* Posts by Nate Amsden

1710 posts • joined 19 Jun 2007

Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Nate Amsden
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Re: Never again

No they won't. At least not ATT. The upgrade notice explicitly says wifi is required. And i have stopped the upgrade(downloading) on several occasions by disabling wifi.

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Nate Amsden
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Re: Never again

Note 3 here. First android phone I've had. Before that webos and before that (2008), blackberry.

I have a note 4 too but see nothing in it that makes me want to switch. Mainly it's a backup to my two note 3s ( my daily driver is android 4.4 and my backup(also used as a burner phone for travel) is 5.0. Much prefer 4.x). Haven't seen any other phones since that make me want to upgrade.

Happy with the new att unlimited plan(so far only 2gb of usage past month), cut my bill from 150 to 99/mo (company pays regardless ) .

More importantly I have not turned on wifi since March. Having wifi on is dangerous, allows the carrier to upgrade me to android 5 which I do not want. Before this i turned wifi on when I needed it then turned off again. Though sometimes I would forget. Managed to keep android 5 away from my phone for maybe close to 2 years now. Had a few close calls in that time.

I'd happily pay a subscription fee for actual android security updates to 4.4x though. Google was still putting them out there not too long ago (relative to the age of android 4 and 5 builds available to note 3 on ATT anyway). I am very careful with what i use my phones for so i feel pretty safe security wise. No social media, no banking, no mobile purchases outside of the very occasional google app store buy using protected virtual crefit cards.

One time I tried to root my backup note 3 wanting to flash android 4.4 on it (i had the file to flash with), but it appears Knox stopped me. Came close to bricking it I think. Haven't tried again yet.

About to go on a 3 week vacation. Put in a 256gb SD card in my backup note 3, works great, have another 128gig in my regular note 3 too. MHL to hdmi works well too.

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Dell EMC man: Hyperconverged is love, hyperconverged is life, but won't kill SAN yet

Nate Amsden
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Not certain about Google. But am certain the likes of amazon, azure and even facebook make huge use of enterprise storage arrays internally. I'd wager google does too. Certainly not everywhere but I'd wager they have 10s of PBs of storage on enterprise systems.

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Formation Data Systems? More like formatted data systems: Upstart shuts down

Nate Amsden
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trying to do too much

looks like they, along with some other startups out there are just trying to do too much when it comes to storage. Scale out, scale up, hybrid, hyper converged, file and block etc etc.. it's hard enough to get one of those working right. Anything I read that says someone is trying to do it all I can't help but just ignore them, too scary a thought having that much complexity in the code base for a storage company.

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Facebook loves virtual reality so much it just axed its VR film studio

Nate Amsden
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future is bright

far away future maybe, looking towards holodeck-style VR. Not in my lifetime I am sure

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How to remote hijack computers using Intel's insecure chips: Just use an empty login string

Nate Amsden
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I used to be excited about AMT

I remember being told about it in about 2005, read a doc from the server vendor, sounded really nice (far better than the IPMI and serial port stuff we had at the time anyway, though not as good as HP iLO or (modern) Dell DRAC) at least for servers. Never managed to see it appear in any servers I have had. My last couple of laptops at least have AMT options though without more software it doesn't seem to do anything (was sort of expecting an iLO like experience, be able to connect to a web server on the management processor etc). I guess it was geared more towards corporate desktops these days.

Dug up my email from early 2006, the board the vendor was talking about was the Intel SE7230NH1LX, which was a Pentium D board, looking online I don't see a reference to AMT with that board, maybe it was an add on option though.

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Dell EMC to release Azure Stack in small, medium and Oh My!

Nate Amsden
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The impression I got from reading the article is they might use the same hardware as VSAN ready nodes, because they fill a similar purpose.

Obviously it would run different software on top.

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Infinidat claims it can beat any all-flash array, uses innocent pooches to appear convincing

Nate Amsden
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Re: It's called the SPC1

So, assuming you can't bring a dozen different array vendors in house to test them with your workloads, what other options are there other than widely used benchmarks. Shit some storage companies don't even do evaluations (NetApp being one, from at least 2006 until 2011 they(multiple people at NetApp explicitly told me they do not do evals -- maybe that has changed for solidfire etc). NetApp refusing my requests for an evaluation back in 2006 is why I ended up on 3PAR.

I totally agree SPC-1 is far from perfect, as are most(all?) benchmarks, but it's a lot better than nothing. The disclosures in the benchmarks like SPC-1 are very informative (e.g. showing that the workload in question is running entirely out of cache, as Infinidat likes to show, or if high availability is disabled on the array(as I have seen on one or more 2nd/3rd tier vendor arrays in the past). At least the benchmark gives a common workload that people can use for comparison at some level. I would like to see SPC-1 revised though. I haven't paid attention to it in a while(haven't paid attention to storage in general for a while my arrays just happily run along).

Bringing everything in to evaluate with real workloads is just not realistic for 99% of customers. I know there is a company out there that makes a high end storage load simulator, forgot their name, but even that seems likely to be only used by very very large customers.

I remember getting a presentation on Hitachi's AMS2000 series back in 2010 I think it was, just before the arrays were coming out(the 2300 came out 2 or 3 months after the presentation), and they had slides showing their systems could do 1 million iops or something like that.. Certainly sounded impressive, but it wasn't until I explicitly asked them that they admitted that was from cache(and obviously the AMS2k series had a tiny cache relative to something like Infinidat). I could absolutely, positively see the VP I had at the time making a purchasing decision with data like that slide in mind(granted he was an idiot, but there are lot of those out there, if I had to bet I would say the majority are). So I'd happily take SPC-1 over a marketing slide like that any day of the week.

