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  Project idea: Create a mini internet
Posted by: ITZach - 11-26-2017, 08:38 PM - Forum: General On Topic - Replies (2)

After reading about the guy that essentially formed his own ISP I've been very interested in the methods and protocols that the internet actually uses. So much so that I've gotten back into my Cisco books and even started creating my own "ISP" in packet tracer just to play around. That's all cool and well, but packet tracer really limits what you can actually do. So instead of just that I have a really awesome idea for a big club project.

Why don't we build out a mockup of the world wide web?!

When you really boil it all down the internet is just a big giant mesh of routers that happen to have other small networks hanging off of them. The more routers you connect together, the bigger and faster the internet becomes (sorta). For the longest time the internet behind the curtains was just black magic to me, but now I've seen the light, and it's really very simple.

Right now the bulk of internet routing is done with a protocol called Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) which is a very slick protocol. It allows for routers to easily exchange routing information in a way that all the routers on the network eventually end up knowing about all the other routers on the network. On the WWW thats a LOT of routers! But it all just kinda works thanks to BGP!

So here's the idea:
It doesn't take multi thousand dollar routers to run BGP and in fact there are a few good router OSes that can do BGP for free! So lets get a bunch of people together each with a cheap computer and a few network cards and try and form our own internet. This would be cool because everyone who is a part of it can form their own chunk of this "Local Wide Web". The other cool thing about it is that it really doesn't take much hardware at all to run these routers. A simple dual core computer with a few gigs of ram and a few ethernet ports will be able to handle it no problem.

So what do you think? Should we make this an official club project?

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  Packet Tracer for No-Hardware Learning
Posted by: ITZach - 11-25-2017, 11:35 PM - Forum: Cisco Certification Study Group - No Replies

Probably the most important thing about getting certified for Cisco, whether you're after a simple CCENT, or your going all the way up to CCIE, is to gain hands on experience. You can read the books over and over again, but when it's time to take the test, how will you perform when faced with a command line?

One method for gaining hands on learning is to buy used gear like the 2811 routers and Catalyst 2960 switches. But that takes real money and it can be challenging to find good deals sometimes.

Perhaps the better method is to simulate a Cisco lab! Cisco Net Academy provides an awesome tool called PacketTracer that will let you build and simulate real Cisco networks without having to use physical hardware. You can snag it for free (or at least a free version of it) by enrolling in Cisco NetCad (which is also free) and start playing with real Cisco CLI environments and simulating actual networks.


There's also a post in the Tutorials section with a few links to youtube tutorials on how to actually get started using Packet Tracer.


I just started playing with it this weekend and I've already got a good sized BGP network setup to act like a small ISP to provide wide spread internet connection to a large number of "users" (dummy pcs that can pretty much just ping other systems on the network). It's been pretty fun to see what all you can do with a large network without having to actually own a large network.

I'll try and come up with some cool challenges for anyone who's actually interested in this stuff.

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  New Server Time!
Posted by: ITZach - 11-22-2017, 01:09 AM - Forum: Data Center Group - No Replies

I'm super stoked to say that we have a new server to add to our collection! Some of you know that I tend to haunt the surplus property store, but usually I don't find anything really good. But tonight there was a Dell R510 on the shelf! The R510 is the big brother to the R410 and the baby brother of the R710. It lives in the era of DDR3 RAM which is a very good thing for us. This bad boy is going to get loaded with Windows Server 2016 and a full Active Directory load to manage our user accounts in one centralized location. It will also give us a nice remote desktop environment too. Don't expect any sort of freedoms though, I will have this thing locked down tight!

So what's in it??

Dell R510 LFF 12 Bay Server

  • 1x Xeon E6520 2.4GHz Quad Core Processor (can take another one if we need it)
  • 2x 8GB DDR3 DIMMs for a total of 16GB of Memory
  • PERC 200i RAID controller
  • 4x 250GB SATA drives in RAID 10
  • 1x 750W Hot Swap power supply (will take another one for redundancy)

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  This guy became his own ISP!
Posted by: ITZach - 11-19-2017, 04:49 PM - Forum: General On Topic - No Replies

I just came across this awesome blog post from a guy who basically started his own ISP on a dare.

