PernixData FVP v1.0

Howdy all,

PernixData just released version 1.0 of the much awaited FVP. It’s a host based read/write caching solution for the VMware ESXi hypervisor.

What this means in basic terms that you can have a cluster of ESXi hosts, each with a PCIe flash card (capable of hundreds of thousands of IOPS) and those flash cards will do read/write caching for your VM’s that sit on your EMC/IBM/InsertWhatEverSanVendorHere based datastores.

The list price is 7500$ for each host (Unlimited VMs) – compare that to buying SSDs for EasyTier, FAST Cache etc and I bet this is the cheaper solution….really ! 🙂

I don’t have a environment where I can test this, but please, check out this video by Jason Nash where he shows in a quick way how to install the PernixData solution and get it working in a already-running ESXi environment.

Also – Please check out Frank Denneman’s blog to get some more technical info on how PernixData FVP works….this could be the next big thing in virtual environments ! 🙂

Here is also a quick’n’dirty version on how PernixData came to be.

Bgrds,
Finnzi

Neat RSS reader for MacOSX

Howdy all,

If you are still hurting after the closure of Google Reader and have not found a replacement for it you could check out Vienna. It has everything that I have been looking for in a RSS reader and it’s also open source !

Bgrds,
Finnzi

Illumos – A project worth betting your stuff on ?

Howdy all,

I have been spending quite a bit of time reading up on Illumos lately due to my interest in Nexentastor. After seeing OpenSolaris die due to Oracle’s closing of the Solaris source code I thought most of the community would probably never touch it again. Which I thought was sad, even though I have never really like Solaris. But that is mostly due to the fact that I have never had enough cause to spend my time learning enough about it.

But Solaris is a very good operating system. No one can deny this.

Enter Illumos. A source code distribution that was forked from OpenSolaris that plays a central role in quite a number of products. SmartOS, Nexentastor, OmniOS and others are now all backed by the project. And the companies behind those projects keep committing new stuff to Illumos. That is awesome !

So, open source ZFS will live on. Which means we will see new features being implemented into ZFS (and other Solaris components) in Illumos.

Take a look at this talk here.

My point here is simple. Illumos is here to stay and you can be sure that those products that are backed by Illumos are built up
on something that ain’t going nowhere !

Prove me wrong and I’ll buy you a beer if you happen to be in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland sometime !

Bgrds,
Finnzi

Nexentastor Enterprise – Quite an interesting product !

Howdy all,

Lately I’ve been researching SAN storage (Let’s face it…I loooove storage;)). Not exactly for any special project but we had a meeting with a HP service provider here in Iceland. We were shown some 3Par slides, prices etc. I gotta give those guys some credit….I think the 3Par StoreServ 7000 is a brilliant product. There….I said it.

However I also starting reading up on Nexentastor Enterprise. Where have I been for the last years !
I got the “pleasure” of inheriting a Nexenta Community Edition box in a previous job. Man….I always disliked that box quite a bit. Never mind that….However after reading up on Nexentastor Enterprise Edition I wish I had known anything…anything at all about that product ! I would have switched over in a jiffy.

For those that don’t know anything about Nexentastor it is a software distribution (Based on Illumos kernel packaged with the Debian packaging tools) that runs on commodity hardware. It can offer iSCSI, NFS or FC based storage from everything from SATA to high end SAS drives. Just grab some (supported) JBODS, make sure you are running a supported firmware and some HBA and NICS and you are good to go. It can use SSD/Flash disks for a read and write caching (L2ARC/ZIL) and can push amazing amounts of IOPS/Mbps from cheap hardware.

Hopefully I will be able to test a Nexentastor installation on enterprise grade hardware soon enough to get some feel for how it performs as well as to see how the HA features work.

If this thing flies as high as Nexenta and some partners tell me then the good old enterprise storage vendors might have to start worrying about those guys, at least it looks like a killer product !

Check out the Nexenta webpage.

Bgrds,
Finnzi

Education: Why I dropped out of school

Howdy,

Here in Iceland we’re having a lot of discussion on why so high percentage of young folks drop out from school. The reason for the discussions are due to a television show which talks about the school system and the dropouts.

I am one of those dropouts, I dropped out of high school after one year. The last 3 years of secondary school were a pain for me. Before those 3 years I would consider myself to have been a pretty good student.

During the last 3 years of secondary school I hit some kind of a wall. I stopped spending time learning, lost pretty much all interest in school and spent more time with my friends. I guess this is pretty normal for 13-16 year old kid. But the real reason why I gave up was that I did not see any future learning basic math, Icelandic, Danish etc. My future was in computing, that was for sure. Instead of learning from the school books, me and couple of friends started learning random stuff regarding computing we found after spending countless nights browsing the Internet. We didn’t have Google (Hello Metacrawler !) but somehow we managed to find loads of material that got us interested in networking, Linux (Hello Red Hat 4.2/Slackware 3.1 !), hardware, and UNIX operating systems.

