Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Tech Round Up 25th July

Interesting tech stuff that was filling my inbox. With stuff from Cisco, Citrix, Cray, Dell, HP, Microsoft, NetApp, pfSense, ping.eu, The Register, Veeam, and VMware!

Cisco

Configuring VLAN Trunk Protocol (VTP) – Document ID: 98154
... VTP reduces administration in a switched network. When you configure a new VLAN on one VTP server, the VLAN is distributed through all switches in the domain ...”

Cisco

Spanning Tree from PVST+ to Rapid-PVST Migration Configuration Example – Document ID: 72836
... provides a sample configuration to migrate the spanning tree mode from PVST+ to rapid-PVST+ in the campus network ...”

Cisco

IPv6 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Citrix

How to Implement Rate Limiting on a NetScaler Appliance by Using the Responder Feature
Rate Limiting on a NetScaler appliance is a method to detect client connections and limit them by the number of connections available or bandwidth.”

Citrix

Troubleshooting XenDesktop brokering process
... Most common problems
1.) Firewall configuration …
2.) DNS not properly configured …
3.) Time synchronization not properly configured …
4.) Domain membership problems …
5.) Multiple Network Adapters …
6.) Service Principal Names (SPNs) …
7.) Proper DDC not found …
8.) “Access this computer from the network” rights …
9.) Operation timing out ...”

Citrix

Black Screen is displayed when Virtual Machines start.
Black Screen is caused by ghosted monitors listed in the Device Manager ...
Via RDP:
Command Prompt:\> set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) remove all Ghosted Display Monitors.
Restart.”

Citrix

Release: Citrix XenClient Enterprise 4.1

Citrix

HDX Monitor 2.0.7 Published

Citrix

CloudPlatform 3.0.4 Release Notes

Citrix

Load Balancing TFTP with NetScaler

Citrix

3 redundancy mistakes in the Desktop Delivery Layer
... best practice is to implement a minimum of two controllers per XenDesktop site, regardless of the size of the environment.
... best practice is to implement either SQL Clustering or SQL Mirroring, in order to ensure automatic failover and continuous service.
... best practice is to perform a full DB backup every day and keep the backup for up to six months by following the Grandfather-Father-Son Principle.”

Citrix

What’s coming for Citrix Receiver

Cray

Cray bags $21m Cascade super deal down under
Replacing “the 'Epic' system already built by iVEC is an HP ProLiant blade cluster that has 9,600 cores across its 800 nodes, which are linked by QDR InfiniBand switches. The machine is installed at Murdoch University and went into production last June, and is rated at 87 teraflops.”
The Cray Cascade Supercomputer “will be expanded to 1.2 petaflops of raw floating-point performance (double precision), and will … be based on a mix of Ivy Bridge and 'Haswell' Xeon processors as well as Xeon Phi coprocessors.”

Dell

Dell announces Host Integration Tools for Microsoft 4.5

Dell Customer Stories

Matrix IBS
Company: Matrix IBS
Industry: Hosting Solutions
Employees: 20
Services:
Dell™ Support Services
- Dell Compellent™ Copilot Support
- Dell ProSupport™ Next Business Day onsite service
Hardware:
Dell Compellent Storage Center SAN
Dell PowerEdge™ R610 servers with Intel® Xeon® processors
Software:
Dell Compellent Data Progression
Dell Compellent Dynamic Capacity
Dell Compellent Enterprise Manager
Dell Compellent Fast Track”

Dell Customer Stories

C4L
Company: C4L
Industry: Hosting
Employees: 56
Services:
Dell Solutions Centre
Dell Support Services
“– Dell ProSupport™ with Mission Critical
Hardware:
Dell™ PowerEdge™ M710HD blade servers with Intel® Xeon® processors X5650
Dell PowerEdge M1000e modular blade enclosures
Dell PowerEdge R410 servers with Intel Xeon processors E5640
Dell PowerEdge R610 servers with Intel Xeon processors X5650
Dell PowerEdge C6100 servers with Intel Xeon processors L5640
Dell EqualLogic PS6510E/PS6000X/PS4000E storage arrays
Dell PowerVault™ MD3000i storage
Software:
VMware® vSphere™ 4
Dell EqualLogic SAN HeadQuarters”

HP

HP P2000 Remote Snap Technical Cookbook

Microsoft

VMware vCenter vs. Microsoft SCVMM

Microsoft

StarWind and Windows Server 2012 Scale-Out Servers

NetApp

PeakColo Guarantees 100% SLA for the Cloud with Data ONTAP 8 Clustering
“The Solution: ... deployed a combined 10 NetApp FAS3270 and FAS3240 storage systems in its 5 Type-II SSAE 16/SOC 1 data centers. NetApp Data ONTAP 8 operating in Cluster-Mode provides the massive throughput and scalability needed to rapidly grow ... NetApp Vserver helps PeakColo achieve maximum flexibility of its shared storage infrastructure with secure multi-tenancy ...
“Data ONTAP 8 operating in Cluster-Mode is configured in pairs for high availability ... The Data ONTAP operating system equips PeakColo with the flexibility to add up to dozens of FAS controllers and storage as needed to scale to multiple gigabytes per second of throughput and petabytes of capacity ... leverage both NFS and iSCSI investments. NetApp deduplication ... reduce storage requirements by up to 73%, decreasing hardware, power, and cooling costs.”

