RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a way in which people can subscribe to a feed on a web site. Instead of visiting a web site to see what if any new articles of interest have been published, RSS may be used to detect new articles and possibly alert you when something new is available. An RSS Aggregator is a centralized system that subscribes to multiple RSS feeds and provides one place to view them all. In my case I have multiple news and humor sites to which I subscribe and want to be able to read all the articles from those feeds on multiple devices such as a computer, a phone, and a tablet. The main goals of my RSS Aggregation implementation are:

  • No reliance on third-party services and instead host all the necessary capabilities on my home network.
  • Ability to centrally control subscriptions from multiple RSS feeds.
  • Ability to read and manage the aggregated feeds from multiple devices.
  • Have all devices remain synchronized in what feeds are available, what has been read, and any bookmarks or "favorites".

DNS and DHCP are core services that people probably want on their home network. Most home users will be given a router or purchase one and just use the services built into it. The Stein home network is a little more complicated with multiple sub-nets and VLANs, so a more comprehensive solution was desired.

A major concern facing this design is that DNS and DHCP services are very important and need to be highly available. Secondary factors are low cost and simplicity. Both the ISC tools and Pacemaker were considered, but it was decided that they increased complexity without providing enough of a gain in functionality.

A naming convention is a way to give names to devices on a network so they are descriptive or easier to type into a connection string. In college I was a network administrator for the "spirits" lab where the various terminals had names like "vodka", "rum", etc. I did not start this, but did later modified it in another environment so that certain types of alcoholic beverages referred to a certain type of item e.g. switches were beers, servers were wines, etc.

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