Another quick tip for those of you doing P2V’s. Check that Windows license type before you start the P2V. The main thing you want to watch out for is OEM Windows licenses. OEM licenses cannot be P2V as OEM licenses are forever bound to the hardware on which they are sold.
How do you tell what sort of license is Windows using? The Product ID is the key. You can tell what channel the media & key used to install Windows was from by the product ID. See here.
This is my obligatory “how to make Device Manager display non-present devices” post. If you’ve done any Windows P2V’s you know what I’m talking about.
Here is the MSKB.
And here is the detail.
There’s a new Microsoft & VMware drama brewing. Before I detail it though here’s a good recap of the first one.
This new drama is about MS Exchange 2010 DAGs with virtual servers on VMware HA.
Exhibit 1a and 1b are the VMware guides for deploying this solution.
Exhibit 2 is the Microsoft response saying that the VMware best practice guides are an unsupported solution.
Exhibit 3 is VMware’s riposte telling MS to suck it up, it works, get your act together and support it.
This one made me laugh.
If you need to resort to something like this I think you might want to:
- Consider changing (enhancing?) how your employees are selected/hired.
- Investing more money and effort in your training.
A recent MS blog claims that Microsoft should be considered a virtualisation innovator because they purchased Hotmail 13 years ago. What a load of bull. This is the same thing as claiming that I invented the automobile because I purchased a Model T Ford. The media at the time shows that Microsoft were claiming that the purchase was made as a means to boost the MSN brand and compete against AOL.
Here we have a great example of the Microsoft marketing machine at work and it drags down the reputation of the people that blog on Technet. This is rewriting of history to suit Microsoft marketing needs.
I would dearly love to see what evidence Microsoft can produce that shows that Hotmail was using any form of virtualisation in their services in 1997. I agree that Hotmail could be considered as one of the first web app operators but the Hotmail offering fell a long way short of meeting the test of being a Cloud like service as it fails the test on point iv and point v. Any long term Hotmail user will attest to the outages they suffered under the original owners and under the ownership of Microsoft.
Instead I think were seeing another example of how slow to move the Microsoft behemoth is. They missed the internet party, tried to compete with it and failed (MSN) and decided that giving their browser away for free was the best way to own the internet. That worked in that it put their browser on every computer, but only by stealth and not by consumer choice and that turned out to be a security and interoperability nightmare anyway. Now they have missed the boat on virtualisation and they have turned to their tried and true strategy of “give the shit away for free” and hope we can devalue the competitors products into oblivion.
Microsoft claim to be the leaders of IT innovation but what they are really the leaders of is having more money than anyone else.
I don’t normally like to plug ZDNet but I liked this article because it explains some definitions of virtual computing and how Australian businesses fail to grasp what it means to their business.
I would also like to add that usage of the the term the “Cloud” is now expired. I have observed more commentary that ridicules the term “Cloud” than have sung its praises and more often when I hear people talking about the “Cloud” I use it as a tool to determine if the speaker really knows what they are talking about. If they don’t talk about the “Cloud” in a joking fashion then I discount what they are saying and consider their commentary to be at someone other than myself.
The way we talk about the “Cloud” now is very similar to the way we talked about eCommerce in the 1990s. Its the latest buzzword and if hearing the term eCommerce now doesn’t make you cringe then you wont ever understand how meaningless the term “Cloud” really is.
Bob Plankers wrote here about the three things he thinks allowed his organisation to virtualise successfully.
I agree with his three items but the second one stuck out in my mind as the thing which can really allow your virtualised infrastructure to flourish. Load balancing at the application layer.
Bob’s second point about load balancing his software at the top (application) layer of the software stack is, in my mind, one of the most empowering virtualisation practices an organisation can achieve, Bobs examples explain why:
- services are no longer tied to individual servers (VMs)
- ease of scalability is greatly increased as you can use more thinly slice VMs
- better distribution of work loads over hosts
There are more reasons as well which I wont repeat.
I think virtualisation can be a trap for organisations that don’t understand what virtualisation really means. Virtualisation is not a solution, its a practice. Its a methodology that allows an organisation to practice highly agile IT practices. The degree of agility is governed by the software stack and the culture of the organisation. The higher up the software stack you can push your load balancing, the more utility you can achieve with your virtualisation practice.