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Back after a LONG Hiatus

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Over the past few months there has been a lot of changes around my job. I have shifted responsibilities and really ramped up my workload. I have been tasked with designing the next generation virtualization stack, as well as designing and implementing the initial phase of virtualization deployment in our new data center that is coming online this year. Needless to say between this work and the increased travel with my new role, the blog here has suffered neglect. That said, I have made it a New Years Resolution to get back on top of this thing and get the content rolling on a regular basis so be prepared to see some new things coming out shortly. I may even throw in a site redesign to freshen things up.

I again want to thank everyone who follows this blog. Last year was a good year and this year I plan on improving the content and frequency it is released. I look forward to another exciting year in the virtualization space!

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Categories: General

Alive and Well, but Very Busy!

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

I just wanted to drop a note to let everyone know that I am alive and still working on this blog. This year I’m lucky enough to attend VMworld in Las Vegas. Its been a busy few weeks planning my event schedule, and meetings with vendors and fellow Virtualization Enthusiast. I will do my best to post each night about my daily events. I know things have been quiet around here. I have also been settling into my new role and starting to get involved in some projects, including a complete migration to ESXi on vSphere 4.1U1.

Now that I’m getting settled in, I plan on putting more time back into this blog to continue to share knowledge and the experiences I deal with during my current and future projects. I’ll also be absorbing as much info as I can at VMworld so I can pass on some of the knowledge and all the experiences I have at this amazing event.

Thanks again for your continued support of this endeavor.

Categories: General Tags: , , , ,

Happy Memorial Day

I just wanted to take the time out today to wish all my readers a Safe and Happy Memorial Day. I also want to take this time to thanks each and every one of our service men and women, both past and present for doing what they do to keep us safe and free. And lastly, I want to give a special thanks to the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. God bless you all.

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Transitions and Reflections

I wanted to put together a quick post to let everyone know where I’ve been and what has been going on. Its been over a month since I’ve added any new content to the site, and while I have a lot of great things coming, they are being put second to some recent developments. The reason for my lack of additions to the site is that I have been offered and accepted a position with TD Bank, N.A. as a Technical Engineer III for Virtualization Engineering. Over the next month, as my old company completes the merger and conversion of systems to our new company, I will transform and transition into my new role. That said, the conversion activities have gobbled up a large amount of my time between projects, travel and still trying to keep things together. I am very excited about my new role, and please to know that an entire group to head virtualization in the US was created specifically for myself and my colleagues to build and tie together the direction of that technology and move it forward.

Things may be bleak around here until I get through conversion and things settle down. I do have a lot of content in the works, both of technical and conceptual natures that I hope to share shortly. We all know the struggles of balancing work, our personal lives and relationships, as well as our hobbies, such as my blog. I do want everyone to know I do remain committed to keeping this project going and add as much to the virtualization community as I can. I sure know I get a lot from others in the community and its nice to give back.

On a more exciting note, I also received word that I will be attending VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, NV this year. I am looking forward to the huge amount of information and fun activities that come along with great events like these.

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and respond to the content I post here. This start out as a place for me to store my thoughts on many topics, as well as resolutions to problems I had found. It has since grown faster than I thought it would, with weekly visits averaging around roughly 150. I am also getting involved in discussions on other blogs and have since met a lot of very knowledgeable people, both through the digital and the real world. I look forward to continuing to grow those relationships, as well as meeting many new people.

Categories: General Tags: , ,

A New Look and a Thank You

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, its been about a year since I created Virtual Blocks and things have picked up around here. I decided to step things up and add a new theme that has a cleaner, and more professional look. I also plan on trying to knock out at least one post a week. I’ve got a couple of items half-written now, including a write-up on my impressions of XenClient based on my recent experience with it. I hope to publish that article this week.

All and all I wanted to thank all my readers who visit my site. I started this blog as a place to put my thoughts and experiences based on my day-to-day so I’d have a place to go back and refer to them. I’m glad to see that to this day, that people have looks at my site almost 1,000 times and have hopefully benefited from my information.

Thanks again for all the support.

Home Lab – Part 1

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, I, like most serious virtualization professionals, am taking the plunge into building a home lab. I’ve gathered pieces for the past few months from various sources and am now in a position to start. I decided what better place to chronicle my journey.

Let’s start with the inventory:

  • 2 HP ML350 G5 /w 14GB RAM – ESXi 4.1 Host
  • 2 HP DL380 G4 /w 6GB RAM – iSCSI Shared Storage
  • Cisco 3550 XL 48p Switch – Loaded with Router Code
  • Cisco ASA5505

Some would say overboard, but I also plan on using it for infrastructure at my house, and hosting of some personal websites.

Here is a list of VMs I plan to run:

  • Windows 2008 R2 – vCenter 4.1
  • Windows 2008 R2 – DC, DHCP, DNS
  • Windows 2008 R2 – File/Media Server
  • Windows 2008 R2 – SQL Server
  • Windows 2008 R2 – Exchange 2010 Server
  • Windows 2008 R2 – IIS/Web Server

I’m sure this list will grow as I look to master new technologies, but for now I think this is a good start. As soon as I get the lab up and running, I’ll post again and take a few pictures as well. Things are still in the design and planning phase so if you have any advice or recommendations, please feel free to share them.

UPDATE:
I went through and corrected some of the server models as I had mistyped them. I also swapped out my 3500XL for a 3550XL so I could load router code on it and handle my Layer 3 traffic on one device and not melt my Linksys.

Categories: General Tags: , , , , ,

Legitimacy of Mobile and Thin Computing

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the more popular articles on my blog are those pertaining to Citrix Receiver and the iPad. I am also currently involved in engineering and implementation of a “virtual desktop” pilot. So needless to say I am spending a lot of time researching and reading up on thin client and mobile computing.

Quick fact to start things off: In 2010 its expected that 13% of all corporate computer deployments will be thin clients. I’d also expect mobile computing to show a strong growing trend moving forward, but I was unable to find any hard numbers. So it’s becoming apparent that this isn’t just some niche technology, but in fact something we can all expect to see in the near future, if you haven’t seen it already.

With companies like VMware, Citrix and Wyse introducing mobile applications to allow access to application and desktops that are centrally stored, this is certainly something that will catch on. I am an avid user of my iPad for business use thanks to Citrix Receiver. Sure, there are use cases where a PC/Laptop will trump the iPad for usability, but I’d certainly say that a majority of corporate users can get away with 90% of their work on a mobile device.

For cases where a mobile device won’t suffice, thin clients are certainly an alternative. I think a majority of people know the upsides of virtual desktops and accessing virtualized applications on thin clients. The upside of being able to move from device to device and maintain the same computing space is a major plus in itself, aside from the cost savings, reduced hardware failure and reduction in support required. And there are for more benefits to this approach.

Certainly, with these two technology approaches being in their infancy, there will be arguments against them, and task that they may not be able to do as well as existing computing, or even do at all. This should be expected, as with any new technology, problems will arise and a solution will be implemented with the technology. But I certainly think that virtual desktops, application virtualization, thin clients and mobile computing are going to be a solid entry in the stable of technologies deployed in corporate and enterprise environments.

So what are your thoughts on the legitimacy of Mobile and Thin Computing?

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