* Posts by Nate Amsden

1218 posts • joined 19 Jun 2007

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HP's 3PAR trifecta soups up entry-level, AFAs and software

Nate Amsden
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Re: 3.84 SSD

specifically it is this 4TB SSD

http://www.sandisk.com/enterprise/sas-ssd/optimus-max-ssd/

which with adaptive sparing allows 3PAR to get up to 3.84TB of space and use it for transactional workloads. Without adaptive sparing on transactional workloads Sandisk the capacity would drop to 3.2TB.

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Nate Amsden
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3.84 SSD

that is a Sandisk SSD, as of June announcement at least, HP may be multi sourcing now. But I am 100% certain 3.84 launched as sandisk.

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ExaGrid growing in parallel, adds global GRID back-up to appliance software

Nate Amsden
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simpler solution

If storing the most recent backup not in dedupe'd form the obvious solution to me is to write the data to a staging area that is not on the dedupe appliance then send it to dedupe after (rather than replace the entire backup infrastructure). I do this with our MySQL backups and HP StoreOnce (NFS). We use Percona xtrabackup for our MySQL backups and for our biggest backups sending that data directly to StoreOnce exceeds the # of open file handles(as of last year anyway, haven't checked recent software versions) that it can support over NFS. So I write the data to another location on our 3PAR and rsync the data to StoreOnce (currently getting about 32:1 dedupe, blows the pants off the ~5.5:1 we were getting with ZFS before).

But perhaps if you rely on VTL or something to backup it gets more complicated, for me everything is file based, no fancy backup programs(all scripts with integrated alerting), no fancy protocols(all NFS). I do plan to deploy tape this year(for offline archiving), and intend to use LTFS (over NFS) for that.

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C For Hell: Data centre meltdown for irate customers as C4L GOES TITSUP

Nate Amsden
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sounds like

a big SDN fail clusterfuck. I'd bet they tried to automate a few too many things and when shit exploded it blew up big time and now they don't know how to recover (I bet every time they try it just breaks itself again).

Either that or perhaps they are running Qfabric if it's Juniper, another network architecture myself that I would never use (nothing against Qfabric specifically more against TRILL's complexity). Of course I'm not a network engineer (by trade) so don't take my advice.

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VMware quietly sneaks out NSX 6.2 update and/or bug-blast

Nate Amsden
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expect nothing

For me nothing exciting has come out of vmware since vsphere 4.0 (I say that as a loyal vmware customer since 1999)

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Big trouble in big China: Crashing economy in Middle Kingdom body slams US tech stocks

Nate Amsden
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burn baby burn

Bring on that tech crash. Long overdue. (Not invested in anything myself )

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More deaths linked to Ashley Madison hack as scammers move in

Nate Amsden
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I don't see the difference

between this and otherwise cheating(or trying to cheat) on your significant other and them finding out about it another way. People blame the hackers, or blame the company, when it was the users that signed up for the site to begin with. Unless it was a false user account or something in which case you shouldn't have a guilty conscious.

Maybe next time they'll be more anonymous.

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EMC Federation's attack blogger Chuck Hollis departs for Oracle

Nate Amsden
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market not buying the story

seems that may not be the case, the way I read it anyway, from el reg's story

"Sales of new software licenses [..] down 16.7 per cent, year on year."

"But new license revenue for the year was $8.54bn, down 9.4 per cent annually."

then

"Hardware systems sales were down 6 per cent in Q4 and down 5 per cent for the full year"

So new hardware sales down less than new software.

I'll be pretty shocked if Chuck can somehow (single handedly?) make Oracle's stuff "exciting". His EMC blog posts didn't seem all that great to me back in those days, I never bothered to follow him when he moved to VMware (nothing against him, I haven't really followed any bloggers the past 3 or even 4 years now, myself have mostly stopped blogging as well, very little in tech excites me these days)

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Citrix really needs to get its act together, and soon

Nate Amsden
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happy citrix customer here

For netscaler. Couldn't care less about VDI myself. I don't think I've even spoken to anyone that has deployed VDI, perhaps because I don't deal in internal IT, not sure.

Citrix has for a long time been very honest that Xen is not as good as VMware, and I've always admired that about them. They will push Xen if cost is really a factor.

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Windows Server 2016 Preview 3 brings containers at last

Nate Amsden
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never having used docker (but I do use LXC in limited form) I would of thought the "images" would include the base operating system to some extent? e.g. I wouldn't think someone would try to run a docker image built for ubuntu on a redhat system. Poking around for a couple minutes implies this is the case.

