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» Number of reviews : 11 - viewing 10 Per Page

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 12-22-2008 08:52 PM [ Post a Review


Views: 20829

THE DNS lead for the coming 5-10 years !! Coverage: - 8 Name servers (MaraDNS, MyDNS, PowerDNS, Bind, NSD, tinydns, ldapdns, dnsmasq) - 5 caching name servers (Bind,PowerDNS,DNSCache, DNSProxy, Unbound) - many Perl based scenarios - Load balancing - A HUGE variety of DNS Backend types (text files, DB, LDAP etc.) - DNSSEC - internationalization (i18n) - OS Coverage of Windows and Linux - incredible amount of detailed DNS products coverage never seen elsewhere !! ADS is Mr. Jan Piet's Answer to the variety of DNS servers thats out there. Equipped with roughly 700 pages and a 40p. detailed Index !! he is describing at least 11 !! type of DNS servers. ( more if you count the variations and perl versions). Regarding OS coverage the author stays in the Windows (Cygwin), Linux area but I think its fair to say that BSD and any *nix type system is not to much different to use. The author is not just describing the DNS projects but illustrating their strength and weaknesses in countless carefully prepared scenarios. Wether its the basics of how zones work or other nitty gritty details f.e where you place the caching DNS, how the resolver works or more specific special case scenarios - its all covered Once you run through the preparation part of the book you basically run through a huge variety of case scenarios separated in 24 chapters. The first 18 describe the DNS products and their usage, the next six describe operational issues (updating issues, internationalization, DNSSEC, Performance, Security etc.) An 8 chapter strong appendix delivers background on subjects you might require additional help for coverage you might simply not find in any other books. f.e the not so known programming language LUA. By the time you have worked through the book you will have inherited the equivalent of a bulk of not less than 5-10 years of senior system engineering experience. I particularly like that the book is obviously well structured. The instructions detail level is thorough, instructive and inspirational at the same time. The book is not only teaching you how to use the DNS projects, but also how to think outside of the box to enhance them f.e with Perl, scripting etc. to make them fit and work towards your needs. I have never seen anything like it for the DNS sector within the last 10 years or more, nor in the USA, neither in Europe or Asia. If your company or profession is closely related to DNS based products or their usage you own it to yourself to pay close attention to this book. This book is highly recommended !!

Rating: 10
Product Details: "Alternative DNS" by valentin_nils - posted: 12-22-2008 - Rating: ********** 10.00

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 06-23-2008 12:41 AM [ Post a Review


