The musings of an IT Consultant


March 17, 2009  12:07 AM

Cisco UCS Announcement

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, today Cisco made their big announcement regarding their Unified Computing System. At the heart of this system is Cisco’s new UCS 5100 Blade Server Chassis. This chassis can hold up to 8 blade servers and 2 fabric extenders within a 6 RU enclosure.

UCS is being marketed as an all in one enclosure that contains many components such as the blade enclosure, the servers, fabric interconnects, a management module etc.

Cisco is going head to head with their long time partners IBM and HP by making this announcement. It remains to be seen if Cisco can make any headway in a market that they historically have not competed in during these hard economic times.

Win or lose, Cisco is sure to turn some heads. One thing is for sure, Cisco has always been one to innovate, and will most certaintly keep everyone on their toes by entering this space.

You can read more about UCS here.

-RP

March 15, 2009  9:04 PM

Using Windows Server 2008 as a desktop OS

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, as you know I have been trying out various OS’ as of late on my laptop to see how things work. I used to use Windows XP Professional for the longest time on my laptop but finally got bored of it and wanted a change.

The next thing I tried was Suse Linux but unfortunately it couldn’t do everything I wanted it to do due to the large amount of Microsoft centric programs I needed to run in my daily work. So what I did was dual booted Suse Linux and Vista and that seemed to suffice for quite some time. The downside of this was that Vista wasn’t that much better at running my Windows world apps either. That’s pretty sad in my opinion.

You see I need 64 bit in a Windows world so I can use more memory because I’m an avid user of VMware workstation. When you’re using lots of virtual machines on your laptop you need more RAM. There really is no way around it. Of course using VMware workstation under Vista isn’t the best case scenario. Basically my laptop would become way too sluggish. Not surprising, I really didn’t expect anything less.

So then I switched to Windows 7, and as you saw in my blog, I couldn’t really get too far due to the issues I had. But for what I was able to run I was impressed with it. Frankly, I can’t wait until Windows 7 comes out, I’m looking forward to it and I hope Microsoft gets it right this time.

So what did I do next? I wiped my hard drives clean and I installed my copy of Windows Server 2008 on my laptop. Talk about a huge difference! All my hardware worked perfectly and my laptop performed way better than Windows Vista! Who would have thought that a server OS would make a great desktop OS!?!? Anyways, I disabled all the unneeded features and services and I turned on the “desktop user experience” that is included with Windows Server 2008 to “Vistaify” the OS.

I have to say I have been pretty happy with this, and I think this is what I’m going to stick too as my OS until Windows 7 comes out. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

-RP


March 14, 2009  5:33 PM

EnergizeIT 2009

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So Microsoft has a bunch of events running across Canada soon. These are the EnergizeIT 2009 events. Durings these events they will be discussing Windows 7 and Windows 2008 amongst other things.

This will be a good opportunity for you guys in the IT community to get out there and see what’s new on the horizon. After the whole Vista debacle, it’s nice to see a product like Windows 7 on the horizon. From my experiences using it (as I’ve blogged about before), I can’t wait for it to be released. As a matter of fact, it’s so popular there are petitions circling the Internet for Microsoft to release it even sooner. I think this wouldn’t be a good idea because even though we hate Vista, we don’t want Microsoft to rush Windows 7, we want them to get it right instead.

The nice thing about this EnergizeIT event is that the day before the event you can go to a local user group forum regarding the event, and then the day after the event you can go to what they’re calling an “Installfest” for Windows 7. Basically you get to install and play around with Windows 7 with techs on site to help you out and answer any questions you might have. Sounds like a great idea to me!

-RP


March 14, 2009  5:08 PM

Client Hypervisors

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi guys, as you all know I’m a huge proponent of virtualization. Virtualizing the server environment is a no brainer in my books. Just imagine how excited I was when the IT community started getting all pumped up about client hypervisors!

There is now talk of the ability to install a client hypervisor on a workstation pc and then use it in the same way we do server virtualization. What does this do for us? Well basically all the same things – it isolates the hardware away from the actual virtual machine, and also allows us to run multiple virtual machines on a single workstation.

In the mobile marketplace, a hypervisor was demonstrated on a mobile device allowing you to run multiple virtualized mobile operating systems on one device. Now that’s just too cool! :)

Anyways, I can’t wait for this technology to become mainstream. Over the next few years we are going to see the virtualization market explode!

-RP


March 14, 2009  4:58 PM

Kaseya Connect 2009

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Well as I have mentioned before, I love the product Kaseya. It is a great solution for providing Managed Services to your customers. With Kaseya you can monitor and control small to large amounts of workstations and servers as well as create an alerts dashboard to notify you about impending alerts in a client’s environment.

Well that same company that brought you the Kaseya product is now holding a conference in Las Vegas. It’s called Kaseya Connect 2009. I for one am going to try my best to go if I can find the time to get away from my duties here in Winnipeg. I would encourage all of you in the Managed Services industry to go as well. There should be a lot to learn from this conference.

