29 posts • joined Friday 4th September 2009 11:56 GMT
No real surprise here...
I know this is getting a lot of coverage... but for me, it was about who said it, not what has been said.
Snowden was a spook-for-hire... his job was to be the snooper and help in the snooping. The fact that we have the "name" of the snooping operation and some details on the extent are not really a big deal... as most everyone has already assumed it to be the case... haven't they?
I know, as a Canadian IT person, that the Patriot Act is one of the best known pieces of US Legislation, just behind their constitution and their Miranda-rights which are so often part of TV drama....
The Patriot Act, though, forms a regular part of my consulting with IT departments as reasons why US-based providers or even US-based consultants are issues when dealing with Canadian citizen data... if the data is in the USA, or managed by a company that is USA based, there is a (real) fear that it can and will be disclosed to the US government without notification.
I am not a fan of people breaking a trust to disclose such obvious acts, this does not seem to me to be a situation where the protection of freedom warrants the treason against one's own government.
In what world is "Windows 8" the only choice for Windows?
Windows Server 2012 supports 64 physical processors, with up to 640 cores supported. I expect the next version to go even higher with upcoming Intel processors scaling up the core-counts.
All that being said... this was about a cluster, not a multi-threaded or multi-core computer... they are quite different in their goals and design.
Now... if they can make a quality firmware hypervisor and beef up Oracle VM For SPARC to be more competitive in terms of features and stability as IBM PowerVM, I would happily return to the Oracle Solaris fold.
The reality of what I deal with is that few customers need massive oracle-only environments, so virtualization is critical to provide for isolated mixed workloads, and only licensing the amount of compute power you require to do the work.
Oracle has artificially, IMHO, kept the Intel x86/x64 world at bay simply by not supporting sub-licensing in VMware hosts, so that there i really no competition for a mixed workload environment there... the software licensing costs are too darn high for all but large enterprise customers.
PureFlex != Flex Chassis
Okay... it was alluded to in another comment, but it should be made clear. PureFlex is not equal to the BladeCentre... though, the Flex Chassis is, arguably, so.
The Flex chassis is a 14-slot chassis, with a lot of I/O bandwidth, power and cooling, etc. It is 10U, but supports higher power and density machines, though it is not the most dense equipment IBM sells.
The Flex chassis is a component of the PureFlex, but PureFlex is actually a full integrated-package offering that includes servers, storage, network and management appliance.
Other components of PureFlex include:
Flex System Manager (FSM) - a single-bay sized appliance that provides a single pane of glass to manage the server, storage, network of the system... can support (currently) up to 8 chassis of equipment, and can also run the full Cloud Management Suite - SmartCloud - from IBM.
I/O Modules - these are the ethernet or fibre modules that would be installed in the chassis. They are designed with full redundancy and very-high thoughput. They also support east-west traffic so that inter-chassis traffic can work at backplane speed versus the network/fibre wire speed.
Chassis Managament Module (CMM) - like the older blade equipment, a management interface for a chassis-based hardware management, also can be installed in redundant pairs.
v7000 flex module - basically, a v7000 that fits in 4 node bays rather than in an external unit.
Compute nodes - xSeries or Power nodes in several versions, including single and double-wide nodes.
I have installed these already, and while there is always a few growing pains of firmware updates, etc. that are to be expected, the systems seem to be fine replacements... even if that is not what IBM had targeted them as (officially, at least) as can be seen by IBM's difficulty in getting their own support staff trained up in implementation services
One reason for 5.3...
Oracle 9. Simply put, this version of Oracle is still out there is a big way.... and to run it on AIX and stay within Oracle's support matrix, you need version 5.3 of AIX.
I have done many projects migrating people to IBM Power systems, and those running Oracle 9 are stuck with the older OS version, and a much-reduced performance capacity due to limited SMT capabilities compared with AIX versions 6 or 7.
I must admit, it is a great carrot to encourage DB version upgrades, and that is never a bad idea to consider when you are running such old versions!
Of course there is spare CPU cycles...
That is how Oracle rolls... make sure each CPU is highly under-utilized... because how will Larry ever be able to buy a new super-yacht if people onlu license software on the ACTUAL CPUs that are required?
When I read 20% utilized CPU, I see 80% waste and likely a machine that is imbalanced for the workloads... needing more CPUs to address internal system bandwidth issues...
The SPARC T4-4 is a competitive server... and if they took a high road and compared similar systems, they could argue the fine details to claim their's is better... but Oracle is constantly making marketing claims that prey on ignorance of the reader.
My job is to continue to call bull$h17 whenever I see it.
Great.. .but better ways to do the power...
I love this implementation, and the link to the UNI blog was a fantastic step-by-step on the IT install, and even some good pics to use as a Lego guide... :)
One thing I will say, is that for a group of techies, they really didn't get creative with the power supplies! That many power strips and each RPi getting it's own mains-connected adapter?
