b.gagnon Bradley Gagnon

All articles by b.gagnon

 

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I am going to start writing in this again starting shortly....
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Happy New Year

I have a lot of stuff to talk about this next year – including a few things that you should be on the lookout for. 1. vSphere 6 2. Windows 10 / Windows Server “Threshold” (2015) 3. 10TB Hard Disks 4. Containers – probably not my favorite thing in the world, but a few companies...
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List: 10 Ways to Get a Job in IT

When I first started out in Enterprise Information Technology, a lot of times people would ask me how I landed the job I had. I had virtually no official training, I had very few hookups in the industry and I was a younger kid. This is a list of 10 things that I did and...
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Update on Unitrends

A higher up at Unitrends read my article on here about Veeam vs Unitrends, and a pretty high up at that company gave me an email, asking how they could improve their product. I have to say that it was quite unexpected and sometimes I’m surprised at the readers that I get on here – I’m...
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Common Sense in the Cloud Era

We’ve recently been hit over the head with the news reporting a supposed hack of Apple’s iCloud Service (perhaps not the service itself, but it could have been brute force password hacks, the “I forgot my password” questions or maybe even social engineering, all of which is still considered “hacking”) and the distribution of private...
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8GB FC, 16GB FC, 10GBe iSCSI or 1GBe iSCSI. Which is right for your storage area network?

This is something that I’ve had a lot of first hand experience in, and it’s something that I’ve taken quite a bit of time to look in to as well. The answer to this question is going to be the basis of this write up, and if you don’t really want to read much further,...
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VMworld and VMware Updates

I have to say, VMworld was pretty fun this year and it’s bringing forward a LOT of really good (and needed) updates to the vSphere suite of products. Veeam announced Veeam 8, which has some sick new features too. I’ll touch on all these later. For now, let’s talk VMware. Fault Tolerance for VMs with...
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RoyalTS (Again)

Once again, I absolutely need to call out a program called RoyalTS. Perhaps you remember when I wrote about it before? I need to write about it again, for few reasons, but the main one being that it is, quite simply, a really, really nice piece of software. I honestly don’t remember what I used...
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Changes Coming

I’m going to start redesigning this site – a pretty big makeover. So please bear with me if there is any wierdness....
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Discontinuing Compiling DF-Kernel

I’ve decided to discontinue compiling the Ubuntu kernel that I used to keep moderately up to date. I’m doing this for a few reasons: I’m not really an avid Ubuntu / Linux Mint user anymore. I tend to use more enterprise based releases (CentOS / RHEL / Oracle Linux) and rolling releases (Arch). It takes...
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VCAP-DCA Lab Setup – #2 – Host Configuration

One of the first things to do is to prepare your lab environment. This, at first, was pretty complicated for me (probably because I was overcomplicating it), but it really isn’t too hard. There are a few things that you need to do, however, if you want performance and reliable networking from within your nested...
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VCAP-DCA Lab Setup – #1 – Prerequisites

I’ve been looking around for a good lab setup using either ESXi or Workstation, and despite that a lot of people tell you “how to do it”, there really isn’t a solid how-to on setting a up a lab for getting hands on experience with the things you’ll need to know for VCAP-DCA. So, that...
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VCA-DCV Study Guide

EDIT: I was asked to remove this as it contains official questions from the exam. Doh....
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GhostBSD and BSD for the Future

I’ve started helping with a BSD distribution with some code and site administration – the distribution is called GhostBSD. I can’t say as I have ever offered my help to a distribution and developers like this, but quite frankly, I believe in this project, and I believe in it for a few reasons: 1. It’s...
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SQL Server Reporting Services

We have had an SSRS server kicking around for several months and have not done much with it, and being a bit of a noob with SQL Server (I’m really not too much of a noob, but we had a definitive use case for SSRS, we just hadn’t gotten around to setting it up), I...
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Heartbleed – Ruh Roh

Well, this is a huge ruh roh… for just about anyone on the internet (either server side or client side). There is a huge “implementation bug” in a bunch of currently deployed OpenSSL packages. There are numerous operating systems affected – CentOS, Red Hat, Oracle, Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE / OpenSuSE… and quite honestly, the more...
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Deduplication vs Compression

When we were in the process of looking at storage devices (SANs), I had a question that I had to logically figure out – and that was the idea of having data deduplicated or compressed. This is something that is gaining popularity both on storage devices and on operating systems. For anybody who is unfamiliar...
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Set Up Server 2012 R2 HyperV Cluster for VDI (GUI) / Prequisites