NetApp

Blue Shift Blog – Category: Netapp

NetApp

Virtual Machine Considerations For NetApp Storage
By segregating the OS, Application, page file (OS) and vSwap drives and then placing them onto common volumes, we can maximize our ability to find common blocks within a single volume, and thus maximize our disk savings.”

NetApp

How to Create and Use Flash Pool?
1. Create a 64-bit aggregate with SATA drives.
2. Set the aggregate option hybrid_enabled to on.
3. Add SSDs to the aggregate.”

Flash Pool Read Policies
read-cache = none
read-cache = meta
read-cache = random-read
read-cache = random-read-write”

pfSense

Create a stretched LAN between your site and vCloud using pfSense
Note: pfSense is an Open Source Firewall Distribution

ping.eu

Port check – Tests if port is opened on specified IP

The Register

Watch out Fibre Channel: 12 gig SAS has arrived

The Register

OpenStack cloud fluffer growing faster than Linux

The Register

Microsoft picks October 26 for Windows 8 launch

Veeam

NEW AND FREE: VEEAM EXPLORER FOR MICROSOFT EXCHANGE
Exclusive Beta, Part of all Veeam Backup & Replication Editions for VMware and Hyper-V

Veeam

Guide To Setting Up A New Veeam Replication Job

VMware

Microsoft Lync 2013 Support with VMware View Desktops!
Customers will be able to communicate and collaborate with the Lync 2013 client, using rich voice and video features, all from within the VMware View desktop.”

VMware

vSphere HA isolation response... which to use when?
Isolation of a slave
T0 – Isolation of the host (slave)
T10s – Slave enters “election state”
T25s – Slave elects itself as master
T25s – Slave pings “isolation addresses”
T30s – Slave declares itself isolated and “triggers” isolation response
Isolation of a master
T0 – Isolation of the host (master)
T0 – Master pings “isolation addresses”
T5s – Master declares itself isolated and “triggers” isolation response”

VMware

ESXi 5 Unresponsive VM – How to Power Off (using ESXTOP)
# esxtop
c” for CPU resource screen, “shift+V” to display VMs only, “f” to change display fields, “c” in order to show the LWID (Leader World ID), “ENTER”, press “k” and enter the LWID number of the VM you want to stop.


VMware

VMware Buys Nicira For $1.26B in Cash
From http://nicira.com/en/network-virtualization-platform : “... network virtualization is simple … (it) decouples and isolates virtual networks from the underlying network hardware ... the physical network is used only for packet forwarding and treated as an IP backplane. Virtual networks are then programmatically created and operate completely decoupled from the underlying hardware ….”

VMware

Mission: Find the perfect SAN for our datacenter
03-Apr-2011 “... Keep in mind that if it is Campus Cluster there are only 3 configs officially certified for HA in a single cluster as far as I know:
- EMC VPLEX
- NetApp Metro
- Lefthand ...”
Has this list changed since then???

VMware

Whitebox Clouds – Building a VMware vCloud Lab, Part 1 of 3
Software:
Primary Microsoft Active Directory (+add-ons)
Secondary Microsoft Active Directory (+add-ons)
Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Windows 2008 R2 “golden image”
RHEL 5.6 x64 “golden image”
CentOS x64 “golden image”
VMware Solutions:
VMware vSphere (ESXi) 5.x
VMware vCenter Server 5.x
- vSphere Web Client
- vSphere SSO Server
VMware vCloud Director 5.x (on RHEL 5.5 x64 VM)
VMware vCloud Connector 5.x
VMware vShield Edge 5.x
VMware vFabric App Director 1.0
VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.x
VMware View 5.1
- View Manager
- View Security Server (opt.)
- View Composer
VMware vCenter Operations Manager 5.6 beta
- UI VM
- Analytics VM
VMware vCenter Chargeback 2.0
VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator (VIN) 1.2 beta
VMware Zimbra 8.0 beta”

VMware

All about the UNMAP command in vSphere
Due to varied UNMAP command completion response times from the storage devices, the UNMAP operation can result in poor performance of the system which is why VMware is recommending that it be disabled on ESXi 5.0 hosts.”
“How can UNMAP be disabled?
“either # esxcli system settings advanced set –int-value 0 –option /VMFS3/EnableBlockDelete
“or # esxcfg-advcfg -s 1 /VMFS3/EnableBlockDelete
“... must be run individually on each ESXi host to disable UNMAP support.
“ to check # esxcfg-advcfg -g /VMFS3/EnableBlockDelete

VMware

ESXi host connected to multiple storage array - is it supported?
Yes “... Some caution must be shown however.
1. … SATP …
2. … queue depth …
3. … recommendation … single-initiator-single-target zoning ...”