If so the barrier to making a container for linux and windows is already pretty high since they are of course radically different systems(even though you can run things like apache etc on both). So myself I wouldn't expect a lot of people making images for both, but I could see people making images for windows specific things.

Not that I have any use for Docker etc.

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Cisco, HP, NetApp, SimpliVity and Springpath

Nate Amsden
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HP not going to partner with NetApp

That new HP storage head that came from NetApp came out and said basically NetApp is dead(long term). He didn't have faith in what they had going over there and believed the HP story more. Specifically referring to being able to provide an end-to-end solution - storage, networking, servers, cloud etc. Hell HP will even finance and build you a data center from the bricks on up(and operate it if you want).

I don't know him myself, didn't feel too excited about meeting him when I saw him at Discover (unlike when I met David Scott). But he did quite a bit of NetApp bashing, more than I would of expected.

NetApp has been in Cisco's arms for quite some time(since Cisco never had a storage story to speak of Whiptail doesn't count), I don't think NetApp wants to get in with HP either because of fear that HP would try to oust them in favor of HP storage.

HP came out last year and said no plans to buy Simplivity, they are quite happy with their Hyperconverged StoreVirtual(+VMware/HyperV/KVM) solution, and are looking forward to having native replication between StoreVirtual and 3PAR(not sure why this is taking so long) to have a more scaled out branch system (e.g. multiple remote Storevirtuals replicating back to larger 3PAR systems).

HP's current line of thinking seems to somewhat mirror mine - Hyperconverged good for low cost, low end systems. For "real" workloads put your stuff on "converged" Proliant + 3PAR(though my personal deployments of HP gear are not "converged"). Maybe that changes in the future(perhaps as hyperconverged matures more, it's still a baby now) who knows.

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Lenovo and SimpliVity cozy up for a hyperconverged push

Nate Amsden
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HP has hypercovergence already

and has had it longer than Nutanix has been shipping product for. Last I saw they were doing pretty well in that market segment( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/21/hyperconverged_market_hotness/ ). They claim from unboxing to online in 10-15mins or something like that. Not that I care either way, not in the market for that kind of solution.

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VMware flings out preview of new web management interface

Nate Amsden
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Re: 9 years ago never thought I would say this

yeah true I looked again, for me at the time I think it was increasing # of CPUs to really high numbers or something, been a while

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Nate Amsden
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9 years ago never thought I would say this

But you can pry the .NET vsphere client from my cold dead hands, or something like that.

I say this as a linux user as well.

Most of the time I run the vsphere client through XenApp (since vCenter is 3-5,000 miles away depending on the data center - and I run XenApp client on a windows VM on top of Linux because native XenApp with vSphere client on Linux sucks for me).

I know with ESXi 5.5 or maybe even 5.1 I forget they depreciated it and said all new features are web client only - so far haven't had the need to use any of those features that are limited to the web client(nor do I even know what they are).

I've spent probably a grand total of 20 minutes using the web client. OH there is one thing I use the web client for, managing VM configurations of windows 2012 VMs (of which I have 3 or 4 out of 600 VMs total), since they need the newer hardware version on ESXi 5.5 of which the configuration cannot be changed by the .NET client. Last time I had to make a change to them I think was last year.

But like many things I guess I became cautious and think to myself "be careful what you wish for" when you want something. They may make it worse(as hard as that can be to imagine sometimes).

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Trend publishes analysis of yet another Android media handling bug

Nate Amsden
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do these security issues

just mean it's that much easier to "root" your phone ? I have never bothered to root my Android devices, (long time ago) on webOS "root" was typing in a special pass code to unlock developer mode and you could get a root shell by plugging into the usb port.

though I have seen useful utilities on the google play store which require root access. Just been too lazy to try it myself so far.

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Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union

Nate Amsden
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nice to hear, I haven't bought from them in about 4 or 5 years now. I used to buy from woot, but then I noticed they were bought by amazon (wasn't obvious at the time somewhat buried in their system), stopped buying from them immediately as well.

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Big Switch Networks glues together physical and virtual networks

Nate Amsden
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haha

those prices are pretty depressing.

$10k per switch + $600/mo ?

As if managing 38 switches was a challenge. pfft.

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Comparing Avere and Violin – one's overlooked, the other's overcooked

Nate Amsden
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why

Does anyone care what execs a company gets? To me it's not newsworthy. Maybe a new CEO(depending on the company) is but the rest, I can see how people at the company would care but nobody else should really care. I don't care about who the execs are at any of my vendors(unless they are my friends). Hopefully they do a good job and keep me a happy customer.

New products I can see people caring, but who works there - unless there is some massive shift in strategy it's not newsworthy outside the company(it might be for an investor, though those people probably read the press releases which announce that kind of stuff).