One fo the great RPi features is the simple, 5v DC power input... any old 5v will work when pinned properly to a proper USB cable... so I would believe that a single DC adapter capable of providing sufficient amperage at 5v would work fine...
The RPi, I believe, will demand up to 500mA... if that is the case, they would need to be able to provide 32A of 5v power... something that should be able to be done with at least just a few old PC power supplies, or even just 2 enterprise grade server power supplies from old servers... very little involved in splicing in the required octopus of cables needed for the multiple drops... but would be more efficient, for sure, and much less complex.
Just what they asked for...
Okay... as a person who works for a successful HP Business Partner, this is no surprise!
They have spent the last year pushing their 3PAR arrays very hard, and for those not looking at that level of enterprise storage, they push the P4000 series.... I have been struggling with this myself as when HP themselves are talking to customers they push 3PAR as the FC option, and P4000s as the other option, but it has been iSCSI only.
This leads customers to see the obvious that EVA is out of the picture and being ignored even by the vendor, so continued investment here is not an option... so they are faced with replacing their FC SANs or moving to iSCSI... and many shops are not ready to strand an investment in FC and go full-on to iSCSI.
Being a business partner with HP is tough in the storage arena often... luckily, also selling EMC, IBM, NetApp, and others helps, when we have that option!
There is no comparison in overall quality, scalability and reliability.
Oracle's Exadata system is an Intel-based cluster of servers, so the database scales horizontally which will work well for some workloads... it also is exceptionally complicated to manage and tune compared to a "regular" database, and the hardware is good for one thing only... the databases.
IBM Power servers are general-purpose computing environments that can scale from 4-core machines up to 256-core machines... and the level of virtualization and the robustness of the environment is second to none!
The kicker for many companies is that they get caught up on the sticker price of the hardware, rather than the big-picture, total cost management view of things which will include software, downtime, risk, management, longevity, etc.
And, for the record, I sell and architect solutions based on Oracle, IBM, and HP hardware... but the winner in the enterprise compute environment is a clear one in my mind and experience.
Re: Hang on a sec
The engineered systems are _MOSTLY_ not SPARC based, but rather x86 servers running Solaris x86 and Oracle application workloads... They did mention the SPARC Supercluster, though, which is (surprise, surprise) SPARC based... :)
Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....
A strategic platform selection and migration process does not require, nor is there any reason, to provide increased solution performance.
Those not familiar with this type of effort may scratch and wonder why do it... but the reasons for a replacement is not usually performance...
Oracle has taken a nosedive in market capitalization in the RISC system space, as has HP (especially since Itanium was pronounced dead by both Microsoft and Oracle). IBM Power systems are the only player that is growing market share in this space.
The comment in the article about a Linux cluster shows a lot of ignorance. There are many, many reasons why a Linux cluster may not work for this customers application, and there is the aspect of additional stability, reliability, vertical scalability, and flexibility that IBM Power systems can provide.
My view on this industry (one in which I make a living) is that when Sun was purchased by Oracle, the SPARC platform stopped its drive to be a general-purpose compute environment, and started focusing only on Oracle applications. In most every way, they are behind IBM hardware, and behind AIX and even RedHat capabilities in the OS. The last couple of bright spots seem to to only be DTRACE and ZFS, both of which will only appeal to a small number of business customers.
David - (certified in Oracle SPARC/Solaris, IBM Power/AIX, and RedHat Linux)
Re: US Government Agencies Ignore Security Threats...
They may route through one of several RIM NOCs, depending on your location. But, the email data is encrypted through the process and is not available even to RIM...... a heck of a lot better than regular SMTP, which is as insecure as it gets.
Re: US Government Agencies Ignore Security Threats...
Blackberry communications are fully encrypted between the BES server and your blackberry phone... the only unencrypted transmission ocurrs as part of the standard SMTP mail interchange.
Always have a non-800 number available!
A lesson from my own past... again, this one is in the Canadian telecom marketplace...
I do not know the exact technical configuration of this today, as my story did occur back in the late 90s, during the run-up to the Y2K milestone. During this time, not only was there a lot of coding, system upgrades, and new deployments all ongoing at breakneck speed, but the need for "Business Continuity" plans was top of mind to most businesses.
Sometime in the 1998 or 1999 timeframe, there was an outage of the 800-number lookup service in this part of Canada (East Coast). It turns out that at the time (and maybe even today) each 800 number dialed in this large geographic region (and covering about 22million people) all used a single lookup system running in a Montreal-based datacentre.
For about 24 hours, no 800 lines worked. And it became painfully apparent during that time that almost every contact number we had for IT support vendors were of the toll-free type.
