Archive for the ‘Business Process’ Category

EMC tells their SDS story, but is it really theirs alone?

EMC today announced the their latest entry into the Software Defined Storage (SDS) market, VIPR. They’ve coined it the “World’s first Software Defined Storage Platform” (http://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2013/20130506-03.htm). I have to say, I am a little put off by this initial push and need to be first when they are clearly not. I could list a few that have claimed to be a SDS platform first, DataCore, Nexenta, and when looking at some of the capabilities, I think IBM beat them out with the SVC Director.

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End of Year SMB Tech Survey

Every year we see survey results posted by Gartner and just about every known trade rag that says what the next year will hold.  What will be hot, and what will be relegated to the trash bin.

This year , I haver been asked to pass along a survey to my readers in conjunction with Ivy Worldwide.  I vy is a social media firm that I have worked with for the past few years.  The great part of the survey is that I get to publisht he results right here when I get them back, not just from my readers but from readers of many blogs around the world, but also you get a chance to win $250.  Who doesn’t like free money?

Click ont he graphic to be taken to the survey and i look forward to sharing the results.

SMB Survey

2012: the year that storage died

Sure the title was meant to be inflammatory, but at the same time I am seeing one of the most dramatic shifts in enterprise storage in the last 10 years. Some history would probably help here. I began my career in IT 15 years ago, in 1997 major companies ran their entire businesses on either a mainframe or a midrange system and green screens ruled the world. We barely had email, and it was surely not a collaboration suite. At the time, I was a systems admin and spent days and often nights working with the large direct attached storage systems for either the mid range or the windows environments. We slowly moved into shared storage, often for a single system. Our exchange server had a shared set of disks for the cluster, same goes for SQL, but we didn’t dare move the mid range systems(as/400 at the time) to a shared storage solution. Around 2001, I was insistent with my management that we should have a shared solution for both open systems (windows and Linux) and our iSeries but got amazing pushback. The more we virtualized the more traction I was able to get. Probably helped that many of the mid range systems were being replaced by monolithic sun and windows boxes, the IBM purists had less traction. About this same time, you saw IBM itself start to transform itself into a services and software company, the move that Sun never realized it needed to do. With the vast growth of virtualization, came the rise of EMC and then startups like NetApp. Over the next 5 years you would see shared storage become the go to accepted platform. As our data growth has exploded so has the size of the arrays we use to store the massive amounts of data
So if we have massive data growth, how can I say that storage has died? The answer is simple, I can’t, but what I can say os that the way we address storage has changed. We are reverting back to the direct attached storage days, with a few exceptions. In the direct attached days, the big reason for keeping the drives local was that the data was all controlled by the software. Software defined storage, just no one called it that. Today we are seeing the same back to software defined storage. The major cloud players have all found that users want the choice of where they data goes. VCloud Director now has storage profiles. OpenStack had already let you have tiers of storage. Object based storage is leading a way to move data between entities without the need for a set structure. Hadoop and Gluster are saying that the data does not matter and you should concentrate on how we process the data.
So where does that leave us? We need to look at hardware vendors right? After all they control the drives and we want to make sure our data integrity stays high and we can control where we place our data. I argue that we should be only looking at the hardware vendors to give us a place to put data but not a way to control it. The software defined storage of today allows for me to add data integrity, portability, and speed with what ever hardware I want. We have 4TB drives spinning faster than most personal computer drives, solid state drives that will give us 5 year warranties and in sizes approaching a TB. Now we need the likes of HP, Dell, and IBM to press on the manufacturers, the Sanmina and Quantas among others to produce for density, and environmental factors. HP announced with the Gen8 servers that their hardware RAID controllers on their servers could hold more disk and process at a faster speed. But what about when I want to control the data? Where is my dumb JBOD at density? Dell has started to trend towards higher density with the 3020 60 drive JBOD. Well almost, they say you have to have the 3260 to manage the JBOD. Seems like a conflict to me.
If we can start to get all our data controlled by software, on the hardware we want, with the best density rates we can keep moving forward to a point when storage as we know it may very well die.

How to Create “Add to Calendar” Links within a blog

I am hosting a live podcast in a few weeks (blog announcement upcoming) and I wanted to find a way to let people add the date and time to their calendars with just a simple click instead of having to enter the information themselves.  After alot of searching, all the post seem to say you had to add the event calendar plugin and then it would be a new plugin to the wordpress page and things like that.  Not exactly what I was looking for.  I wanted something as simple as

Heres a reminder to read TheSolutionsArchitect.net when the podcast announcement comes out:

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Are you a Nerd or a Geek?

After having a conversation last week that being called a Geek or a Nerd is not a bad thing once you get out of high school, I found this infographic interesting. The conversation did conclude that no matter what some girls say, being called a Dork is pretty much never good.

So which one are you??

Thanks to http://www.coolinfographics.com/

Review – Lync Mobile for iOS

If you work for a company that has decided to use either Office365 or an internal deployment of Microsoft Lync you have probably been waiting patiently for a mobile client. Even with external connectivity, there was the issue of connecting to a PC or dialing a long numeric code to join a conference call. Plus the idea of presence really only meant that you were sitting at your computer. With the releases this week and last, of Lync 2010 Mobile for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS you can now chat, have conference calls and even accept calls from your desk phone. More info on all the apps can be found here. http://goo.gl/Bgva5

Follow these links to get the apps depending on your device:

iPhone http://goo.gl/HrwiY
iPad http://goo.gl/i5pNe
Android http://goo.gl/vTwZb
Windows Phone http://goo.gl/sYO6A

Since I am an iPhone user, that will be my first review. I took a few screenshots you can see below.