But I guess el reg needs something to write about on slow news days.

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'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos

Nate Amsden
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was a good article to read

As someone who worked in the Seattle area from 2000 -> 2011 I heard a lot of these kinds of stories from amazon folks, though I didn't know of things that were *that* bad, I knew enough by 2005 that I knew I would never want to work there though.

The article did enlighten me on one point though, I had one co-worker, ex amazon 11 years ago (maybe he is reading this I was tempted to email him). When he joined our company at the time people thought he had tourettes by his behavior especially in meetings he would semi regularly attack people(verbally). Nobody wanted to work with him. He was (probably still is) a really smart and knowledgeable person(though I'd never work with him again if he is still like that). He spent several years at Amazon. After reading the article I figure he is perfectly normal he was just raised that way working for years at Amazon from an early age.

By 2010 I determined that I was mostly incompatible with ex-amazon people from a work perspective(last company I was at had MANY ex-amazon people including my 2nd boss though 2nd boss was a great guy), very few that I came across did we see eye to eye on things.

One interview I had in 2011 some mid level technical guy(from amazon) was hired by a mid sized company to be an architect, he wanted to re-implement AWS at this new company, build them their own cloud. Nice concept if you have the talent to do it, I knew they didn't. It was the only interview I've ever had that I was ready to stand up and just walk out, my ears were hot, this guy was toxic. I was able to put on a good bullshit screen though he liked me, and they offered me the job (I declined of course).

I'm sure very smart but very amazon. He proceeded to drive most of their IT staff away (I was told at one point the entire network team quite en masse). He had an idea but it was the wrong idea for the company(they lacked the ability to build OR operate such a system). This amazon guy thought hey let's go buy the cheapest shit we can find and make a cloud.

Within a year of my interview I was told that not only was he fired but he was escorted out of the building. The company had such a bad reputation for work environment they had to pay through the nose(good for them realizing this) to get quality people after that(last I heard they had a good team in place). He went on to do consulting and I heard from another contact that he encountered him at another employer I had, though other than seeing him there I haven't heard anything since.

Amazon tries to recruit me 1-2 times a year(my resume hasn't been updated since I left WA so I get people contacting me 4 years later not having checked LinkedIn profile thinking I am still in WA), I just laugh and say I'm not interested. I'd ask them to not contact me anymore but I don't think that would work. Can't pay me enough to work there.

Amazon's influence in the region is one of the things that drove me away from WA, and keeps me away. Just a toxic bunch of folks for the most part, like a cult or something.

I cringe every time I see one of my acquaintances going to work for them (linkedin says 23 of my contacts are there).

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Google's Euro-cloud in lengthy disk degradation drama

Nate Amsden
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this is not why I don't put things in public cloud

Maybe I am considered one of the ranters.

Anyway I don't care as much about the "headline outages", what caused me more grief was the daily pain associated with built to fail infrastructure(then there was the massive lack of capabilities that enterprise infrastructure takes for granted). I imagine perhaps it was like a full body rash(never having had such a thing), constantly irritating all over.

SaaS generally doesn't have that issue since users aren't exposed to the faulty nature of the infrastructure(assuming it is built on faulty infrastructure in the first place) and don't have to build around it.

IaaS is a cluster fuck though, always has been, really don't see the situation changing much.

PaaS - yet to meet someone that uses it (though I haven't tried to find someone either)

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Samsung phablet phrenzy brings mobile payments into the age of WIRELESS TAPE

Nate Amsden
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I saw this earlier today

and it prompted me to immediately go buy another Galaxy Note 3. Found a place pretty quick that had new ones unlocked for about $290. Looked at the Note 4 for a minute or two but didn't see anything on it that made me want to spend $500+ on it unlocked anyway(I didn't shop around much maybe they are much cheaper elsewhere). Note 3 has worked really well for me, and I like the 96GB of storage I have on it. So the new Note 3 will be a backup mainly I guess.

Can't imagine downgrading storage to anything less on a phone that is 2 years newer.

I can live with non replaceable battery, since I've only replaced my note 3 battery once (probably will again at the end of the year), but no SD slot means no sale for me.

I don't see anything on the Note 5 that gets me excited either.

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Gartner square-slicers name Cisco and Nutanix integrated boxen bosses

Nate Amsden
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what?

The article has been up all day, Gartner puts Nutanix(sp?) in the leaders quadrant and Trevor is not here praising them? Sort of expected he would be after the recent el reg article from him whining about it

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Pure as the driven IPO: Upstart tells SEC it's go for stock market debut

Nate Amsden
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chart reminds me of fusion io

Worked out well for them eh.

