Why Virtual Workload Portability Matters

Why Virtual Workload Portability Matters

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Enterprise, Front Gallery | 0 comments

Why Virtual Workload Portability Matters

Public Cloud offers cheap compute and is well suited to easily consumed web services, the downside is the cost of data in and out of a public Cloud for the majority of consumers is Internet-based or at the very least the demarcation of data for security purposes is confined to a Virtual Private Network.

So even though the Public Cloud from a compute perspective is cheap, the hidden costs of data ingress and egress as well as the hidden costs of network IO can be very high when used for an organisation wide deployment. Also the nature of a Public Cloud does not allow the customer to “own” the operating system, whilst this may seem to be a trivial detail it fundamentally restricts the effectiveness of portability of the customer resources and forces a high cost of migration or only a application based migration when the Public Cloud is no longer suitable either financially or functionally for the organisation, which completely defeats the purpose of virtualisation.57785718

Lucidity IT is working with clients that this particular scenario is being experienced; it is providing substantial cost and loss of productivity/flexibility for these organisations. It also severely hampers the availability for replicated storage or Virtual machines between co-located datacentres, so if the organisation requires a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and/or a Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy, the Public Cloud ultimately is not the most cost effective or elegant solution in the long term.

Private Cloud has the benefit of a controlled environment like an on premise solution but with the cost effective nature of a public cloud. Private Clouds offer the ability for a customer to bring in a Private link from their own IP/WAN-MAN into the customer segment easily as the offering is geared towards it. This offers a number of benefits for the customer, firstly there will be no data charges for data going in or out of the data centre to other sites on the IP/WAN-MAN, thus fixed cost on Data usage for the organisation.

Secondly with access to the operating systems the customer can request access to the lower levels of the infrastructure to enable replicated data-centres, self-service portals, custom image builds, Backup as a Service and Disaster Recovery as a service. These prove to very cost effective and offer true elasticity of services, grow the compute platform as required and shrink it when no longer needed. The associated costs and maturity of Private Cloud’s in the last 24 months has become not only affordable but also incredibly cost effective.

Hybrid Cloud offers the benefits of a private cloud with the flexibility of moving workloads between on premise and cloud. The majority of Hybrid or Public cloud providers however will only allow one way migration of workloads from on premise to the hybrid cloud provider, VMware vCloud based datacentres are the notable exception to this rule. Hence the deliberate key partnership with “Digital Sense” as a true enterprise Cloud Provider. Digital Sense offers fixed cost for compute, built in DR and Backup’s, short term contracts, and a full VMware based Software Defined DataCentre ChargeBack model.

In order to realise agility within a business, the consideration for portability should be the top priority….

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Why we did VMware Site Recovery Manager

Why we did VMware Site Recovery Manager

Posted by on Oct 27, 2012 in Enterprise, Front Gallery | 0 comments

Why we did VMware Site Recovery Manager

As we grew, the requirement for our core Computing resources to have a segregated site agnostic DR (Disaster Recovery) site had become more apparent.

To mitigate risk in the event of a total site failure/Fibre cut to our Production Site, Natural Disaster etc. the requirement to have the Production Server Room replicated and the ability to bring up the replicated site quickly and efficiently was mandatory to ensure the continuation of Business/Financial and Clinical care services.

We architected a solution to ensure the easiest, most scalable and robust way to provide a replicated site, for the day which we all hope never happens. Based on past technical design decisions, A replicated site was always deemed to be the best way to ensure our business compliance with the inability for the Production Site to function. The previous solution was to have Synchronous block level replication over dark fibre between Hitachi SANS to provide the storage layer component, and to provide stretched cluster technology.

However there were some issues with this.

  1. The cost of dark fibre was prohibitive,
  2. The age of the server hardware was in excess of five years
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Officially VMware Certified!

Officially VMware Certified!

Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in Enterprise, Front Gallery | 1 comment

Hello All

After quite a bit of study and gnashing of teeth, I received my  VMware VCP5 Certification Today.

I must say it’s quite satisfying, on completion of the exam, I spent some time going through various forums across the internet to see how other professionals found the exam. It turns out I was not alone, it’s quite a difficult one, many questions focused on VMware Storage Appliance and VMware Data Recovery, (both of which I would not in good conscience use in any enterprise situation).

I fail to see the relevance of the amount of questions regarding these topics, considering the type of content was not covered in any real detail in the course, and if you are actually using VMware in an Enterprise environment you would not be touching them anyway. I suppose in order to pass the exam all facets of the technology should be explored.

