Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Returning Home

Tuesday night we drove from downtown LA to Covina, a suburb east of LA where I lived as a kid. After some initial difficulties (it turns out my parents’ directions weren’t as good as we thought they were), I managed to locate the house and the neighborhood in which I had lived for most of my childhood. It was amazing to see how much the neighborhood had changed over the last (almost) 30 years, and yet how much it was still the same. I had expected that the neighborhood would have changed so drastically that I wouldn’t recognize areas, but that was not the case. Unfortunately, due to traffic on the freeway headed east out of LA, it was dark by the time we arrived in Covina, and so I wasn’t able to get any good pictures of the old house or the old neighborhood.

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VMworld 2006 Day 3 and Wrap-Up

Given that my employer is a big partner of both VMware and Network Appliance, I was particularly looking forward to the session on using NetApp SnapMirror to provide business continuity/disaster recovery for virtual machines hosted on ESX Server. Unfortunately, the session turned out—in my opinion, at least—to be more marketing fluff than solid technical information. I did pick up a couple of useful ideas and a few technical tips, but it wasn’t as technical as I had hoped it would be.

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VMworld 2006 Day 2 Keynote

The majority of the keynote was handled by Mendel Rosenblum, cofounder of VMware and an operating system researcher who also teaches OS classes at Stanford University. Mendel spoke at length about the functions of the virtualization layer and how those functions might be extended and/or enhanced.

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VMworld 2006 Day 1, Part 2

Don’t get me wrong, here–“bad” is a relative term. It’s just that some of the presentations were really top-notch, and some of the presentations were…well, not. Some speakers clearly had been “on platform” before, but others just as clearly had no prior platform experience as a speaker.

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VMworld 2006 Day 1, Part 1

Diane Greene got up and spoke first during the general session again this morning, going over more of the same information as was discussed yesterday during her presentation. It’s good material, yes, but nothing new or original, so that wasn’t terribly interesting or helpful to me. More interesting to me were the two panel discussions that took place, one on virtual appliances and one on the industry perspective on virtualization.

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Partner Day at VMworld 2006

Karthik Rau (the Vice President of Product Management) focused on the technology factors that combined to drive virtualization to today’s levels. These were factors such as the increasing adoption of x86-based servers, the continuing progression of Moore’s Law, and the emergence of Linux as a viable alternative to Windows. He also discussed emerging trends that will continue to drive the adoption of virtualization, such as multi-core processors. It’s quite true that as the hardware scales up to quad-core and 8-core CPUs, no single workload (or application) will generally be able to take full advantage of all that computing power. That’s a natural fit for virtualization.

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VMware Fusion First Impressions

I installed VMware Fusion earlier today and immediately set out to install Windows XP Professional. Despite the fact that once I switched to Mac OS X I haven’t ever really looked back, I still have the rare occasion when I need to run some Windows application (usually Visio). So, it made sense to me to install Windows first, then to move on to more exotic subjects such as Solaris or OpenBSD.

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First Post from new MacBook Pro

I’m extremely pleased with the new MacBook Pro so far. No heat issues (runs cool, even under load), the machine runs very fast, and the keyboard feels great (believe it or not, I was actually worried about this one–I’m a stickler for a keyboard since I do so much typing).

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New MacBook Pro Soon

I’m glad I waited just a bit longer to move forward on a purchase of a new MacBook Pro. I had considered purchasing one late last week, but decided to wait just a bit longer. My patience was rewarded with an update to the Core 2 Duo (at a top speed of 2.33GHz), double the RAM (2GB instead of 1GB), and a bigger hard drive size (120GB instead of 100GB). I spoke to the people at the local Apple store at Crabtree Valley Mall, and they placed me on a contact list for the new 2.33GHz 15.4” model (17” is too big for me). I’m the second one on the list!

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Delving into NFS and Automounts

The main goal in undertaking this effort is to create a structure in which hosts running Linux (typically CentOS) and Solaris 10 share common home directories. These common home directories will be NFS-hosted shares that are automounted when a user logs in. By combining this with CIFS-hosted shares (for Windows-based clients), we can provide common home directories for users regardless of the OS to which they are logging in.

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