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Gigabit Google? We're getting ready for 10 gigabits says Verizon

Nate Amsden
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all I want

is 10-20Mbit upload.. just got a note in the mail from my municipal cable company is raising download speeds and prices, but upload is still the same 3Mbit, I can upgrade to their 150Mbit plan and get 5Mbit, but I want more, I'd be really happy with 10 up and 20 down, but that's not available. In large part because I have a server at a fast local co-location facility with TBs of space which I like to do lots of file transfers between home and it, also I proxy the bulk of my internet web traffic & DNS through it as well(20ms away), peering there seems quite a bit better than the cable company.

When I move next year it will be to Comcast territory(100 miles east). Most people seem to hate Comcast, though as a customer for a few years before I moved back to California I never had an issue with them. My current cable bill from a small cable company that serves only my city of about 40k people is about the same as Comcast(not that I had an issue with Comcast's pricing but find it sort of funny people complain about their pricing when it seems pretty average). Looking forward to getting a comcast "business" connection with faster uploads. Happy to pay more for it.

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Samsung barks out the orders, reveals its 3D flash lead

Nate Amsden
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can dell use those ssds

On any workload or are they limited to "read optimized" workloads.

The original article about dell's usage of these SSDs didn't say

I know dell compellent has distinguished between read and write optimized (generally SLC) SSDs in the past

Just curious

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Sane people, I BEG you: Stop the software defined moronocalypse

Nate Amsden
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more automation more than just a security issue

For me security is less of a concern when it comes to more automation. Systems and networks are already often built to be how do they say, "soft" on the inside? Generally trusted zones..

For me massive automation comes down to more fear of large scale breakage. Humans are of course error prone but software can fail in pretty spectacular ways too. It's really difficult to make software *really* robust.

As time goes on the more software I see I guess you could say the less faith I have overall in the quality being put out by just about anybody(open or closed source whatever). Also as time goes on my standard for quality continues to inch higher.

The last 15 years of my career have been working in support of software development teams(from an infrastructure perspective generally) making products for others to use primarily you could say in "SaaS" types of environments.

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HP snuggles up to OpenStack in cloud embrace

Nate Amsden
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big public clouds don't need openstack

I imagine it wouldn't take too much work to implement an openstack compatibility layer on top of azure or the other public clouds, it is after all just a set of APIs and interfaces.

I do like this part about HP's vision (as an HP customer for Servers+Storage), and was pretty impressed to hear about the scale of their openstack investment when I was at Discover last year. Last I heard(last year) 3PAR was still the reference platform for Fibre channel on Openstack as well.

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Vision? Execution? Sadly, omission and confusion rule Gartner's virty quadrant

Nate Amsden
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In the market for two years

Well as someone who has been more in the virtualization market for the past 15 years or so (going back to vmware 1.0.2, and ran my first production e-commerce vmware instances on top of VMware GSX 3.0 in 2004). My opinion is that the quadrant looks fine to me.

I don't think Nutanix belongs on that quadrant at all. Putting Nutanix on there would be like putting HP Converged Systems with StoreVirtual (which support KVM/Xen/VMware) on the quadrant.

VMware is absolutely the leader today, maybe it won't be in 5-10 years who knows.. but this quote is quite telling of the market today - " Redmond's not winning customers away from Virtzilla, but is finding niches where an organization will prefer Hyper-V."

Maybe EVO: RAIL isn't selling because people aren't sold on the concept. Or maybe because it's really expensive I don't know. I see a market for hyper convergence on the low end branch office type stuff, but not for serious workloads, not being able to scale storage independently from compute is a deal breaker for me. Even more, the complexity behind hyper convergence scares me. Not the complexity to the end user, but the complexity behind the scenes to make it all work right. Not so concerned at small scale, but at large scale - very concerning. My experience tells me to prepare for bugs that cause massive cascading failures across the system. My experience tells me storage is fragile, and keep it simple to keep it reliable.

I see this quadrant covering a specific portion of the industry(the hypervisor, or container). Getting too broad in something that is supposed to be simple to understand just invites more confusion.

For the business I work for it's pretty much all vmware, we have a few containers. No reason to consider any other tech at this point because what we have now works so well and has proven to be cost effective. Management is still surprised by how little we have to spend to support the revenue that comes in.

