Daily Archives: September 17, 2009

Fear Mongering Over Virtualization

Dailytech Virtualization Article

Seriously?  A dark side to virtualization?  If virtualization technology is phased in by someone that has a clue this cannot be an issue.  Take something like Exchange 2007 – will the performance be worse virtualized?  Yep.  But what kind of horsepower do you really need for 100?  Or 1,000?  A modern server on the VMware HCL that is configured reasonably should be able to take 30 to 40 servers, which means that many SMB’s could get away with a two node cluster.

Virutalization allows for enormous flexibility.  Even if you run the most basic version of VMware ESX, you’ll get fully encapsulated virtual servers that you can back up cheaply with a product like vRanger from Vizioncore for complete, bare metal backups.  You could run two or three servers per host and see incredible DR and utilization benefits very cheaply.

If the issue for SMB’s is that they are going to be dumb and deploy a technology in a way that dreadfully increases risk that’s a not a technology problem.  That’s a stupid person problem.

It really sounds like the analyst wanted to say something to stir it up.  Congrats, man, but you just sound ignorant.


More fun with legacy ESX 3.02

I’ve gotten really spoiled recently (say, for the last two years) on setting NTP on ESX servers.  I found a nifty script that would take an answer file, do all the necessary firewall and startup tweaking and that was that.

Unfortunately, it only worked if I used a certain version of winscp and my Dell 620.  For whatever reason, any other combination broke the script (confirmed by other admins here).   Well, the 620 died a couple months ago, just after my cube migration.   I didn’t bother fixing the script because recent (as in published in 2008 or newer) versions of ESX added NTP configuration to the GUI and that has worked fine.

Now, I am installing 3.02 again and NTP configuration looks like this:

(1) update /etc/ntp.conf


restrict default kod nomodify notrap

server xxxx

driftfile /var/lib/ntp/drift

(2) update /etc/ntp/step-tickers


(3) update /etc/hosts (if using hostname)

(4) using putty or similar to goto the console, login as root and run the following command. This opens the appropriate ports and enables the NTP daemon to talk with the external server.

root@esxhost# esxcfg-firewall –enableService ntpClient

(5) Restart the NTP service.

root@esxhost# service ntpd restart

(7) Now you can set the local hardware clock to the NTP synchronized local system time. Run:

root@esxhost# hwclock –systohc

Sheesh.   Props to the VMware Forums for coughing up that bit of goodness.

I like the GUI better...I like the GUI better...


AMD x4 – Quad Core for the masses


Pretty excited about these little guys.  Now even ~$400 PC builds don’t have to compromise with regards to the number of cores you get.  Drop this on a ~$50-$90 motherboard and you’ll get a really good experience for not much dough.  Some games don’t run the fastest on this CPU as stated in Anands’ article, but performance is quite acceptable.  Realistically, AMD owns the cheap (~$40), decent (~$65) and reasonable (~$100) price points at this juncture.  Clearly Intel takes the lead once you start getting around $200 for the CPU alone, but the platform costs will also be significantly higher.

It will be interesting to see how quickly bios updates roll out (if they are even needed…), but other than that it seems a pretty clear winner.

At the very least, it is another reason to be happy that AMD is still in the game.


WordPress on Ubuntu


That’s the link I used to make this happen.  Of course, I would suggest using nano to edit the wp-config.php file, that’s about the only thing different that I had to do.

I would also suggest using Server 8.04 instead of desktop if you are looking to setup a dedicated wordpress box.   There isn’t a good reason to use the full-up desktop install for this.   On top of the wordpress LAMP requirement, I would definitely install openssh.  The other handy software install I did was webmin: http://ict-freak.nl/2009/02/18/how-to-install-webmin-on-ubuntu-804/ and this gives a great overview of what is going on.