I remember another presentation(maybe 2012), it was from X-IO (at the time they were still called Xiotech), they did tout SPC-1 numbers, they showed themselves as #1 for that particular metric, and then they showed 2 or 3 other vendors (they just named them "Vendor A" "Vendor B", did not name the real names). I think the metric was IOPS/disk or something, or IOPS/GB or TB. I recognized the 3PAR result at the time, and asked them, and they confirmed yes the #2 system was 3PAR, I remember my boss(Director, not the VP) saying "oh, looks like we made a pretty good purchasing choice then", thought it was funny. We brought Xiotech when they came up with a trade in program where they give you free storage and you give them old storage. We had about 150TB of old storage from BlueArc (they used LSI storage at the time), so we thought hey maybe we can give this shit to Xiotech and they give us Xiotech boxes for free, but in the end they had no interest in that old storage we had so they went away. Ended up having to pay someone to take the old stuff and toss it out, I had a friend who worked at a recycling company for IT stuff, he initially expressed great interest in those racks of gear, but after I gave him more in depth information I guess they decided there was no value in it after all so they didn't even want to take it to recycle (their thing was give them your old IT shit and you get a tax write off).

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Having a monopoly on x86 chips and charging eyewatering prices really does pay off – Intel CEO

Nate Amsden
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Re: What's missing is...

ARM remains as stillborn in datacenters as intel is on mobile.

For my newest home server I got a xeon e3-1240L v5. Quad core 8 thread 2ghz 25W TDP. With 16g of ECC ram(soon 32gb) 6 HD 2 SSD and low power (19W) nvidia video card, and 4 80mm fans, the whole system(70W) uses less power than the triple core amd cpu alone that my home server was using before (90W).

I just love this cpu. But holy shit is it hard to find. Took 2 months to get one. Seems very strange for a current gen xeon to not be sold by anybody. After waiting a month from one vendor to buy a 1235L v5 for about 300, i found the 1240L v5 from dell for 500. Still took dell a good 3 weeks to deliver it. I left the other order for the 1235 on for an extra 2 weeks the vendor kept saying the distributor will have it in stock next week.. thinking I would use it to build another box. But I canceled it in the end.

It rips in encoding blu ray too, easily twice as fast as my dual socket 6 core (12 total cores) opteron workstation. Mainly because the video encoder doesn't scale to 12 cpus on blu ray for whatever reason.

Main thing is i wanted a chip/system that could easily survive the 100 degree summmer that is coming.. my amd system lasted fine last year but the chassis is just too tight. I don't want to risk another hot year on the old system(4 or 5 yrs old). New system has great filtered airflow front to back. And the cpu cooler is built for a 90w("normal" chip.

Server side i am interested to see how AMD's new 64? core chip comes out. My work servers run 22 core xeons today and I'd love to have more cores (still have about a dozen dual socket 16 core(ea) opterons in use) vsphere loves cpu cores.

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Alert: If you're running SquirrelMail, Sendmail... why? And oh yeah, remote code vuln found

Nate Amsden
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Re: Article title is misleading

I agree should say something like "Do you use squirrelmail with sendmail.."

on that note, as a squirrelmail user for 17 years now(even though I use roundcube today I still have SM installed for some family members who use it, last used SM in an office environment probably 2002), even back in the days when I did use sendmail I have always had squirrelmail just use smtp to localhost to send email. Not sure what the advantage ever might of been to using a local binary instead of smtp. I certainly never got any complaints.

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Canonical sharpens post-Unity axe for 80-plus Ubuntu spinners

Nate Amsden
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Re: Reboot

This doesn't make sense to me. Upgrading the kernel(without reboot) doesn't remove the old kernel in my experience. It doesn't change anything. I have never ever in 20 years seen a problem from upgrading and not rebooting like you describe (symbol issues and stuff ) on linux.

On my mint systems I don't upgrade kernels often maybe once a year. My last upgrade(very recently) had problems with sound (maybe those pulse audio problems I read so much about, fortunately there was an even slightly newer kernel that I was able to upgrade to which resolved the sound problem). I don't plan to change kernels again this year on my main system, too much risk. Two kernel updates before my laptop would panic once every few days. The kernel before that wifi and SD card didn't work. So am very weary of changing something that is working as a result of that (laptop is lenovo p50 which has high linux compatibility)

The security issues aren't nearly as bad(as in risk you will be attacked) as some try to make them out to be. Or maybe I've just been lucky running internet facing linux hosts since 1996.

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Nate Amsden
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Re: so this was the real reason

For my desktop/laptops I went from Ubuntu 10.04 to Mint (MATE) 17. The servers at the company I work at are on Ubuntu(inherited, too much work to make it worth switching to something else), and my personal servers are Debian.

I never tried unity but believed I wouldn't like it so never tried it. Gnome 3 was bad enough (on Debian anyway -- fortunately the Debian system I have that runs GNOME 3 basically runs a screensaver with pictures on it, I rarely interact with the UI).

I really like the Gnome 2 UI and will do just about anything to keep that around on my systems for as long as I can, for now MATE(with "brightside" for virtual desktop edge flipping I have 16 virtual desktops) does a perfect job at it.

(Linux on desktop/laptops since 1996(Slackware in my earliest days), Debian user since 1998, Ubuntu user since maybe 2007 ??)

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Nate Amsden
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so this was the real reason

Unity etc was cut, they cut it because they were forced to cut costs rather than they lost interest in it or thought it wasn't a good idea.

