Thursday, September 3, 2015


FreeBSD Hardware RAID vs. GMIRROR vs. ZFS

The ultimate storage shootout! With years of building and testing servers in various configurations we have always suspected hardware RAID was not all that it’s cracked up to be. FreeBSD’s GMIRROR and ZFS are great, but up until now it’s been a gut feeling combined with anecdotal evidence. Today, we change that. The Test Setup… Read more »

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


NginX Add Trailing Slash With 301 Redirect Without If Statements

We had a situation where a client using Joomla wanted to have trailing slashes added to URLs, not just processed behind the scenes as the ‘correct’ URL but 301ed to the resulting URL with the trailing slash. This makes sense from a SEO standpoint as you don’t want two URLs with the same content. Joomla… Read more »

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


ImageMagick Under PHP-FPM and Chroot

We’re a big fan of PHP-FPM and chrooting, all of our deployments use this along with per-site UIDs to ensure complete isolation and resource control. This week we ran into an issue where a client needed the ImageMagick PECL module (and therefore the ImageMagick package) installed. After configuring the extension and reloading PHP-FPM we saw… Read more »

Monday, April 27, 2015


FreeBSD Compatible USB 3.0 PCIe Cards

While looking to add USB 3.0 ports to two servers which had no motherboard ports we tested out two different cards: Syba USB 3.0 PCIe x1 2.0 Card – 2-Port with internal 19 Pin USB 3.0 Header (Model SD-PEX20139) Insignia USB 3.0 PCIe x1 2.0 Card – 2-Port (Model NS-PCCUP53) Performance was both good and… Read more »

Monday, March 16, 2015


When To Switch From Cloud Servers to Dedicated Servers

Cloud servers provide a turn key solution to a lot of problems, however they can quickly become an expensive crutch that hides problems rather than solving them. A lot of companies start out with one or two cloud servers then increase resources on them or provision more as their product grows. Quickly this can turn… Read more »

Monday, December 15, 2014


Review: Velocity Solo x2 PCIe 2.0 x2 SATA 6 Gbps

Add an SSD to your already full 1U rackmount server! Recently A-Team Systems deployed a number of 1U rackmount servers with four hot-swap SATA bays, all of which we populated to give us maximum ZFS performance (and  capacity) across as many spindles as possible. We also wanted to get the performance of SSDs for certain… Read more »

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


SOLVED: _openpam_check_error_code(): pam_sm_acct_mgmt(): unexpected return value 4

While diagnosing a server that I couldn’t SSH into using my LDAP account I ran into the below errors. I had seen it before but couldn’t remember what caused it: Jul 30 22:12:57 serverhost sshd[2195]: SSH: Server;Ltype: Version;Remote: 172.17.22.10-43231;Protocol: 2.0;Client: OpenSSH_5.8p2 FreeBSD-20110503 Jul 30 22:12:57 serverhost sshd[2195]: SSH: Server;Ltype: Kex;Remote: 172.17.22.10-43231;Enc: aes128-ctr;MAC: hmac-md5;Comp: none [preauth]… Read more »

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Intranet Server Security & Maintenance

Do internal servers really need to be monitored, maintained and updated like a public facing Internet server? There are two aspects to this question, the first being maintenance and monitoring, and the second being internal server security (which is closely related to maintenance in that updates fix security issues). Internal Server Maintenance An internal (or… Read more »

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Goodbye MB/GB/TB, Hello MiB/GiB/TiB

Since the popular rise of the personal computer users have asked the time old question: “Why does my 100 gigabyte hard drive only give me 93 gigabytes when I format it?” The answer lies with the 2nd use of the word “gigabyte” in that sentence.  In reality when we say “gigabyte” we don’t mean 1,000,000,000 bytes,… Read more »

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