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In this interview series we will introduce IT Professionals selected for this year’s Dell TechCenter (DTC) Rockstar Program. This program recognizes independent experts, Dell customers and employees for their significant positive impact on Dell TechCenter, blogs and social media when discussing Dell. You can find a list of all our Rockstars here. Our fifteenth interview is Marius Sandbu.
Dell TechCenter: Can you please explain to folks who are not experts in your area: What is your domain of expertise?
I come from a typical Windows admin role related to virtualization and system management mostly with Hyper-V and System Center and of course cloud solutions with Azure. Lately I've also been more and more involved working with networking and security. Also I’m a Microsoft MVP within Enterprise Client Management and is part of the local Microsoft Technology User Group here in Norway
What are the most exciting trends in your area?
At the moment a lot is happening in the virtualization space, with the arrival of “Software-defined Storage/Networking” and converged solutions which gives a more flexible and dynamic virtualization platform. With the recent partnership between Dell & Nutanix it’s going to be really interesting to see what the future holds.
And of course with the rapid improvements and updates happening in the cloud space it’s really fun times!
Can you point us to resources you find particularly valuable?
I use feedly with RSS adding most of the common blogs from both Dell and Microsoft and of course blogs from other Rockstars and MVP’s. Also Dell provides a good list of reference architectures which a properly documented and tested which I often use as a blueprint for future deployments.
How do you engage with the IT community?
Mostly on social media, such as twitter where you can find me @msandbu I also blog at http://msandbu.wordpress.com about what I find interesting at the time. You can also find me presenting at seminars/webinars.
What are the most cutting edge Dell products – and why?
At the moment it is the Dell VRTX, because it is quite the powerhouse and allows for deployment of a full cluster up to 4 nodes / 20+ disks / and even PCI-e cards within the same chassis and with an simplified disk management. But! With the upcoming Dell XC series combining Nutanix software with Dell hardware (combining converged hardware with SDS) it will open up a new world of opportunities!
Dell TechCenter: Thank you Marius!
Congratulations to our friend Jay Boisseau, former director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), on his latest venture. Jay has become the CEO of a new start up, Vizias. The company is focusing on “advancing science and improving society through innovative computing and data strategies and solutions.”
Dell is excited to be a technology partner of Vizias. The company is still in “stealth mode” but you can read more about this new chapter in Jay’s distinguished career at insideHPC.
If you are responsible for administration and management of your organization’s cloud infrastructure, there are four questions that should be top of mind:
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, a cloud management solution can help.
To read more, visit the full post on the #DellSolves blog.
StatSoft has been a part of Dell for several months, and this is a good opportunity to gauge the fit.
If you’ve followed Statistica, you’ll be glad to know that we’ve retained the Statistica brand, and we’re in Dell Software’s Information Management portfolio under Business Intelligence (BI), alongside Toad BI Suite, Boomi and Kitenga.
If you’re not yet familiar with Statistica, I’ll explain why that’s such a good place for us to be.
Once you’ve collected enough data, you’ll want to do three things with it: mine it, visualize it and use it to predict the future. Advanced analytic tools are in use across all industries and business functions. Advanced analytics allow you to:
Statistica is known for enabling its customers to find patterns in huge amounts of data and make decisions based on those patterns. As Gregory Piatetsky of the KDnuggets site pointed out, Statistica rounds out Dell’s portfolio of information management tools, as depicted in the image below.
As a part of the Information Management product portfolio, Statistica gives Dell competitive advantages in emerging areas of advanced analytics. Thomas Hill, Ph.D., executive director of analytics for Statistica, talked about several of those areas in a KDnuggets interview:
That’s the big picture for big data as Statistica continues growing inside Dell. Find out more about Dell Statistica, and subscribe to the Information Management blog on TechCenter for more ideas on putting advanced analytics to work for your organization.
This is a continuation of the value discussion that I started almost 3 weeks ago now. Today I want to go down even one more click and provide direct information that can be used by Enterprise Foglight Administrators to deliver more value to their organizations. What I've created is a reference to information that can be filtered by a role, technology, and technology platform. This filtering enables a Foglight administrator or Foglight end-user to get to end user based information for the 24 different personas that were discussed in my previous post. It was a bit tricky to pull all of this together in one place because there were several different data sources needed.
This video explains each of those data sources and how to use the reference data:
These are the documents referenced in the video:
End User Onboarding For Enterprise Foglight Customers.xlsx
Note: After today, updates to these documents will only be provided by email to community members that contact me directly. As we get to a more complete set of data we will look to formalize the distribution of this data.
As always, comments and concerns are welcomed.
Have you upgraded to Toad™ for Oracle® 12.5 yet? I posted in May that it was ready for launch, and our team has since put together a technical brief with the plain-talking title of “What’s New in Toad™ for Oracle® 12.5.” I’d like you to read the entire thing eventually so you can get the most out of Toad, but in the meantime I’m blogging on the greatest hits of version 12.5 in this series of blog posts.
