What gets you out to a PLUG meeting?

Nicholas Leippe nick at leippe.com
Thu Dec 11 12:00:54 MST 2008

Some more ideas:

- lighttpd
- djbdns
- qmail
- assp
- kvm
- livecd/bootable usb creation

- nagios alternatives, what are they, can we see demos,
example configs, scalability/usability comparisons...
(my relationship with nagios is a love/hate, with mostly hate)

small tricks/advanced topics:

- things you didn't know you could do with iptables
  (such as mangle-marking to make filter decisions earlier and thus quicker)
- advanced networking tutorials (bridging, bonding, vlan, stuff out of lartc)
- qos traffic shaping
- openvpn
- ha router/firewall w/keepalived + conntrackd + iptables (+ openvpn even)
- ha file sharing w/nfs + drbd + heartbeat

Most of these already have online tutorials, documentation, and complete user 
communities around them. But seeing them in action or having a local resource 
for help can be beneficial, and could be enticing for meeting attendance.
You'd probably have to conduct a poll to see what topics people are interested 
enough in to convene a meeting over...

The feeling I get from the plug, is that most of us here are compentent, very 
resourceful people, and getting help from someone else is usually a last 
resort--we've already researched for ourselves and hit dead ends. Or, we know 
the research is going to be long and bet that someone else here has already 
done it recently and we can get a quick jumpstart into it by posting here 

Additionally, most of the projects that we'd do that would involve a deep 
topic like one of those I've listed, would require far more research and 
detailed fiddling than could be covered in a group meeting covering the topic 
in a general way--so as far as technical need, our meetings don't really feel 
in high demand. But, for professional networking, yes, I think they can be 
great. We could always reformat the meetings as workshops instead of 

Now, on the contrary to my very last statements, there are some huge 
exceptions. For example, when Jay Pipes came out from MySQL and drew a large 
crowd, despite the majority of us being seasoned in SQL (be it 
MySQL/MSSQL/Postgres/Oracle), it was very informative, instructional, and good 
to stay abreast of what's going on at MySQL. I can say similar about Aaron 
Anderson's presentation about scalability planning (have those slides been 
posted?). Both broad topics that do affect or have concerned at one point most 
of us on the list.

In short, just as Hans said, it comes down to content first.

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