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Dell M1000e Blade Enclosure – Logical Blade NIC to Port Mappings for Full-Height Blades


Fig i. Fabrics

Fig ii. Mezzanine Card Placement (1 is Mezzanine C1, 2 is Mezzanine B1, 3 is Mezzanine C2, 4 is Mezzanine B2)

Fig 1. Fabric A1

Fig 2. Fabric B1

Fig 3. Fabric C1

Fig 4. Fabric C2

Fig 5. Fabric B2

Fig 6. Fabric A2

Dell M1000e Blade Enclosure – Logical Blade NIC to Port Mappings for Half-Height Blades


Fig i. Fabrics

Fig ii. Mezzanine Card Placement (1 is Mezzanine C, 2 is Mezzanine B)

Fig 1. Fabric A1

Fig 2. Fabric B1

Fig 3. Fabric C1

Fig 4. Fabric C2

Fig 5. Fabric B2

Fig 6. Fabric A2

The Super Foonly F1: The Computer Behind Tron (1982)


This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the 1982 film Tron. Curious to know a bit more about the computer behind the computer animation sequences in the film, the following notes were compiled.

Breaking from tradition, the sources are rightly at the start of this article. Sources:
http://dave.zfx.com/f1.html (check out the pictures!)

The Super Foonly F1 was the computer used to create the computer animation scenes in the 1982 movie Tron, and these scenes amounted to between fifteen and twenty minutes of the movie.

The computer only had 2MB of memory, with a disc that had no more than 330MB of storage. The memory size put a limit on the detail of background, and the draw distance.

From Dave Sieg's – "The F1 Cranking out Flight of the Navigator"
"Since the Foonly only had enough disk storage to hold the frame being computed and the frame being printed, the numbers worked out like this: 30 seconds of film at 24 frames per second works out to 720 images each computed and printed at 6000 x 4000 pixels. At twenty minutes rendering time each frame, that meant it took ten days to do 'the run'."

There was only ever one Super Foonly F-1 made, and it was put together between 1974 and 1978 by Dave Poole, Phil Petit, Jack Holloway, and Dave Dyer. It used the PDP-10 Processor, and it was the fastest PDP-10 ever made.

So how fast?
The Super Foonly F1 was clocked at 90 nsec (nanoseconds) which is equivalent to 11 MHz in todays terms {The math: 11 = (1 / 90*10^-9) / 10^6 }.
And it was capable of 4.5 MIPS.

For comparison:
1999's Intel Pentium III – 2054 MIPS at 600 Mhz
2006's Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (Quad core) – 49161 MIPS at 2.66 GHz
2011's Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 3960X (Hex core) – 177730 MIPS at 3.33 GHz

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

An IT Professional's Guide to Preparing for IT Project Work on Client Sites

Quote 1: "Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance" (British Army adage - "The 7 Ps")
Quote 2: "Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively." (Jeff Haden)

A list of 7 steps that might come in handy when preparing to deploy for IT Project Work on customer sites.

7 Steps
Note: Many of the below will be dependant of having the time to do them.

1: Know what is expected of you!
  • Be sure to know what it expected of you.
  • Check through the scope of works and make sure it is watertight and there are no ambiguities in there.
  • If there are any ambiguities, get clarification (a difficult customer might try to stretch things out in their favour, or ask why something wasn't done in the way it was written.)
  • Make a list of all the major items of work / technologies (perhaps even a flowchart)
2: Points which should have been verified and correct before receiving a completed Scope-of-Works, but you might want to check anyway.

Q: Will all the components of the solution interact okay?
Double-check interoperability matrixes and support.
Q: Can you use the latest version of the software?
Q: Is it expected to get up to a certain version (if so then research the correct procedure to get there.)
Q: Does the solution's sizing check out?
Q: What are the customer expectations, and is this realistically going to be possible?
Q: Is the planned solution going to work, or will it need to be ammended?
Q: Is the required kit going to be on site when you arrive?