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Graphite core? There are other ways to monitor your operation's heart

Nate Amsden
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graphite too complicated

Been doing monitoring stuff for almost 20 years now, started with MRTG, then built my own custom graphing with rrdtool and rrdcgi which handled probably 10 million data points a day back at the time(after I left the company they deployed Zabbix, and 3 years in they were still using my custom graphs), then moved to cacti(which was great/easy for end users but crap for anything else), now my tool of choice is a SaaS platform called LogicMonitor (though it's not nearly as good as it was when I first started using it, I really HATE HATE HATE their new UI that was forced upon the customers, one of the many downsides to a SaaS platform, took 6 months to fix an annoying UI bug that didn't exist in the older UI). The org I am at has had graphite (and collectd, and more recently statsd/grafana) deployed for the past 5 years. Maybe I need 3 hands to count the number of times I have used graphite, it's just such a pain to get data out of. Maybe if you are a math wiz or something. Or maybe there is a (much) better web front end out there that I just haven't seen(I never set graphite up someone else on my team did)

I don't doubt it is a good tool for some out there, but I can't bear to use it, other people on my team use statsd/grafana I haven't spent more than 30 minutes playing with that since it was deployed.

The core things I really love about logicmonitor that I haven't seen elsewhere is the ease of use with dynamic graphs/dashboards. Also integration with a ton of things I use whether it is virtualization, firewalls, switches, load balancers(back in the day I must've spent 200 hours getting complete F5 bigIP stuff into the cacti servers I had at the time), power strips, servers, apps, etc. If there was a non SaaS version of this kind of product I would jump on it but so far have not seen nor heard of anything that comes close in these areas. Logicmonitor does other things too but I only use it for graphs and dashboards. I also ported my custom 3PAR monitoring that I developed for cacti starting about 10 years ago to LM(about 20k data points/minute coming from my arrays), and that works great too, with cacti I literally created over 1,000 graphs by hand for storage alone the last time I used it because it wasn't built to do what I was trying to use it for. In the end it worked, but there was so much manual work involved in maintaining it.

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Datrium gets on the rack and heads cloudward

Nate Amsden
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16 and 28 THREADS per cpu, 8 and 14 cores respectively.

Curious why they go such low core counts when 18 and 22 core xeons have been out a while already.

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US ATM fraud surges despite EMV

Nate Amsden
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need to cache the information from the chip on the reader, so people can just swipe it like they do with mag stripe. Chip readers for the most part still far too slow(though they have gotten better since the initial launch), I was last in Europe 2 years ago though I don't remember much of my credit card experience none of my cards have a PIN on them as far as I know(outside of ATM anyway). I did spend 3 months in Asia last year and I don't recall off hand seeing much "chip" activity(if any?), though I mostly used cash, though my main CC was flagged as compromised literally 2 days after I arrived(maybe it was hit before I left I do not know), and it took a month to get a replacement card(mainly because I didn't have a stable address going from hotel to hotel).

I find it kind of amusing the people complaining why the U.S. hasn't fully embraced chip+pin, the reason most customers have not is because they are not liable for the fraud anyway if there is any. Myself I have had very little fraudulent activity on my cards in the past 5 years. And obviously chip+pin does jack shit with regards to online transactions. I just got off the phone with an online merchant trying to make a purchase, whatever CC processing they use wasn't able to charge my main credit cards, so I gave them yet another card(3 total), and they tried to charge that, THAT bank flagged it as fraud and texted me, I approved it, the merchant said they will try to process the payment again and call me back, that was 40 minutes ago.

Using the chip has been far more of an annoyance factor for me vs magstripe (as in annoying me on a very regular basis), vs on average 1 fraud thing on my card per year. I am generally quite careful where/how I use my CCs, as well as ATM. Only time I have used a ATM not owned and operated by my bank was when I was overseas. I never ever use random ATMs at retail locations operated by 3rd parties.

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Extreme Networks to splash $55m on Brocade's data centre biz

Nate Amsden
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Re: aka foundry networks?

Can't edit on mobile. Sounds like a subset of switching business. If broadcom bought the big bits. There is quite a bit of overlap on the ethernet side if things so wonder what products are affected.

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Nate Amsden
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aka foundry networks?

Wow that seems cheap to buy that business. Brocade bought them for 3 billion back in '09(looked it up).

(Extreme customer for 17 years)

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It's ESXi time for critical VMware patches

Nate Amsden
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Re: impressive

Was looking for the patch for the big bug, the one that allows code execution and turns out 5.5 is not affected, so no worries for me. (haven't yet touched ESXi 6.x, more likely next year??)

http://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/VMSA-2017-0006.html

the other bug where you can DOS a guest doesn't really concern me there are so many ways to DOS a system already. Uninitialized memory doesn't freak me out either, will patch it, but no rush.

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Nate Amsden
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impressive

First esxi guest escape I recall hearing about ever.

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I need an ISP that offers IPv6. Virgin Media: Whatevs, nerd

Nate Amsden
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need? really?

Hard to imagine there would be any services out there that would be IPv6 only.

I would think ISPs will deploy carrier grade NAT before they deploy IPv6 to the end user, especially for existing customers, if a provider is doing a new buildout of something then perhaps I can see using IPv6, but it just introduces more complexity into the network since the provider has to provide IPv6 to IPv4 NAT anyway, what is the advantage to not just doing IPv4 NAT ?

Some like to harp on oh how NAT breaks peer to peer etc, but it seems the world has been getting along just fine for a long time with it. I don't really do any peer to peer stuff myself, at least nothing that has an issue with NAT.

If you need IPv6 so bad I'm sure there are other tunnel providers you can use, or rent a VPS or something somewhere. Myself I have a 1U server in a colo and I have my home cable connection VPN'd to it (IPv4 only- I turned down my ISP when they asked if I wanted IPv6 because I don't).

Looks like Hurricane Electric still does free IPv6 tunnels (HE is who I am hosted with, though it's certainly not free).

I've been running networks for nearly 20 years now and I have never, ever heard IPv6 come up in any conversations with regards to networking with the people/companies I have worked with/at. I have no doubt it is a factor at ultra large scale providers, but that's not what I deal with. IPv4 is scarce, but HTTP proxies and SNI for SSL go a long way for extending the life of IPs (organization I am with today has had the same /27 IP spaces (1 per data center) externally for 5 years and could probably go another 5 years without much issue).