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Seagate flaunts 4TB-ish enterprise SAS flash that can shift 1.8GB/s

Nate Amsden
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don't forget Sandisk

I saw the 1 DWPD number and was wondering what Sandisk offers, on the HP 3PAR flagship 3.84TB SSD from Sandisk, the Sandisk specs say 0.5 DWPD under transactional workloads. Though HP backs that with a 5 year unconditional warranty. The previous cMLC 1.92TB SSD under 3PAR HP says you'd have to write 8PB of data to it before it wore out (which is pretty impressive to me compared to the 150TB on my Samsung consumer 850 Pro)

http://www.sandisk.com/enterprise/sas-ssd/optimus-max-ssd/

http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA5-9954ENW.pdf

"Flash SSD endurance is significantly enhanced as a result of HP 3PAR StoreServ Flash Storage distinctive “Adaptive Sparing” that unlocks the hidden capacity present in each flash SSD. Unlocking that hidden capacity permits the HP 3PAR StoreServ Flash Storage to utilize that spare capacity as additional over-provisioned capacity. This is what enables HP to convert a SAS SanDisk 3.84TB read optimized flash (SSD) to being both write and read-optimized and guarantee a 5 year warranty if it ever wears out."

(Dell recently announced 3.84TB SSDs but I am unsure if they are supported for write optimized workloads or not, since Dell does not have technology similar to Adaptive sparing that I know of)

So even with 1DWPD, if you have the right kind of storage tech surrounding that SSD you can get quite a bit more out of the drive then you might otherwise expect.

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SDN: It's living the dream – and just using what you've got

Nate Amsden
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been living the dream already for the past decade I guess

And have never touched SDN.

I guess Trevor has been hassling with Cisco anc perhaps Juniper or others for too long.

Complex switch configurations? Not here, not the way I do stuff. My switches are easy to manage via CLI (which doesn't remotely resemble a Cisco UI). The layer 3 high availability protocol I use in combination with layer 2 loop prevention is shockingly simple - want to protect a new VLAN ? it's two commands (one command per core switch). Create a new VLAN, assign an IP to it, enable routing for it, and assign 20 different random ports? 4 commands.

I wrote in depth on this topic almost two years ago and my thoughts have not changed, you can see how I rip into SDN by googling for "So, SDN solves a problem for me which doesn't exist, and never has." if you are really interested.

My switches do support OpenFlow, and SDN. They have had an "API" for over a decade (never once used it, never needed it).

I met with Arista a few months ago, I knew they couldn't do anything for us but the boss was friends with the rep (who came from Juniper). I don't get to talk networking very often so I was fine with it. We had a good 2 hour or so conversation. Towards the end they acknowledged they can't add any value for what we do but in the future if we want to do the kinds of things they believe they excel it (all sorts of rapid automation moving VLANs around etc etc) then maybe we can talk again. Since our network management is so simple(and once it's setup it's rarely interfaced again, I have absolutely no need for dynamic VLAN changes) there's no value to be had.

For me anyway, introducing SDN at the smaller scale means needless complexity. The network already works, is easy to manage, and is simple. I went out of my way to avoid any active-active architectures like TRILL or MLAG, hell I even run entirely active/passive network links on the servers themselves (each server having 4x10G and 2x1G and 2xFibre channel). Boss really liked the idea of TRILL - it was nice to hear Arista come in and agree with me that TRILL is a bad idea(too complicated). Boss's love for active-active really ended when I showed that the new network design I deployed last year employed 80Gbps uplinks (he liked active-active for the additional bandwidth but even for him 80Gbps was going to last probably a decade and it was far simpler).

My newer 10G switches run on CAT6 cable making life even easier. I was going to deploy 10GbaseT technology 4 years ago but the HP servers at the time had no 10GbaseT NIC offering, now they do, so I am happy about that.

Simple. Very reliable. Easy to Manage. (pretty cost effective too in the grand scheme of things)

Not fancy and new though, the UI of my switches, and my fancy layer2/layer3 protection I first deployed 11 years ago(and it wasn't even new then). The ease of use, and this fancy protocol are two of the key reasons I continue to use these same products over the years because they work very well for me. I'm not a network engineer and hopefully the last Cisco switch I will ever touch was in 2008.

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'We fell short' says QLogic CEO in August's understatement-of-the-month contender

Nate Amsden
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adapters vs switches

You may be confusing ethernet switches vs ethernet adapters. Most of my HP servers have Qlogic-powered Ethernet adapters from HP. A lot of HP's converged networking stuff comes from Qlogic as well (e.g. I think all of HP's flexfabric is qlogic tech).

One thing Qlogic isn't talking about anymore it seems like is their Mt Rainier cache stuff. It sounded neat in theory(especially the write caching). Spoke with a Qlogic rep at HP Discover in June and they said Mt Rainier went back to the labs for more development, and sounds like they are ditching the concept of write caching. Not sure when they made this move exactly perhaps last year, I hadn't kept too close track of it in the past couple of years. At one point Qlogic was hoping that was going to save them.

