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Preparing for Windows 7 Migration

September 14, 2009 4:53 PM
Author: John Premus, CSO of VIRTERA

Microsoft Windows 7 was released to manufacturing in July this year and corporate customers have access to the code today (with the public-facing debut occurring next month). For many organization, this marks the first major desktop operating system upgrade in 10 years, leaving them with the daunting task of determining when and how to best migrate to this new operating system.

According to an April-2009 report by Dimensional Data in which they interviewed 1,142 IT professionals on their timeframe to upgrade to Windows 7 they found that...Click here to finish reading this entry at

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Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever

August 25, 2009 2:17 PM

Author: Lucian Lipinksy De Orlov, VIRTERA

Certainly a lot of press has been made of the potential impact of the H1N1 virus.  

According to the World Health Organization, "Many countries could see swine flu cases double every three to four days for several months until peak transmission is reached, once cold weather returns to the northern hemisphere.  Winter months tend to see increases in diseases such as influenza as people tend to stay indoors more and are in closer proximity to one another.  Southern hemisphere countries such as Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Australia have been experiencing dramatic increases in infections and deaths."

To make matters worse, the CDC recently reported that there is a shortage of school nurses.  The CDC recommends a workload of 1 nurse per 750 students, but an analysis puts the national average at 1 per 971 students. Why is this important?

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Author: John Flanagan, VIRTERA

With Windows XP approaching end-of-life and Windows 7 just around the bend, one thing is for sure: over the next few years the desktop is going to be different. Advancements in server-based computing have customers revisiting the idea of centralized desktop and application management. That's right - you heard me - we are going down that road again. I know you are going to say, "We already tried to do this years ago with Citrix and it worked great for some things but now I mainly just use them for remote access."

I too was part of that campaign to stop managing operating systems and applications at the endpoint and move them into the datacenter. When working for a previous employer, we designed and implemented a solid server-based application delivery system. We had fantastic meetings to congratulate ourselves on our brilliance and our new solution. 

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Author: Mike Burke, Director of Infrastructure Virtualization at VIRTERA

This isn't another product pitch, nor is it another plea for needing an elaborate tool to track virtual machine usage metrics and calculate how much you should charge a business unit for X usage of a system.  Instead, my purpose here is to discuss exactly why you need to consider a chargeback strategy early when deploying virtual infrastructure.

Virtual infrastructure, whether deployed on an old standby like VMware or on an up-and-coming platform like Hyper-V, has costs associated with it just like all IT assets.  In most organizations, business units that require server infrastructure to support an application will typically pay for that hardware as part of the project.  The Business Owner will request a new system from IT and supply the software vendor's recommended hardware requirements for the system.  IT will then procure the hardware required for the system and charge the business unit for the assets as part of the project.

However, all of this changes with virtualized infrastructure...(Click Here to finish reading this entry and visit Continue Reading...

Virtualized E-Mail Isn't Taboo Anymore

August 3, 2009 12:35 PM
Author: Rob Daly, VIRTERA


So, you've already virtualized all the easy stuff. You've replaced that rusty old hardware off of your datacenter floor and migrated legacy applications to a virtual infrastructure. You've even toyed with creating a disaster recovery plan that relies heavily on virtualization offerings from VMware and Microsoft. But that's so 2006.

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Virtualization and Vendor Lock-In

July 27, 2009 3:42 PM

Author: Daniel Beveridge, Director of Virtualization Strategy - VIRTERA

Central to the promise of virtualization is the ability to decouple workloads from their underlying layers of technology. In the case of hypervisors, this means that the OS can have a common set of drivers while freely moving between hardware platforms. For application virtualization, the same mobility allows dynamic delivery and execution of software across a range of operating system versions. Major vendors such as VMware actively market virtualization as a way to avoid vendor lock-in at the server level. Companies have welcomed the new freedom, reveling in their new found ability to negotiate more aggressively with hardware vendors who must now account for the ease of migration to new hardware platforms.

The virtualization market has matured over the last few years and the freedoms associated with virtualization of the technology stack have expanded and increasingly become a requirement for companies looking to make investments in the datacenter. What was previously just a possibility has rapidly become a necessity. Ironically, major virtualization vendors have not fully grasped the implications of the revolution they unleashed. Product strategy lags customer expectation by continuing to bundle products in a manner out of step with the elimination of vendor lock-in promised. Companies feel cornered into virtualization investments that may free them from physical server lock-in only to encumber them with hypervisor and associated technology stack lock-in. 

Examples of product bundling exist everywhere...Click Here to finish reading this entry.  Continue Reading...

Intuition Doesn't Cut It!

July 20, 2009 10:55 AM

Even after working on green IT projects for the past four years, I keep being amazed how one's intuition is insufficient to fix data center air flow and cooling issues.  I'm reminded that data always needs to be collected and reviewed in order to fix problems.

Recently, I was asked to take a look at a small 1,800 square foot data center running at about 100 watts per square foot.  It contains 29 servers and 6 computer room air conditioners (CRAC).  As data centers go, this is pretty simple.

The problem was that about 20% of the data center is running hot - hot being better than 90 degrees F and 99 degrees F in a few places.  I was asked how many new CRACs should be installed, and where should they be placed.  The question on the surface certainly appeared reasonable - even to me.

I collected information about the data center's environment and reviewed a air flow and temperature model which I sat down and studied.  Nothing really jumped out at me.  The servers running hot were 18 feet in front of a CRAC with nothing between the two.

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A Letter to CxO's...

July 13, 2009 4:05 PM

As an ex-CTO of a global Financial Services company in New York City, I worked through Y2K, the dot-com bubble, and the emergence of x86-based server virtualization.  Our first introduction to server based virtualization occurred in early 2001 after consolidating several data centers into a single global data center. As a result of the consolidations, we were in need of finding ways to reduce the environmental impact that the consolidations introduced or face expansion of the production data center. To address these environmental issues we adopted a virtualization strategy for our test / dev environments late that same year.

While not highly scalable, the benefits we realized were fairly significant and based on our early successes, we quickly evaluated data center ready hypervisors when they were introduced in late 2003/4. We became the first financial institution to leverage virtualization in a production data center in early 2005.

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