Virtualization Adapted Adapting Business Processes for Virtual Infrastrcuture (and vice-versa)


Application Performance Testing Method

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — iben @ 12:46

Are certain applications running slowly occasionally? Sometimes things are superfast and then they slow to a crawl. What’s going on?

First of all – do all you can to ensure the environment is configured according to established Best Practices. One of the benefits of VMware’s acquisition of the Zimbra email / collaboration server software is that they need to ensure users optimize the deployments on their Hypervisor. This document here covers the main settings to check on a Virtual Machine that needs to perform well under load:

Any tool that uses SNMP to gather performance metrics can be used to baseline and stress test infrastructure and determine where the bottle necks are.

Basic methodology could go something like this…

1 – identify end to end system components from end user terminal through network to virtual machines, esx hosts, and storage.

2 – configure SNMP for all devices (keep in mind that the latest ESX/ESXi vSphere versions don’t have many performance counters exposed via SNMP and you’ll need to use their APIs)

3 – verify use patterns and confirm data collection over time (1 week or month). Tune alerts for normal use.

4 – schedule stress test for each component to determine performance ceiling and baseline throughput capacity.

5 – make changes as needed to improve end user experience.

6 – verify changes had desired effect.

Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere

vsphere4-performance-troubleshooting.pdf (2.1 MB)

Possible tools that could be used to poll for performance metrics include:

Do you know of a tool that should be added to this list? Please send it to me.



Saturday Barbecue Recipes

Filed under: home — Tags: , , , , , , — iben @ 08:51

I was having a few people over for a barbecue yesterday and they asked about some of the recipes I followed. There are some basic staple foods we seem to have on hand all the time and spend some time each week to keep the fridge stocked up with jars of Beans and Salsa. We make the Rice and Salad fresh for each day. Sometimes the kids like Pasta or Potatoes too instead of the Rice.

4 cups rice, 4 garlic cloves, 4 serrano peppers, 4 teaspoons hot oil for 4 minutes, then 2 x 4 cups water and 4 spoons of seasoning, simmer for 20 minutes.

Prepping red tomatoes, green tomatillos, garlic, and serrano peppers for grilling on barbecue.

Green salsa is on the grill

Cucumbers, limes, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper = yummy salad


Server Room Infrastructure Information

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , , , , — iben @ 15:03

Take an average office turned into a server room.  Many companies throw a 3 or 5 ton split air conditioner on a wall call the electrician and start loading the racks up with servers. Now a days the new server hardware can use all the power (and cooling) you have in probably one rack (think three loaded blade chassis with 16 servers each = 90 amps of 208v).  The question is how much cooling can you afford?

For customers deploying 10 or more servers it is recommended to use the most efficient power delivery and structured wiring options.

Calculate you power and cooling needs with this spreadsheet.

Using 3 phase power reduces the number of PDUs and “whips” required to power up large quantity of machines.  The actual cables from the server to the PDU are the same and the power supplies still receive 1 phase 208v power.  This is just a different and more efficient method of delivering the power to the servers.

You get higher densities with fewer wires to the electrical service panel with 3 phase power over single phase power. ServerTech has a great white paper on this topic here:

A 3 phase 30 amp 208V circuit can deliver 8.6 kw versus a 1 phase 30 amp 208V circuit which only delivers 4.99 kv.

Here is one of the more popular units…

Go with the 4 wire “Delta” configuration instead of the 5 wire “WYE” config. Wye power can distribute both 208 V and 120 V power from the same cabinet power distribution unit but requires an extra wire per PDU and is not needed in most datacenters. You will also be limiting the number of 208 volt power outlets with a WYE config PDU.

CS-24VD-L1530 – List $860.
CS-48VDD-L1530 – List $985.
CS-84VDD-L1530 – List $1,290.

You need to hire an electrician at $100 per hour x 4 hours plus parts.

Cheap fast switch with life time warranty:

24 ports NetGear GigE Unmanaged Switch – $260

SuperGoose temp and humidity – $500

Trendpoint power monitoring – direct $3085

48 port tie lines from each server rack to a central control rack cost about $2000 per rack

Sample power calculations (need to be adjusted) 24 amps x 208 volts = 5000 watts * 3 racks = 15000 watts = 51,113.088 with BTU/hour = 4.25 tons cooling (worst case)

3 Homaco M6 Square Hole 4 post Racks – $360.19 each
OR-19-84-SSDA2732. 84″- M6 SERVER RACK. 84″- M6 SERVER RACK.

And you can get all the various power cables needed for 208vac
operation from quail.