When the time comes to finally allow inbound IPv6 into the sites I manage the infrastructure for I will use NAT again - but at the CDN layer. Though honestly I may be retired from this profession by the time that happens.

I checked my comcast cable link and that has a real IPv4, meanwhile my AT&T mobile phone is still behind CGNAT on a 10.x IP.

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Capacity shortage hits AWS UK micro instances

Nate Amsden
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story from the early days

My previous manager started working with amazon shit back in maybe 2009 I think it was for a company he hired me at a year later. The company in question had very high level connections with amazon to try to resolve the many problems(which didn't help much in the end). Anyway the funny story is on several occasions even in us-east amazon would run out of capacity for large VMs (and maybe others I don't know) at the time and on at least one occasion the customer co-ordinated with amazon on site techs, literally they called and told my manager to log in to the portal with his finger on the button, the amazon people powered up the new hardware and told him when to click the button to allocate resources from the new hardware. In the two and a half years or so I was forced to use amazon cloud I don't recall that situation happening to me(running out of capacity). The customer in question at least on paper at the time peaked spending at about $500,000/month on cloud services(ROI for in house was about 7 months). Because of the executive level connections I don't know how much they actually paid, that was just the size of the bill. This from a tiny shit box startup. Company imploded several years ago.

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FedEx will deliver you $5.00 just to install Flash

Nate Amsden
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Oh another bit. Flash is not required for basic printing. My local fedex office just said i can email them the document and they can print it just fine.(and I have before)

But if you need special paper or formatting etc maybe more complex than just using flash on the website

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Nate Amsden
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I use it. Haven't owned a printer since 2004. I don't print often, maybe once every other month. Back when I lived close to the office I was based out of I would just print at work. Now work is a 2hr drive away so fedex office it is.

I've thought about getting a printer but have little doubt an inkjet would dry up long before i ran out of ink and a laser is just overkill.

Actually been thinking about printing blank tax forms to do my taxes. So that may be my next pront job. Yeah I guess i am old school. Only filed taxes online once with turbo tax, that year was more complicated. Normally it's just a 20min job filling out the 1040 form.

Bank of America shop safe virtual credit cards use flash too.

I can't think of any other sites I use flash for off the top of my head.

I like flash myself. Especially for ads. Easy to keep it off or click to run when needed. Maybe someday html 5 animations and videos will be standard click to run too.

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Canonical preps security lifeboat, yells: Ubuntu 12.04 hold-outs, get in

Nate Amsden
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Re: On the plus side

Do they make it easy now? in the past it was not a supported path to do a major version upgrade. I upgraded my company's systems from 10.04 to 12.04 years ago and the process at the time was entirely unsupported, and it took many hours of trial and error to get a robust way to do the upgrade.

Debian by contrast (debian user since 1998) has always(as far as I know) supported major version upgrades. I believed since Ubuntu was based on Debian it should of been possible to do a major version change on Ubuntu even if it wasn't supported (thankfully we have VM level snapshots where I was able to test, break, revert snapshot, test break, revert snapshot until I figured it out)

And for those more techie, to give an example as what I had to do to do the upgrade, here is a snip from the script:

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export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive

debconf-set-selections /mnt/scratch/tmp/ubuntu-upgrade/precise.preseed

apt-get -y -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confdef" -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confold" upgrade

debconf-set-selections /mnt/scratch/tmp/ubuntu-upgrade/precise.preseed

apt-get -y -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confdef" -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confold" install dpkg util-linux

apt-get -y -f install -o APT::Immediate-Configure=false python2.7-minimal passwd

debconf-set-selections /mnt/scratch/tmp/ubuntu-upgrade/precise.preseed

apt-get -y -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confdef" -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confold" dist-upgrade

debconf-set-selections /mnt/scratch/tmp/ubuntu-upgrade/precise.preseed

apt-get -y -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confdef" -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confold" install nsca-client

apt-get -y -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confdef" -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confold" install nfs-common

apt-get -y install vmware-open-vm-tools-kmod-3.2.0-41-generic

dpkg --purge linux-headers-2.6.32-37 linux-headers-2.6.32-37-server linux-image-2.6.32-37-server vmware-open-vm-tools-kmod-2.6.32-37-server

apt-get -y autoremove

dpkg --get-selections | grep deinstall | awk '{print $1}' |xargs dpkg --purge

-----------

It wasn't a simple apt-get dist-upgrade by any stretch ! I had to upgrade those named packages in that order else the upgrade would not complete. There was more to the script but that was the core dpkg stuff I used to upgrade from 10.04 LTS -> 12.04 LTS. I recall an earlier version of Ubuntu was it 7 or 8 maybe I had installed on my sister's laptop, I went through their GUI dist upgrade on that system and it mostly worked but still required some command line magic to get it to complete(I think it got halfway done and when I rebooted X was broken turns out there was a hundred or so packages that did not upgrade the first time round). Had a similar experience upgrading Mint recently on one of my laptops (I believe I read mint has a no upgrade policy too, though in the Mint experience I just clicked the upgrade button it wanted me to click on to upgrade, so I think that should of worked).

I remember back in the early days of Fedora where they had 6 month cycles(maybe still do haven't had to use Fedora since 2007) they too had a no upgrade policy, and I think back then it was far more dicey to upgrade Fedora rather than reinstall, though I think I read in recent years that it is possible to do major version changes in fedora without reinstalling.

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White-box slingers, Chinese server makers now neck-and-neck with US tech giants

Nate Amsden
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Re: Isn't the interesting bit missing here?

I would count that as ODM market share. Though would be nice to see the various ODMs themselves broken out into market share, and not lump everyone in with "other".