Views: 16996

The best (and only) Linux-HA Ver. 2 book worldwide (in German) The book has a very methodical structure. Overall the story board is easy to follow and logical. It is technically as detailed as it is demanding. Its focus is mainly on the configuration of the cluster software itself. If you havent found elsewhere enough information how to use Linux-HA (heartbeat) chances are that its covered in this book. Junior admins will find that it's a lot to take in at first, but get the value out of it once they climped that hill. The book starts off with a strong first chapter giving you general explanations on what High availability is, what LVS and /or Linux-HA can do for you and some mathematical backgrounds for evaluating the high availability of system components. The book is easy to follow and f.e. chapter one's basic mathematical explanations are visually illustrated. It continues with explaining the Cluster basics (Chapter two) like software infrastructure and the required functioniality to asure integrity of the data and operation of the cluster. Chapter three is looking into software installation for Fedora, OpenSuse, Debian SLES and RHEL. The book even does mention at some point BSD and Solaris specifics but its more a sidenode and not its main focus. Chapter four (60p) is the first major part of the book, explaining the configuration of cluster resources (and that is a whopping 25% block of the book). To get the most value out of chapter four you will have to run through the case scenarios which come later in chapter seven towards the end of the book. Chapter five is focusing on planning and operation. That includes migration, upgrade, sanity checks, troubleshooting and testing, testing and ... Testing. Chapter six is the second major part of the book (40p) explaining the agents functionality and its compatibility intricies. I feel that the agent types overview like explanations are fine and that the examples provided do add value for the understanding. However, I felt that the parameter description of the the 20+ agents should be moved to the appendix itself. On that note a one page summary of the agents categorized by interface type (telnet,ssh, snmp, serial, https, controller cards) would be appreciated. Chapter seven is show casing three very common cluster scenarios (fileserver, firewall and LVS) which probably many admins will be familiar with. The author does add valueable occasional ideas, thoughts and rants but does not sufficiently follow up on it. I would have loved to see much more examples in this chapter. Chapter eight (5p) is about monitoring and security. Its fine for me if the author doesnít want to go into to much details, but at least he should give the readers some adequately links for further literature. Summary: Generally speaking itís a good overview for the setup and operation of a heartbeat cluster. I am a bit surprised about the balance of the book. I am currently involved with 4+ Linux-HA projects in parallel and I would have thought that f.e. performance considerations (file systems etc.) or security would require more coverage. Basically the books focus is strong on the configuration and parameter descriptions. On the one side the technical contents covered is explained in a clear and good style. The book is also packing a respectable amount of information into this little mobile knowledge base. On the other side every now and then some quirky neudeutsch or denglish formulations are found within the text, IP's mistaken etc. If the author would manage to add more info on the occasional ideas, vague descriptions and rants he is adding to the text, readers would be more able to comprehend what he is actually trying to say. I would have LOVED more case scenarios, especially at least one that is more outstanding. Perhaps an extra chapter on best practices scenarios can showcase how to get more performance or design considerations right. That would also make all the difference between a good book and an excellent one. However, keep in mind that I do respect that this is CURRENTLY the only book on the international marcet (including US and Japan) with that amount of coverage on heartbeat's version two. Contents quality: 5 stars Contents quantity: 4 stars Compactness: 5 Stars Pricing: 4 stars

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Building cluster with Linux HA (German: Clusterbau mit Linux-HA)" by valentin_nils - posted: 06-23-2008 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 06-20-2007 10:00 PM [ Post a Review


Views: 25299

--- DISCLAIMER: This is a requested review by No Starch Press, however any opinions expressed within the review are my personal ones. --- The author leads you through various scenarios which either seem or are by their very nature network related. The scenarios perimeters vary from applications to single systems (f.e. workstations) to complex networks including wireless scenarios. The book is an essential introduction for junior system or network admins. What makes it so appealing is that it is teaching and explaining in plain simple language the problems with computers or applications that make users perceive as if the network is slow. The book covers the scenarios EVERY admin must be aware of and (ideally) know how to cope, dissect and/or prevent them (not complete): - Dictionary attacks - OS fingerprinting - Spam - Spyware - Trojan software - Blaster worm - ARP poisening - Identity theft by using secret payloads - Bit-Torrent and Gnutella network clients - Routing issue - Packet fragmention - Lost TCP connections (Destination, port) - No Connectivity - OS Firewall settings (Windows) - Access rights on web servers - Slow downloads - NIC configuration issue - Application configuration Each scenario is outlined with the keypoints within a couple of pages(2-5). Sanders describes the issue first, then the facts that we know and how to resolve the issue and why he is recommending doing it this way (in case you didnt read the previous chapters) and concludes in a summary. Once I started reading I couldnt stop putting down the book until I finished it. I would have loved reading even more "advanced" scenarios. The meat of the book is definitely in the last 5 chapters. However all that is worth nothing without the excellent explanations of the essentials which are explained in the first chapters. And here is where the book really shines. You will find nice and essential explanations in the first chapters that are gradually leading to more advanced scenarios in the later chapters. The thorough explanations are - per se - a real time saver. They make sure you can speed up in troubleshooting - and cut down on overtime ;-) Summary: This is an essential junior admins guide for his daily network analysis. System admins and network admins will find the little knowledge base very valueable. My only complaint - so to say - is that 40$ seems like a hefty price tag for the thin book on the one hand, but it does cover some serious contents very well explained on the other hand. Once you got behind the price tag issue you will find that the book is very valuable on your daily work basis.

