May 132011

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote a new blogpost mostly due to the lack of time. If I look back at the last 6 months or so there where some heavily private issues, but also a lot of studying into new products. So what happened lately besides my personal problems….?

Starting from the beginning, last year I’ve studied and became certified for Cisco UCS implementation, which is a new compute hardware platform. Since my company has a certain preference for Cisco and with my background for Microsoft/compute technology I was asked to join this new “adventure”. I’ve to admit, while I manage some HP blades in our lab environment, UCS Is pretty cool. I love those service profiles and with just a few mouse clicks I can switch a profile and boot up a whole other OS from my SAN environment. Since we using UCS just recently in our lab for such I think this could greatly benefit us, in fact I truly believe many of our customers can benefit from such stateless computing systems. If a blade server fails, just replace it, set the profile and let it boot again. Or when you have a spare blade, UCS will automatically switch the service profile from the failed system to the spare system. For your end users there will be a small disruption, but it won’t take ages before it’s repaired.

I’m not going into to much details about UCS but I can surely recommend it to you. Else check out the great and continually improving simulator Cisco is offering free of charge.

Anyhow, besides of this I was also asked to do my VMware certification. This basically has to do with UC or Cisco Unified Communications product line (just like UCS by the way). Although I’m not a voice guy and not planning to become as such, Cisco did make it possible to virtualize the UC environment on VMware. So to support my colleagues I’ve followed the VMware training for VCP4 examination, which I passed a couple of months later. I’ve to admit, this was probably one of my toughest exams ever and as such I’m pleased I can call myself a VCP. Like I said we are currently setting up a UCS lab/demo environment with UCS, and of course VMware is one of the products we just set up. Besides this we also installed and configured Hyper-V but this was truly a pain in the ass to configure. Well at least for me it was a pain in the ass as an VMware engineer 🙂 Simple tasks like adding a shared LUN, takes different tools and and places to locations to complete the job. Maybe it’s because I haven’t a lot of experience in it yet, so right now I was actually reading a book about it.
In near future we also wanna to implement XenServer so we have multiple Virtualization products running on our storage, all on our 4 blades from UCS.
VDI will also be configured for all those platforms since our customers are asking for it.

If you think I’m done, well you might think again. Besides reading and studying (as such I still do) all the products above I’ve also done training for NetApp. IMHO if you know just VMware, you should also know how storage works, in the past I always thought it was just a bunch of disks with a form of connectivity like FC or Ethernet and I didn’t saw any fun into it. I didn’t care less about a bunch of disks, also I basically hate hardware especially when issues arrive. Hardware should just work, nothing more nothing less.
But after my recent NetApp certification path I actually can say I enjoyed it very much.
There is a lot of thoughts going through my head when I think about future possible implementations or configurations. What will I do to for a configuration with VMware. NFS or LUN?
Why choosing for FC is there’s no historical investment present for FC. In fact, with UCS 2.0 you can even boot from ISCSI whereby FC isn’t needed anymore for completely stateless computing. All this and many more are what I’ve thought about n the last months.. And every time I feel a little smile when I think about it. Where I previously enjoyed security I foresee that I gonna switch my love. Certainly I won’t give up my interests into security but virtualization from A to Z is IMHO the thing I want to do.

Since a couple of weeks from now, where working to win some important customers for our private cloud ideology. This might become a great start where I might blog more on it.

For now, I’m loving it 🙂