As you guys may or may not know, I’ve worked on deploying a HyperV Cluster with some pretty nice video cards for VDI. I’ll walk you through exactly how this is set up. There are a couple of prerequisites though, and failure to follow these will definitely give you a less than optimal experience. It’s...
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Nimble Storage – An In Depth Review – Conclusions

All in all, after about 7 months of our cut over to our SAN, we have absolutely zero regrets. The thing is still as fast as it was on day one, despite us pushing through quite a few IOPs and pushing quite a lot of data through it. We are not the busiest shop in...
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Redgate SQL Monitor

It’s really been a while since I’ve written anything about SQL Server, and I suppose it’s just about that time for one of those tools that really make the life a database administrator a lot easier – and that is Redgate SQL Monitor. Red Gate recently released SQL Monitor 4.0, which is a bit of...
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Veeam VS Unitrends

In our business, we take backup, recovery, and replication pretty seriously. We have a variety of different backup utilities, storage devices and appliances and devices dedicated as replica datastores. Anyway, we currently use a combination of Veeam and Unitrends. Though I am very partial to one of those two – and I’ll go through each...
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Nimble Storage – An In Depth Review – Post 5

Hardware and Network considerations: The first thing you need to know is that Nimble is 100% iSCSI based. There is no fiber channel option, it’s either 1GB ethernet or 10GB ethernet. At the time we were looking in to this, we were using Fibre Channel on our Compellent. I had always assumed that Fibre Channel...
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SNMP Monitoring with Observium

Observium is a pretty nifty tool I stumbled upon while we were consolidating some of our monitoring trying to save on some costs on offsite monitoring. We wanted to be able to keep past data for reference as well as have data from today. Observium sort of fit the bill and on a whim, I...
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Nimble Storage – An In Depth Review – Post 4

Disk structure and CASL: The system itself is set up in a somewhat different way – all spinning disks are in RAID 6 (Dual Parity) with one spare (meaning you could technically lose up to 2 disks before you really had to start sweating bullets). The SSDs are not in any kind of array and that...
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Server 2012 R2 and HyperV Generation 2.0

Well, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Server 2012 and the improvements to HyperV. The major improvements that I have noticed since I started using it are these: 1. Live Migrations between Cluster Hosts are insanely fast. This is due to compressing the data between the two hosts. You notice a...
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The Windows 8.1 Upgrade Experience (for Enterprise)

I have to admit, I’ve tried to be on Microsoft’s side through this whole Windows 8 thing. I’ve been using it for quite a while, and though there are some things I don’t particularly care for, I really don’t find it to be that horrifyingly bad of an OS. Now, that being said, the upgrade...
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Nimble Storage – An In Depth Review – Post 3

The Decision: We kept going back to Nimble for everything as a comparison. We would be like “Oh well we really love this about Tegile… but Nimble does it this way”, or “Well, we really like how EMC does this, but Nimble does it this way…”. Eventually it got to the point of being something...
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Nimble Storage – An In Depth Review – Post 2

Nexsan: The Nexsan array we looked at (it is actually housed in the same chassis as the Nimble array, so the look and configuration are quite simple – though there is a really large part missing, CASL, which I’ll get to in post 3). It’s a Hybrid array (meaning it leverages standard spindle disks and SSDs...
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Nimble Storage – An In Depth Review – Post 1

Recently I have had the pleasure of working with a Nimble CS240 Array. Needless to say, I am quite pleased with it and I’m going to do a pretty thorough write up here on it here for those on the fence looking for a new SAN or looking to do a “rip and replace”. I’m...
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Hyper-V Virtual Machine Slow Network Transfers

I found a strange issue today affecting HyperV when you are using a Broadcom NIC as the vSwitch NIC – and that is that transfers from within the VM to another part of the network – those transfers are crazy slow. This is a “bug” in the Broadcom driver and has to do with a...
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Linux Kernel 3.9.6 for Ubuntu (with latest BFQ Revision)

I built a brand new x86_x64 kernel for Ubuntu and derivatives and stuck it on the mirror @ http://mirror.dorkfolio.net/kernel/ubuntu/3.9/3.9.6/....
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Kernel 3.9.3

Kernel 3.9.3 is live at http://mirror.dorkfolio.net/kernel/ubuntu/ You should install both the headers and the kernel package. The source is optional (just if you want the source).  ...
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Hyper-V… 2 Months Later

