Playing with the Nintendo Wii

July 30, 2007

I finally had the chance to play with a Nintendo Wii this past weekend. I had a lot of fun with it. I mainly played the Wii Sports games, but did play just a bit with Legend of Zelda to see how it worked with a more traditional game. It was a good time and seems like a nice system for the money. I am not a big console gamer, so the Playstation 3 is not what I consider anywhere near affordable and the Xbox 360, while attracting me somewhat is still a little more than I want to pay for a console system.

The Wii also seemed to keep what are ordinarily non-gamers entertained – a big plus to bringing the system into the household. I might look into picking one up a few months down the road if availability isn’t too much of an issue.


Never leave the tapes in the car…

July 22, 2007

For those not following, The Columbus Dispatch ran the following article today:

The intern forgot to take the backup tapes inside. He has now lost his job. Uh, what is the State of Ohio doing sending tapes to people’s homes? This intern is apparently told to take the tapes home with him, forgets to take them out of the car and is fired when they are stolen from his car because he apparently only remembered to take them in 85% of the time.

Let’s take a step back for a moment. Does the State of Ohio really condone taking backup tapes home? Are they really that much safer in the apartment or home of the intern? It sounds to me like the State of Ohio really needs to look at some of their policies if backup tapes going home with people is acceptable.

Folks… tapes containing sensitive data should not be taken to an employee’s home. There are service available in Ohio that will transport your tapes to secured facilities with paper trails. Even in these cases, the sensitive data should be encrypted.

COVUG Tech Days

July 22, 2007

I just got back from the Central Ohio VMware Users Group (COVUG) Tech Days at Kalahari Resort. It was a great time and very, very informative. The event was held up at the Kalahari Resort just a touch south of Sandusky, Ohio. The convention center and hotel were very nice – I believe the convention had approximate use of 10,000 sq. feet, so there was plenty of room for everybody.

The event had numerous vendors there with presentations and break out sessions held on both Thursday and Friday. VMware, HP, EMC, DataDomain, Vizioncore, esXpress, Equallogic, Dell, Intel, AMD, Acronis and others had booths and presentations.

I find these events great ways to get an overview of what is happening out there and act as a starting point for what I should be looking more into. Some of the things that caught my eye this time around…

I sat in on an Acronis presentation. It seems like a very nice product. The ability to restore on different hardware is very attractive and would be handy to have for any Virtual to Physical situations one may run into to make a vendor happy (i.e. to be on a physical box for support instead of virtual). I do plan on looking more into their product and see if it has a place in our organization.

I always try to sit in on Equallogic presentations and I managed to catch one this time as well. I still really like the hardware they put out. People are always saying good things about it and from the live demos I have seen it does seem to be a very impressive piece of equipment. I still lean towards getting one of these for Phase II of my virtualization project at work if the budget for next year will permit.

I managed to talk to David Siles, the CTO for Kane County who runs a lot of Equallogic storage with VMware. He is running to 5 9’s availability and is running VMs, Exchange DBs and SQL DBs off his SATA based arrays. He had great things to say about the boxes and it was nice to hear from someone running some very serious workloads on just the SATA products.

I also sat in on an esXpress presentation. They do the backup software that does hot backups of VMs. I am using their software in production and am very fond of it. Their presentations are usually fun as the tech guys do them, not sales guys. They have a couple of cool things coming up soon – file level restores from within the VM and a feature to help allow automated replication to warm standby boxes.

I also attended several sessions done by VMware which were informative. Their NDA sessions are always a nice glimpse at what might be in store for us in the future.

All in all, a very successful trip. If you ever have the chance to attend one of the COVUG events I would encourage it. They are very informative and a good time.