It would be really cool to try and start a small private project like this with the club, and you know, in a way that we dont actually interface with the internet because it's expensive

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  Change of plans for membership requirements
Posted by: ITZach - 11-17-2017, 04:47 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

Ok so after Wednesday's member meeting kinda flopped we have decided that we need a better way of doing things. I had thought that having a big meeting every term that was required for membership would be a good way of doing things, but it seems it is not.

So here's the deal: we will NOT remove any members at the end of this term. It was an interesting idea, but I don't really want to kick more than 3/4 of my members. Voting rights will stay the same as that is explicitly outlined in the constitution (we're going to work on that). So fear not for your membership, I don't know why I thought that was a good idea at all.

Next term things will be different. There are several ways we can go about things for gaining voting rights and at the moment my primary thought is that instead of just one member meeting per term, there will be two meetings and to gain voting rights members must attend at least ONE of those meetings. That's just a thought though and I will be working with my officers to come to a final conclusion. Of course we always value your input as well.

On the front of removing members, we will still be removing members at a specific interval, however that will most likely be moved to once at the end of every school year, and it will happen to ALL members, not just specific members. I think that's a much better option for keeping a clean slate and is much less likely to push members away. Again this is not actually set in stone and I'll be discussing it with my officers also.

Once all of that is worked out we will most likely introduce a request for amendment to the constitution. However given that only 5 people have voting rights and the current quorum for taking a vote on amendments is 60% of the club's membership, I may have to introduce these changes outside of the amendment system. I really don't like the thought of having to do that, but I'm afraid it may be the only way to introduce these very necessary changes quickly. I'll also be discussing this with my officers as well as with our faculty advisor. I will even discuss it with the advisors at SLI to make sure that if it must be done that it is done in the proper way.

I'm sorry if this is all confusing, it's not easy for us either, but then again running a club like this is never easy. But I choose to do it anyways because of the benefit I believe we can be to the campus community. We're just getting started and I want to ensure that this club persists and thrives, and I can't do that without all of you. So I will welcome any input and suggestions you all may have. As always this club is for you and should always be that way.

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  Fall Term Member Meeting Recap - 11/15/2017
Posted by: ITZach - 11-16-2017, 07:36 PM - Forum: Meeting Notes - No Replies

This was our very first member meeting and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. The whole purpose of these meetings is to give us a chance to check in with all our members and maintain a list of current and active members. It's also your chance to gain voting rights for all club votes in the following term.

Out of 33 total members registered through SLI only 5 of them actually showed up and no one made contact with us before hand to let us know they would not make it. Of course I knew that not everyone would be able to make it, but I wasn't expecting the numbers to be so low.

So this means that not including the officers, only 5 people will be able to vote on any business next term. It also means that at the end of this term more than 3/4 of our members will be resigned as members. On one hand this is good for us as it will remove the people who have registered for membership, but never participated in the club. On the other hand a lot of you that have been in attendance at most of the meetings will also be removed.

So here's what needs to happen for anyone who did not come to the meeting: If you do not want to be removed from the club at the end of the term you need to contact either myself or one of the other officers ASAP stating that you missed the meeting and giving a brief explanation of why you missed the meeting and why you did not contact us before hand. If we do not hear from you by email formally requesting to remain a member by 11:59pm on Friday of finals week then you will be removed as a member of this club. If you currently have access to any of our resources that access will be revoked as well.

All of this is outlined in the constitution which can be publicly viewed here. If you are one of the people who did not attend the meeting and feel that this is unfair or that you were not given enough notice please contact me directly with the complaint.