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Practical Packet Analysis: Using Wireshark to Solve Real-World Network Prob" by valentin_nils - posted: 06-20-2007 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 06-10-2007 08:12 PM [ Post a Review


Views: 25471

"Textpattern" is the name of some amazing new technology code which is extendable by plugins and is so flexible that calling it a "CMS" is a pure understatement. With 260 -300 KB of code Textpattern code is not only at least 3-4 times smaller than its "competitors" (Wordpress etc.), but also includes features which you wont find in any other "CMS". I put "competitors" and "CMS" in brackets because Textpattern really is a complete different breed of software. The Textpattern software package is what the Germans would call a "Eierlegende Wollmilchsau - a sheep that gives also milk, eggs and meat". It seems like you can make it do almost anything you can come up with. Calling it a CMS does NOT describe anymore adequately its capabilities. Textpattern has its own little environment for developing and compiling plugins + pages (Variables, functions, macros, may I even dare to say language ?) Textpattern is not only a blog focused CMS but rather a mixture of a web based IDE, compiler and web environment. For potential system admins its not enough anymore to upload the core software package itself or a plugin for it. While that would work it wouldnt even explore 5% of the possibilities the textpattern system provides. The book "Textpattern Solutions" is an attempt to cover the sheer wide range of possibilities you will have at your fingertips. Not only is it the first book describing Textpattern in such detail it is also quite likely that it will stay this way during 2007 as I am not aware of other publishers that are preparing a book on Textpattern. So Friends of ED has a real edge here with a book written from the people that should know their stuff. This makes your choice an easy one ;-) In 2007 this is THE book for all things with Textpattern. So in short: If you are into Textpattern, for now at least, this is your book to get !! Got it ? - Good. --- I would also like to point out that I would have LOVED to give the book 5 stars, but I did expect better presentation skills and not just f.e. (Chapters 3-5 ) listing up some 80 pages of GUI options with some screenshots and explaining those individually. I assume a few more diagrams would have worked wonders. Regardless, systemadmins, developers and designers will find this book to be a worthwile investment.

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Textpattern Solutions" by valentin_nils - posted: 06-10-2007 - Rating: ********* 9.00

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 06-05-2007 09:28 PM [ Post a Review


Views: 27241

--- DISCLAIMER: This is a requested review by No Starch Press, however any opinions expressed within the review are my personal ones. --- This enjoyable readable book gradually and very systematically evolves around hacking the kernel of a BSD system. Chapter 1: Loadable Kernel Modules 22p. Chapter 2: Hooking 13p. Chapter 3: Direct Kernel Object Manipulation 20p. Chapter 4: Kernel Object Hooking 4p. Chapter 5: Run-Time Kernel Memory Patching 27p. Chapter 6: Putting It All Together 26p. Chapter 7: Detection 8p. Its written in a style that allows also non-developers to grasp the main procedures and steps involved for modifying a systems kernel (assuming the attacker got access to a privileged system account). Chapters 1 to 5 explain the several methods for modifying the kernel. While the book is divided into 7 chapters, its most value really is the Chapters 6 which has many of those WoW effects included. All or most technics described of chapters 1-5 will be used in chapter 6 for show casing how to circumvent an HIDS. Here is where all learned technics finally come all together. So the reader dabbles with the author from an initial "simple" idea of bypassing an HIDS from one issue to the next. First the system call is hooked, so technically its kind of working, but then we realize that in order to make it perfect we need to hide the just created file (which contains the execution redirection routine). So the next obvious step is to hide the file so we dont leave a footprint on the system, just to realize that we need to hide the KLD (Dynamic Kernel Linker). So now everything is hidden but we forgot about the change of the /sbin directories access/ modification and change time, so we have to go after that too... Its technically very interesting to learn how the author approaches the issues involved in order to avoid being detected by the HIDS or commands the user might use. That the author is technically on top of things is also shown f.e. by some info included in the book which is already referring to FreeBSD 7. To get the most out of the book you ideally have programming knowledge of C, assembly etc. and debugging software systems. So I think its most valuable to system administrators, developers and security consultants.

