Monday, February 15, 2010

Train Signal CBT

Recently I purchased the Train Signal dvd for VMware vSphere. The DVD set arrived very quickly, and inside was a nice DVD case with three DVD's. It's important to note that these DVD's are not protected by any digital media rights or passwords, even any accounts. I purchased CBT videos from another major company and was very disappointed that I could not save these to my iPhone or any device that was not on the Internet.

Basically the DVD's are not standard DVD's but actually DVD media discs containing a Flash menu, with links to the AVI videos. There is also PDF documents which contains notes from the videos. In addition on the third DVD there is video formats for your portable media player with video formats of AVI, and even MP3 version files for your car. It's a really nice feature and this allows you to take full advantage of the lessons any where.

Overall the video quality is done well, I'm on video 5 of 36, with each about 15 to 30 minutes long. The instructor is very easy to understand, little jokes or side stories. I generally don't like with some other instructors, he's much more to the point, but very easy to listen to for an hour without problem.

Once I get farther in the series I'll write more about my experience and a longer review.
Back to VMware

It's been a while since I updated this page. Work and social life has been taking over also starting school this year. I've been tasked with a few projects for the current job where I'm focusing on VMware issues with ESX server. Currently there are no major problems but I wanted to have a solid plan for the future. The biggest hurdle is the smaller servers in the data center.

Many companies have small older servers in the data center for one application, typically something that needs a database or hosts a web site internally. Here at my current job location there's a few servers and they all use very low powered servers, dating at least a few years old. These are prime cadinets for physical to virtual migration. This would also help out getting away from old unsupported hardware. Who knows where to find a power supply for a off built server chassis which the company no longer is in business.

The problem going with the virtual solution is how can I keep the servers up when the ESX server it's self has a problem? I'm currently reading and studying with vSphere, hoping to have a project plan written up soon. Ideally I would like to a system planned out where I can have redundant fail over ESX servers, allowing us to make sure if one system is down does not take down the entire virtual systems.

It's going to take some planning, and understanding of the environment. I'm really aiming towards the simple method, making it the easiest to understand and manage. Considering the environment, this would save space and energy, not to mention support issues since there's just less hardware to fail.

Having been in the role where I was supporting very old hardware, some non-hot swap drives in a RAID 1 configuration, it was extremely painful to take down the server just to swap the drives. Not to say that that's IF you are alerted to the drive failure before they both went down.