While maybe the system is now more robust, I still, to this day, always demand a direct-dial number alternative for any critical contact information alongside any 800 line service.
US Government Agencies Ignore Security Threats...
That seems to be a good headline for the comment in this story about people leaving BlackBerry handsets for iPhones... it is amazing to me that any government agency would adopt an iPhone or an Android phone over a BlackBerry if you are talking about corporate data!
I understand the need to support the desires of the employees to want to use their consumer devices... but I challenge you to count the number of stories of security issues on iOS and Android handsets over the last year... GPS tracking, remote hijacking, etc, etc.
BlackBerry, in the same timeframe has had a relatively short service outage that delayed delivery of emails and brought down the blackberry-only secure IM feature of BBM... but in reality, this outage seems to me to be far less intrusive for enterprise (BES Server) customers than the media portrayed.
I like my BlackBerry, I like the fact that BlackBerry does operate in a country that (for the time being) does not require backdoors for "government" watchdogs, and I like the fact that the device is still primarily about what I need to do for business. It is efficient but feature-rich where it counts.
Oh - and the Playbook.... it follow the same line as the handsets... simply works. And since the new OS, works very well... and I could care less about "native email"... actually have not even configured it ... the BlackBerry Bridge is a much better solution for me!
Re: Setup .. horrific
Hmm... sounds like you have a problem understanding BlackBerry devices in the first place, to be honest.
- You were running an operating system that is N-3 and you had problems upgrading it... not the PlayBook's fault.
- You had problems understanding how to install and use AppWorld, again, not the PlayBook's fault.
- You had problems getting the bridge to function... something that worked in seconds on the 4 devices I have configured, so not sure where the issue is.
- You had a very old phone that you wanted to connected to a new tablet, it was hard for you... okay, my answer to that is so what?
Deploy an iPAD and then have to get people to use iTunes to sync files, purchase new data plans to the iPADs can work out of WiFi range, and install bridge infrastructure so that you can safely deploy secure corporate applications and data to the iPAD.... etc...
Wonder which is a better solution?
Re: Re: It is my understanding that ...
More like, yeah, just Yeah!
The Playbook is a fantastic media device. I have not tested the new OS's media capabilities yet, but the included video codecs on the original PB OS was fantastic, just a few audio issue on some avi encodes I had available. You can get to the playbook directly over wi-fi if you want to, so moving files around is easy and does not require silly tethering and special applications to do so.
The comment about company data shows there is an ignorance about how the playbook was designed to work.... an iPAD will natively require local data storage of corporate data... a PlayBook is designed to work with existing BlackBerry devices and the commonplace corporate BES server controls of those devices... so you view your corporate data on the playbook, but it remains on the secure and protected blackberry device itself.
So far, the OS v2 is a nice change. The user interface changed slightly, but not significantly better or worse in my mind. The native email client will be nice for some, but not something I want or need (I use the blackberry bridge for email already).
The "use the blackberry as a remote keyboard/mouse" is great! Using the BB9900 with a multi-touch screen and a traditional BB keyboard I now have a much better mechanism to control powerpoint shows in meetings, take notes and write short documents, and when not working, to remotely surf the net and watch videos from my couch/hotel bed with the playbook connected directly via HDMI to the TV.
All in all, nice update to a great little device. Much happier with the PlayBook than my HP TouchPad or iPAD.
Also a PlayBook Lover...err.... Liker!
Have a 64GB PlayBook that was supplied by my employer (love the "out of pocket": price of $0!).
I was not sure what to expect, but being a BlackBerry phone user, it simply WORKED. The BB Bridge to tether the two just worked instantly, and Email, Calendar, etc... as well as mobile browsing all worked instantly... and that is all with the "old" operating system.
I have a couple of complaints, mostly the limited apps, but once I got over that hump I have realized that the device kicks the butt of other (even larger) tablets for business use. The lack of simple connectivity to an overhead projector is a show stopper for many(most) tablets out there, and is something that ism so easy on a Playbook.... step 1 connect HDMI cable from projector (or TV) to playbook... step 2 Enjoy.
Looking forward to the next OS simply for the additional Apps that developers have not been willing to port to the PlayBook.... not RIMs fault, per se, but still it is something they wear daily in the negative marketing.
The device and the true multi-tasking OS and interface is so nice compared to Android and iOS, I think that the bad press is simply based on the market share issue and the love by Fanbois of all things apple!
I like my apple products fine, but the PlayBook kicks arse!
... its not just about a Win8 phone, but how about a tablet that you buy and then decide, hey, I want to run Android on it?
Also, as the Win8 OS is moved to other hardware devices such as Thin PCs and maybe some home theatre devices, etc... which would more than likely be ARM based as well, they are locking out the Linux or other OS enthusiast from the hardware.