When you install the app the only configuration that is needed is to provide your iPhone number so that Lync can connect calls and enable Simultaneously Ring between your Lync extension and your iPhone. You can also turn this feature off in the My Info screen if you want to. This is also the same screen you would use to change your status. It does no appear to change the status for you if you have been away, like the PC client does. Although that makes sense since you are with your phone. It would be nice if there was a way to set a toggle to make this easier to change, but I believe that might be a drawback of iOS.

There are also quite a few options you can select from the My Info screen. You can view the screenshot here. You also have the same options for Status that you get on the Windows client. (Screenshot)

The next part that most people look for is the contacts. They are the same as the ones you have on your client and will sync groups as well. The Chat is also pretty self explanatory and works as expected. I would like to see two improvements in the chat. They should utilize the integrated iOS 5 notifications and show if you missed a chat, and when a chat is missed, you should get some sort of change to the home screen icon. I would imagine this would change with voicemails, but I dont have any or use mine much to check that. If you select a contact in chat you can also see all their details. You also have options to call the person, invite others to the conversation, and store the chat as an email. A cool extra feature is the ability to send your location to the other person. Lync will use the iPhone GPS to find you on Bing Maps and then send a map and the location to the person you are chatting with.

Moving on to the meetings which was my most looked forward to feature. I have had mixed experiences so far. First for the good parts. If you set a online meeting within Outlook, it will automatically sync with your mobile client. As an added bonus, if another person in your organization sends a meeting invite for a Lync meeting it is also synced to your meetings. Once the meeting has synced you no longer need to type in the long code to join the meeting. Simply click on the meeting and select Join Meeting. Lync will then tell you to answer the incoming call to join the meeting. This is where one of the bad parts comes into play. The call comes from the main company number and not your direct dial if you have one. This is not the worse thing just something to be aware of. The other part I don’t like here is that it requires you to have phone service to join an online meeting that is using VOIP. I would like it to be more like Skype that I could run everything with wifi. This is not much of a problem when you are in your normal cell area, but if you are a US person traveling abroad, the cell phone minutes get very expensive. Possibly the ability to have it call with Skype could be a great tie in for Microsoft in a future release. The other very troubling thing that I found was when I was a meeting organizer and other people joined my meeting before I did, the system asked me to type * to allow the others to join. I attempted to do this 3 times and it never recognized the *. I had to go back to my old way and type in the full phone number and code to start my meeting. I have only tried this once so I am hoping it is a glitch and will not persist but it is worth mentioning.

The last spot is the actual phone. This works just like the softphone client. You can dial a number direct via the keypad, and check your voicemail. The voicemail screen is very close to the native iPhone voicemail screen so that is very nice. Again I have the same issue that you have to be able to accept a call to place a call. Microsoft needs to find a way to make this client truly a VOIP client.

Overall for the first version of the product I think Microsoft did a rather good job and for normal operations I think it will be extremely handy and I look forward to the updates as they come. Hopefully we will have an Android and iPad review up shortly as well so stay tuned.

How to get your upgraded vSphere 5 license keys

There seems to be some confusion from customers on how they get the new license keys for vSphere 5 if they have an existing support and subscription. If your support is current the upgrade should have been processed automatically in the VMware portal. The same process applies for any upgrades in the VMware system but I am just showing the vSphere hypervisor license as an example. To be able to complete this process you will need to be either Primary License Administrator (PLA) or Secondary License Administrator (SLA). If you need help adding a SLA to an account check out my other blog on “How to add a SLA to VMware.”

Without further ado and with actual keys redacted for protection, heres the process… Read more

How to add a Secondary License Admin for VMware

As the number of virtualization admins increases, one of the ongoing issues is how to make sure the correct people can see the correct licenses. When virtualization was young, often a single admin handle all the keys for a company, but those times have past so now many of my clients want to know how to add a second or third person to their license portal. Possible one for just your View licenses so the Help Desk Manager sees those keys but not the vSphere licenses, while your application developers need your vFabric keys but not the View keys. After walking through customers a few times I thought it would be easier to do one of my standard screenshot blogs to show how to add a second license admin. First a few terms you need to know:

  • PLA = Primary License Administrator, each contract only has one PLA. Remember you are just renewing Support and Subscription, your licenses are perpetual.
  • SLA = Secondary License Administrator, this can have multiples and is assigned by contract
  • SA = Support Administrator, this person cannot manipulate licenses but can file support claims for the contract specified. Read more

Installing the latest VMware Fling – I/O Analyzer

VMware Labs relesed their latest fling this week.  An appliance “that provides a simple and standardized way of measuring storage performance in a VMware vSphere virtualized environments” To help out everyone out there I did a quick screenshot walkthrough to show the install. Rather simple and if you have ever installed a .ovf you should have no problems.

 

Download the Fling Here

Quick Summary found Here Read more

The Atari 2600 cost more than my laptop…

So it had been a while since I have posted a more pricing/business based post and i just came across an infographic that I thought was really interesting.  To add a little to it, the Atari 2600 was $200 in 1977 and with inflation that comes to $589, so essentially I could go buy myself a decent laptop or I could play frogger and pitfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to http://nowsourcing.com/2010/06/18/technology-internet-infographics/ for the graphic

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