* Posts by Zachary Berkovitz

3 posts • joined 14 Apr 2006

If Google kills penguins, is it doing evil?

Zachary Berkovitz

Numbers

Google has hundreds of thousands of servers at least. Most of them crawl the web and index, they don't serve the user requests. Also, each CPU uses around 75-125W and the HVAC systems need to shift that same energy outside of the datacenter, so the actual heat output is greater than the consumption of the computers Typical datacenters being built today use about 2-50MW, all of which is exhausted as heat, unlike in some facilities, like factories.

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Microsoft begins virtualization software delays

Zachary Berkovitz

Obviously.... those commenting aren't too experienced.

As someone who's deployed systems which support thousands of VMs on VMWare ESX, I can shed some light. Hot-add means exactly that. ADD, not subtract. Adding new hardware resources, whether real or virtual, is much easier than subtracting. This feature is for management of a loaded system where the workload is greater than anticipated in a specific VM, so that you can allocate extra RAM and CPUs. You can also grow your VM hosts in the same way. Windows was the first x86 server OS to support hot-add RAM, and apparently now hot add CPU. Because of the very basic virtual hardware presented to the VMWare VMs, they cannot support hot add RAM without a software upgrade to their virtual hardware.

And FWIW, VMWare ESX performed better than Virtual Server, but the Linux based software showed us the PURPLE Screen of Death many times, with nary a BSOD from the Win2K3 guests or Virtual Server hosts. Vmotion and Virtual Center were just too good to pass up.

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More on databases in academia

Zachary Berkovitz

Seriously, Filemaker?

Filemaker may be a decent product for small business or Mac users, but as far as supportability, scalability and reliability go, it is a far, far cry from MS SQL on Windows, or even Oracle on Windows (Oracle on Unix or Linux would be more reliable and scalable than Oracle on Windows, which is buggy, and often poorly ported). I, and all of my colleagues whom with I have discussed Filemaker, and who have supported and designed database implementations with thousands of GB of data and thousands of concurrent users (including me), universally panned this product. In my experience with a few implementations, the reliability and scalability are shameful, and Access on a server performed better.

On their website, Filemaker compares their product with Access, and their server product supports "up to 100 simultaneous users". It isn't even an advanced DB, much less does it have a robust BI package, if it has one at all.

Businesses generally choose MS SQL or Oracle, and there are plenty of good reasons, mainly that:

a) budget is generally available and they can spend money on projects or processes which are important to them

b) efficiency, scalability and stability are usually requirements.

Hopefully some of the good IT practices used in business will migrate over time into other industries, such as academia, non-profits, health care, and public sector.

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