This is the type of behaviour that has got them in trouble with various governments in the past! It seems that threats of anti-trust legislation is all that stops MS from doing such underhanded things!
Umm... WiFi Mice are already around...
Maybe using a different spec for the WiFi connection, but I am using an HP WiFi Mouse now on a brand-new(ish) ProBook 6460b which does not have Bluetooth,
The mouse was purchased for less than $50 at Staples in Canada... so mouse connections over WiFi is not exactly cutting edge.
Yeah... that's been a real problem... sure!! (please note sarcasm)
Fanboi's love to mention a couple of datacentre glitches, but forget about crappy antennas, high prices, and the all-mighty fruit gods choosing what content you should be allowed to see on your phone.
I'll stick with my blackberry and playbook... the hardware kicks ass and the functionality for what I do is far and above that offered by android or iOS devices...
No big deal...
Despite all the Chicken Little "oh my god, the sky is falling" crap that many will complain about, this is no big deal. Anyone out there that has some belief that their email address is some sort of private or secret thing is just delusional.
More so if those same individuals used their so-called private email address to sign up for a free email distribution from an IT news outfit. No offense El Reg, but being an avid reader does not make me believe that giving you my personal bits of info is a good idea.. :)
Someone at the Reg should be lambasted for the error, and maybe a bit of technical change is in order to prevent this from happening again in the future... but otherwise... no worries! You can find my email on pastebin.... and a million other online places where I use my (anonymous) gmail account!
There IS a difference
Been in this industry for over 20 years, and there is a difference between degree-holding consultants and others... but if you are talking coding, sure... I will admit that a degree to code seems a little overboard.
That all being said... an individuals aptitude and work ethic plays far more of a role in their overall ability to excel than a degree.
Small Intel Linux server running an Oracle database requiring Enterprise Edition features:
- single socket, quad core server = $2000
- Oracle license for server = $200,000
- annual maint costs for HW & Software= $44,000
Actual CPU usage = less than 10%
Virtualize, and you share a piece of hardware with other machines. So now you have the same server.. lets see:
Server = $2000
VMware = $8000
Oracle = $200,000
Maint Costs = $48,000
Number of similar machines it supports = 5 or 6
So about $250K in costs per server if physical... or about $50K per for virtualized.
Pretty simple stuff!
Nice Business Device
I must admit, being an IT guy, I am interested in a small, portable tablet to do some browsing, etc. I am quite suprised with the overall design and the functionality this new PlayBook is currently promising - linking to BES and pairing with BlackBerry handsets for sharing data is a fantastic use for many enterprise businesses, where bringing in an iPad is still... well... not encouraged.
Dual-Core, HDMI, 1080p output (with dual screen display!) is impressive, but as many will mention and understand - the battery will be the achilles heel... whats the point of all this capabilit if the system can only run 2 hours on a charge. One of the reasons I love my blackberry is the 4-days between charges I can get on the device... 2 full days with moderately heavy use!
I stay cautiously optimistic and awate to see the final device in 2011.
IBM Following SUN on this one???
For those that are familiar with the SUN product line... there was a server that was code-named "thumper" several years ago that also have the storage mounted vertically... 48 1TB SATA drives in a 4-U enclosure. The current version is an Oracle SUN X4540... and that server is a full server with 2 x 6-core AMD processors, etc.
A similar frame of 48 vertical drives is also available from Oracle as a SUN J4500 storage array system.
This is not a "new" thing to do... just new for IBM, and maybe newsworthy for the extra 12 drives?
Okay... admittedly the original comment was not what one would consider well written or well presented, but lets cut to the chase here.
The name of the country is the United States of America, not "America", The common use of "American" to refer to a citizen of the USA is quite different then referring to the entire country simply as America, something that maybe you should ask people in other North and South American countries about, and not just assume that you know best.
Second, the retort to the poster was quite ignorant. This individual may be a bit of an idiot, buit the comment about the seals??? Really!?!
Being a person from Canada, and from a province of Canada where we do participate in the annual hunt of Harp Seals, I know that there is a great deal of misinformation and ignorance of this industry, ignorance which is easily found in the off-handed commend about beating a seal cub with a baseball bat.
Please, do yourselves a favour and get informed before making such comments. Maybe try a source based on science and fact and not one based on profit-driven "animal rights" organizations that have nothing to do with anything close to reality.
Here is a site put in place by the federal government of Canada...
It is an ASIC
Pretty much - a custom ASIC, anyway. Fantastic technology, a bit less capable than a SunRay, but also cheaper (and easier to implement) in the end. Great solution for a windows-only shops. Now... if only they would be purchased by a real "enterprise" company so I could recommend to my customers that they actually base their business on this technology! Come on EMC... you have lots of cash... buy 'em and brand the devices as VMware, and make it part of the VMware View suite of offerings.
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