Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Last post on blogger - move to tumblr

I've decided to migrate to tumblr as my main platform for blogging due to a few good reasons:
- Greater look and feel
- Easier to post anything, therefore increases the frequency of my posts
- Integrates with all major social media and multiple formats
- Upper coming platform with great potential to become mainstream

Because of past blog posts, I will discontinue the use of the http://blog.myboulton.com URL in a few months when I pick back up followers at the new platform. It currently sits at http://mblog.myboulton.com

If you are an RSS feed subcriber, please subscribe to my new feed
I will continue updating blog posts to my Twitter account too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Mistakes that startup entrepreneurs make

I enjoyed this article from the WSJ Online, about the 10 mistakes that startup entrepreneurs make:

  1. Going for it alone
  2. Asking too many people for advice
  3. Spending too much time in product development, and forgetting about sales
  4. Targeting an extremely narrow niche market
  5. Entering a market with no distribution partner
  6. Overpaying for customers; expensive marketing
  7. Raising too little capital
  8. Raising too much(!) capital
  9. No business plan
  10. Over-thinking the business plan
I think #3 and #1 are particularly very interesting, given that they are personality related. All others could be attributed to lack of experience or misinformation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

VMware Tip: Upgrade/Patch ESX 4.0 Update 1 to ESX 4.0 Update 2

It took me some time, but I finally figure it out, and it's easier than it sounds. I tried with the Update Manager, and I could not get it going in a timely fashion.

  1. Power off all VMs or get them off the host, and put the host in Maintenance Mode.
  2. Log in as root to the command line of the ESX 4.0 U1 host.
  3. Make sure the host has Internet Access
  4. Issue the following command: esxupdate --bundle https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/OFFLINE/release-224-20100608-010422/upgrade-from-esx4.0-4.0_update02.zip --http_proxy my.proxy.home.com:443 update
  5. Follow the prompts

If you don't need a proxy, simply remove the --http_proxy parameter. I think you can chnge the .zip file to be the update bundle that you want to install (i.e. Update 1, or Update 3 when it is released)

Disclaimer: I do not know the impact of this process to a "production" environment. I run this in a lab, and I have no issues if my VMs are rebooted, or are even wiped away. They were not affected, as far as I can tell.

The hint to the solution came from this article, and this document. This forum post helped too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Network Access Control Quick Video Demo

Here's a quick pair of videos. They go over the look and feel of the Cisco Clean Access, or Cisco Network Admision Control (NAC) solution, from the user side. These are based on an older version of the NAC client.

NAC Value Proposition: "NAC allows only compliant and trusted endpoint devices, such as PCs, servers, and tablets, onto the network, restricting the access of noncompliant devices. It can be useful for enforcing policies to vendors and third party users who need to connect to the network infrastructure"

Summary of Benefits:

  • Security policy compliance: Ensures that endpoints conform to security policy; secures managed and unmanaged assets
  • Protects existing investments: Is compatible with third-party management applications; flexible deployment options for multiple entry points like VPN, wired, and wireless.
  • Mitigates risks from viruses, worms, and unauthorized access
Out-of-bound Implementation Method (i.e. Wired connectivity)


Inline Implementation Method (i.e. VPN)


You can find an excellent, and more recent, Flash Based Demo directly from the Cisco Website

For more information on Cisco NAC, you can go to the Cisco NAC portal directly.

Monday, August 9, 2010

3D Quick View - Cisco UCS B Series System

Finally, here's a 3D quick view video (two parts) of the Cisco Unified Computing B Series System. This one is my favorite. I broke it in two short videos: blade servers, and other architecture components.

Note: they are best viewed in full screen and HD mode





The UCS B Series is a system, not a Chassis based compute node. It combines Unified Fabric (single wire for data, storage, and management of the compute node), and Unified Management with other innovations in the server itself (i.e. Memory Extension to support up to 384 GB of DRAM per server, and Virtual Interface Cards to bypass virtualization supervisors and switch VM traffic in hardware).

In my opinion, one of the strongest value propositions is the Unified Management: from a central Cisco UCS Manager (that resides in the 5100 Fabric Interconnect Appliance) you can configure compute, network, storage, and administration parameters; all in one place. You can see a video of the UCS Manager here.

You can also access the 3D model from the Cisco Product Page.

Monday, August 2, 2010

3D Quick View - Cisco UCS Rack Servers C200 and C210

Here's a 3D quick view video of the Cisco UCS C Series systems (Rack servers) for the lower end: UCS C200 and UCS 210.

