30 Mar 2010
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If you have seen my Chinwag with Mike Laverick, you would know that we spoke about the complexity that comes with Cisco UCS and HP Matrix. Well, I have just registered for the HP Virtual Connect Webinar Series that starts today. As we’re already got a lot of Virtual Connect customers and are likely to have plenty more in the coming months, I thought that it would be wise to familiarise myself more with the technology.  

 

Learn about HP Virtual Connect technology directly from the HP's experts, as they take a deep dive into the technology and innovations. See first-hand how Virtual Connect technology can simplify and converge your server edge connections, integrate into any standards based networking infrastructure and reduce complexity, while cutting your costs.

 

The webinars in this series will be:

  • March 30, 2010
    Virtual Connect Flex-10 Management of Connections and Bandwidth
    • HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 technology is a foundation for the virtualization capabilities offered by HP. These capabilities enable HP to provide a Converged Infrastructure without compromises. In this session, we will discuss how VC enables Insight Dynamics for ProLiant and HP/IO, how to manage the connections and bandwidth to quickly respond to change in workload. We will also discuss the economics of HP Virtual Connect Flex-10.
  • April 15, 2010
    Server Edge Virtualization
    • The evolution of the data center architecture has seen shifts towards consolidation and virtualization. HP's Converged Infrastructure vision includes a view that all infrastructure resources should be virtualized. Server edge virtualization is a key technology that can help customers simplify the way servers connect to external networks.
  • May 18, 2010
    Squashing the Myths
    • Virtual Connect is loved by customers and feared by competitors. So, let's talk about the best way to answer objections inspired by competitors.
  • June 8, 2010
    HP Virtual Connect for FlexFabric
    • In this session, you will learn how to build a Converged Infrastructure with Virtual Connect to simplify your connection environment and reduce equipment, power, cooling and management costs. Find out how Virtual Connect for HP FlexFabric uniquely converges the BladeSystem server edge using Flex-10 technology with industry standard Ethernet and Fibre Channel, without compromising your existing infrastructure and operations.
  • June 22, 2010
    Converging fabrics and reducing costs at the server edge
    • From its introduction, HP BladeSystem has delivered unprecedented innovation in the areas of data center infrastructure simplification and reduced TCO. In this session, you will hear how HP FlexFabric and Flex-10 technology enhancements will allow you to dramatically reduce the complexity, power and cost of connecting server blade enclosures to data center networks.
  • July 13, 2010
    Managing data center connections and workloads with Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager (VCEM)
    • This month's webinar will examine how Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager (VCEM) helps to streamline IT operations and improve response times by centrally managing network connections, server workloads and Virtual Connect configurations for up to thousands of servers across the datacenter. The session will include live demonstrations of core VCEM functionality.
  • August 10, 2010
    VC in small to mid-sized environments: Remote Branch, Remote office how to's
    • Virtual Connect isn't just for big data centers! It solves lots of problems for shops where the lone guy wears three hats. Or, the channel partner providing IT support for small customers. We'll show how it fits wherever you need servers connected.
  • September 14, 2010
    Server I/O virtualization in your environment
    • With millions of ports shipped, HP Virtual Connect has demonstrated unique value in simplifying the way servers are connected to networks. In this session, you will hear about the latest innovations to server I/O virtualization and how they can improve operations of server, network and storage teams with blade and rack-mount server infrastructure environments across your data center.
  • September 28, 2010
    Implementing Virtual Connect in your environment
    • Virtual Connect is the simplest way to connect servers to networks. Come learn how to deploy a converged Virtual Connect infrastructure with minimal disruption to existing data and storage networks. You will hear how to transition to a converged server edge so that you can dramatically improve the way you connect and manage servers across your data center.

If you are interested, you may go and register for the series at www.hp.com/go/VirtualConnectWebinars. Registration is free.

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29 Mar 2010
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Novell Platespin Portability Suite – Cannot connect to IIS with http or https.

Last week when trying to reinstall Novell Platespin Portability Suite 8, I ran into the following error during the installation.
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26 Mar 2010
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This may be old news but now, but for those of you who didn't know, PHD Virtual released esXpress 4.0 recently. The full press release is below:

 

PHD Virtual Delivers New esXpress VM Backup Solution Designed for Large Virtualization Environments

Dedicated Virtual Machine (VM) Backup Company, PHD Virtual, Offers Dramatic Performance, Ease of Use and Scalability to Seamlessly Protect Large Virtual Infrastructures 

 

 

MOUNT ARLINGTON, N.J. – March 24, 2010 —PHD Virtual Technologies, award winning provider of esXpress VM Backup, today announced the latest release of esXpress, the industry’s fastest multi-VM backup and restore solution on the market. With the unique architecture of esXpress, customers have access to the only backup and restore solution available that was custom built for large virtualized deployments.  This architecture provides customers with scalability to meet their needs along with heightened reliability when compared to other solutions in the marketplace.  This new version, developed by the only company dedicated to virtual machine backup technology, runs backups up to 20 times faster through an enhanced, single-click backup interface and simplifies restore processes through a centralized web-based restore engine that offers concurrent use by multiple users.

 

“PHD Virtual is laser focused on the backup and recovery needs of today’s large virtual environments,” said Thomas Charlton, president and CEO, PHD Virtual. “As a result, we have developed esXpress to be the industry’s fastest and most scalable data protection solution for the virtual enterprise. This latest release is packed with features for lightening fast performance, simplified usability and extensibility into physical backup environments with support for traditional backup solutions.”

