Robroy Gregg, Computer Dude

(831) 417-8555  robroy@armory.com


I'm a computer dude in Salinas, California. I help business and home computer users around Monterey Bay.

My know-how's best in Unix, storage, virtualization and scripting.

I have a full-time job at Hitachi as a software test guy, so I'm only available on the weekends.

I charge $200 per hour, and I carry liability insurance.



Services

For business

  • Web hosting and other Internet services
  • Server problem-solving (especially FreeBSD and ESX)
  • Storage problem-solving (especially FC SANs)
  • Scripting with Tcl and Unix shell

For home

  • Home computer and Internet service problem-solving
  • Computer selection guidance
  • Tutoring on operating systems and applications


Business service details:  hosting, servers, storage and scripting

Web Hosting

I sell cheap Web hosting using my own Unix servers.

Hosting for a typical small business Web site will cost y'all about $65 per year. $50 of that pays me, and the other $15 pays for DNS domain name registration (which I can arrange with DreamHost on y'all's behalf).

There are plenty of other companies offering Web hosting, and some of them (like DreamHost) have good bargains. In comparison, DreamHost's one-year deal (as of August, 2015) costs about $119.40 (including DNS domain name registration), though they sometimes have promotions that are cheaper, for a while.

For Web sites that are very sensitive to down-time, that $119.40 per year's a good deal. The current (August, 2015) DreamHost SLA mentions 99.9% availability plus a maximum of one hour per month of down-time.

I'm only able to offer about 99% availability. I take my servers offline for an hour or two to make operating system changes and blow the dust out two or three times each year, typically on a Saturday or Sunday.

My servers are pretty reliable though. They're attached to the Internet using Comcast Business service, and they have backup power.

Servers

  • Hardware and firmware: Supermicro, Dell, HP, IBM, Sun and Hitachi servers
  • I can set up and troubleshoot common server hardware. I gravitate towards Supermicros for new installations because they're a good bargain, and they tend to work well with both FreeBSD and ESX.

  • Unix (mostly FreeBSD)
  • I can set up and maintain various kinds of Unix and related server software, including things like Web, DNS, NFS, CIFS, DHCP and iSCSI.

    I've been using Unix workstations and servers for about twenty years, and I tested OpenServer and UnixWare at SCO for four years. I used to know my way around Solaris and OpenBSD pretty well too, though I've mostly focused on FreeBSD lately for its great ZFS support, easy binary patches and packaging system, and Jails.

  • Virtualization: VMware ESX
  • I can install, configure and debug ESX and vCenter, and including DRS and HA clusters.

    I spent three years at VMware testing ESX with various new servers and SAN equipment, and have good know-how with MPIO, VMFS, RDMs, vSwitches and guest OS configuration.

Storage

  • SAN: FC and iSCSI storage arrays; Brocade switches
  • I'm able to configure and troubleshoot a variety of SAN equipment.

    I worked at VMware testing ESX paired up with a menagerie of SAN stuff, including Brocade switches, QLogic and Emulex HBAs, EMC CLARiiON, IBM FAStT, HP EVA, Hitachi AMS and NSC, IBM SVC and NetApp V-Series devices. I was also a SAN admin there, so I did a lot of SAN configuration and debugging.

    Since 2010, I've worked at Hitachi testing software plug-ins which are supposed to make applications work more smoothly with Hitachi storage devices and servers. I know my way around Hitachi Modular and Enterprise storage arrays and the Hitachi NAS (HNAS) system.

  • NAS: NFS and CIFS
  • I'm pretty good with NFS servers and clients, and with Samba.

  • Direct-Attached Storage: RAID boards, JBODs, ZFS

Scripting

  • Tcl and Unix shell scripting for QA, system administration and dynamic Web sites

Home service details:  troubleshooting, computer selection and tutoring

Troubleshooting

  • Home computer and Internet service problem-solving

Computer Selection

  • Assistance with choosing new and used computers

Tutoring

  • Computer operating system and application use