3: Prepare yourself for all the tasks at hand.
  • Make sure to at least familiarize yourself with all the technologies that will come into play.
  • Go through the list of major items of work, checking each one off when you're satisfied with your skills, knowledge, and understanding.
  • Check for the latest version of all components, and check the latest manual (a new version may have come out that has passed you by, and something may have changed in a later version;) and download the latest/required softwares, manuals, integration components, and tools whilst you're checking them out.
  • Consult the oracles at your disposal (meaning the gurus in your professional network.)
  • Check for best practices.
  • Check blogs.
  • Check support forums and communities.
  • Watch YouTube videos.
  • Test things out in a lab.
    And if you can catch a course (web-based or instructor-led) to fill up any knowledge gaps....
4: Pre-prepare documentation.

If you're lucky, you'll have pre-prepared documentation from a previous project, otherwise prepare/obtain template documentation for the project beforehand. It is much easier to fill in documentation as you go along, taking screenshots as necessary, and then do the finishing touches later; rather than have rough notes or memory to rely on, and be in a rush to get everything documentated on time.

5: Preparing for on site attendance.
  • Come prepared for the task at hand and be armed for the unexpected – make sure you have all the tools, software, and any licenses you need.
  • Prepare to do all your tasks efficiently (Any good company is not going to oversell the days to do a project; if you can build time by being ultra-efficient, then you have lee-way for if anything goes not-to-plan, and it leads to a less stressful life. Also, you can add value by providing increased education/training to the customer, better documentation, benefit yourself by using the time to gain additional exposure, do extra research, and a little bit of fine tuning.)
  • Make sure you know where you're going, when, and who you're going to meet.
6: (On Site) Only do what's in the scope!
  • Follow the plan.
  • Enjoy what you do.
  • Don't get stressed – "nothing in life is worth getting stressed about!"
  • And if you encounter a problem, "Don't Panic", seek help, or work around it, or work out the solution – "every problem has a solution!"
  • And finally – good luck!
7: (Off site) Evalute your performance
  • What have you learnt?
  • What could you have done better?
  • Any knowledge gaps, or skills weaknesses you need to sharpen up on?
  • Where can you find efficiency savings in your work?
Final word: A lot of the above is common sense; methodology is handy though, and if this list can help whosoever wanders across it, then the few bytes of space it occupies in the ether, has served a purpose.

Tech Round Up 18th July 2012

Today with stuff from Cisco, Citrix, Dell, HP, Microsoft, NetApp, Veeam, and VMware.

Astrophotography

First, completely unrelated to IT, a nice site if you like astrophotography http://billsnyderastrophotography.com/

Cisco


Fig. Cisco OTV = Cisco Overlay Transport Virtualization
Note: This would still be an offline vMotion

Cisco


Citrix

Branch Repeater 6.1 is out – release notes here

Citrix

Bit of a funny issue found by www.vmwareinfo.com

Citrix

When using Streamed Outlook 2010, it will fail to launch with the above error. The cause is Windows Search.

DataCenter


Dell

Article by Mike Davis about Dell's FluidFS (Fluid File Storage) NAS range that includes three new models coming later this summer - the Compellent FS8600, the EqualLogic FS7600, and the PowerVault NX3600

Dell

Download a FREE trial of the DVS Simplified Appliance Software
Sounds a bit like Citrix VDI-in-a-Box – check it out!
Note: Dell DVS = Dell Desktop Virtualization Solution

Dell


Dell Customer Stories

Picked out a few interesting names of customers who use Compellent:

Playboy, The FBI, Heineken, Microsoft, Sunguard, Savvis, NASDAQ, RSA ...

Dell Customer Stories

Canal Insurance Company – Insurance – 240 Employees

Services:
Dell Compellent Copilot Support

Hardware:
Dell Compellent Storage Center SANs
Dell PowerEdge R710 servers with Intel Xeon 5500 series processors

Software:
Dell Compellent Data Instant Replay
Dell Compellent Data Progression
Dell Compellent Dynamic Capacity
Dell Compellent Enterprise manager
Dell Compellent Fast Track
Dell Compellent Remote Instant Replay

Dell Customer Stories

Nash County Government – Government – 700 Employees

Services:
Dell ProSupport Mission Critical with four hour onsite response
Dell Compellent Copilot Support

Solutions:
Dell KACE K1000 System Management Appliance
Dell KACE K2000 System Deployment Appliance

Hardware:
Brocade FastIron SX 800 core switches
Brocade FCX624S-HPOE and FCX648S-HPOE edge switches
Dell Compellent Storage Center SANs

Software:
Dell Compellent Data Instant Replay
Dell Compellent Data Progression
Dell Compellent Dynamic Capacity
Dell Compellent Remote Instant Replay

HP

From westcoastsolutions.blogspot.co.uk - HP 3PAR Starter Kit - Now even more affordable

