone tells you to look at their system just to get a second pair of eyes on it?
T3RM1NVT0R hits on a lot of good starting points, but as they said, there's lots more to it. Also, what do you mean by "look at"? Are you talking about a systems audit, a health/capacity check, or a security audit? All have different requirements, and will involve looking at different things.

For me, I'd simply ask two questions up front: "Are you having problems with the system, and do you have backups of the system?". No problems plus good backups would equal "deal with other issues in your data center first".
 
Old 01-10-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
jorran
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Originally Posted by TB0ne View Post
T3RM1NVT0R hits on a lot of good starting points, but as they said, there's lots more to it. Also, what do you mean by "look at"? Are you talking about a systems audit, a health/capacity check, or a security audit? All have different requirements, and will involve looking at different things.

For me, I'd simply ask two questions up front: "Are you having problems with the system, and do you have backups of the system?". No problems plus good backups would equal "deal with other issues in your data center first".
It is more like a systems audit, getting the basics of how the filesystem is structured (all their linux guys left). Wouldn't hurt to getting into health/capacity checking either but not completely needed. I completely agree with your second statement however this is what they asked me to look into so I am just trying to help out.

I have how their system is layed out and I have how a filesystem should be layed out and their is not much difference. They were having issues in the past but I personally think that was hardware related because once they bumped up how much traffic could go through on the firewalls they havent had any issues. They also got rid of the crossover cables and now use switches on the interconnects which probably helped them out a ton!
 
Old 01-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
jorran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T3RM1NVT0R View Post
Hi jorran,

Here are the things that I will check:

1. Version of RHEL they are running on.
2. Which kernel they are using on that version.
3. Whether that version of RHEL is supported by Red Hat or is an EOL version.
4. Services running on that server.
5. Relative log files of those services.
6. Server uptime
7. Memory utilization. Report if any process using more memory.
8. Server log files.

As of now these are the things that came into my mind. There may be more but these are the things that I will check initially.
The version depends because on some of the systems it is 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 or 5.5.
The kernel on most is 2.6.18-194.17.4.el5 - how do I tell if this is the most up to date one?
All of our versions should be supported by red hat - however I heard that we are not up to date on our subscriptions so this could cause some issues with not getting updates.
How do I check memory utilization? - I do not have root access just plain user access...
When checking the log files I get this on almost every service: Dec 30 03:21:54 lap0100 nagios: Warning: The results of service 'NETSTATNI' on host 'nqsunapp02' are stale by 0d 0h 0m 45s (threshold=0d 0h 5m 15s). I'm forcing an immediate check of the service.
I posted that here before and may have a solution but may not.
 
Old 01-10-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
T3RM1NVT0R
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I thought they appointed you as a new engineer. But as you said that it is more of an audit work then here are the things that I think will be involved:

1. How their environment looks like.
2. SSL certificate (If they are using ssl) of their website. When it will get expire.
3. Firewall solution in use.
4. Which proxy services squid or any other appliance? Subscription status.
5. Server certificates stuff. For how long they are valid.
6. Email service in use.
7. Do they use spam filter. If yes, which filter they are using and do they have subscription active for the same.
8. Email protection. SSLized or not. Relay settings.

These are the things that I can recall as of now. As you said that they do not have subscription for some of their server (which is not a good thing) you can ask them to renew it.

If you have not got root access then it will damn difficult to roam around in linux system. You could request them to add you up in sudoers with limited access. This will atleast get you things required to get your work done.

Edit: RHEL 5 is still current. Latest one is RHEL 6 as you already know. To know the latest version available for that version you can check that on Red hat's website or check at their FTP site

Last edited by T3RM1NVT0R; 01-10-2012 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Addition info
 
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
jorran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T3RM1NVT0R View Post
I thought they appointed you as a new engineer. But as you said that it is more of an audit work then here are the things that I think will be involved:

If you have not got root access then it will damn difficult to roam around in linux system. You could request them to add you up in sudoers with limited access. This will atleast get you things required to get your work done.
Well.. new engineer for this I guess .. they are moving me back to what I was doing before after this is done..

I know how hard it has been! I requested them to give me more access.. I think they are scared I will mess something up and they wont know how to fix it..

At least I have this forum with friendly people to hold my hand along the way.. jk.. but really..
 
Old 01-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #8
T3RM1NVT0R
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How they can expect you to pull out the information if you do not have rights to pull that information. If they want you to just audit then you can request them for documents which contain information related to their setup and configuration. So that you can just check and let them know that whatever they have on that piece of paper is the same they have on their systems.

If you find the difference you can point out those differences.
 
Old 01-10-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
jorran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T3RM1NVT0R View Post
How they can expect you to pull out the information if you do not have rights to pull that information. If they want you to just audit then you can request them for documents which contain information related to their setup and configuration. So that you can just check and let them know that whatever they have on that piece of paper is the same they have on their systems.

If you find the difference you can point out those differences.
Thats what I have been doing.. its just really time consuming.. I request someone with root access to get me say the cluster config and it takes 3 days.. its rediculous.. but I finally have it.. now just if I could see anything wrong with the config file or not that would be great!
 
Old 01-10-2012, 02:52 PM   #10
T3RM1NVT0R
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Yup.

You can note down the points on which you need information and then you can ask them to provide it to you. Then you can tell them that you will check the logs/documents that they have sent and will let them know your feedback.
 
Old 01-11-2012, 11:26 AM   #11
jorran
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Originally Posted by T3RM1NVT0R View Post
Edit: RHEL 5 is still current. Latest one is RHEL 6 as you already know. To know the latest version available for that version you can check that on Red hat's website or check at their FTP site
Are you talking about the kernel version? I have 2.6.18-194.17.4.el5 but see on many websites that the lastest stable version is 3.0.4... can anyone confirm this.. and would anyone suggest updating the kernel?
 
Old 01-11-2012, 04:24 PM   #12
T3RM1NVT0R
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Version 3.0.4 doesn't sound familiar. From where did you pick it up. Could you please share the link.

Here are the two links that might help:

1. http://www.redhat.com/rhel/compare/

2. ftp://ftp.redhat.com/redhat/linux/en...r/en/os/SRPMS/
 
Old 01-11-2012, 04:31 PM   #13
jorran
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Originally Posted by T3RM1NVT0R View Post
Version 3.0.4 doesn't sound familiar. From where did you pick it up. Could you please share the link.

Here are the two links that might help:

1. http://www.redhat.com/rhel/compare/

2. ftp://ftp.redhat.com/redhat/linux/en...r/en/os/SRPMS/
Those help alot... I have been searching and maybe I was looking at the wrong kernel.. I searched "current kernel version linux" and not RHEL.. so I searched "current kernel version RHEL" and the first url you suggested came up.

Thanks
 
Old 01-11-2012, 04:33 PM   #14
T3RM1NVT0R
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You're welcome. And as I always say Enjoy linux!!!
 
  


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