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Oh, 3PAR. One moment you're gliding along. The next, you're in the rain as HPE woos Nimble

Nate Amsden
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more than 8 nodes

just FYI HPE 3PAR has had storage federation abilities for several years now, as of last check currently goes to 4 arrays, so the doc I see here says max say 32 controllers 60PB of usable capacity and 10 million IOPS(at the high end). Individual volumes I would assume can only reside on a single system at a time, but with that much data and I/O you are likely to have many many volumes that can be distributed/load balanced over a federation if the customer desires to do so.

I have not used federation myself.

The true hybrid(as opposed to tiering) SSD/HDD tech that Nimble and a couple of the other startups offer seems like a great solution for many types of apps. I am not sure how much of their sales is their original hybrid vs their all SSD and where that is going in the future. Other than my past history with 3PAR one of the main things that keeps me on the platform is support for 4+ controllers, I really like having a true active-active 4 controller array as a base, especially when my workloads are often 90% write.

Though Nimble seems very light on data services relative to 3PAR. Myself I don't use many data services on 3PAR but they are important to many customers.

Back in about 2011 or 2012 I really questioned whether or not the 3PAR architecture had the ability to grow into the flash era(and at the time I didn't think it would), but the stuff they have done since really blew my mind (with exception of compression taking too long).

The company I am at has some Nimble(another group manages it, the other group deployed Tegile in the past year or so because it was cheaper than Nimble), relatively speaking a lot of 3PAR, and about to get some Isilon as well (if only HP could make a decent NAS..I miss my Exanet from eons ago). I wanted to deploy Isilon SD Edge but like some other NAS products I have tried imploded pretty quick, their hardware platform addresses shortcomings not possible in the SD Edge product).

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Microsoft: Can't wait for ARM to power MOST of our cloud data centers! Take that, Intel! Ha! Ha!

Nate Amsden
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if arm was good for servers

We'd see it deployed on other clouds using linux. There was an article here recently that said even google was something likenover 99% intel. Linux has arm for probably 15 or more years now. Multiple arm server startups over the years too pushing dense stuff.

Maybe this new cpu will be different.

The articles here say MS likes high throughput but I see no mention of what actual throughput they are getting relative to intel. Sure is has more cores but it doesn't mean core for core or clock for clock they are any faster. And i have not seen any mention on power usage. Arm on mobile is very power conservative. However historically arm in servers has been much more power hungry.

It seemed like a race could intel get power usage down enough before arm could get performance up enough?

Speakin of power usage been trying to buy a intel e3 1240L v5 or 1235L v5 for the past month for a home server. Seem like nice 25W quad core chips but NOBODY has them. Have orders out to 2 different vendors one of them is dell and nobody knows when there might be 1 cpu for me.

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HPE gobbles Nimble Storage for $1.2bn

Nate Amsden
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Re: InfoSight

Such harsh words from an AC. I suppose I will get my answers from HP next week when I meet them.

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Nate Amsden
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Re: InfoSight

as a 3PAR customer for 11 years and Nimble (though the Nimble in my org is run by another group), am curious what is old about 3PAR vs Nimble? Nimble's original claim to fame was true hybrid SSD+HDD. They have since introduced all flash systems, but am not sure what may make 3PAR old vs Nimble not old in an all flash world. I don't know how well the older hybrid SSD+HDD systems are selling but the architecture seemed certainly nice (much nicer than tiering, I have never used auto tiering in 3PAR or any other system).

I guess Infosight is good (have not heard of it or seen it, I wrote my own 3PAR monitoring tools have not even tried HP's latest stuff whatever it's called these days, HP folks have repeatedly told me over the years I manage my 3PAR systems better than any customer they had ever seen).

I would ask the people that manage the nimble at my company but have absolutely no doubt they have no idea, as the person(s) that procured the systems(1 or 2) have long since left the company and the rest of the folks on the team I don't believe are up to speed on the platform.

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One IP address, multiple SSL sites? Beating the great IPv4 squeeze

Nate Amsden
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Re: I don't usually advocate "cloud" solutions but...

How about the opposite. Run ipv4 and let someone else handle ipv6 to v4 and you can continue ignoring ipv6.

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HPE's Australian tax failures may have been user error

Nate Amsden
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Re: Let me guess...

Kind of related here but my first all flash 3PAR system the installer wanted to install it in the middle of what was left of the rack for expansion purposes. I have been a 3PAR customer for a long time and knew what I wanted, I needed/wanted it right where I told him to put it. He racked it wrong and I had him unrack it it and fix it. He said that was a bad idea for upgrades I told him with the size of SSDs and the number of available slots in the system it is extremely unlikely we will ever add another shelf to that array for it's lifetime(almost 2 and a half years in and the system is 30% full today, it started at 16% populated, maybe it gets to 50% in the next 18 months).

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Nate Amsden
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Re: Certainly was user error

How can you compare the 1st generation of a blade system vs a 5th generation (ASIC wise, system wise it could be 6th or 7th or more) generation system that has been maturing for at least 14 years now. It would be like saying don't deploy current HP blade system because the original ones many years ago were bad.

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Nate Amsden
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by default

3PAR systems will protect against an entire shelf failing(they call it "cage level availability") but it does restrict what types of RAID you can use. e.g. if you have only 2 shelves of disks you can only use RAID 10, not RAID 5 or RAID 6. If you have 8 shelves you could use RAID 6+2 if you really wanted RAID 6. If you wanted RAID 5 the minimum would be 3 shelves for RAID 5 2+1). There are also minimum numbers of disks required on each shelf as well as minimum numbers required for adding to shelves(e.g. if you have a 4 shelf 3PAR system and you want to add more disks/SSDs the minimum SSDs you can add is 8).

Otherwise the admin of the array can change the default behavior to not protect against a shelf failing (3PAR calls it 'magazine level availability', although the concept of magazines is no longer in the Gen5 8k/20k hardware systems they kept the term for now). Though changing this behavior has no effect on minimum numbers of drives per shelf or minimums on upgrades per shelf.