This I suppose relates to another post I made in regard to the quantity of hours required to keep your skills sharp and your knowledge of products and potential  solutions in perspective.

I would average per week at least 20 hours of my time doing personal R&D, whether

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Why ICT professionals need to understand the OSI model.

Why ICT professionals need to understand the OSI model.

Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 in Enterprise, Front Gallery | 4 comments

Why ICT professionals need to understand the OSI model.

I have simply lost count of the amount of IT professional’s I have encountered that simply have no idea of what this is.

This, everyone is what sets you apart from the rest, this….. is your never wavering friend that helps you through almost every technical issue you encounter…..this….will simply set you free. Silly cliché’s aside,  this OSI model helps me every day, every single day.

 

 

To have a fundamental understanding of the frameworks involved in all that button poke-jiggery that you do everyday in your ZEN style IT guru-ness is crucial when random button pressing fails and nobody has really bothered documenting their trials and tribulations on Google in a step by step guide that doesn’t really require you to understand whats actually going on.

It is what you refer to when all else fails, well to be blunt it’s what you should refer to straight away. A very simple example, “My internet does not work” –  “is the cable plugged in?” = Layer 1 and so on. Here is a shameless rip off a website that explains what it is.

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The Fall of Pride within IT

The Fall of Pride within IT

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Enterprise, Front Gallery | 1 comment

The Fall of Pride within IT

There was a saying my father always said to me as a child when I was helping him in his workshop. He used to say, “Make sure your job fits the customer or the need, there is no point doing too good of a job.” “What was too good of a job? I thought, and why wouldn’t you make sure that the job you did was the best you could do?” As I am now older it’s all too apparent what he meant, don’t waste your time and expertise if it goes against commercial reality.Fall Of Pride in IT Lance Knight

This however is still a bitter pill to swallow. If I got up in the morning and thought to myself that I will go to work and do a mediocre job, to be honest I think I would stay in bed. That as an IT Professional is what motivates and drives me everyday, to do the best I can everyday, its my validation as a professional, as though I’m in a constant state of learning. I simply couldn’t imagine being in a place where I wasn’t trying to make “that” difference. Having said all that, a startling amount of IT professionals that I encounter somehow do not share my mindset. It’s a cause of most frustration and confusion for me, IT is a job of passion, it has to be.

We do long hours, we have to be constantly learning new technologies, we have to do immense amounts of study, we typically deal with people who have less than ideal planning strategies, we are quite commonly put in situations that the only reason we are there is because something has gone very wrong. In order to push

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Solar Array Reporting

Solar Array Reporting

Posted by on Apr 21, 2012 in Front Gallery, Personal Projects | 0 comments

Solar Reporting – Sunrise Sunset

Before the Queensland State Government reduced the rate of tariff feed in, I pursued purchasing a solar array. And what a mine field it was! Getting my Solar On After reading an extensive quantity of solar install horror stories on the internet and more specifically on the whirlpool forums, I began in earnest the search for a Solar Vendor that even if they went to the wall, the equipment would be covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty. The other consideration was to find a vendor that was not a sub contractor to an “xyz” solar company. I finally found one that ran his own business, Celtic Solar. I cannot recommend this vendor highly enough, his install was impeccable. Having said all that, the inverter I chose was an SMA 4000 with 18 x German Solar 225W Panels.

 

Getting some statistics….

Once the install was completed, I was able to read live numbers of power generation on the inverter. It was time to get the inverter to talk. The SMA inverters have an excellent bluetooth stack, and I quickly had it talking to an old notebook I had lying around. SMA produces a windows only client at this stage, (my end goal is to virtualise it on my NAS4FREE FreeBSD Server, another story) however this suits the purpose in any case. Now I have it talking to a notebook and I can see it on a screen. The problem is it doesn’t really have any significant reporting capabilities, nor a web interface so it’s not platform agnostic either.

 

pvoutput.org

Pvbeancounter to the rescue, this very nifty google project talks to the SMA SunnyPortal and uploads it to a free account at PVoutput.org, it then disseminates the array data into nicely organised graphs and charts. I had quite a bit of fun with this at first, being able see energy generation patterns and how the weather would affect the output. Also being able to tie tariff information with energy generation made for an interesting ROI calculations on the capital investment. After all, this is not a toy, I invested a tidy sum to help me financially. Looking at all the power I was generating was hugely satisfying however I had no idea what my usage was. If I was using twice what I was producing it was going to be a fruitless exercise.

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