To partner or not to partner, that’s the question

In my new job I meet many, many vendors and almost all of them have a partner program in which we can achieve bronze, silver, gold, enterprise, premier, business or any other partner status.

In reality the meaning of the term ‘Partner’ is interpreted in many different ways.

According to Wiki, a business partner is:

a term used to denote a commercial entity with which another commercial entity has some form of alliance. This relationship may be a highly contractual, exclusive bond in which both entities commit not to ally with third parties. Alternatively, it may be a very loose arrangement designed largely to impress customers and competitors with the size of the network the business partners belong to.

So, it’s an alliance between two business partners. I get that. An exclusive bond not to ally with other parties, hmm NO. In my line of business a partnership doesn’t imply that I can’t have an alliance with an other vendor. IT service providers collect large numbers of partnerships nowadays to impress others. This matches with the third line, it’s a loose arrangement to impress customers and competitors.

The problem I see with many vendors is the ‘loose‘ part.

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Next step forward in Cloud infrastructure

On July 12th VMware is going to unveil the next major step forward in Cloud infrastructure. VMware executives Paul Maritz (CEO) and Steve Herrod (CTO) will present a 45 minute live webcast.

The webcast will be followed by additional online sessions where you can learn more about the industry’s most trusted virtualization and cloud infrastructure products and services.

The webcast is called ‘Raising the Bar, Part V‘. Wondering what will be unveiled?
Next step in Cloud Infrastructure? Part V? Do the math ……

Check it out and join VMware and experience how the virtualization journey is helping transform IT and ushering in the era of Cloud Computing. You can register here.

How to calculate electrical costs for cooling and power consumption

For putting together a business case costs and revenues are an important part of it. If you want to calculate the direct resource costs associate with hosting a server in  your data center, you want to know the direct power consumption by the server in electrical costs and the costs associated with cooling the environment where the server is situated. To do so you will need a few parameters from the device(s) used. You will need the Watts, BTU/h and the electricity costs per kWh.

Where British thermal unit (BTU)  is used as a unit for air-cooling power of an air conditioning system and refers to the amount of thermal energy removed from an area. A BTU is approximately a third of a watt-hour. 1000 BTU/h is approximately 293W.  Kilowatt hour (kWh) is most commonly known as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.

Let’s take for example a HP DL-380 Generation 6 with two Quad core CPUs, 24 GB memory, eight  network ports, two  72GB 15K SAS hard disks with two 460 Watt power supplies. This server uses about 307 Watt and generates 1047 BTU.

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View 4.6 vs XenDesktop 5

VMwareThe competition in the VDI space is fierce and VMware is slowly closing the gap with the features their products are offering compared to the competition.

Although the gap is closing VMware is still very much in the lead when it comes to setting up and administrating the virtual environment.

XenDesktopOn the YouTube channel vmwareview there are four video’s released showing some administrating tasks for both VMware view 4.6 and Citrix XenDesktop 5.

Each video aims at a different task:

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ESXi 4.1 installation fails – Unable to find the system image

Earlier this week I already told you that I’ve build a new ESXi whitebox but I had some problems installing it.

OK, first of all, what was the situation? I wanted to install VMware ESXi 4.1 Update 1 to a USB stick which is VMware certified.I plugged the USB stick into one of the USB ports on the back of my whitebox server and downloaded the ISO-image form the VMware website.

A quick installation and I’m ready to build my new lab environment. WRONG!

The installation fails with the following error:
Cannot install VMware ESXi 4.1 “Unable to find the system image to install’

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How to: build an ESXi whitebox

Last week I decided to buy a new lab server and I doubted between a HP or Dell mini server or an ESXi whitebox. Because most mini servers only have 8GB memory, I decided to collect specific parts to build my own VMware ESXi whitebox.

To find parts which are compatible with VMware ESXi 4.1, I used the following resources:

I chose a AMD Phenom II X6 processor, socket AM3 six core processor because it’s a lot cheaper than the Intel Core i-processors. As the basis I needed a AM3 socket motherboard and my selection criteria where simple, 16GB memory and onboard video.

As an ASUS fan I had to choose between the ASUS M4A88T and M4A88TD. Both can house 16GB of memory and have onboard video but the TD version has SATA 6Gbps. Because storage will most likely be the bottleneck, I decided to go for the M4A88TD-M but on the above sites there was no entry for this motherboard.

But Google is my friend so I searched for ‘M4A88TD’ in combination with ‘ESXi’. I found a few sites which mention an almost identical combination of motherboard, processor and ESXi 4.1. Eventually I took a gamble and ordered the ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3.

The last two items where the simple ones, two sets of 8GB dual channel memory and a 6Gbps SATA disk.

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VKernel free tools for your utility belt

Most companies I visit have spend a lot of money on hardware and software for their primary process.  Operating System software isn’t a problem most of the time, just as the application software.

Management and monitoring software on the other hand is a totally different story. A lot of IT departments have trouble to get their business case positive for management tools. Companies like Veeam and VKernel offer a couple of free tools  for VMware you can install on your desktop.

These tools give you an insight in the health of your environment. When you found out that your environment is less than optimal configured, for example the memory consumption of certain servers, you can fix it with VKernel Optimizer (which costs money, but it  has a 30 day trial). The tools that are freely available from VKernel  are:

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