You can also customize having some volumes cage level availability and others magazine level, just like you can have some volumes on RAID 5,some on RAID 6, some on RAID 10, all while sharing the same spindles/SSDs (or you can isolate workloads on different spindles/SSDs if you prefer, and you can of course move stuff around between any tier or media type without app impact).

Back in the early days of 3PAR for eval systems they would encourage the customer to unplug a shelf, or yank a live controller to demonstrate the resiliency(provided it was configured for default/best practice of cage level availability).

In the 11 years I have had 3PAR I have yet to have a shelf fail, though I do stick to cage level availability for all data wherever possible. The only time I have moved a 3PAR array was at a data center that had weight restrictions per cabinet, so we had installed steel plates to distribute the weight more, and needed to get the array up on the plates. My 3PAR SE+ 1 or 2 other professional services people at the time came on site, we shut the system down, removed all of the drive magazines, and moved the cabinets up onto the steel plated platform and re-inserted everything, re cabled everything and turned it back on. Those 3PAR systems could get up to be 2,000 pounds per rack fully loaded, and I think the data center had a limit of 800 pounds per cabinet or something(in a highrise 10+ floors up).

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Brocade SAN sales butchered by hyper-converged upstarts

Nate Amsden
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broacde networking down 30%+ due to broadcom?

HP networking also was down 30%+ so possibly a larger issue than uncertainty for broadcom

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Australian Tax Office's HPE SAN failed twice in slightly different ways

Nate Amsden
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about 7 years ago(before HP acquired 3PAR) I had a big outage on one of my 3PAR arrays at the time(took about a week to recover everything(actual array downtime was about 5 hrs) as the bulk of the data was in a NAS platform from a vendor that went bust earlier in the year and we had not had time to migrate off of it), in short from the incident report said

"Root cause has been identified as a single disk drive (PD94) having a very rare read inconsistency issue. As the first node read the invalid data, it caused the node to panic and invoke the powerfail process. During the node down recovery process another node panicked as it encountered the same invalid data causing a multi-node failure scenario that lead to the InServ invoking the powerfail process.

[..]

After PD94 was returned, 3PAR’s drive failure analysis team re-read the data in the special area where ‘pd diag’ wrote specific data, and again verified that what was written to the media is what 3PAR expected (was written by 3PAR tool) confirming the failure analysis that the data inconsistency developed during READ operations. In addition, 3PAR extracted the ‘internal HDD’ log from this drive and had Seagate review it for anomalies. Seagate could not find any issues with this drive based on log analysis. "

Since then the Gen4 and Gen5 platforms have added a lot of internal integrity checking (Gen5 extends that to host communications as well), the platform that had the issue above was Gen3(last of which went totally end of support in November 2016, I have one such system currently on 3rd party support).

The outage above did not affect the company's end user transactions, just back end reporting(which was the bulk of the business, so people weren't getting updated data, but consumer requests were fine since they were isolated).

I was on a support call with 3PAR for about 5 hours that night until the array was declared fully operational again(I gave them plenty of time for diagnostics). It was the best support experience I have ever experienced(even to today).

I learned that day that while striping your data across every resource in an array can give great performance and scalability, it also has it's downsides when data goes bad.

At another company back in 2004 we had an EMC Clariion CX600 suffer a double controller failure which resulted in 36 hrs of downtime for our Oracle systems. I wasn't in charge of storage back then, I don't know what the cause of the failure though the guy who was in charge of storage later told me he believes it was his fault for misconfiguring something that allowed the 2nd controller to go down after the first had failed. I don't know how that can happen as I have never configured such a system before.

3PAR by default will distribute data across shelves so you can lose an entire disk shelf and not have any loss of data availability (unless that shelf takes out enough I/O capacity that it hurts you).

That was by far the biggest issue I have had on 3PAR arrays as a customer for the past 11 years now, but they handled it well and have done things to address it going forward. I am still a (loyal) customer today, I have had other issues over the years, nothing remotely resembling that though.

I realized over the past decade that storage is really complicated, and have come to understand(years ago of course) why people invest so much in it.

Certainly don't like to know there are still issues out there, but at the same time if such issues exist in such a widely deployed and tested platform it makes me even more weary to consider a system that would have less deployment or testing(naturally would expect this on smaller scale vendors).

At that same company we had another outage on our earlier storage system provided by BlueArc (long before HDS bought them). Fortunately that was a scheduled outage and we took all of our systems offline so they could do the offline upgrade. However where BlueArc failed is that they had a problem which blocked the upgrade(and could not roll back) and they had no escalation policy at their company. So we sat for about 6 hrs while the on site support guy could not get anybody to help him back at BlueArc. My co-worker who was responsible for it finally got tired of waiting(I think he wasn't aware on site support couldn't get help) and started raising hell at BlueArc. They fixed the issue. A couple months later the CEO sent us a letter apologizing and said they had implimented an escalation policy at that time.

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Nate Amsden
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quite possible software bugs

HPE sent me this this morning about an urgent patch required on one of my 3PAR arrays(Gen5) that addresses problems involving controller restarts and downtime

http://h20564.www2.hpe.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?docId=c05366405

"This array is vulnerable to unexpected restarts and data unavailability without this critical patch installed. This critical patch includes quality improvements to 3.2.2 MU2 and 3.2.2 EMU2 that prevent unexpected array or controller node restarts during upgrade, service operations and normal operation."

Looks like the release notes were written in December, not sure if the patch is that old and only recently got escalated to urgent or if the patch is new and just completed testing.

My other arrays(Gen4) run older software so I guess are not affected by the issue though I have been planning on upgrading them so they are running the same code across the board where possible.

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XPoint: Leaked Intel specs reveal 'launch-ready' SSD – report

Nate Amsden
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Re: Not as good as some?

write endurance hasn't been a factor for most workloads for years now already on enterprise systems.

