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Bob Plankers
Attended University of Wisconsin - Madison


In his circles
993 people
Virtualization Architect, Blogger
Basic Information
Hardcore IT generalist, virtualization expert, blogger, photographer, homebrewer, and outdoorsman.
Hello. I'm a hardcore IT generalist, virtualization expert, blogger, photographer, homebrewer, and outdoorsman. I ride in a Mardi Gras krewe in New Orleans, shoot sporting clays in the summer, and read a lot in the winter.

People ask me where I'm from. Ostensibly, I'm from Madison, Wisconsin, having spent most of my life living in the upper Midwest. While I've never claimed to be, I've spent enough time in both New Orleans and San Francisco to be accused, on occasion, of being a local. I take it as a compliment. I am never a tourist. I am a visitor, participant, observer, and aficionado.

Feel free to check out my writing up at and Many more of my photos are up at

You can reach me at or @plankers.
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison
    Computer Science & Economics
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The Eternal Wait For Vendor Software Updates — The Lone Sysadmin

There’s been a fair amount of commentary & impatience from IT staff as we wait for vendors to patch their products for the OpenSSL Heartblee

8 Practical Notes about Heartbleed (CVE-2014-0160) — The Lone Sysadmin

People are freaking out about Heartbleed (CVE-2014-0160), and it is a big problem. Here are 8 practical pieces of advice for dealing with it

Upgrading to the vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 from Windows vCenter 5.1 —...

There isn't an official upgrade path to go from VMware vCenter 5.1 on Windows to the vCenter Server Appliance 5.5. This is how I did it.

What Clients Don't Know (and Why It's Your Fault) — The Lone Sysadmin

Designer Mike Monteiro gives a talk about working with clients at the 2013 Event Apart Austin conference that is spot on for IT professional

Update to VMware vCenter Server Appliance & NTP Issues — The Lone Sy...

I talked to VMware about the situation with the NTP vulnerabilties, and this is what they told me.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5.0 Has An Insecure NTP Server — The L...

If you are running a VMware product that has NTP enabled you're likely vulnerable to a month-old security problem that VMware has yet to ack

New Java Security Settings: More Proof That Oracle Hates You — The Lone ...

If there was any doubt that Oracle hates you as one of their customers just look at the Java security settings in JRE/JDK 7u51.

Redundant Gigabit Management NICs, Please — The Lone Sysadmin

Vendors who don't put redundant gigabit management NICs on their enterprise hardware make life difficult for everybody, especially in a cris

Better Linux Disk Caching & Performance with vm.dirty_ratio — The Lo...

The Linux kernel parameters vm.dirty_ratio and vm.dirty_background_ratio can help you improve your disk I/O performance. Here's how to adjus

Account for the Bandwidth-Delay Product with Larger Network Buffers — Th...

The Bandwidth-Delay Product will help you size your OS network buffers correctly for long-distance and high-speed network connections.

Use Paravirtualized Devices On Your Virtual Machines — The Lone Sysadmin

If you're not using paravirtualized devices like vmxnet3 NICs and pvscsi SCSI adapters you're leaving system performance, and money, on the

Do Not Collect System Performance Data From Guest OSes — The Lone Sysadmin

Why are you collecting inaccurate system performance data from a guest OS? Get it from the hypervisor instead.

Adjust vm.swappiness to Avoid Unneeded Disk I/O — The Lone Sysadmin

Avoid a lot of unnecessary disk I/O by configuring vm.swappiness correctly on your virtual machines.

Gain 30% Linux Disk Performance with noatime, nodiratime, and relatime —...

Here's an easy way to get some serious disk performance back: use noatime, nodiratime, and relatime mount options on Linux systems.

Store Logs Centrally — The Lone Sysadmin

The logs your systems generate are wasting your time and your money. Stop logging what you don't need and centralize the collection of the r

Don’t Start GUIs and X Windows On Servers — The Lone Sysadmin

If you're running GUIs like X Windows on your virtual machines your organization is probably needlessly sacrificing performance and your IT

Minimal Kickstart File for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, CentOS 6, Oracle ...

This is a helper post in my December 2013 series about Linux Virtual Machine Performance Tuning. For more, please see the tag “Linux VM Perf

The Best OS Installation Is Minimal — The Lone Sysadmin

This is post #4 in my December 2013 series about Linux Virtual Machine Performance Tuning. For more, please see the tag “Linux VM Performanc

Performance Tuning and Configuration Management Go Hand In Hand — The Lo...

This is post #3 in my December 2013 series about Linux Virtual Machine Performance Tuning. For more, please see the tag “Linux VM Performanc

One Workload Per Virtual Machine — The Lone Sysadmin

If you use OS-level resource limits at all or spend time troubleshooting performance problems, I have five words for you: one workload per v