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Re/code apologizes for Holocaust 'joke' tweet

Nate Amsden
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not offended easily enough

So I don't use twitter, or facebook.

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VMware doubling down on OpenStack

Nate Amsden
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Re: So...

To integrate with vSphere. Most likely to be able to try to have some sort of common set of APIs when managing Openstack running multiple hypervisors, because vSphere is still the most solid and mature hypervisor on the planet I expect people will want to use it with OpenStack.

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Will flash save the data centre? Don't spread your wings yet, Vultan

Nate Amsden
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Read more carefully?

When I read this

"Violin chief marketeer Amy Love blogs a colourful metaphor. “HDDs are being replaced as the primary IT data storage medium."

I see the words "primary IT data storage medium", to me that doesn't mean archive, or nearline, that means transaction processing. I think everyone agrees flash has already taken over a lot of that today and won't be long until it takes over the rest in the near future(only thing holding it back right now I think is just simple refresh cycles on acquiring new equipment).

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VMAX flashes its virtues for all to see

Nate Amsden
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nice to see

EMC finally publish some results. For me they can rig them however they want, as long as it is disclosed. I am not an EMC customer or expert by any stretch but I did find the information on "Extended Cache enabler" interesting. Though I have to wonder what is the point of doing that to a VNX, discarding all data services for the best performance.

Does that mean the VNX is faster than XtremeIO or cheaper than XtremeIO? Because if data services don't matter and you want EMC, I would expect XtremeIO would be the product to look to.

At the same time I find it curious they did not run the VMAX through SPC-1.

Interesting to me in any case.

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Sun? In Blighty? Nah, just build that rooftop data centre, it’ll be fine

Nate Amsden
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Lots of UPS, but no backup AC

I remember at a job about 15 years ago now, when we built out the "server room" as we called it (about 11 racks of gear, much of it low density stuff sitting on rack shelves in 2 post racks), I made sure to equip it with tons of battery backup, quite literally there was probably 1,200+ pounds of APC Smart UPS rack mount systems in various racks. Battery run time was probably at least 90 minutes.

One Sunday morning my phone wakes me up with a message saying the system is going on battery power. I was tired, and said, oh neat, the system works. Took me what I guess was about 30 seconds to realize oh shit, I forgot the AC is now down and the room is going to turn into an oven. So I rushed over to the office(2 miles away) and started manually shutting shit down(it would of shut down automatically when the UPS battery got low but I didn't want to wait that long) .

Fortunately there was nothing truly mission critical there (90%+ was development systems that weren't in use on weekends, lots of Ultra Sparcs, PA-RISC, a couple Alphas, buncha x86 too). Room was pretty warm when I got there but at the end of the day nothing damaged, nothing lost. Power came back on probably an hour or so later.

All my jobs after that our stuff was always in a co-location facility, short of one facility in Seattle that was prone to issues(I moved my then-company out years before their big fire which caused 30+ hours of downtime), never had to worry after that.

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Obama endorses 3D TLC flash. How else can you do exaflop computing?

Nate Amsden
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probably mostly spinning disk

with some ssd up front as a tier. Since I think most HPC stuff is still throughput based, last I heard SSDs don't give much competitive edge on sequential reads than disk.

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Wanted: beta testers for El Reg’s Android app

Nate Amsden
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not working well for me

(oops sorry ignore this comment, I was using the old app not the new one)

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Critical BIND bug scores PATCH YESTERDAY grading

Nate Amsden
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good for me I guess

My DNS provider patched 2 days ago, yesterday wasn't good enough for them!

https://www.dynstatus.com/incidents/r5xcrytxpb0k

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Tired tablets don't tickle the imagination, so sales fall again

Nate Amsden
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hardly touch my tablet

I got a pretty nice Toshiba android tablet last year, quad core, 2GB or maybe 3GB ram I forget, and something like a 2540xsomething display 9.7" or whatever(good price at the time). Thought I would use it more (got it mainly to replace my old HP Touchpads). But I quickly found that I didn't use the tablet much at all.

My Galaxy Note 3 handles 99.9% of my mobile work, I probably have picked up and used my tablet seriously 5 or 6 times this year. It can go weeks or month or more without even being touched. I don't even take it when I travel. I'm happy to watch movies on the 5.7" phone(which has 96GB of storage).

I have another Samsung tablet 7" which I have spent maybe a grand total of 30 minutes using outside of initial setup (got it cheap). I have another 7" I think HP tablet that was given to me by HP but I haven't taken it out of the box yet (probably will re-gift it) since I know I have no use for it either(that one runs windows).