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Designing BSD Rootkits: An Introduction to Kernel Hacking" by valentin_nils - posted: 06-05-2007 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 06-05-2007 09:21 PM [ Post a Review


Views: 22806

"Textpattern" is the name of some amazing new technology code which is extendable by plugins and is so flexible that calling it a "CMS" is a pure understatement. With 260 -300 KB of code Textpattern code is not only at least 3-4 times smaller than its "competitors" (Wordpress etc.), but also includes features which you wont find in any other "CMS". I put "competitors" and "CMS" in brackets because Textpattern really is a complete different breed of software. The Textpattern software package is what the Germans would call a "Eierlegende Wollmilchsau - a sheep that gives also milk, eggs and meat". It seems like you can make it do almost anything you can come up with. Calling it a CMS does NOT describe anymore adequately its capabilities. Textpattern has its own little environment for developing and compiling plugins + pages (Variables, functions, macros, may I even dare to say language ?) Textpattern is not only a blog focused CMS but rather a mixture of a web based IDE, compiler and web environment. For potential system admins its not enough anymore to upload the core software package itself or a plugin for it. While that would work it wouldnt even explore 5% of the possibilities the textpattern system provides. The book "Textpattern Solutions" is an attempt to cover the sheer wide range of possibilities you will have at your fingertips. Not only is it the first book describing Textpattern in such detail it is also quite likely that it will stay this way during 2007 as I am not aware of other publishers that are preparing a book on Textpattern. So Friends of ED has a real edge here with a book written from the people that should know their stuff. This makes your choice an easy one ;-) In 2007 this is THE book for all things with Textpattern. So in short: If you are into Textpattern, for now at least, this is your book to get !! Got it ? - Good. --- I would also like to point out that I would have LOVED to give the book 5 stars, but I did expect better presentation skills and not just f.e. (Chapters 3-5 ) listing up some 80 pages of GUI options with some screenshots and explaining those individually. I assume a few more diagrams would have worked wonders. Regardless, systemadmins, developers and designers will find this book to be a worthwile investment.

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Textpattern Solutions: PHP-Based Content Management Made Easy (Solutions)" by valentin_nils - posted: 06-05-2007 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 12-04-2006 06:13 PM [ Post a Review
selinux.jpg

Views: 42031

--- DISCLAIMER: This is a requested review by PTR, however any opinions expressed within the review are my personal ones. --- The book SbE comes in 3 parts and additionally with 45 page strong Appendix containing more detailed information where to get additonal information from. Part I - A general overview (p. 1-55) Part II - The SELinux Policy language (p. 57-236) Part III - Creating and writing SELinux Security Policies (p. 237 - 362) Appendix A (p. 364 - 409) The book is mainly about policies itself and how to implement them. Writing those policies is most of the time a time intensive and error prone task. Readers planning on understanding SELinux should bring some time with them to fully understand and appreciate the examples given for the "example" policy (f.e. strict or targeted) and the "reference" policy. Whats going to prove useful is the hints given towards which trade-offs you may need to take when deciding f.e. to use the strict policy. While the topic itself might seem dry for many readers the book will prove useful for those genuinely interested. The book does describe the most useful tools to put the reader straight on track and avoid loosing time. The lovely prepared useful details like the 17 page index are a nice feature you will find yourself refering to when in need. Some readers might find that they better leave the setup of SELinux to professional service companies, but still the book serves to get an understanding what you can and possibly cant do with SELinux. Many readers might also find the report useful provided at http://en.hakin9.org/products/articleInfo/84

Rating: 8
Product Details: "SELinux by Example" by Matir - posted: 10-12-2006 - Rating: ******** 7.50