I have to say this so far… I will not be giving any of my influence to my immediate boss or other co-workers (or even anyone on the interwebs) to use Hyper-V 2012, or any other version in a production environment for a few reasons: 1. Linux Guests Obviously I am a Linux enthusiast. I...
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Pardon the Hiatus

I am sorry it has been so long since the last post and the last kernel update – I’ll get back on it. I’ve been extremely busy with school and work lately. I have a few posts and topics in my head though and I’ll get on them quite soon. A lot has been happening...
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Hyper-V 2012 and my thoughts so far…

The company I work for is thinking about moving from VMware to Hyper-V for several reasons (costs being one of them). Let me first preface this with our equipment – we have 3 datacenters with ESXi clusters at each (a Production datacenter, a DR / Backup datacenter, and a “datacenter” here at our office).  At...
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Forums are now live

I’ve been working on getting some forums for some time and I kept putting it off – but I am pleased to say that they are just about done. You can hit them up at http://www.dorkfolio.net/forums – make sure you read the rules before you join and start posting....
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Potential Fix for VMware Tools on Kernel 3.7.x

I’ve been struggling a lot with VMware tools on anything above Kernel 3.7.0 – for some reason it will not find the kernel headers no matter what you do. I may have found a potential fix and I am currently exploring it. If it does in fact work, I’ll post it here shortly. Alright –...
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Lenovo U410 / U310 BIOS (65cn21ww)

Finally there is a BIOS update for my notebook and just my luck… Lenovo decides to put a password on the file downloaded from there site. Personally, I have no idea why they would do that, but in any event, a little guess revealed that the password is nothing more than “lenovo”. So I guess...
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Kernel 3.7

Kernel 3.7 was released sometime in the last week or so and I am currently compiling. I completed started with a new config, and found a lot of stuff that I had left out (different drivers / firmwares, kernel level ethernet teaming, multi-core threading for RAID devices, etc…), and I have to say that I...
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Moving this Week

I apologize for the lack of updates again, I am moving this week. Should be done by next Monday. In the meantime, I am also working on some forums to go with this site! Yay that will be fun....
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Houston, we have a problem.

Yes. This has happened to me before. I think it’s funniest thing to see a BSOD on a Mac. The other funny is when you see a BSOD in a VM. Kind of funny anyway. Hopefully its not production....
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Intermediate SQL – Post 9 – DROP Column, Table, and Database

For this little lesson, we will create a database, a couple of tables, add some data to those tables, alter them, query them, and then drop them. I’ll get to the syntax of each of those as we go here, but for the CREATE and ALTER portions, you already know from previous lessons – so...
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New Kernels Released

Looks like Kernels were updated sometime overnight – I’m compiling them right now – look to see the repository updated sometime today. (3.6 and 3.4)...
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Intermediate SQL – Post 8 – ALTER TABLE

Well, finally I can get  back to writing some SQL goodies. I have to say I’m pretty excited. We left off creating some tables – and those tables are all good. Let’s say now that we need to change something in a table – such as how many characters or the data type of a...
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BFQ and Linux Kernel

I’ve done some pretty thorough testing on Linux with different I/O Schedulers and different options while trying to find the best performance for a desktop / work based system, and with all that testing, I’ve usually found that keeping the kernel light and stock is usually pretty good. Recently I started messing around with BFQ...
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Jobs

Sometimes people like to ask me what I do for a job. The truth is that I don’t really even know what my job entails – it basically revolves around keeping uptime on some web services functional at all times (24 x 7). That means network, servers, and infrastructure up at all times. People before...
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Kernel / SQL

I will be restarting all these projects as soon as this web host merge is complete – it’s just proving to be a lot more work than I thought it would be. Not to worry – I’ll be back up and writing in no time....
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Migrating Web Hosts

This site may be down for a while over the next day or so (this includes the repository) – I am migrating web hosts and I will be using this domain as my primary name servers and while I get that set up, it may take a day or so to propagate to the interwebs....
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More Kernel Updates

Kernels have all been update and they will go live in the repository here within the next day or two....
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Ubuntu 12.10 Released

Ubuntu 12.10 was released over the weekend. With it comes a lot of new cool stuff – XFCE 4.10 if you are in to Xubuntu for one (which is what I do most of my compiles on), Gnome 3.6 if you are in to Gnome – which is pretty sleek. They also made an official...
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