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

Technology Short Take #16

Welcome to Technology Short Take #16. It’s been quite a while since my last Technology Short Take (a month!), and I don’t know if that’s a good thing (so readers didn’t have to listen to my rambling) or a bad thing (readers missing out on what I hope are useful or interesting links). In any case, here’s my latest collection of various data center-related links, articles, and thoughts. Thanks for reading!

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Fate, Free Will, Virtualization, and Storage

You might wonder what fate and free will have to do with virtualization and storage. The title of this post is a reference to the debate of Fate vs. Free Will, which in turn is a reference to Stephen Foskett’s recent post VMware as Oedipus: How Server Virtualization will Change Storage Forever. I won’t provide all the details here (go read the post), but the basic idea behind the post is that VMware’s drive to add storage features to the virtualization stack puts it on a collision course with EMC, a leading storage vendor. The twist here is the fact that EMC has a majority ownership in VMware, thereby earning EMC the term “parent company” and creating the Oedipal conflict to which Stephen alludes in his post.

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My Experiences with Lion

About two weeks ago, I purchased a new 13” MacBook Pro for use as my primary laptop. As you probably know, I’ve been a Mac user for a while; this 13” MBP replaces a 15” MBP that I purchased about two years ago. Predictably, the new laptop was preloaded with Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”, the latest and greatest OS from Apple. Since the release of Lion, I’d made no secret of the fact that I had no intention of upgrading my existing laptop from 10.6 to 10.7, as I didn’t see any real need to upgrade—Mac OS X 10.6 (aka “Snow Leopard”) was working just fine for me. If the existing OS is running just fine and you don’t need any of the features of the new OS, what’s the point in upgrading?

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Formatting RTFs with TextSoap

If there’s one thing I miss about trying to avoid Microsoft Word and stick with more “open” file formats, it’s styles. Yes, styles. See, I’m a long-time Microsoft Word user, and in a previous life I worked in a role where it was my job to provide consistent formatting for some very large documents (300, 500, or more than 700 pages sometimes). In situations like that, styles are an absolute must. So, driven by necessity, I learned about styles, how to use them, and eventually grew to rely very heavily on them.

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Mastering VMware vSphere 5 Now Available

I’m very excited to announce that both Kindle and paperback copies of Mastering VMware vSphere 5, the eagerly-anticipated vSphere 5 book, are now available from Amazon. At the time of this writing, the Kindle version was priced higher than the paperback version, but I’m hoping that Amazon—who solely controls pricing for Kindle books—will drop the price soon.

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Content Creation and Mind Mapping

In conjunction with my shift to more “open” file formats such as Markdown (MultiMarkdown, to be specific), RTF, and OPML—a shift described a little bit here—I’ve also had two other shifts in my content creation process that I think are worth mentioning.

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Updated Stretched Cluster Presentation

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to the Toronto VMUG and present an updated version of my talk on considerations for building stretched vSphere clusters. Stretched clusters are a topic I’ve touched on several times, first in Denver in June 2010, again this past May in Charlotte, and finally in Toronto last week. Last week’s presentation, found here, includes new and updated content for vSphere 5.

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Technology Short Take #15

Welcome to Technology Short Take #15, the latest in my irregular series of posts on various articles and links on networking, servers, storage, and virtualization—everything a growing data center engineer needs!

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Hidden VAAI Command

As some of you are probably already aware, one of the storage-related features added to vSphere 5 is support for the SCSI UNMAP command. While you would normally want this functionality enabled, there could be instances where you might want to disable this functionality. Unfortunately, there’s no option in the user interface to enable or disable SCSI UNMAP support.

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Spousetivities at VMworld EMEA 2011

In case you haven’t heard already, the registration page for Spousetivities at VMworld EMEA 2011 is live and open for sign-ups! Crystal made the announcement about Spousetivities at VMworld EMEA on her site already, but I wanted to include it here as well so that everyone knew. Most of the activities sold out at VMworld US in Las Vegas, and Crystal’s hoping for similar success this year in Copenhagen. If you are going to be attending VMworld EMEA in Copenhagen and bringing your spouse/partner/significant other/family member, here are some of the things that are planned:

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