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 07-25-2006 08:16 PM [ Post a Review


Views: 34381

Bookspecs: 70+ plugins described !! 464 pages The book (in a typical Nostarch style) gives a clear, concise rundown about Nagios in general. As such it is a well written and sound introduction to the Nagios topic. After having read Nostarch*s Nagios book you will know exactly how Nagios works inside. The thorough explanations, flow charts and many tips and tricks leave no doubt that after you finished the book you know your way around any Nagios installation. What is remarkable is, that even though the Nagios topic is fairly young, the authors manage to describe more than 70+ plugins. !! One of the features of this book was for me basically a new level of "Usability" - or should I say "reading quality" ? The text contains virtually "links" to related or refered to sections in other chapters. That allows the reader to quickly jump back and forth to follow up on something. A BIG time-saver and from my point of view much ppreciated. Beginners or junior system administrators will find Nostarch's Nagios book an excellent choice. It doesnt come with all the latest bells and whistles but it certainly covers more than 80% of what the average joe sysadmin needs to know.

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Nagios: System and Network Monitoring" by valentin_nils - posted: 07-25-2006 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 07-25-2006 08:00 PM [ Post a Review


Views: 31666

With 366 pages this is the most compact Nagios monitoring solutions guide on the marcet. Period ! You can easily take the book with you anywhere you go. Note however, that Turnbull seems to hit the ground running. The reader is assumed to have at least some general knowledge of Linux, the command console and roughly how the system works. Also Turnbull does give a basic function rundown of Nagios in the first 80 pages of the book, it is more the advanced users that will appreciate the countless documented approaches for monitoring solutions that are documented in the rest of the book. He covers a wide range of topics and virtually goes the extra mile. While I found especially the sections on Security, NRPE, NCSA and SNMP very detailed, the book does really cover a lot of ground in ALL chapters with a nice mix of details within the text. Turnbull clearly covers topics which are either not at all or at least not in such detail documented in other books I have read so far (f.e. failover, redundancy, indirect monitoring, on demand macros, daisy chaining, adaptive monitoring, freshness checks, the event broker etc.) ... and the good thing is he doesnt stop there ;-) Therefore, I would consider Apress's book focused towards software architects, system integrators, senior system administrators, programmers and developers and I believe it serves this marcet very well. The books contents is at least 3-6 months newer than other books on the marcet. So simply put, if you are serious about learning advanced monitoring solutions than you currently have no choice but to get this book. A more detailed review can be found at http://www.be-known-online.com/shopping/reviews/

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Pro Nagios 2.0" by valentin_nils - posted: 07-25-2006 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by valentin_nils - posted: 07-04-2006 08:25 AM [ Post a Review


Views: 33750

The book Linux Troubleshooting for System Administrators and Power Users from Kirkland, Carmichael and the Tinker brothers tackles many issues a typcial system admin / level one or two support staff will face at the daily work. As such it does provide many solutions and method overviews on how to troubleshoot well reoccuring problems. It differs from other troubleshooting books in that it delivers solutions which help you maintain sound, smooth running system configurations within your company network and allows you to see the bigger picture rather than just offering fix "A" for problem "A" etc.... Each chapter is self contained and explains first a general overview and background about the technologies used and the related OS processes. It then deepens into the most common problems and makes suggestions how to troubleshoot those issues. Finally each chapter follows up with typically 3-4 troubleshoot hunting scenarios, where the reader can exercise and extend the learned knowledge. The authors do provide distinct scenarios and extensions to the most useful commands and system tweaks. Basically the value of the book is that Kirkland, Carmichael and the Tinker brothers deliver proven troubleshooting methods to cut the chase and maintain a coherant system. And here is where the book really lives. For interested readers, I will be continueing a longer (more detailed) review version at http://www.be-known-online.com/shopping/reviews/0131855158.html

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Linux(R) Troubleshooting for System Administrators and Power Users" by valentin_nils - posted: 07-04-2006 - Rating: ******** 8.00

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