Many(most?) vendors already offer unconditional warranties 3-5 years. Looking at the first AFA my company bought about 26 months ago (while it doesn't do a lot of traffic relative to what the system is capable of, it is running at about a 90% write workload- databases and close to 1000 VMs), the oldest SSDs are down to 97% of their expected lifespan for endurance. All of these SSDs if bought on the regular market would be sold as "read intensive". At this rate I suppose I may be lucky if the SSDs break below 90% of lifetime before the unconditional warranty expires(5 year).

The 2nd round of SSDs was added almost a year ago, and the third round in November I think, those two sets of SSDs are at 100% of life remaining.

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Why software engineers should ditch Silicon Valley for Austin

Nate Amsden
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work remote

Spent 10 years in seattle area. Got sick of it. Spent 5 years in bay area. Got sick of it. Last 18 months in bay area worked from home even though office was 1 mile away.

Now live in central valley in CA. Cost of housing less than half. Still close to bay area if I need to go (seems like a few days per month now, company pays for hotel etc).

I have one teammate who works from home in Australia. Another guy in spain. My senior director works from home in NY state. Another guy is hoping to move to NH and work from home there. Another guy semi on my team works from home in TX. Another in Kentucky. My director likes to endure his 2+hours of commute each day to and from the office in bay area but pretty much everyone else is remote.

I suppose if your a hippy and like the SF scene go for it. For everyone else, there's nothing in the bay area that justifies the cost of living. (Unless you are fortunate enough to make at least $200k/year)

Maybe I will get sick of where I am at some point. But I do not see myself returning to live in bay area or seattle (technically east side in bellevue i absolutely hated seattle itself) except as an absolutely last resort.

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Dell's XtremIO has a new reseller in Japan – its all-flash rival Fujitsu

Nate Amsden
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Re: Bluray vs. HD-DVD?

blu ray is certainly big out there, whether it is in standalone players, or PS4s and Xbox ones, or in the larger scale archive space(el reg has had a couple articles on massive scale blu ray archiving).

The things you speak of are nice and fancy, but the reality there is a long time before traditional storage goes away, and pretty much all of the major vendors(I can't think of any exceptions) have products or technologies in the newer spaces, and have had them for years.

People have been saying for as long as I can remember that tape is dead, yet capacity shipped for tape continues to grow.

Storage is a tough thing to get right, really complex, distributed storage even more so.

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Intel's Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it's not just Cisco hit

Nate Amsden
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Re: Uh oh

Looks like those have 3 year warranty so would be surprised if they didn't fix it..but maybe you have to wait for them to fail.

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Pure unsheathes the FlashBlade, cuts out NetApp legacy system

Nate Amsden
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reminds me of an old 3par slide

Long before the days of flash, I think this was probably 2005 or 2006 time frame

http://elreg.nateamsden.com/3par-netapp.jpg

The comparison was for 208TB usable with 86,000 IOPS at 20ms latency. The claim was 13 clustered NetApps in 21 cabinets vs 1 3PAR in 4 cabinets.

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GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail

Nate Amsden
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my money would be on bad management

It seems like their setup was rather fragile. I'd put my money on not having enough geek horsepower to do everything they wanted to do. Having been in that situation many times. Even having a near disaster with lots of data loss(and close to a week of downtime on backend systems), company at the time approved the DR budget, only to have management take the budget away and divert it to another underfunded project(I left company weeks later).

One place I was at had a DR plan, and paid the vendor $30k a month. They knew even before the plan was signed that it would NEVER EVER WORK. It depended on using tractor trailers filled with servers, and having a place to park them and hook up to the interwebs. We had no place to send them(the place the company wanted to send them flat out said NO WAY will they allow us to do that). We had a major outage there with data loss(maybe 18 months before that DR project), they were cutting costs by invalidating their Oracle backups every night to use them for reporting/BI. So when the one and only DB server went out (storage outage) and lost data, they had a hell of a time restoring the bits of data that were corrupted from the backups because the only copy of the DB was invalidated by opening it read write for reporting every night (they knew this in advance it wasn't a surprise). ~36 hrs of hard downtime there, and still had to take random outages to recover from data loss every now and then for at a least a year or two later. Never once tested the backups (and the only thing that was backed up was the Oracle DB, not the other DBs, or web servers etc). Ops staff so overworked and understaffed, major outages constantly because of bad application design.

Years later after I left I sent a message to one of my former team mates and asked him how things were going, they had moved to a new set of data centers. His response was something like "we're 4 hours into downtime on our 4 nines cluster/datacenter/production environment" (or was it 5 nines I forget).

I've never been at a place where even say annual tests of backups were done. Never time or resources to do it. I have high confidence that the backups I have today are good, but less confidence that everything that needs to be backed up is being backed up, because in the past 5 years I am the only one that looks into that stuff(I am not a team of 1), nobody else seems to care enough to do anything about it. Lack of staffing, too few people doing too many things..typical I suppose but it means there are gaps. Management has been aware as I have been yelling for almost 2 years on the topic yet little has been done. Though progress is now being made ever so slowly.

The place that had a week of downtime, we did have a formal backup project to make sure everything that was important was backed up (as there was far too much data to back up everything(and not enough hardware to handle it), much of it was not critical). So when we had the big outage, sure enough people came to me asking to restore things. Most cases I could do it. Some cases the data wasn't there -- because -- you guessed it -- they never said it should be backed up in the first place.

Been close to leaving my current position probably a half dozen times in the past year over things like that(backups is just a small part of the issue, and not what has kept me up at night on occasion).

I had one manager 16 years ago say he used to delete shit randomly and ask me to restore just to test the backups (they always worked). That was a really small shop with a very simple setup. He didn't tell me he was deleting shit randomly until years later.

It could be the geeks fault though. As a senior geek myself I have to put more faith in the geeks and less in the management.