The only course in school which had anything to do with computing was typewriting. The teacher was a math teacher who also did the typewriting classes at the school as well as handling the internal IT. Since me and one of my friends already spent the better half of the day on IRC it came natural to us (or we were already typing correctly, can’t remember:)). This class and English were the only classes I remember getting 9+ in.

Why? Because these were the only classes I was remotely interested in.

The one year I spent in high school was pretty terrible grade wise, but I had a lot of fun that winter…..maybe too much fun. But then real life knocked on the door. A lot faster and harder then I thought it would. And I had to get my stuff together.

Fast forward 15 years. I am a Systems Administrator. I have more then 14 years of experience in IT at age 31. I got to learn stuff that not many people really care about. And I have had to learn those things quite fast (Not having access to 3rd level support for X or Y at 03:00 when you have a system down helps a lot;)). But I actually wanted to learn those things. And I learned quickly that I was able to learn anything if I had any interest at all.

I do consider the school system to be highly flawed. It failed me pretty bad, it was unable to boost my interests in anything it had to offer. Had there been anything (even a optional class) on computers, programming or even industrial computers I would have been there. And it might even have showed me that it could actually pay off to stay in school.

In today’s world everything moves fast. Fast is probably not the correct word. We’re evolving daily. Almost every child knows English better then there parents at age 12. Hell, they are even quicker to find information on anything they want to learn about then there teacher, parent or uncle !

Why are we still doing things the same way we did them 30 or even 40 years ago ? Why can’t we stop this parrot learning style we have and move on to something more dynamic ? I have doubts that the current school system is able to keep my son focused – but hell, so far they are doing better with him then with me 🙂 But I do not have the solution to this problem. But I am sure it revolves around getting the kids interested in some field quickly enough and help them master that field instead of hammering them with Danish or Geography when it is obvious they do not want to learn about it, they can already look all that info up on the internet ! And then, if they want to learn Danish (sorry about bashing Danish, I have nothing against it!) they can choose to learn that. Or something else.

I might be rambling, but I really want today’s kids to get more out of school then I did.

Eventually, I will finish some degree. I hope 🙂

Bgrds,
Finnzi

Back to Mac OS X :O

Howdy,

Finally my old trusty Thinkpad T61 decided to leave this world. I went a month or two without having a private laptop (I try not to use my work machine for private matters) but finally I could not go a minute longer ! I searched quite a bit for a nice machine I could use for running Fedora, but I have been using Fedora for few years ony my trusty T61. However, after spending few hours searching for a good machine (The T430 with some high end specs was quite interesting) I settled for a Macbook Pro Retina 13″.

This machine is amazing ! The last time I was using Mac OS X was on a 2007 Macbook with 13″ screen (1366×768 resolution if I remember correctly). That was quite sad experience since it was unable to do things like scroll a flash-heavy site without feeling sluggish. However the new machine has nothing I could call sluggish. Everything runs quite smoothly. If I could complain about anything it would be the size of the SSD and the write speed after doing a full disk encryption. However it is not trivial and the disk still feels a lot faster then my old 7.2K 320GB disk in the T61 🙂

At first I disliked the whole idea of making Mac OS X feel a bit “iOS” like. Applications are delivered through the App Store etc. I however quickly realized that it quite nice to have the apps delivered this way. Updates all go through Apple. If there is a security bug etc the users get updates delivered centrally. Just that feature is brilliant (and quite old if you look at how Linux distributions deliver apps/updates:)).

Well, let’s see if I keep on praising Mac OS X after using it for more then a week 🙂

Bgrds,
Finnzi

Red Hat on Oracle Enterprise Linux

Howdy all,

I’ve met up with some people from Red Hat in the past years due to my work. Few times the subject of Oracle Enterprise Linux has come up. They keep telling me it is built from CentOS sources and therefor lags way way behind RHEL on security updates etc.

As much as I hate the idea of Oracle Enterprise Linux I hate lying more. Oracle Enterprise Linux was at first built from CentOS sources, back when OEL first came out. Since then quite a few things have changed…..and one of them is that Oracle seems to be building stuff right from Red Hat sources now ;-).

Red Hat: Stop lying to customers when bashing Oracle and just keep on making a quality product !

Bgrds,
Finnzi

Hyper-V 3.0: Interesting new things !

Howdy,

Recently I have had the chance to start working with Hyper-V (still not a lot). As a VMware veteran I find this very interesting since the changes in the 2012 (3.0) release are quite impressive and if they work as advertised VMware and other virtualization players might have a problem on there hands !

I especially like the Powershell Cmdlets which make the platform quite powerful (yes, yes I know VMware and the other players have those features as well).

However VMware still has the lead when you look at the management interface. I don’t know what it is, but the vSphere interface is truly awesome.

It will be interesting to see how Hyper-V will move along and if all the features work as expected 🙂

Bgrds,
Finnzi