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The Openfiler NAS/SAN Appliance (NSA) is a Storage Management Operating System / NAS Appliance distribution. It is powered by the Linux 2.6 kernel and Open Source applications such as Apache, Samba, LVM2, ext3, Linux NFS and iSCSI Enterprise Target. Openfiler combines these ubiquitous technologies into a small, easy to manage solution fronted by a powerful web-based management interface. Openfiler allows you to build a Network Attached Storage (NAS) and/or Storage Area Network (SAN) appliance, using industry-standard hardware, in less than 10 minutes of installation time.

Building upon the popularity of server virtualization technologies such as VMware, Virtual Iron, and Xen, Openfiler can also be deployed as a virtual machine instance or on  a bare metal machine.

This deployment flexibility of Openfiler ensures that storage administrators are able to make the best use of system performance and storage capacity resources when allocating and managing networked storage in a multi-platform environment.

Openfiler is ideally suited for use with High Availability Recital applications as it incorporates:

  • Heartbeat cluster manager
  • drbd disk replication
  • CIFS
  • NFS
  • Software and hardware RAID
  • FTP
  • rsync
  • iSCSI
  • LVM2
  • Multiple NIC bonding for High Availability
  • Powerful web-based GUI


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Recital 10 introduced the PIPETOSTR() function. This function operates in a similar fashion to the FILETOSTR() function but it can be used to capture the output from externally executed operating system commands. e.g.
// determine how many Recital users are on the system
nusers = pipetostr("ps -ef | grep db.exe | wc -l")
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Each Recital table can have one or more data dictionaries to provide a central repository for constraints and other metadata. 

Here's how to set up field validation for a field with a small static number of acceptable values.

Using the example.dbf table from the southwind sample database, validation can be added to the title field to ensure it matches one of a list values.
open database southwind
alter table example add constraint;
(title set check inlist(alltrim(title),"Miss","Mr","Mrs","Ms"))
The inlist() function checks whether the specified expression exists in the comma-separated list which follows.  An attempt to update title with a value not in the list will give an error: Validation on field 'TITLE' failed.

If you have access to the Recital Workbench, you can use the modify structure worksurface to add and alter your dictionary entries, including a customized error message if required.


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Recital 10 introduced a FOREACH command, much like PHP and some other languages. This simply gives an easy way to iterate over arrays. foreach works on arrays and objects, and will issue an error when you try to use it on a variable with a different data type or an uninitialized variable. There are two syntaxes; the second is a minor but useful extension of the first:
FOREACH array_expression AS value
FOREACH array_expression AS key => value statements... ENDFOR
The first form loops over the array given by array_expression. On each loop, the value of the current element is assigned to value and the internal array pointer is advanced by one (so on the next loop, you'll be looking at the next element).
The second form does the same thing, except that the current element's key will be assigned to the variable key on each loop. This form works only on associative arrays and objects.
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Many motherboards nowadays have integrated gigabit ethernet that use the Realtek NIC chipset.

The Realtek r8168B network card does not work out of the box in Redhat/Centos 5.3: instead of loading the r8168 driver, modprobe loads the r8169 driver, which is broken as can be seen with ifconfig which shows large amounts of dropped packets. A solution is to download the r8168 driver from the Realtek website and install it using the following steps:

Check whether the built-in driver, r8169.ko (or r8169.o for kernel 2.4.x), is installed.

# lsmod | grep r8169

If it is installed remove it.

# rmmod r8169

Download the R8168B linux driver from here into /root.

Unpack the tarball :

# cd /root
# tar vjxf r8168-8.012.00.tar.bz2

Change to the directory:

# cd r8168-8.012.00

If you are running the target kernel, then you should be able to do :

# make clean modules   
# make install
# depmod -a
# insmod ./src/r8168.ko (or r8168.o in linux kernel 2.4.x)

make sure modprobe knows not to use r8169, and that depmod doesn’t find the r8169 module.

# echo "blacklist r8169" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
# mv /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/r8169.ko   \ /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/r8169.ko.bak

You can check whether the driver is loaded by using the following commands.

# lsmod | grep r8168
# ifconfig -a

If there is a device name, ethX, shown on the monitor, the linux driver is loaded. Then, you can use the following command to activate it.

# ifconfig ethX up

After this you should not see any more dropped packets reported.

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There's a nice article on IBM developerworks describing how to package software using RPM. You can read it here.

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The best way to learn Recital is to build some applications. The developers of Recital have written a book "Recital Essentials" which you can read here.
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A quick tip for optimizing TCP performance on linux.

edit /etc/sysctl.conf add the lines:

If using gigabit ethernet:

net.ipv4.tcp_mem= 98304 131072 196608
net.core.wmem_default = 65536
net.core.rmem_default = 65536

To reload these use:

# sysctl -p

If using infiniband:

net.ipv4.tcp_rmem=10000000 10000000 10000000
net.ipv4.tcp_wmem=10000000 10000000 10000000
net.ipv4.tcp_mem=10000000 10000000 10000000

Published in Blogs

In this article Barry Mavin explains step by step how to setup a Linux HA (High Availability) cluster for the running of Recital applications on Redhat/Centos 5.3 although the general configuration should work for other linux versions with a few minor changes.

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Recital 10 enhanced Recital by enabling it to be used in bash shell scripts and in shell commands which use pipes and/or redirect stdin and stdout. If stdin is not redirected then recital will startup and operate as normal in a terminal window. Additionally you can use heredoc to denote a block of recital commands that should be executed. Note that when used in this manner, no UI commands can be executed and no user interaction is allowed.  
# recital < mrprog.prg 
# recital < myprog.prg > myoutput.txt
# recital > myoutput.txt <<END
use customers
list structure
# echo "select * from sales!customers where overdue" | recital | wc -l
Individual commands can be executed in shell scripts.
# recital -c "create database sales"
# recital -c "create table sales!invoices (id int, name char(25), due date)"
Expressions can be evaluated and used in shell scripts.
# VER=`recital -e "version(1)"`
You can view what command line options are available by typing:
# recital --help
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