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Between you and NVMe: NetApp dishes on drives and fabric access

Nate Amsden
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netapp flash cache

Does it cache writes now? I just tried poking around for some docs but didn't find an immediate answer. Last I read/heard(4-5 years ago) their flash cache was for reads only(for the org I am in where we have roughly 90% writes, caching reads in flash doesn't excite me).

3PAR(I am a customer) does flash caching as well, but their architecture too limits the flash cache to reads(unless things have changed recently). EMCs flash cache could/can do both reads and writes, never used it so don't know how well it works, sounded good though.

I think removal of SCSI overhead from a typical enterprise array will probably not have a noticeable impact on overall performance(as in reduction in enough cpu cycles to do other things, of course in the 3PAR world those operations are performed on ASICs).

But if/when NVMe gets to the same price (maybe +/- 10% even) as typical SCSI/SAS, then there will be little reason not to do it just because ..well because why not. I think while the overhead of SCSI does introduce latency, I also expect it to be more robust. In talking with one NVMe startup CEO and his team about a year ago I was kind of scared the levels that you need to go to in order to get high performance (direct memory access etc), just seems..very fragile.

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What might HPE do with SimpliVity?

Nate Amsden
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competitors should be scared

The smaller ones anyway, probably not DEMCVMWARE or Nutanix. All of the smaller fry HCI folks should be scared though(have little doubt they won't publicly admit that though), maybe one or two more will get lucky and get bought by Lenovo or maybe HDS or NetApp or Cisco. Their niche just got a lot smaller

(disclaimer I have never used HCI anything from anybody, my shit remains entirely unconverged at this time)

After reading the article I wanted to toss out there that 3PAR has duplication of course but it lacks compression. That feature is coming...it has been coming since I first heard about it 5 or 6 years ago..it's just around the corner..or so I was told 18 months ago. Hopefully the wait will be worth it (3PAR customer for 11 years now).

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Happy Friday: Busted Barracuda update borks corporate firewalls

Nate Amsden
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Re: Why even use hardware firewalls in the first place?

yeah like in most things these days much of the value is in the software. And for sure at least many Sonicwalls do not run x86 CPUs(I want to say none do but that may not be accurate).

With something like a sonicwall being able to scale to 96 CPU cores(high end), while OpenBSD is stuck at 1 is obviously not a good sign of progress on the software front.

I don't know if Linux is any better, I use linux on 99% of my systems, though my (personal) firewalls run OpenBSD, my work firewalls have been sonicwall for the past 5 years(no complaints).

While last I checked F5 used Linux underneath (and Citrix uses BSD), both run pretty custom networking stacks to get high performance. F5 was limited to a single CPU up until about 2008 or 2009 I think it was, they had SMP boxes before that but the network traffic couldn't scale beyond 1 CPU(2nd CPU could be used for 3DNS or something)

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Nate Amsden
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Re: Why even use hardware firewalls in the first place?

Do you recall the story of the FBI putting a backdoor in the BSD IPSec stack ? Someone recently told me about that. I'm sure I heard about it at the time but forgotten until recently.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/15/openbsd_backdoor_claim/

To me it's impossible to tell for any given vulnerability if it was deliberate or not, would be difficult to prove either way.

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Nate Amsden
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Re: Why even use hardware firewalls in the first place?

openbsd firewalls are nice (I have been using openbsd with pf since about 2004, and freebsd with ipfw before that I think) but hardware appliances typically are capable of a lot more, mainly in layer 7. If all you need is basic layer 3/4, then openbsd can be fine depending on support requirements(installing it is still a pain for me but i don't do it very often). If you want deep packet inspection with rules to be able to handle that, the commercial boxes tend to have those features in a more user friendly form.

Looks like OpenBSD is still limited to 1 CPU for PF https://www.openbsd.org/faq/pf/perf.html which is too bad I would of thought that had been addressed by now. With such powerful multi core systems on the market it would be pretty cool to see. My first "big" openbsd firewalls were in 2005, a pair of dual socket single core I think they were, with pfsync running between them with about 8x1Gbps interfaces. Though actual throughput was limited to around 500Mbit (I think because of interrupt overhead?? CPU never got closed to being pegged)

500Mbit is of course plenty for most internet connections. That particular use case was a bridging openbsd firewall between internal gig network segments.

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Nate Amsden
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not understanding

Is this literally a firmware update that was pushed out(as in OS upgrade or something) ? (didn't know any vendor did that for any kind of product) Or was it just a config update/change ?

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Apple eats itself as iPhone fatigue spreads

Nate Amsden
Silver badge

my last upgrade

was HP Pre3 to Galaxy note 3 (still use it), bought a Note 4 too recently but it's sitting on a shelf, I'm fine with my Note 3, Note 4 has more pixels but for casual use I can't see a difference(I'm sure I could under certain conditions). I haven't personally owned any other Android phones, and no IOS either.

The specs were pretty stark:

Telco network speeds 7Mbit -> 42Mbit (6X)

Screen 384,000 pixels -> 2,073,600 pixels (5.4X)

CPU Single core 1.4Ghz -> quad core 2.3Ghz (guesstimate at least 5X)

Memory: 512MB -> 3GB (6X)

Storage: 8GB(internal, no SD slot) -> 32GB(internal), 128GB SD (20X)

Camera: 5MP -> 13MP (though I use it in 8MP mode) (1.6X)

Battery: 1230mAh -> 3200 mAh (2.6X)

Weight: 156g -> 168g (though weighs quite a bit more now with wireless charging back and glass screen protector, I don't have a scale to know exactly how much more, maybe 200g)

The note 3 has replaced any use I had for tablets as well.

Sometimes I miss the keyboard of the Pre3 though my hands are very big and it was hard to type on anyway. The stylus on the note is handy for precision stuff for sure, though I don't do much hand writing or drawing.

Note 3 works fine for what I do, it would of been nice to get more security updates, but I am very careful on what I use the phone for anyway.

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