The musings of an IT Consultant


September 22, 2008  4:26 AM

BlackBerry announces support for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So BlackBerry just announced support for Microsoft OCS 2007. What does this mean to us? This means greater support and integration between BlackBerry and Microsoft products.

One of the greatest things missing in my opinion from the BlackBerry suite of software is interoperability with other applications and vendors. This move to support Microsoft OCS 2007 is a great step in that direction. Some of the features they’ve announced such as being able to tell the presence of a user is just fantastic. We’ll see how this plays out. I for one am quite excited about it and can’t wait to test it out in the lab.

Now if only BlackBerry would announce full Asterisk and Jabber IM support I would be in 7th heaven!

You can read more about the announcement here.

-RP

September 15, 2008  2:02 PM

Changing the Service Console IP address in VMWare ESX Server

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, have you ever setup ESX server and set the IP just to find out later that it’s taken and you have to change it? I have, and I have to say I hate it when that happens.

Luckily there is an easy way to resolve this. With the proper command line commands you can quickly change the IP address of the service console.

Just connect to the console of the ESX server and at the shell prompt type in: esxcfg-vswif -d vswif0

This deletes the existing vswif0 and it will give you a message about “nothing to flush”. You can safely ignore this.

Then type in: esxcfg-vswif -a vswif0 -p Service\ Console -i 192.168.1.5 255.255.255.0 -b 192.168.1.255

That will recreate the vswif0 with the IP 192.168.1.5. You can of course use whatever IP and subnet mask you wish. The last address is the broadcast address.

If you have changed the IP of the service console to a new subnet then you will also have to change the default gateway. You can edit the file “network” in the directory /etc/sysconfig. Just use the vi editor to update the file and save it.

After all of this is done, restart the entire ESX server and that should fix it.

-RP


September 12, 2008  2:22 PM

RIM announces new BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220……stay away

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

BlackBerry has announced a new phone again. It’s a new flip version of the BlackBerry Pearl. My advice….stay away!

I have had the “pleasure” if you can call it that of supporting the old BlackBerry pearl phones for my clients and I have to say I hate them. If for no reason other than they seem to break  fairly easily and they are extremely hard to use when typing. This new phone looks like it has a similar keyboard to the Pearl.

I would rather people buy the newer BlackBerries with the full size keyboards. Of course if you like flip phones and don’t mind the user interface of the Pearl, then this could be the phone for you.

You can read more about the phone here.

 -RP


September 12, 2008  2:14 PM

How to enable address lookups for individual companies in Hosted BES environments

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Sometimes when you are hosting a BES server in an environment where you are hosting multiple domain names on a single BES server you need the ability to separate global address list lookups. You wouldn’t want people in one organization looking up contacts from another organization.

There is a way to do this but it involves some registry hacking:

Check to see that the users are members of the same company in Active Directory. Then in the registry go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Research In Motion\BlackBerry Enterprise Server\Agents registry key. Create a new DWORD value called “Hosted Server”. Then in the value type in a “0″ and click ok. Then set the DWORD value for AllowAddressLookup to “0″ as well. That’s it!

-RP


September 8, 2008  3:44 PM

Assigning the proper permissions for besadmin on BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Sometimes the problems administrators run into with BES are simply due to improper permissions. The besadmin account (the BlackBerry administrator account) requires certain permissions to do it’s job correctly.

More often than not we find out that someone has been mucking around with the permissions or they just weren’t set correctly in the first place and this causes an issue with BlackBerry devices sending and receiving e-mail.

BlackBerry has some nice directions on their web site on how to setup the appropriate permissions. You can find them here.

 -RP


September 7, 2008  11:00 PM

Hyper-V and NIC teaming and Quick Migration

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Apparently Microsoft’s new Hyper-V product is not compatible with NIC teaming. I hope Microsoft quickly resolves this as not being able to team NICS to provide redundancy in 24/7 servers is a big issue.

Also another area where Microsoft seems to be deficient is with Quick Migration. VMWare’s VMotion allows you to quickly migrate a virtual machine to another ESX host so you can perform maintenance on the original host. Microsoft’s Quick Migration should enable the same thing but people have been running into major issues with it as the process has caused some issues causing administrators much grief.

I recently have spoken with many people who are going the Hyper-V route because it’s “free”. I have to argue that now that VMWare’s ESXi is free, people really have no excuse not to go with VMWare based on their proven track record in the industry. These people are quick to point out the recent debacle with Update 2 but then you can’ t tell me that Microsoft hasn’t royally screwed up a patch in the past either. At the end of the day I still say that VMWare is your best bet at this point in time to keep your servers running smoothly.

-RP


September 7, 2008  10:37 PM

BlackBerry Bold

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

One of the latest mobile devices to come out of the RIM camp is the BlackBerry Bold. I personally use a BlackBerry curve but I have had a chance to check out the Bold and I have to say I wish it was smaller.

In this day and age of devices getting smaller and smaller it would make sense they would have made a device to trump the curve. Of course the screen is better, and it has WiFi now but I’m not a big fan of it’s size. Also the keyboard for me doesn’t seem as easy to use as the Curve’s although that would most likely be a personal preference.

What I do like is the inclusion of WiFi. More and more cell phone companies need to start doing this, not just on cool phones like the iPhone and the Bold, but also on normal everyday cell phones. Up here in Canada our cell phone costs are a lot more costly as compared to other countries around the world and I think a move to WiFi across the board would be a great idea.

-RP


September 7, 2008  10:22 PM

New Web Browser Google Chrome Released

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, Google has just recently released their new web browser called Google Chrome. I recently had a chance to try it and I have to say it’s a great first effort on Google’s part.

 Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer Firefox personally but anytime another browser comes out on the market to challenge the dominance of Internet Explorer, that’s a good thing! It will be interesting to see where Google takes it from here.

 I think one of the things that makes Firefox so great is the large availability of third party themes and add-ons, it makes for a very powerful web browsing experience. If Google Chrome can embrace this it would make for a great Firefox alternative.  Also Google Chrome seems to be quite quick at rendering web pages as compared to the competition. That can only bode well for Google.

 -RP


August 28, 2008  9:49 PM

VMWare Infrastructure Client now runs on 64-bit

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, just a quick update to a previous blog post. The VMWare Infrastructure client now runs on 64 bit as of 3.5 update 1 and VC 2.5 update 1. No need to perform any tricks or hacks to get it to work. Just install it as per usual and it should work just fine.

-RP


August 25, 2008  4:11 PM

Microsoft relaxes licensing around virtual mobility for 41 server applications

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, before when you had to move virtual machines from one server to another using technologies like vmotion you had to ensure you had a license for the server applications on both host physical servers. The only way you could move this was if you did it once every 90 days.

Microsoft has now announced that they have removed the 90 day restriction and are allowing moving of virtual machines between host physical servers for 41 server applications. They call it “Application Server License Mobility”.

This is great news for the virtual world and Microsoft has obviously done this only now due to Hyper-V. Like I said before, this competition can only be good for the consumer. When licensing expensive server application products this can save a significant amount of money in your IT budget!

You can read about this further at these links:

Microsoft Press Release regarding the relaxing of it’s license policy

Microsoft: Application Server License Mobility (word doc)

-Raj


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