What does the kit include?
"HP 3PAR F200/F400 Starter Kit (QW960A/QW961A)
">Two F-Class 3PAR controller nodes including the Thin Build In ASIC
"> Rack mount kits for racking into 3rd party and HP 19” racks
"> 4 embedded FC host ports, 4 embedded disk ports to connect disk chassis
"> 2 disk drive chassis (Total of 32 drive slots)
"> 16x 600GB 15k rpm FC disk drives (~ 9.6TB raw)
"> 4 host cables
"HP 3PAR InForm Operating System Software Suite
"> 10 TB of Thin Suite
"HP 3PAR Service Processor for remote support and call home
"HP 3 years Support Plus 24 and HP Installation Services"

Microsoft

From myvirtualcloud.net by Andre Leibovici - DaaS Identity Management, Federation & Multi-Tenancy

Fig. Connector to the cloud for LDAP

Microsoft

Are strongly pushing Migrate from VMware !

Microsoft

Exchange Server 2013 Preview is out, and the pre-release documentation is available on technet

NetApp Customer Stories

Fig. Zuckerman Spaeder NetApp Storage Architecture
Fig. Zuckerman Spaeder NetApp Solution Components

Silicon Angle

Interesting article from servicesangle.com:

Veeam

A couple of tips from a Rick Vanover's Webinar of Jul 17:
Additional information on Windows Server 2012 – "Greatly improved NFS support!"
If you need take backup, buy a HP Tape Drive as it comes with a free copy of HP Data Protector Express that you can use to pick up the flat files.
For protecting the Veeam Backup server itself, recommend using the replication engine.

Veeam

From Gostev's Veeam Community Forums Digest (Jul 9 – Jul 15):
"One popular use case for the (Veeam Backup Free Edition) ... restoring existing backups in another site (where you do not have Veeam installed), or even by somebody else (e.g. your public cloud provider)....
... free edition can only restore from full backups (VBK files) ... because you can only make full backups with VeeamZIP .... (BUT!) ... to restore from an incremental backup ... go to main menu, and change the UI mode to Full functionality; this will make Import Backup button appear on the Home toolbar; click to import your whole backup files chain. Then, launch the Restore wizard just like you would in paid B&R edition ...."

PS Another cool use of Veeam is for DataCenter migrations!

Veeam


Veeam

Fig. Veeam replication from Production Site Proxy to DR Site Proxy

VMware

Excellent View VDI Calculator from Andre Leibovici

VMware

From blogs.vmware.com:

Fig. Storage I/O Queuing Flow

" ... if you are noticing that your device queues are constantly bumping up to their maximum limits (see Checking the queue depth of the storage adapter and the storage device using ESXTOP ), it would be recommended to increase the Device/LUN depth and use SIOC (Storage I/O Control) to help mitigate any potential noisy neighbor problem .... The reason for increasing the device queue is that a storage array is generally more efficient if it can see multiple I/O requests at one time ... "

VMware

"It is super easy to set up multi-NIC vMotion. It's all explained in KB: Multiple-NIC vMotion in vSphere 5 (2007467) . To briefly cover the set up:
1. You set up multiple vmkernel port groups, each with a different NIC as primary, any other NIC's as standby or unused, and a different IP address on the same subnet.
2. You then select the vMotion tick box on the vmkernel port."

VMware

Goes into Exchange, Oracle, SQL, SAP, SharePoint, Java, Hadoop.

VMware

"... Don’t forget to learn the vMA commands vifp and vifptarget, which will help you to point the vMA to a specified ESXi server in your datacenter ..."
And a script that "... will configure the syslog server and open the syslog firewall rule for each server mentioned in the for loop ..."

VMware


VMware

From virtual-vargi a nice Storage – Collection of Links

VMware

Gigaom VMware shakeup: Maritz is reportedly out (already confirmed.)
A couple of paragraphs I thought I'd highlight:
"... VMware has let its lead on virtualization — its core business — slide while pursuing enterprise applications and higher-level software ..."
"... The irony is that most large cloud computing vendors such as Amazon and Google don’t use VMware’s hypervisor, but use a customized version of the Xen hypervisor ..."

I'm thinking that VMware vSphere should not really be compared against Hyper-V. I've always thought that ESXi is a "proper" Type 1 hypervisor; it is lean and mean (the OS can even run in memory) and just does the job of being a hypervisor – and that single focus allows it to excel at what it does; whereas Hyper-V – an excellent product, don't get me wrong, especially with Hyper-V R3 coming – is much fatter and a part of the multi-purpose Windows Server OS. Perhaps VMware have missed a trick in not having a more capable free/open source version, that could have competed with the likes of the Xen hypervisor, to mop up the large Cloud Computing space.

VMware

To turn it on and check CDP Status = both
esxcli network vswitch standard set -c both -v vSwitch0
esxcli network vswitch standard list -v vSwitch0
LLDP only works with the vSphere distributed switch, and from the settings find 'Discovery Protocol'

Fig. Discovery Protocol - LLDP

VMware


VMware

"... To enable Uber Admin mode in VMware vCloud Director 1.5.x, click the Home tab under System Organization, click About from the Support Navigation menu, and press Ctrl + Shift + U ..."

