So a longtime friend and fellow nerd, ‘Nurse Mike’… managed to get me all excited about these things a while back and now I’ve got three of them on the home network. Although he really is a good and dear friend of ours, its times like these when I really want to just punch him in the face. LOL I’m at the point now where I want to have one of these things sitting on every single available IP address in the subnet that is my internal LAN. Why you ask? Because they’re COOL. People out there are doing some really wild things with these and I’d like to be yet another one of them.

He got into them as a result of his God-daughter who gotten into them at school and he didn’t want to ‘fall behind’ her as he thought perhaps she’d be asking him for assistance now and then. He’s since found an insane amount of uses for them both at home and at work. If I’m not mistaken he’s up to somewhere in the neighborhood of about 20 of these things going now. LOL I of course only have three… for now.

He had picked up one for me as a gift (my first unit) as I had been moaning to him over my chat server that I wanted to be able to play with one for a long time just to see what I could do with it. As soon as he gave it to me, I ordered a little 5” LCD HD display for it and the following weekend started loading it up to get it going. I turned it into a web server complete with an SQL server for the back-end, got PHP going on it and then installed a full version of Joomla! with a few extensions just to see how it could handle it. The nice thing is that once you get it loaded, you can quickly make a backup copy of the running image so that in the event you break the daylights out it you just restore the image and *POOF*… you’re back where you started before you messed it up.

Later… while doing some reading on these devices I found several articles where people in the Information Technology field were starting use them for various purposes such as network monitoring. That got my attention right away as I’m a firm believer in keeping an eye on the networks I deal with. During one of my searches, I ran across an article by Robbie Ferguson (the “Bald Nerd” of Category5 TV) on how he setup “NEMS” on Pi. Since I had been using Nagios for many years already, this looked like a perfect project to try out and see if works well enough for a full-on deployment. I wanted to use it as a test to replace the existing Nagios with MRTG services I already had going on the LAN. In just a couple of days’ time, tinkering with it on and off… I had it up and running watching everything inside the network as well as three remote locations (just so I would know if the sites went off-line for any reason). Once I got it going, I was able to migrate the historical data from my existing MRTG installation so I wouldn’t lose it.

Hopefully in the very near future I’ll be building a 4-Node Raspberry Pi Cluster! No real reason… but just because it seems like a really cool project.

Damn you Nurse Mike!  LOL