The musings of an IT Consultant

November 30, 2010  5:35 PM


Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So for a long time now MS Exchange has been the dominant player in the collaboration space. Well as you may know, VMware acquired Zimbra. What is Zimbra exactly?

Well Zimbra is an email and collaboration alternative to Exchange and it is open source. Now Zimbra can offer to us an alternative for those of us that prefer not to go down the Exchange path. Don’t get me wrong, I love Exchange and I’ve used it since the dawn of time. But it’s always nice to have a competitor in the market!

Zimbra is available in a VMware virtual appliance that you can try out so if you have a demo environment you can set it up in, then I encourage you to try it out. You can read more about it here.


November 30, 2010  4:57 PM

Private vs Public Cloud

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So with all the mention of the cloud nowadays, it’s common to hear the terms private and public tossed around in relation to the cloud. What does this mean to the customer?

Well based on the apps and data you have, some of them might work in the public cloud or some might work in the private cloud, other might work in either. The question is what should you do? Well at the end of the day for most customers it comes down to data security.

Does your data have specific regulatory requirements around security where it’s not allowed in a public cloud? If so, then you really don’t have a choice in the matter and you have to go private. However there are other reasons you might want to stay private. If you have an IT team already that already knows the ins and outs of your business, you can leverage there skills to maintain your own private cloud.

So in the end there really isn’t a right or wrong answer, it’s more about what is right for your individual business.


November 30, 2010  4:50 PM

Pay for use in the Cloud

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! Now with virtualization you find a lot of people putting their apps in the cloud. Now the question becomes, if you have multiple departments or companies using the same infrastructure, how do you charge that back?

In some companies this isn’t a requirement, but in a lot of companies it is. The ability to determine which department is using up your compute resources.

Well using VMware products you can easily make this happen! VMware vCenter Chargeback is a great product and you can read more about it here. You can also take it to the next level with VMware vCloud Director.


November 30, 2010  2:07 AM

Xbox 360 Kinect

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So I don’t know how many of you have tried this device out yet, but I have and I am impressed. Now normally I don’t write about gaming, and I’m not going to start now. But what I’m more concerned with is the device itself and how it relates to the real world.

The Kinect has so many potential applications for enterprise computing! The ability to interface with a computer without any controllers reminds me of the movie the Minority Report where Tom Cruise is using that futuristic computer with hand gestures.

Give it some time and the next thing you know is that we all will be able to interact with computers in the enterprise this way. This could have some great implications for graphic design for example.

So sure the Kinect is just for gaming now, but mark my words,  the technology behind it will definitely find it’s way into business computing in the future!


November 30, 2010  1:58 AM

Cisco Cius Tablet

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! Seems like everyone is coming out with a tablet these days. Now Cisco has one too.

The new tablet is called the Cisco Cius and is slated to arrive in March. I guess Cisco is serious about entering the tablet market but one can’t help but wonder what they will bring to the table with it. They have already talked about it docking with a station that gives you phone capabilities.

This tablet is built on the Android platform so in my opinion that is a good step in the right direction. The Android community has a lot of apps to offer so it could make this tablet quite versatile.

I look forward to trying one out in 2011!


November 30, 2010  1:53 AM

iOS 4.2 for the iPhone is now out

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So the latest news from Apple is that iOS 4.2 is now out. Word on the street is that it provides better performance as compared to the older versions.

Also iOS 4.2 now provides some new features such as:

  • AirPrint (the ability to print wirelessly)
  • AirPlay (wireless streaming)
  • Better support for the enterprise (Exchange 2010 is now supported, as is multiple ActiveSync accounts)

Try out iOS 4.2, you’ll like it!


October 31, 2010  9:14 PM

When using QoS: Router or ASA?

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So more and more these days we require QoS for our networks. When you have QoS needs and you need to decide on a Cisco router or a Cisco ASA firewall what should you use?

Well both devices support QoS, but I would lean towards using the router. Why? With the router it seems you have much more capabilities for troubleshooting and figuring out what’s going on in a QoS scenario. A router for example supports NBAR and an ASA does not. The netflow logging is also different in an ASA as it’s not quite the same as a router. It uses someting called NSEL.

I think because QoS can be a trial and error process while you try and tweak it to work the best in your environment, it helps to have all the tools at your disposable and using a router seems to meet this goal. An ASA is great, but in my opinion is more security focused and not ideal in a scenario where you need full QoS capability.


October 31, 2010  9:07 PM

Best practices configs

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! When you configure as many switches and routers as me, it helps to keep some sample configs around.

If you are a network consultant you will probably get to see your fair share of networks. In your travels you might see new and nifty ways of configuring things. Everytime you find a snippet of config commands that might prove useful, it’s a great idea to store that in a text file for later use. Why would you do this?

Well you can build a library of best practice configs to use at a later date. This way when configuring a new router or switch from scratch it won’t take you as long. You can just cut and paste and replace the unique information as needed. This goes a long way to making you more efficient!


October 31, 2010  9:04 PM

Internal company wikis

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! Being in the consulting industry, there is a lot of information to keep on top of. How does one consolidate all this information so as not to get innundated?

Well in this day and age, we have the age of the wiki. You can basically find a wiki on anything on the Internet and why shouldn’t we leverage that? It’s a great idea to take the idea of the wiki and leverage it in your own organization by using your favorite wiki software.

Some people like Microsoft Sharepoint, some people like open source products. It doesn’t really matter what you use as long as you’re comfortable with it and you get your whole team on board to using it. Then you can consolidate all your knowledge and documentation in one easy to access location.

With instant access to this information it will help the productivity of your work force. Of course a wiki is only good if it’s kept up to date!


October 31, 2010  8:58 PM

3g Unrestrictor

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So now you have your newly jailbroken iPhone and you want to use 3G instead of WiFi for the apps that are WiFi locked down. How do you do this?

You can accomplish this with a few apps out there. 3G unrestrictor is a cool app that allows you to do just that. Where this comes in handy is if you have no wifi connection but need to use those apps. It allows you to launch the app and specify which apps you want to be able to use on 3g. The next time you use those apps they just work.

It just does this by fooling them into thinking you’re on Wifi. Of course there is a downside to all of this. If you don’t have a proper data plan, you can end up with a huge cell phone bill for data usage. So make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you attempt something like this.

Jailbreaking is great because it lets you do almost anything, however at the same time it can easily allow you to shoot yourself in the foot.


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