PC Setup Checklist

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , — iben @ 23:43

PC Setup Checklist

configure printers
map Q: drive to nas
remove any trial versions of antivirus or other security software
run windows updates reboot repeat
install bginfo –
install newsid –
install avg free –
Install Yahoo ToolBar with Anti-Spy
install winrar –
install firefox
install treesize free –
install outlook 2007 –
edit local %windir%system32driversetchosts file if needed
Configure outook profile using mail control panel
install bittorrent
install skype
install openoffice
install blackberry desktop software
install blackberry handheld software
install apple itunes and quicktime
install adobe acrobat reader
install google earth
setup network time server –
setup and test vpn client to work headquarters
Turn off “I want to make windows better” check box
Install and test free pdf 995 creation print driver

Connect to exchange server and download cached copy of mail box
Change display options to windows classic and turn off options to enhance performance
turn off system restore
turn off drive indexing
label hard drive for user_c

Equipment List

k62132-3141Kensington Guardian Premium 6 Outlet Surge
6-outlet surge protector, 210 Joules
MFG#: 62132
Price:  $11.99
They are unique in that they have no power switch to accidentally turn off the equipment AND they also have a power indicator LED and a $2500 connected equipment guarantee.

Lifetime guaranteed replacement if unit takes a surge and stops working.


synergy screen sharing system

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , — iben @ 21:27

This is an oldie but goodie. I setup synergy today between two laptops on my desk and I no longer have to move my hands to go between one keyboard mouse and another. This is great!


Kensington Guardian Premium 6 Outlet Surge

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — iben @ 12:23

This is the best power strip for home and office.
Mfg. Part: 62132
CDW Part: 146408
UNSPSC: 39121610

No power switch. Eliminates accidental equipment power off events.
LED Power indicator. Tells you outlet is live.
Expand power options with six outlets and surge protection
Six outlets from a single electrical connection.
220 joules of protection guards equipment against spikes.
Peace of mind with up to $2,500 for replacing equipment damaged while connected.

6-outlet surge protector with a 5-foot power cord.
Guardian® Premium Strip is backed by the Kensington Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Cost: $12.00
Purchase 10 and they come in one box.


RunBook template

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , — iben @ 14:17

This is an example of things to consider with establishing a new IT Service or being asked to work with an existing service.

Use this template planning to set up a process that they never provided before, when improving the existing process.

It is based on checklists used in the past, online sources, and personal experience.

* Functional Overview – describe the service. Include links to diagrams.
* System Overview – hardware, software, processes, staff, locations, contracts
* Requirements – tools, documents, training, knowledge, consulting
o Power – AMP Load, Correct AC voltage, UPS capacity, Correct cables, PDUs.
o Cooling – BTU, WATTS, redundancy, summer, winter, top floor, power failure.
o Space – racks
o Storage – SAN, NAS, Local, RAID, Hot Spares, Cold Spares
o Fire Suppression – Halotron extinguishers on wall, Whole room, AC interlocks
o Service contracts – Vendors, Manufacturers, Resellers
* SLA (Service Level Agreement) – uptime expectations, service availability, recoverability, functionality, describe what service does and does not do.
* Time – to design, transition, and operate service.
* Priority – resources are limited. align to business priorities
* Cost – to design, transition, and operate service.
* Plan – use PDCA Method (Plan-Do-Check-Act)
* Security – service accounts, test accounts, monitoring accounts, acls, firewall policies (source and destination with TCP/IP ports), NAT rules, passwords, hardening guides, benchmarks.
* Monitoring – expected events? what gets alerted on? use distribution lists (DLs) for alerts, escalation tree, monitor the monitoring, test
* Life cycle – version releases, updates, upgrades, tiers, change management.
* Configuration Overview – how to go about configuration items involved in the process. User tools like TripWire and RANCID See the following link for a reference:
* Training – Lab, Self Training, CBT, ServiceDesk, Power users
* Support Docs – troubleshooting, debugging, FAQ, KB, Wiki
* Disaster Recovery – backup and recovery methods, infrastructure, capabilities, security, third party solutions, media, contacts, communication
* Information Portal – Create share on a file server or wiki page with info about this service, use version control software, protect read and write access to this
* UAT (User Acceptance Test) – verify proper operation after changes, upgrades, outages. Note what should and should not work.
o Does the service do what it is supposed to?
o Does the service do what it is NOT supposed to do?
o What does it do when you use it slightly differently from its intended use (make it at least somewhat foolproof, but don’t put too much effort into it, the end user will probably crash it somehow anyway).
* Owner – responsible for successful operations
* Sponsor/vendor – financial and resource allocation
* User Group – consumer of service
* Author – tech writer, documentation guru
* Revision – last update of the document
* Glossary – list of technical terms used in the document for the service
* Links, Sources, References – list of sources (publications/interviews) used in the documentation of the service that need to be cited

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