VMware

"... vpxd -b ..."

Sunday, 15 July 2012

PlateSpin Migrate Notes (Latest Version 9.1)

I was once told a story that when VMware wanted to P2V so many thousand systems, they went to PlateSpin for help.

History of PlateSpin

Founded 2003, bought by Novell in February 2008, 2011 transferred to NetIQ (after Novell's acquisition by Attachmate.)

The below are handy in one place notes from:

What is PlateSpin Migrate?

PlateSpin Migrate delivers the fastest and most efficient anywhere-to-anywhere migrations, using proprietary block-based transfer protocols and Server Sync technology.

Features

Integrated testing for safer migrations
Live transfer: “… without taking the source servers offline or having to reboot.”
Server sync: “… test the workload in the new location while continuing to run the source, and then perform a final synchronization before cutting over the workload.”
Migration speed and scalability: “… up to 40 simultaneous workload migrations.”
Multi-platform support: (see below) “... hardware configurations and vendors with a driver database of 55'000 drivers and the ability to add your own custom drivers, and imaging technologies.”

Competitors

Vizioncore vConverter
Double-Take MOVE

Technical Specifications

System Requirements: Windows Server 2003 (.NET 3.5 SP1 & IIS 6 or higher) or Windows Server 2008 (.NET 3.5 SP1), 1 GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM, 10 GB disk, MSSQL 2005 Express or existing local or remote MSSQL 2005.

Supported Server OSs: Novell OES2, Windows NT4 / 2000 / 2003 (32 and 64-bit) / 2008 (32 and 64-bit) / 2008R2, SLES (32 and 64-bit), Red Hat Linux (32 and 64-bit), Sun Solaris (SPARC)

Supported Desktop OSs: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista (32 and 64-bit)

Supported Hypervisors: ESX/ESXi, Hyper-V, SLES with Xen, XenServer, Solaris Containers

Supported Hardware Vendors (Standalone and Blade): Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Sun, Unisys, and more

From the FAQ

Q: How long does a typical migration job take to complete?
A: The timing of workload migrations with PlateSpin Migrate can vary depending on several external factors such as network availability and the size of the workload. However PlateSpin Migrate has been specifically engineered to be the most robust migration tool on the market in terms of speed and scalability.

Q: Does PlateSpin Migrate support multi-pathing?
A: It depends...

Q: Does PlateSpin Migrate support NIC teaming?
A: Yes, PlateSpin Migrate supports NIC teaming for source Windows workloads, but the NICs will not be teamed on the target side.

Q: Does PlateSpin Migrate support Windows Clusters?
A: Yes, PlateSpin Migrate is the only workload migration product on the market to support migration of Windows clusters in a non-disruptive manner.

Q: … I want to perform an offline migration from a remote location)?
A: A user should be able to boot the source with the ISO remotely via PXE. Along those same lines, if the issue is the lack of a physical optical drive, we have a process to create a bootable USB thumb drive as well.

From the “View Product Overview Video”
“… After using the PlateSpin Recon to plan the project ...”
“… With capacity management information from PlateSpin Recon, they kept the new datacenter running optimally, by continuing to move their workloads wherever fit best ...”

From the “View a Product Demo Video”

Fig. 1: PlateSpin Migrate Actions

Fig. 2: PlateSpin Migrate Transfer Method

Take Control: Is a cold migration process, this involves shutting down the source machine in order to migrate the workload, this is usually used for Linux and legacy Windows NT servers (but could be used to migrate Windows 2000/2003/ …)

Live Transfer: Is supported by Windows 2000 and above.
> File: Use for low transactional servers, like webservers and fileservers, not recommended for database or highly transaction servers.
> Block: Can be used for database servers and highly transactional servers.
> Snapshot: Windows 2003 and above, it is a file based transfer option, but can take advantage of VSS which allows Migrate to copy SQL databases and Exchange databases without needing to stop the services.

Can schedule!

Additional Note
From: User Guide - PlateSpin Migrate 9.1 (April 20,2012)
"PlateSpin Migrate licenses are sold on a per-workload basis (doesn't matter how many PlateSpin Migrate servers you have.) A license entitles you to an unlimited number of migrations on a specific number of workloads. With every migration, a workload unit of the license is assigned to either the source or target. The machine that has the workload unit assigned to it can subsequently be migrated an unlimited number of times. Each time a workload is assigned, the Workloads remaining number is decreased."

Fig.3 PlateSpin Migrate Workload License Assignment

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Tech Round Up 14th July 2012


This week with stuff from Cisco, Citrix, Dell, EMC, Fusion-io, HP, IBM, Microsoft, NetApp, Synology, Tintri, and VMware.