 

esXpress creates small virtual machines – virtual backup appliances (VBAs) – which uniquely use the virtual environment itself to perform the backups, eliminating the need for added hardware or software resources. This latest release adds Change Block Tracking (CBT) to this powerful VBA foundation for dramatic backup and recovery performance. By reading only the blocks that have changed, and not scanning the entire virtual disk each time a backup is performed, esXpress shortens the backup window and uses considerably less data I/O while also reducing overall loads on network and SAN resources.

 

esXpress uniquely delivers:

  • Linear scalability – With its ability to offer 16 concurrent backups, esXpress offers unmatched performance and scalability to meet critical backup windows
  • Verifiable and Measurable Deduplication – esXpress delivers source-side deduplication to reduce network traffic, offer one-pass restores, and deduplicate data across an entire storage target.
  • Reliable Change Block Tracking (CBT) –esXpress is the only virtual backup solution that validates the CBT data for each backup, ensuring data integrity and reliability.
  • Distributed Architecture / Fault Tolerance – esXpress features a distributed architecture which does not rely on Virtual Center or any other single application to run backups, making it the only truly fault tolerant backup solution available.

 

Pricing and Availability

The new esXpress 4.0 is available now with pricing starting at $1,000 per host for four concurrent backup streams delivering the best price/performance for data recovery and protection in virtual environments. The product supports unlimited sockets and unlimited cores per host and no additional hardware is required.

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26 Mar 2010
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I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to be on the legendary Mike Laverick’s chinwag last night. Mike and I hooked up our webcams and logged onto Skype to have a relaxed chat about some topics that affects the virtualisation enthusiasts today. In the session we talked about:

  • How I got into Virtualisation;
  • Our home lab environments (Mike is quite serious when it comes to his lab!);
  • The challenges that new blade systems such as HP Matrix and Cisco UCS brings;
  • A discussion on NFS, iSCSI and FC;
  • VMware’s plans to discontinue the Service Console version of ESX, in favour of ESXi;

The Chinwag is available here: http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/2010/03/25/chinwag-with-mike-and-rynardt-spies-episode-08/

I would also recommend that you subscribe to Mike Laverick’s Pod Cast: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mike-laverick-podcasts/id356669479

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11 Mar 2010
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I've been passed a press release regarding executive changes at PHD Virtual. The full press release to follow below:



 Virtual Machine Backup Leader, PHD Virtual, Names Thomas Charlton Chairman and CEO 

The Pioneer of Virtual Backup Appliances Adds Technology Management Expert to Corporate Team 

MOUNT ARLINGTON, N.J. – March 10, 2010 — PHD Virtual Technologies, award winning provider of esXpress VM Backup, the fastest multi-VM backup and restore solution on the market, today announced that Thomas Charlton has been appointed Chairman and CEO by the PHD Virtual board of directors. Charlton has more than 20 years of leadership experience in emerging technology ventures, leading past companies to increased profitability and successful acquisitions.

“We are pleased to add Thomas to PHD Virtual’s corporate structure,” said Michael Triplett, managing director, Insight Venture Partners and PHD Virtual board member. “Thomas brings a wealth of company management expertise and innovation to PHD Virtual from his years of experience.  His amazing track record in corporate growth and visionary thinking will help continue PHD Virtual’s dramatic growth.”

Prior to joining PHD Virtual, Charlton was the CEO of multiple software companies, including Shunra Software (network emulation and appliances), VoiceGenie Technologies (Voice XML speech platform) and Trailblazer Systems (eCommerce EDI software). Responsible for each company’s strategic direction, revenue growth, profitability and global expansion, Charlton led Shunra and VoiceGenie to profitability, and led VoiceGenie and Trailblazer Sytems to successful acquisitions by Alcatel and Nu Bridges respectively. Charlton also served as CEO at Tidal Software (enterprise job scheduling) which was recently acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc.

“I am excited about the opportunity that PHD Virtual represents based on the innovative technology it has built to address the growing data protection needs of the virtualization market,” said Charlton.  “Customers with virtualized environments cannot adequately protect their growing information through traditional data protection solutions. Virtual server environments need technology that has been purpose-built to meet the unique requirements of virtual machines. PHD Virtual is the only technology to be designed specifically for a virtual environment with the performance and scalability enterprise customers require. It also delivers the unique distinction as a virtual solution that integrates easily with a customers’ physical storage environment for true end-to-end data protection.”  

About PHD Virtual Technologies
The fastest multi-VM backup on the market and pioneer of Virtual Backup Appliances (VBAs), PHD Virtual Technologies has been transforming data protection for VMware since 2006. Its award-winning data protection solution, esXpress, is used today by more than 2,000 enterprises worldwide to achieve scalable, high availability and cost effective backup and restore solutions for VMware. esXpress was awarded Best of VMworld Finalist for 2009. In 2008, esXpress was named "Data Protection Product of the Year" by  SearchServerVirtualization.com. PHD Virtual also provides a suite of free, virtualization utilities to assist with the administration and management of virtualized environments. PHD Virtual supports global resellers through its Channel Xpress partner program and is a proud VMware Technology Alliance Partner. For more information, please visit www.phdvirtual.com.

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08 Feb 2010
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This is more of a note for future reference rather than a blog post.

I recently had to replace a RAID-10 member disk as the original disk had developed bad sectors and was causing mostly read related problems in the array. (That’s a whole other story it it’s won right and I don’t have time to get into that now). However, when I tried adding the replacement disk to the server, I found that the disk had a GPT table and not an msdos partition table, unlike the other 3 members in the RAID array. I was therefore unable to add the disk “as-is” to the RAID array as all disks are required to have the same partition table type. I therefore needed to remove the GUID Partition Table and replace it with an msdos partition table.

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Drawing near to 10pm here in the UK, which means it's almost time for that call to a product manager in Palo Alto...
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