Note: they are best viewed in full screen and HD mode





You can also access the 3D model from the Cisco Product Page.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

3D Quick View - Cisco UCS Rack Servers C250 and C460

Here's a 3D quick view video of the Cisco UCS C Series systems (Rack servers) for the higher end, high performance models: UCS C250 and UCS 460.

Note: they are best viewed in full screen and HD mode





You can also access the 3D model from the Cisco Product Page.

Monday, July 26, 2010

3D Quick View - Cisco Nexus 5020

I decided to create a few videos with 3D models of some Data Center 3.0 Architecture components. To start, the Data Center Access layer (i.e. where servers connect to), here's a quick silent video on the Cisco Nexus 5020 Unified Fabric Data Center Switch.

Note: Best seen in HD mode, and full screen



The Nexus 5000 comes in two flavors: 5010 and 5020. The Nexus 5010 has 20 embedded line-rate 10 GigE FCoE capable ports for server connectivity; the Nexus 5020 has 40 of those ports. They also have one or two expansion modules, respectively, that can be used for Fibre Channel ports to connect to a SAN.

The Nexus 5000 family is also capable of having the Nexus 2000 associated to it, to add 1 GigE ports for legacy server connectivity. That combination makes it an ideal design for datacenter access looking for a single management point, user defined oversubscription (or line-rate) access layer, and Unified Fabric support.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Linux Journey: The beggining


I decided to start playing around with Linux after so many years that I don't touch a Linux distribution. The goal is not to play just to play, but more importantly participate and contribute to the community. I also decided to document some of my random thoughts in the form of a blog post here.

Everything started with the selection of the distribution. I thought of starting with the 3 big names: Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSuse. I used to run Redhat (when it was free, before Fedora) and Suse (before Novell). I heard Ubuntu became very popular and I did some research and found out it is the most downloaded distribution according to the dedicated distrowatch website. Debian was only for hard-core Linux users, and Mandrake disapeared somewhere in the French riviera.

After a few tests and some research, I decided to stick with the Fedora Project and become a contributor. These are some of the reasons:

Non-Technical Reasons

  • Fedora Project is a global partnership of free software community members, sponsored by the world largest Linux vendor: Redhat
  • It's fundamental and core values are "Freedom, Friends, Features, First"; which I like and agree with. Especially "First".
  • It has two projects that I want, can, and will work with: Fedora Marketing sub-project, and I will explore the Cloud Special Interest Group (SIG)
  • Fedora has the best documentation available and wiki system, by far
  • It is the second most downloaded (therefore used?) distribution today; so it is defintely a top distro
Technical
I tested a few distributions via the live USB option.
  • The Fedora Linux USB Live version boots considerably faster than any other
  • I experienced a small hicup with data persistency on the USB Live version, but that was after I installed a bunch of new packages. I currently run without persistency and I do not install anything on it.
  • The Live version does not include too many useless packages for me, such as OpenOffice. Just the right ones for the "thin client" or "netbook" type
  • YUM is an awesome package installer system; very easy to use
  • There are plenty of RPMs to choose from.
Finally, if you are still wondering, you can download and use Fedora Core from here

Friday, July 16, 2010

Data Center Innovation - No more oversubscription

Oversubscription in a network is not bad, it is healthy. Best practices show that a 1:20 and a 1:4 oversubscription level is acceptable at the user campus and server access, respectively. These are based on theoretical and empiric values, that produce best practices documentations and design guides - for more information go to Cisco's Design Zone for examples on these documents.

The Data Center is getting a lot of attention when it comes to R&D and innovation lately. I'd say it started getting hot again with the new trends in cloud computing and unified "X" (i.e. Unified Fabric, Unified Compute, etc) early 2009. The latest: FabricPath technology to aggregate multiple switches and eliminate oversubscription when needed.

FabricPath is a set of capabilities in the Cisco Nexus platform that combines simplicity of Ethernet with the reliability and scalability of Layer 3 routing.

Using FabricPath you can build highly scalable Layer 2 multipath networks without Spanning Tree Protocol. When deployed across multiple Nexus chassis, FabricPath creates a flat data center switching fabric with high switching capacity, cross-sectional bandwidth, and low predictable latency.



The FabricPath Switching System improves business agility through workload flexibility and delivers operational efficiencies through network simplification, provisioning, and reduced power needs. Such networks are particularly suitable for large virtualization deployments, private clouds, and high-performance computing (HPC) environments.