Custom network tools we use at Matraex

We had a need for some Network Tools and we could not find them, so we created them

As Matraex has been developing websites over the last 15+ years, we have used many tools to do it.
We often find areas which there are no tools, or we could automate time consuming or error prone tasks in order to get them done more quickly and efficiently.

For these areas, we have developed some Network Tools which help us to get what we need done.

DNS and Name Servers

Bulk DNS Lookup Network Tools Matraex Inc

One of areas we identified was when dealing with new customers with a large number of domains. In ideal situations, the domains would all be registered with a single registrar account and all using known name servers. However that has not always been the case. We built the Bulk MX, DNS Domain Lookup tool to help us quickly assess the domain name,  where it is located,  who hosts the Name Servers,  domains and mail services.

Name Server Compare

In other cases we found that we needed help in identifying where multiple name servers is not set to the same value on different servers.  For example if a domain uses three different name servers,  there are times  that those name servers many not be setup the same and may report different values.

For this we built the https://www.matraex.com/nameserver-compare-tool/

This is especially useful when moving a number of domains from one name server to another.

Website Performance

Website Performance Assessment Log

To help us track the performance increase (or decrease) for Websites we built the Website Performance Assessment Log.   The tool has very little functionality itself,  however it allows you to type in statistics from Pingdom and from Google’s PageSpeed  Insights,   then once you make changes to your site you can type in the next set of statistics.   This is helps to track which changes made a difference and which changes did not.

WordPress Website Check

We needed to quickly be able to assess a new WordPress website.  So we built the Website Check tool which grabs some quick speed and page load statistics,   does some security checks and checks on what your WordPress site exposes.

Other less popular,  but some times helpful tools,

  • our CSS helper tool,  this tool helps us identify duplicate and overriding style sheet definitions on a single style sheet.
  • Our buik – unix time to date converter.  You can paste in a block of text (typically I copy this from some syslog file which logged in unix timestamps) and the tool replaces any found timestamps to help us quickly read the results with Date/ Time stamps

Matraex Inc has other tools as well and we try to offer these tools free (within reason) in order to allow others to do the same thing we do.

Network Boot Server with Linux Install, Debian Etch and Lenny, CentOS and KNOPPIX

Network Boot Server with Linux Install, Debian Etch and Lenny, CentOS and KNOPPIX

I just LOVE my dedicated PXE boot server at the office with several flavors of linux install on it.

I can bring a new server online with a base install in as few as five minutes with Debian or CentOS
I can debug workstations and servers with a quickbooting KNOPPIX install.

I even have some kernel installations customized to install network drivers for the Dell 2650 so that the installs I do for those are quick and simple. (basically the broadcom network drivers and the openssh-server packages are preseeded to be installed with the default package)

Here are the contents my pxelinux.cfg/default file:

DISPLAY boot.txt

#DEFAULT etch_i386_install

LABEL etch_i386_install
kernel debian/etch/i386/linux
append vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/i386/initrd.gz  —
LABEL etch_i386_expert
kernel debian/etch/i386/linux
append priority=low vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/i386/initrd.gz  —
LABEL etch_i386_rescue
kernel debian/etch/i386/linux
append vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/i386/initrd.gz  rescue/enable=true —
LABEL knoppix
kernel knoppix/vmlinuz
append secure myconfig=scan nfsdir=192.168.0.1:/srv/diskless/knoppix nodhcp lang=us ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init apm=p
ower-off nomce vga=791 initrd=knoppix/miniroot.gz quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix
LABEL centos5_install
kernel centos/5/vmlinuz
append ks=nfs:192.168.0.1:/srv/diskless/centos/5/ks_prompt.cfg initrd=centos/5/initrd.img ramdisk_size=100000 ksdevice=eth0
ip=dhcp url –url http://mirror.centos.org/centos/5/os/i386/CentOS/
LABEL centos5_raid_install_noprompt
kernel centos/5/vmlinuz
append ks=nfs:192.168.0.1:/srv/diskless/centos/5/ks_raid.cfg initrd=centos/5/initrd.img ramdisk_size=100000 ksdevice=eth0 ip
=dhcp url –url http://mirror.centos.org/centos/5/os/i386/CentOS/
LABEL centos5_hda_install_noprompt
kernel centos/5/vmlinuz
append ks=nfs:192.168.0.1:/srv/diskless/centos/5/ks_hda.cfg initrd=centos/5/initrd.img ramdisk_size=100000 ksdevice=eth0 ip=
dhcp url –url http://mirror.centos.org/centos/5/os/i386/CentOS/
LABEL centos5_install_noprompt
kernel centos/5/vmlinuz
append ks=nfs:192.168.0.1:/srv/diskless/centos/5/ks.cfg initrd=centos/5/initrd.img ramdisk_size=100000 ksdevice=eth0 ip=dhcp
url –url http://mirror.centos.org/centos/5/os/i386/CentOS/

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LABEL lenny_i386_install
kernel debian/lenny/i386/linux
append vga=normal initrd=debian/lenny/i386/initrd.gz —

LABEL lenny_amd64_install
kernel debian/lenny/amd64/linux
append vga=normal initrd=debian/lenny/amd64/initrd.gz —

LABEL etch_amd64_install
kernel debian/etch/amd64/linux
append vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/amd64/initrd.gz —

LABEL etch_amd64_linux
kernel debian/etch/amd64/linux
append vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/amd64/initrd.gz —

LABEL etch_amd64_expert
kernel debian/etch/amd64/linux
append priority=low vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/amd64/initrd.gz —

LABEL etch_amd64_rescue
kernel debian/etch/amd64/linux
append vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/amd64/initrd.gz rescue/enable=true —

LABEL etch_amd64_auto
kernel debian/etch/amd64/linux
append auto=true priority=critical vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/amd64/initrd.gz —

PROMPT 1

Here are the contents of my boot.txt file (so that I know what to type at the command line when booting)

– Boot Menu –
=============

etch_i386_install   –   Debian Stable
etch_i386_expert    –   Debian Stable (Shows install menu every step)
etch_i386_rescue    –   Debian Stable Rescue
lenny_i386_install — has Broadcom net card customization
lenny_amd64_install — has Broadcom net card customization
etch_amd64_install
etch_amd64_linux
etch_amd64_expert
etch_amd64_rescue
etch_amd64_auto
centos5_install –  CentOS 5 (Will prompt for disks)
centos5_install_noprompt –  CentOS 5 (Will auto install without prompts)
centos5_hda_install_noprompt –  CentOS 5 (Will auto install without prompts)
centos5_raid_install_noprompt –  CentOS 5 (Will auto install on raid 1 without prompts)
knoppix

Hope someone out there can find some use from this.
We of course can help people having trouble with their own TFTP and PXE Boot Server .

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