Cisco

Nice table for Cryptographic Algorithms – avoid, legacy, acceptable, and NGE (Next Generation Encryption.)

Cisco

(28 Jun) 3D Data Center Models for your iPhone/iPad available from the Apple App Store "Cisco 3D Interactive Catalog"

Cisco

"The ASR 9000 product family has recently come out with a new feature called nV Edge (nV = Network Virtualization) ... Ultimately, the nV Edge clustering+ VPLS topology can be as simple as shown below, while maintaining your resiliency requirements.
The benefit of an nV Edge + VPLS and this is why it can be awesome...
1) Increased physical link utilization
2) Up to 75% decrease in VPLS Pseudowire requirements
3) 50 millisecond or less recovery times"

Cisco

IPv6 Extension Headers Review and Considerations (actually from October 2006 ...)

Citrix

Blog post (27 Jun) on Microsoft licensing for XD vs. View

Citrix XenDesktop: Scaling for 500 Users
(2) XenDesktop Controllers
(2) XenApp Servers (Application Streaming)
(2) Microsoft SQL 2008 Servers (SQL Replication)

VMware View: Scaling for 500 Users
(2) View Connection Servers
(2) ThinApp Servers (Application Streaming) (File Server)
(1) vCenter\View Composer Server
(2) Microsoft SQL 2008 Servers (SQL Replication)

Citrix XenDesktop: Scaling for 20,000 Users
(3) XenDesktop Controllers
(2) XenApp Servers (Application Streaming)
(2) Microsoft SQL 2008 Servers (SQL Replication)

VMware View: Scaling for 20,000 Users
(10) View Connection Servers
(2) ThinApp Servers (Application Streaming) (File Server)
(2) vCenter\View Composer Server
(2) Microsoft SQL 2008 Servers (SQL Replication)

Citrix

Extracts from the Citrix Branch Repeater Specifications Sheet (July 2012)
"BR-SDX 2000 delivers the highest density of HDX optimization, with 5000 simultaneous HDX optimized sessions. With its capability to support 2Gbps of optimized traffic, BR-SDX 2000 also delivers the highest broad based WAN Optimization capability in the market, period."

Citrix

Nice pdf guide for a Citrix XenServer Unattended Installation by Christian Ferber (Jul 10)

Citrix

Making VDI work in poor bandwidth locations "...Citrix VDI-in-a-Box – deployed across 50 training centers."

Dell

Review of the Dell EqualLogic PS6100XS (23 May.) Check out www.itpro.co.uk for their storage reviews and more – including:

EqualLogic PS6100XS
Price as reviewed (23 May 2012) = £49'420 exc. VAT.
Rating = 6/6

Nimble Storage CS240
Price as reviewed (21 May 2012) = £65'540 exc. VAT
Rating = 4/6

Broadberry CyberStore 424DSS
Price as reviewed (9 May 2012) = £8'880 ext. VAT.
Rating = 5/6

Dell

Review of the Dell EqualLogic PS4100E (9 Jul.) Check out www.pcpro.co.uk for their storage reviews and more – including:

EqualLogic PS4100E
Price as reviewed (9 Jul 2012) = £9'521 exc. VAT.
Rating = 5/6

D-Link DSN-6120
Price as reviewed (19 Jun 2012) = £4'688 exc. VAT
Rating = 5/6

Fujitsu Eternus CS800 S3 Entry (Dedupe Appliance)
Price as reviewed (6 Jun 2012) = £8'851 exc. VAT
Rating = 5/6

QSAN Technology P300Q-D212
Price as reviewed (15 May 2012) = £4'750 exc. VAT (diskless)
Rating = 5/6

Dell

Dell Customer Stories (1 Jun): AECOM – Engineering, Research & Development company, with 45'000 employees

Services:
Dell Compellent Copilot Support – 24x7 Support, Priority Response
Dell Pro Support with Mission Critical, 4 hours onsite response service

Hardware:
Dell Compellent Storage Center SAN
Dell EqualLogic PS6510E and PS6010XV

Software:
Dell Compellent Enterprise Manager
Dell Compellent Data Progression

Dell

Dell Customer Stories (May): AURUM Holdings – Retail & Wholesale company, with 1'700 employees
"Since moving to Dell EqualLogic, we've improved the performance of our SAP environment by around 50 per cent."