One of the things I’m going to try and get out of it is how I can better use the Kaseya product to increase efficiencies in our Managed Services division. It should be a blast!

-RP


March 14, 2009  4:48 PM

Epic’s Extreme Technology Makeover

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, as you know in this economic downturn, it’s hard to think about upgrading your network. Even if you are the network admin and you know of all the issues, it can be hard to get the executive to approve your IT roadmap when times are tough.

In light of that, Epic thought it would be a good time to hold an Extreme Technology Makeover contest. The contest rules are on the web site, but the gist of it is that you submit your “case” as to why you think your company needs an Extreme Technology Makeover and then Epic will choose the winner. The value is for a $50,000 solution.

You can apply to the contest here. Good luck!

-RP


February 28, 2009  10:18 PM

Citrix XenServer now free

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, you may have heard that Citrix XenServer is now free. This is great news for the virtualization world because now we have yet another fully capable virtualization product without virtual machine limits (the old Xen Express had a 4 machine limit) to to compete with Microsoft and VMware.

However I do have to speak to something regarding this recent announcement. Apparently some people have been saying that this is the first free hypervisor that is actually capable of being deployed in a production environment. Now I don’t know about you but that smells like a lot of marketing BS to me.

As far as I’m concerned even VMware’s free ESXi has always been a fully capable production environment product. I have used it in countless customer sites and it runs solid, stable and with great performance. Likely that comment is designed to affect the opinions of people who haven’t had much experience with virtualization and aren’t in the know from trying it themselves.

Citrix is joining forces with Micrsoft with the Citrix Essentials product which support Hyper-V and XenServer. I think this is going to backfire because Microsoft is not going to let Citrix’s virtualization product eclipse their own. Sure they have had a great relationship for years and years, but when it comes to this virtualization war, Microsoft is not going to settle for being behind Citrix.

On the other side, VMware will have to watch out, because it’s obvious it’s competitors have VMware set firmly in their sights as their number one target.

-RP


February 27, 2009  9:25 PM

64 Bit Rant

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So I’d like to rant a little bit about something today, and that’s 64 bit desktop (not server) support in a Windows world. I’ve been using 64 bit Windows operating systems for quite some time now and I still have to say that I’m not impressed with what is out there.

 

Whether we’re talking Windows XP, or Vista, I am not happy with what vendors have to offer. A lot of times I have tried to download drivers or even download some free or trial product to test out on my system only to find out that it is not compatible with my 64 bit Windows OS.

 

What’s the deal with that? It’s not like nobody uses it. As a matter of fact, I know tons of like-minded IT professionals that use 64 bit Windows OS’ and don’t have a choice because they need the high amount of RAM on their computers to run programs like VMware Workstation for instance.

 

I’d just like to say it’s high time for you software companies out there to start putting out 64 bit applications for Windows, and not just as an after thought, but with some serious focus. And to those of you that are already doing this? Kudos!

 

-RP


February 27, 2009  9:09 PM

The new HP Blade: HP ProLiant BL495c

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, today I wanted to talk about the new BL495c blade from HP. This is a Blade server that was made just for virtualization. How you ask?

 

Well to start, it comes with a maximum memory capacity of 128 GB of RAM, along with support for HP’s Virtual Connect Flex-10 network technology. This means you can carve up 10 GBe worth of network traffic and virtualize the heck out of each BL495c you stick in your enclosure.

 

Couple this with a C7000 enclosure which can fit 16 of these bad boys per enclosure and you’re talking about some serious horsepower. Even with the C3000 enclosure we’re talking about 8 blades per enclosure which is nothing to sneeze at.

 

Granted the server is running AMD cpus and I’m currently a fan of the Intel procs for virtualization but when we’re talking virtualization, it’s the memory capacity that is really going to help you out here. It would be awesome if they released an Intel version of this blade.

 

You can read more about it here.

 

-RP


February 27, 2009  8:39 PM

My Experience with Windows 7

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, so I tried out the recent beta of Windows 7 on my laptop having been absolutely fed up with my Vista 64 bit installation. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. My computer ran really slick as compared to the Vista OS. It looks like they ‘ve come a long way to making this OS better.

 

I didn’t experience any of the constant headaches that I was having with Vista. Things actually seemed to be running smoothly. I currently use Windows Server 2008 64 bit with the desktop experience enabled on my laptop and it runs great. I found that the Windows 7 installation ran quite similarly to Windows Server 2008 if not a little quicker.

 

I do have some gripes however. I got some really strange errors that seemed to be related to the .NET Framework when trying to install Microsoft Office 2007. I tried using the released .NET sdk and framework for Windows 7 that Microsoft released but it wouldn’t install. Also Windows updates worked for a while and then they completely bombed out. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the Windows updates part of Windows 7 working again. I can forgive these things for the time being because they are still in beta.

 

I have now wiped Windows 7 from my system and am using Windows Server 2008 as my laptop OS. I will try Windows 7 again on my laptop when the next release comes out.

 

-RP


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