Category Archives: Technical

Yet another hardware refresh project comes (and goes!)

Howdy all,

I just finished a plan for redesigning/rebuilding one of the environments at work.

It is truly amazing how much time goes in designing, getting specifications, reading up on technical material, talking to industry experts and getting quotes from our server vendor.

There are more then 6 months since I started this planning and design phase with my colleagues. Our vendor has probably lost count of how many quotes I have requested due to this and I am amazed they actually still pick up the phone when I call them ­čÖé

What I am getting at is that often when we, the technical staff, start on a redesign projects small or large we are quite often stuck thinking about how awesome the newest CPU chips are or how fast some new memory tech is. When working on hardware refresh projects we are often replacing hardware that is three generations behind the new stuff. Speed is most often not the issue. Everything today revolves around software. We have to design around software, be it licenses or some other software flaw (or feature!).

After going through yet another project like this one might wonder – while we still have on-premise servers, would it be better to just “rent” hardware resources?

A thought for us all….

Bgrds,
FOG

Weird problems with HP Proliant BL460c Gen9

Hi,

Recently we were flashing the firmware of few of our HP Proliant BL460c G9 blades.

One of the blades seemed to finish flashing the firmware (BIOS/Power Controller/iLO) and I went on to reboot it.

However when I tried to reboot it the blade never finished posting (it never got on to the second post screen).

The solution is very simple. Run the reset BIOS procedure (dip 6 on, blade power on, wait until you see messages on the screen saying you can turn the blade off, reset dip). Whola….the machine will finish the boot process ­čÖé

Also – during the firmware update process, don’t worry if the machine will reboot a couple of times after you reboot it when you have finished flashing…it is normal!

Bgrds,
FOG

A nice tool for performance monitoring IBM SVC and Storwize products

Hi,

Recently I have been working on a problem (along with the infrastructure team at work) where we were having some performance issues.

Since we do not have IBM’s TPC product I had installed stor2rrd a while back. This tool has proved to be invaluable during our debugging and I highly recommend that you install and use it if you do not have TPC (or any other performance monitoring tool) for your storage infrastructure (and are using IBM SVC/Storwize).

It uses a tool called svcperf from IBM to collect the performance data and then writes the statistic it gathers in RRD files. Although this tool does not have any advanced features it makes it easy to see how your storage is performing.

However it seems that IBM has stopped developing svcperf but hopefully XORUX will keep it up-to-date (at least the data collection part) or re-writes their own product to have native support for collecting the data from SVC/Storwize based products.

Bgrds,
FOG

When preparing for a Oracle DB virtualization project…..

……read “Virtualizing Oracle Databases on vSphere” from VMware Press!

It is well written and managed to maintain my focus throughout the whole book. Probably one of the better books I have read on virtualization….9/10.

I am currently planning to virtualize a large Oracle database environment from an old HA cluster to a new VMware vSphere environment.

The book gives you loads of valuable information on what to look out for and different settings to give attention to. It also has a brilliant performance tuning chapter (but don’t thing this book will turn you into a performance tuning god) that gives you loads of stuff to help you maintain your performance while migrating over to your new fancy virtualized infrastructure.

The book will get a spot on my table until this project will be finished.

Bgrds,
FOG

Interesting presentation on 3Par VVol support from HP

Hi,

Just read this presentation from HP on 3Par VVol support. I can’t really wait for vSphere 6.0 and VVols…this is a game changer – been thinking about NFS instead of block storage but this changes things somewhat since now we can do data services per VVol.

I am very interested in how this will affect backups.

Bgrds,
FOG

The first rule when contacting HP Support ….grab a AHS log!

Yeah…just wanted to document this here for me. Hopefully you can make some use of it as well.

Before opening up a case with HP Support for HP Proliant servers (at least Gen8 and newer) make sure you grab a AHS support log. They will in 99.9% of cases ask for this log before doing anything. Also, if it is a blade server make sure you grab a “show all” from the OA.

The easiest way to get this is to download the log through iLO (at least possible with firmware 2.03 and newer). Go to Information -> Active Health System Log. Pick out the time range you want the log for and fill out the contact information and press Download!

Here is a guide from HP for alternative ways to get the log.

Bgrds,
FOG

Brilliant new adblocker – ┬ÁBlock!

Hi all,

I’ve just discovered new adblocker which seems to be way easier on resources then Adblock Pro (which is a brilliant tool in every other way).

Check out ┬ÁBlock.

So far it seems that my resource usage on my laptop is about ~15-20% lower then usual!

Bgrds,
FOG

Cool feature of Solaris IPS – Search for a CVE

Hi,

Just read a blog over at c0t0d0s0.org regarding searching installed packages by a CVE (Common Vulnerability and Exposures) number.

# pkg search -l CVE-2014-7187
INDEX ACTION VALUE PACKAGE
info.cve set CVE-2014-7187 pkg:/support/critical-patch-update/solaris-11-cpu@2014.10-1

Source here

Bgrds,
FOG

VCP – Going for the gold!

Howdy all.

Finally, after working with VMware virtualization products for more then 10 years I am finally going for the VCP.

The course has been booked in April if I remember correctly but I was hoping to finish the exam before that. To help me out I have two books, Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5 by Scott Lowe and VMware vSphere Design also by Scott Lowe, Forbes Guthrie and Kendrick Coleman.

Lets see if I can cram and take the exam before April!

Bgrds,
FOG