NSN Connectivity Scorecard

Canada Connectivity ScorecardAccording to our friends at The Tech Report, Nokia Siemens Networks just released their 2009 “Connectivity Scorecard.”  Now, while I usually take company funded reports with a grain of salt, the Connectivity Scorecard from NSN reveals an interesting position for Canada.  Our score is 6.15 compared to the US with a score of 7.71.

Why the difference?  The short blurb contends Canada has low 3G penetration and Ultra-boradband (50Mbps+) is non-existant.  You can read the detailed PDF here. Do you agree?  While many of us do not have much better than regular DSL (8Mbps), do you think we got the shaft in this assessment?  Anecdotally, I’ve heard we tend to lead the world, so, this was surprising.

You can see the report for Canada at http://www.connectivityscorecard.org/countries/canada

VMware Patching

vmwareSo, VMware just released their first ESXi patch set of 2009.  Being the intrepid “lif-on-the-edge” guy I am, I downloaded and applied the patches to the systems here today.  VMware makes these types of upgrades relatively painless.  I simply used DRS to move my VM’s from system to the other, applyed the patches, reboot, repeat again.  No downtime for the VM’s, life is good.

Now, in the real world, this would certainly required change management and other IT processes (think ITIL) to accomplish.  How do you do your patching?  Do you still take regular downtime windows?  Or have you gone transparent?  Discuss…

Don’t hit that big red button!

ups-750Today, I had one of my new APC UPS 750’s bite the dust. Power went down here for about 10 seconds, and when it came back on, one of my UPS’ did not want to continue. I have several UPS’ here, and this one would not be quiet. My other two UPS’ chirped, indicating bad line power conditions. I powered the bad one on, and after a few seconds the dreaded long tone of death happened.

The UPS happened to be supporting my ESX servers, so, it was unfortuante for it to die.  I’ve logged a case with APC, hopefully they will cross ship me a replacement.

This got me thinking of times when I’ve had real life system outages in my IT career when the UPS / generator at a site failed to come on.  That leads to the using of the old and hopefully update to date (haha!) Disaster Recovery plan to bring it back up.

Has this happened to you?  Any good UPS/data center power failure stories to share?  Is your Disaster Recovery plan accurate?  Discuss.

[UPDATE 01/23/09]: It appears I managed to get my UPS working again.  I recived a reply form APC detailing the reset procedure for the UPS.  I tried it a few times to no avail.  On my last attempt to power it on, it worked.  Very scarey!

HP Mini 1000 Review

HP Mini

So.. you’ve been wondering about taking the Netbook plunge.  You’ve read the PC enthusiast sites, and compared to late 2007 there are now a large number of “netbook” offerings on the market.  What’s an IT guy (or geek) to do?

As any good IT consultant, I need a good laptop to see customers and move between the office.  I have a nice HP Compaq 6910p, it’s great, but it’s large and really a full desktop replacement.  I’ve found that taking it around to customer locations is a bit of a pain.  I’m one of those people who are constantly tossing laptops over my back and having them fall down my arms!  Not to mention I would hate to really use it on the plane.

Enter the netbook and my HP Mini.  Read on for more details on the little machine that could!

Want to create your own ESX Whitebox?

What exactly is a ESX Whitebox you ask?  It’s a VMware ESX server running on hardware that is not exactly in VMware’s Hardware Compatibility List (HCL).  Most home IT pro’s will probably be familiar with VMware Workstation, VMware Server or even other products like Xen or Sun’s VirtualBox.  While those other products are relatively easy to install, none really match the power (in my opinion) of what you get with VMware ESX.

Take a look at my ESX Whitebox Article for details on how you can build your own and a comparision of when and where to use VMware ESX and some of the other products on the market.

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