Ironically enough my HP touchpads (used ONLY as digital picture frames, I don't even bother keeping them on wifi anymore) get more usage than the other tablets.

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Now listen, Gartner – virtualisation and containers ARE different

Nate Amsden
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Feels strange to admit this, but I think I agree with gartner (again, this is pretty rare for me anyway). At the end of the day, container or VM it really doesn't matter, it is a minor technical difference (speaking to the "business" level people gartner talks to).

Techie folks like us care more about the details but from a higher level perspective the concept is very similar of having multiple "instances", on shared hardware. Even if containers aren't as isolated as VMs, the end result is pretty similar.

At the end I think that's all that really matters.

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Nate Amsden
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Re: Nate Amsden containers are the future

I know you get it, but hopefully management types don't get confused and think they need containers to deploy micro services, when micro services deploy just fine in VMs.

My first round of micro services 8 years ago were on physical hardware(in production), each micro service ran it's own instance of apache on a different port(Ruby on rails at the time, ugh, hello hype bandwagon again) and talked through the load balancers to the other services.

I'll elaborate a bit on my usage of containers since it may be non standard and perhaps the information could help someone. A long time ago in a galaxy not too far away our software deployment model to production was deemed to have two "farms" of servers, so we would deploy to one "farm" and switch over to it. In the early days we were in a public cloud so the concept is we "build" the farm, deploy to it, switch to it and destroy the other farm. Reality didn't happen that way and both farms just stayed up all the time. In the time when we may need more capacity we activate both farms.

After six months or so we migrated to our own hosted infrastructure, where the cost of running two farms wasn't a big deal, because the inactive farm isn't consuming resources it really doesn't cost much of anything to maintain(grand scheme of things).

Our main e-commerce platform is a commercial product we license and it is licensed based on the number of servers you have (regardless of VM or physical or container, or number of CPUs or sockets etc). One server = 1 license. This application is CPU hungry. The license costs are not too cheap ($15k/server/year). For a while we ran this application in production on VMware, this worked fine though it wanted ever increasing amounts of CPU..

In order to scale more cost effectively I decided early last year to switch to physical servers, but I wanted to have the same ability of having two "farms" to switch back and forth. Originally I thought of just having one OS and two sets of directories, but configuration was much more complicated and would be different from every other environment we have. Another option was use a hypervisor (with only two VMs on the host). That seemed kind of wasteful. Then the idea of containers hit me.. it turned out to be a great solution.

The containers by themselves have complete access to the underlying hardware, all the CPU, and memory (though I do have LXC memory limits in place, CPU was more of a concern). Only one container is active at any given time and has full access to the underlying CPU. If a host goes down that is OK, there are two other hosts (and only one host of the 3 is required for operation). Saved a lot by not licensing vSphere(little point with basically 1 container or VM active at any given time), saved complexity in not using any other hypervisor nobody in the company has experience with, and it's pretty simple. The new hosts I calculated had 400% more CPU horsepower than our existing VMs configuration(with both "farms" active). Today these physical servers typically run at under 5% cpu(highest I have seen is 25% outside of application malfunction which I saw 100% on a couple occasions). I don't mind "wasting" CPU resources on them because the architecture deployed paid for itself pretty quickly in saved licensing costs, and allows enormous capacity to burst into if required.

I don't care about mobility for this specific app because it is just a web server. I wouldn't put a database server, or memcache server etc on these container hosts.

Headaches I find with LXC on Ubuntu 12.04 (not sure if other implementations are better) include:

- Not being able to see accurate CPU usage for a container (all I can see is host CPU usage)

- Not getting accurate memory info in the container (container shows host memory regardless of container limits)

- Process list is really complicated on the host (e.g. multiple postfix processes, lots of apache processes, default tools don't say what is a container or what is local on the "main" host OS)

- autofs for NFS does not work in a container (kernel issue) - this one is really annoying

- unable to have multiple routing tables on the container host without perhaps incredibly complex kernel routing rules (e..g container1 lives in VLAN 1, container 2 lives in VLAN2, different IP space, different gateway - when I looked into this last year it did not seem feasible)

I believe all of the above are kernel-level issues, but I could be wrong.

All of those are deal breakers for me for any larger scale container deployment. I can target very specific applications, but in general the container hosts are too limiting in functionality to make them suitable for replacing the VMware systems.

Obviously things like vmotion and things are a requirement for larger scale usage as well, while most of our production applications are fully redundant, I also have about 300 VMs for pre production environments, most of which are single points of failure(because not many people need redundancy in DEV and QA - our immediate pre production environment is fully redundant, well at least to the extent that production is), and it would be difficult to co-ordinate downtime to do simple things like host maintenance across 30-50+ systems on a given host.

