FREE Backup Exec 2010 upgrade!

For a limited time, when one purchases two years of support, you get to upgrade to BE2010 for free!  If you are interested, let me know.

Watchguard announces the new XTM330 model

Some of you may have been aware that this new model was in the works, but for those of you that were not, this is built like an XTM 5 series, but has a slower CPU and less memory. Its target market is to give small businesses a more robust, higher throughput firewall than an Edge/XTM 2 Series, at a similar price to the 2 series. It comes with XTM Pro on it, so it has 55 SSL users available on it from the factory. It has some pretty decent specs for the price, and takes away any concern of under sizing a 2 series firewall for a customer that might seem like they would need a 5 series in a techs eyes.

Win2k3 repair & version differences

I had a client w/ a Windows 2003 server that supposidly failed to come back up after installing Windows Updates.  The only reason it was W2k3 is because thier accounting software isn't (or wasn't at that time) compatable w/ 64-bit or 2008.  The machine would post, and as soon as it would start windows it would go to a black screen, and the hard drive lights would stop.  Even in Safe-Mode the result was the same.  The server had a COA for W2k8, the customer told me it was W2k3 standard, and gave me a Dell OEM W2k3 standard disk.  After a bunch of trouble shooting, it was time to do a repair install.  I booted the machine up off of that CD, and the install took off, no prompts or anything, it just installed it!  What it had done is do a parellel install of Windows!  It apparently saw the damaged copy, and just ignored it, didn't ask to repair it, and just installed itself on the d-drive!  Fast forward a few hours, I had reason to believe that this might be an Enterprise or R2 version of windows; after loading the registry hive from failed copy I was able to find out it was actually R2 Standard! 

HP D530: Video Card Install

I put in a Nvidia Fx5200, P118, 128mb dual head AGP video card in the machine hoping to squeeze out a few more horse power out of the system.  Windows 7 saw it as a generic video adapter.   The Windows Expirence Index was at a 1.0 for the Nvidia card, which was the same as the one built in on the motherboard.  Further more, Aero would not work. 

Nvidia does not make a Win7 driver, the closest they had was Vista.  After much searching I found a hacked version of that driver here:  After applying it, and rerunning the Windows Experience Index the video scores jumped up to 2.0!

HP D530 SFF: cpu upgrade & fan noise

So I was upgrading some older equipment, these d530's came w/ a 2.8ghz, 533mhz bus pIV cpu, well I upgraded a couple of them to a 3.2ghz 800mhz cpu.  Dispite putting new heat sink compound, blowing out the CPU fan, and upgrading the bios, the machines would often sound like a Boeing 747 during times of high cpu usage.  I found several posts on the subject, no real answers, most suggestions were stuff I already tried.  What I did stumble on, was that in the bios there is a setting for changing the cpu fan idle speed.  I moved it up to 4, the highest level.  This does make the machine more noisey, because the fan is spinning faster all the time, however it doesn't kick into hyper-speed nearly as often.

Backup Exec 3600

This is an interesting approach to backing up.  It is an all-in-one self contained APPLIANCE.   
-1U server (looks a lot like a Super Micro)
-customized W2k8 R2 Storage server
-16gb of ram
-2.4ghz quad core
-40gb SSD for O/S
-2tb sata drives *4, RAID 5 (5.5tb raw, 50tb deduped)
-Full install of Backup Exec 2010 R3 with license for ALL agents.
The MSRP of $25k is steep but when you consider what it would cost w/ other dedupe options to get to 50tb of disk storag, the BE 3600 looks pretty cheap.  It includes all agents, it doesn't matter if one is backing up one Exchange server or twenty of them, no additional costs! 
Administration is done via a web portal, but uses the same BE 2010 interface.  For all practicle purposes it looks just like a BE2010 media server.  All updates (including the Window OS) come from Symantec Live Update. 
It has some sort comings, such as no tape drive, iSCSI, or fiber channel support.  Replications need to happen to another BE server or USB (yuck!).  Rumor is those options are being looked into. 

Dell work stations interleave memory!

Many Dell workstations will interleave their memory when identical ram modules are installed.  So that means if you have a choice between installing four 1gb modules or two 2gb modules, go w/ the four 1gb's, you will get more though put.

This feature was seen on Optiplex gx620, 745, 755, & 760's

Notes from last VMUG->vSphere & View 5

VXLAN-encapsulate Layer2 packets inside of Layer3
High Availablity v2.0
   -64tb w/o the use of extents
   -virutal  Raw Disk Mapping
   -max. file size 64tb
   -1mb block size on new volumes
   -during upgrades:
           subblock is 8k vs 64k
           blocksize w/ VAAI won't work on mixed enviroments
Storage DRS
   -manual mode is reccomended
Thin Provisioning
   -stun-alerts for volumes nearing capacity
   -unmap-release old provisions after a move
PXE boot VMs!
Vmware Storage Appliance
   3 hosts w/ replication
vCloud Director
AppBlast-streams applications via HTML5
    -client side caching
    -3D graphics (Aero, OpenGL)
Octapus-Facebook/SharePoint/Forums combination for the business