I really don't this like outcome, I had hoped that giving a 3 hour window in the middle of the day would allow most members to at the very least stop by for a minute on their way to classes, but i seems that wasn't the case. My officers and I will be discussing this in attempts to find a better solution for next term. If you would like to give your input please do so, we always value the input of our members.

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  Github repo
Posted by: ITZach - 11-13-2017, 04:25 AM - Forum: Web Dev Group - No Replies

I started a repo for working on the web site and I've been working on it a little bit. So far I've just done a few basic mockups, but I'll start working on some of the backend framework pretty soon. I've also started a section in the Discord server for this too. That would be a great place for communications that need to happen more quickly, this will be a better place for communications that need to be seen more often or need to be more ongoing.

Here's the link to the github page:

It's not much at the moment, but it has a few mockups for a very basic site. Of course everything will be modular when done so we can make it look however.

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  About the AM4 CPU cooler
Posted by: AlassesLome - 11-08-2017, 12:27 PM - Forum: Get Help - Replies (1)

Hey there,

Is there anyone knows where I can find a CPU Cooler for AM4 motherboard currently in Corvallis? Any kind is Ok even the original Cooler comes with the CPU....
My PC just arrived today and I found that I bought the wrong cooler, I already bought the upgrade kits on Amazon but it will arrive tomorrow, so I want to find a cooler for current use.

Thanks a lot!

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  Group formation
Posted by: ITZach - 11-04-2017, 11:21 PM - Forum: General On Topic - Replies (1)

So I just posted the information about this week's (week 7) meeting and talked about wanting to form groups in the club to promote various projects. I already have a few ideas for what groups we can/should form and what kinds of projects they should tackle. So here are the few that I have in mind already:

  • Data Center Operations
  • Web Development Group
  • Content Planning Group
Data Center Operations
This group would be involved with managing, maintaining, and upgrading the server and network infrastructure that facilitates our resources. This would be things like planning hardware upgrades for OpenStack or actually performing upgrades to the network behind OpenStack. Basically anything that has to do with actually using the club's physical hardware. This would be a great chance for people to gain some hands on experience with real world applications of IT.

Web Development Group
This group would be involved with any of the web resources the group has. Primarily I want to work on a new web solution for forums and announcements. MyBB works ok for now, but it's a little dated and kinda corny. I'd like to create our own web application that can handle multiple types of communication and better tie into the needs of the club. 

Content Planning Group
This group would help the club officials plan what types of content to cover in lecture style or hands on learning. Right now I'm pretty much the only one that picks what things to teach or learn about but I want the actual members of the club to be more involved in that process. I've always asked for feedback on what to learn, but I think this might be a better stimulation to actually get that feedback.

I'm sure there are plenty of other groups that we could form so if you have any ideas please share them. Any thoughts you have on the three groups I mentioned would be great as well. So what do you think?

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  Group Formations - Week 7 Meeting
Posted by: ITZach - 11-04-2017, 11:05 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

This week we will be meeting to form new groups within the club! We are excited about this because it will give us a good chance to introduce some projects for the club to work on together. Since the club was formed we have basically done nothing but lecture on certain topics, and while that's one way to spread interest for IT, it's certainly not the only way and maybe not even the best. So we will attempt to form specific groups within the club that members may freely join to work on projects surrounding IT and the club itself.

Details as usual:

When: Wednesday November 8th (11/8/2017) @ 6pm
Where: STAG 260
What: Group Discussion and Formation!

This is an awesome chance for all of you to express your own interests and find other members who also express those interests. The goal here is for you all to gain something tangible out of your time with the club, and not just some new knowledge. We hope that you will all have something to show from your experience with us that will benefit you outside of school.

I always say that the club is for you all, and not about me, and I truly mean it. You have to take from the club whatever it is you want to get out of it, and this is the perfect chance for you all to do so.

I will also be starting a discussion about this here on the forum so watch for that to pop up and if you're interested please participate in that discussion.

We hope to see you all there!

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