Services:
Dell ProSupport with Mission Critical

Hardware:
Dell EqualLogic PS6000E/ PS6500X/ PS6000SVS storage arrays

Dell

Article from silconANGLE about the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution
"Dell, one of the very first backers of the OpenStack project ... architecture components
> The latest OpenStack version, Essex
> The latest 12th generation Power Edge Dell Servers, R720, and R720XD
> Canonical OpenStack distribution and Operating System: Ubuntu 12.04
> Dell Force 10 switching: S60
> Next version of our innovative OpenStack deployment and operations software: Crowbar"

Dell


Dell

"1. Cloud unbridles customer growth"
"2. Cloud enables rapid product enhancements"
"3. Cloud enables experimentation, as a business"

Dell

Dell Announces the EqualLogic PS-M4110 Blade Array (11 Jun 2012)

EMC

EMC Networker 8.0 is out (July 2012)

Fusion-io

Interesting use of Fusion-io cards "Fusion-io and Princeton University boffins have used a PCIe flash drive to virtually extend a server's main memory into the terabytes."

HP

Nice blog with lots on HP 3PAR http://cloud-land.com/
Building the business case to choose HP 3PAR - The Ninja's Way (10 Jul) – information on the assessment HP will run, to help you evaluate your data utilisation rates and more....

IBM


Hardware:
IBM XIV Storage System
- Function in use: Thin provisioning, snapshots, data migration, synchronous mirroring, host attachment kits.

Software:
Symantec Veritas Storage Foundation
Symantec Veritas Cluster Server

IT Environment:
OSes = Red Hat Enterprise Linux & Microsoft Windows Server
Databases = Oracle & Microsoft SQL Server
Virtualization = VMware

Microsoft

Links to TechEd sessions 2012:

Microsoft

More on Windows Server 2012 licensing (11 Jul 2012):
"Windows Server 2012 will be available in four editions: Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation ... Customers with active SA (Software Assurance) coverage at the time of 2012 release will receive migration rights to the new editions as follows:"

Microsoft

Microsoft Cloud Self Assessment Tool by Wilfried Schadenboeck (9 Jul)

NetApp

Paralized NFS solution using pNFS
"... allows you to scale an NFS environment seamlessly while simultaneously offering the ability to optimize data paths from client to volume, even as your data moves within the storage cluster..."

NetApp

NetApp Customer Claton Companies on Keeping it Simple, Doing More with Less (10 Jul.) 700 employess. Using FAS3240's and a FAS2240 for DR location. Using NetApp OnCommand. Using FlexVol, Snapshot, SnapManager, and SnapMirror.

NetApp


"NetApp developed Infinite Volume specifically to address the scalability needs of enterprise content repositories; it eliminates the complexities of managing data in multiple small containers. NetApp Infinite Volume is a software abstract hosted over Data ONTAP 8.1.1 operating in Cluster-Mode. Now, you may ask, “How infinite is an Infinite Volume?” Well, it doesn’t have unlimited capacity. But, it’s pretty darn big. It provides a single mount point that can scale to 20PB or 2 billion files."

NetApp

Highlights the value of OnCommand Workflow Automation as a tool for quick Cloud Storage provisioning.

NetApp

"1. Understand Your Workload
"> What is the read-write mix for the workload?
"> What are the typical IO sizes?
"> How much is random versus sequential?
"> How large are the working sets for the application?
"2. Employ Virtual Storage Tiering
"3. Evaluate Price/Performance at a Systems Level
"4. Use Flash Pools for Data Persistence
"5. Deploy Flash with Capacity-Optimized Drives"

Synology


Tintri

YouTube video (17 Feb) where The Norwegian School of Economics (3700+ users) talks about their experiences using Tintri VMstore

VMware


VMware


VMware


VMware

YouTube video (11 Jun) from Steve Kaplan, VP, Data Center Virtualization Practice, Presidio West – "VMware vSphere Delivers Greater Value and Lower TCO than Microsoft Hyper-V"
"... Microsoft's claim that their solution is far less expensive than VMware's ... flaws in their methodology.
"> Microsoft compares their significantly discounted volume price, without support, to the VMware list price including support
"> Microsoft pits their products against VMware's highest editions, but when based upon functionality they should be comparing against VMware's lowest product editions
"> The VMware Cloud Infrastructure Suite delivers far more features and functionality than the Microsoft ECI bundle used in that comparison
"> Microsoft's comparison also ignores the VM density advantage that vSphere has over Hyper-V .... this means that vSphere deployments require less money, less money spent on servers, on network switches, cabling, rackspace, power, cooling, and even on guest OS licensing."

VMware

Useful VMware KB article Keeping a vSphere Environment Up To Date (updated 12 Jul)
"It is important to apply updates/upgrades in the correct order. An overview of the product update/upgrade order is:
"1. vCenter Server
"2. vCenter Update Manager
"3. ESX/ESXi Hosts
"4. VMware Tools (inside virtual machines)
"5. Virtual Machine Hardware Version
"6. Distributed Virtual Switches and Datastores"

Phew, all in one week - I'll have to stop retaining so much!