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Nate Amsden
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containers are the future

Is quite a stretch there, stretch.

Containers have their use cases, and "services oriented architecture" has been around for a very VERY long time (my first exposure to it was 2007 but I'm sure it was around much earlier than that). Containers have been around for a long time too(12-15+ years? on some platform(s) anyway)

When(or if) containers can provide the same level of mobility that VMs have then they will be pretty set to take on VMs. Until that time their deployment will probably be limited to larger scale setups (in the same sense that software defined networking is limited to those setups too).

I do use containers myself, currently I have 9 containers deployed(LXC on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on physical hardware), along side roughly 600 VMs. The containers are there for a very specific use case and they serve that purpose well. Six of the containers have been running continuously for over a year at this point (e.g. we don't do "rapid deploy and delete"), the other 3 containers are only one month old and haven't seen production use yet.

Containers should be on that hype bandwagon that el reg covered in another article today from gartner, because they are mostly hype. They aren't magical. They aren't revolutionary. They aren't even NEW.

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W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

Nate Amsden
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my own DNT

sqlite3 ./permissions.sqlite

SQLite version 3.8.2 2013-12-06 14:53:30

Enter ".help" for instructions

Enter SQL statements terminated with a ";"

sqlite> select count(*) from moz_hosts where permission = "2";

10359

sqlite>

10,359 hosts that try to set cookies firefox will not store their cookies, firefox prompts me for every site, and has done so for what feels like 7 or 8 years now. Sometimes I block too much and a site stops working, and I want to go back and allow it to store cookies, or in some cases I just temporarily use another browser for that site.

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Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

Nate Amsden
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only reason I upgrade

At this point seems like is when the hardware isn't supported anymore(usually coincides with buying a new computer). Whether it is windows or Linux. Linux on the desktop at least started being "good enough" for me probably in 2007 (been using it as my main desktop since about 1997), since then I haven't come across any improvements that made me real excited to get to the next version. My last "upgrade" was to Mint, explicitly to retain the same Gnome 2 UI that I had with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (which for desktops I used for a solid year past end of support - only changed to Mint when I upgraded from hybrid drive to SSD).

Windows got to that point for me with XP(probably got that way for most people with XP), nothing in the newer versions has gotten me excited. I know that 64-bit under XP was poor relative to Windows 7, so that is one reason to upgrade but that's about it. I'd trade the XP UI over windows 7 UI/UX in a minute though.

I guess I can say the same goes for a lot of technology products and platforms that I use. The only reason I upgraded from ESX(yes no "i") 4.1 to 5.5 is I could no longer get support on 4.x. The version of Splunk I am using has been unsupported for probably two years now(but it WORKS, no support tickets needed in two years - I do plan to upgrade just not a high priority). The list goes on and on and on..

I haven't been a "serious" windows customer since NT 4 days. I've certainly used it a bunch over the years(including I'm the only one on my company's team that supports what little windows servers we have in house) since but very casually.

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X-IO erects its iglu over the data management market

Nate Amsden
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they had something similar long ago

I don't know why I care about XIO but for some reason have been loosely following them for a long time. But I specifically remember they had a "head" unit like this many years ago..

I had to look it up, the product I recall was called the Emprise 7000 (2009) which scaled to between 10 and 64 of their ISE enclosures at the time.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Nate Amsden
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filter at the telco level?

I would think it is technically possible to inspect and filter at the carrier level for this kind of thing, since this is processed through their systems(and not some random web page or email or something).

Maybe they don't have this capability, if not not a bad ability to have.

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Five data centres you can't live without

Nate Amsden
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I don't use any of those services

But ironically enough that last QTS data center I can't live without since my own company's equipment is co-located there, it's a nice place, probably a half mile walk from the parking lot to our little corner of it (128 square feet - driving over $220M/year in revenue). Right next to a prison of all things. Can't wait to go back, I love Twin Peaks in Buckhead.

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BURN ALL BLOGS! WordPress has a critical cross-site scripting flaw

Nate Amsden
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doesn't seem too bad

the main bug seems to specifically refer to users with special rights being able to compromise the site not just any random anonymous user.

I would wager most of the wordpress blogs out there probably have just a single account for the one person there(like mine), or have only trusted users (like the wordpress blog for my company, I think all of the users that contribute content have admin access already)

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Google gives away 100 PETABYTES of storage to irritate AWS

Nate Amsden
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need more bandwidth

1PB of data will take a long time to import, even if I had 1PB of data to import to their cloud, even at gigabit speeds(on a tier 1 ISP) the latency alone I believe would ensure it takes longer than 3 months to copy that data(at least without massive parallelization).

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