I’ll group the news into four separate posts:
Let’s start with...
Everybody loves a freebie, so I’ll point you to that first.
Included in this version of Toad for Oracle is self-paced, web-based training available at no cost to licensed customers. The course, “Toad Fundamentals,” is designed for Oracle professionals and covers topics like making a connection to the Oracle server, working with the Schema Browser, building code in the Editor and visualizing schema objects using the ER Diagram and Code Road Map. Each lesson contains closing questions to check your knowledge. Students who complete the course and pass the accompanying test will earn the Toad for Oracle Fundamentals Certificate of Completion.
Upgrading your current Toad version to 12.5 or higher will entitle you to this free course, which is built around product simulation that guides you through menus, toolbars and windows like this:
This no-cost training will let you hit the ground running and whet your appetite for the advanced courses for developers and DBAs, which will be available soon.
Do it now: If you already have Toad for Oracle 12.5, you’re ready to access your free training session. Simply log into Toad World through the product installer or into Toad World directly. Once you’ve registered, you can access the training course from Toad World.
Did I mention it’s free?
Speaking of licensing, in Toad for Oracle 12.5 we’re phasing out the old license keys that used to be formatted like this:
1-65005-32214-32812-33744 [SAMPLE KEY]
to keys in the new format we’ve been using since Toad 10.x:
CS6QPD1ZS64NMN3RT-3FS3NX1GVBWJJE3GS-MNN-111-447-248-48 [SAMPLE KEY]
The new keys, which you’ll need to upgrade Toad for Oracle, apply to all Toad products for each edition, plus Toad Suite products. These keys provide more information for asset management systems and a higher level of encryption.
Do it now: You can migrate your Toad for Oracle license key at any time. To obtain a new key, visit the License Key Upgrade web page. We also have a knowledge base article, “How to find the License number in Toad for Oracle,” if you don’t know where to find yours.
Have you ever reinstalled Toad on a new computer and had to bring over all your settings? We’ve made that easy for all editions of Toad now, so you can export and import settings from a menu instead of burrowing through C:\Users\[username]\AppData\ etc., etc., to find and copy the right files.
Do it now: In Toad for Oracle 12.5, go to Utilities | Copy User Settings.
Need Simplified Chinese UI for your developers or DBAs in China? Toad for Oracle 12.5 now lets you tick that box.
Do it now: Have a look at the Chinese release notes and user guides.
Can’t get enough of Toad? Neither can I. Here are reminders about a few other ways to stay in the Toad groove and, if you’re a serious enough DBA, maybe raise your profile in the community.
Spotlight™ Essentials – This project, formerly known as Lucy, lets you upload system performance data, see performance analytics and compare your results against those of other users in the Spotlight Essentials community, at no cost. Access Spotlight Essentials from the Database | Diagnose menu in Toad.
Toad World – More than just a support website, Toad World is a continually growing community of developers, DBAs and users like you, accessible since version 12.0 from inside Toad itself. Among the 3 million people registered in Toad World are industry experts and, of course, those of us who post to this blog and answer your questions several times every week.
Toad Idea Pond – Somebody is going to come up with the next great Toad-thing; it may as well be you. At the Toad Idea Pond website, you can tell the development team what you want to see in future releases of Toad and vote and comment on ideas submitted by others.
Next time I’ll post on coding-related changes in Toad for Oracle 12.5.
A natural tension exists between application developers and the IT teams that support them. App developers rely on the IT team to deliver the infrastructure on which to build and run their applications. Traditionally, the development team provides a set of requirements to the IT team. The IT team then sizes the necessary hardware, procures it and then provisions it for use by the developers. This is a lengthy process that can take many weeks and even months.
Over the past several years, developers have shifted to more agile software development methodologies that require them to be extremely nimble. Developers can no longer afford to wait weeks for their infrastructure to be delivered. This need for agility, coupled with the arrival of the cloud, has led developers to procure cloud services directly from cloud providers, often working around IT. This has resulted in the proliferation of ‘shadow IT’ departments. The fact that this shadow IT resides in the cloud makes it especially hard to detect and makes it very problematic from a governance standpoint.
Ultimately, the governance responsibility resides with IT. The role of the IT manager in an organization is not just to take orders from developers. The IT manager, and ultimately the CIO, is also responsible for the stewardship of the company’s infrastructure and its data.
Our IT customers tell us that they desperately want to be responsive to needs of their developers. They don’t want to be seen as a roadblock to productivity. They want to be able to offer the latest and greatest cloud resources to their internal customers and empower them to be more agile and innovative. But they need to do all of this while still maintaining some measure of control and visibility.
A new way forward
What if there was a way for IT and app developers to both meet their respective objectives? Imagine a scenario where an app developer could quickly get access to the cloud resources she needs to keep innovating at her own pace. At the same time, the IT manager has complete visibility into all his organization’s cloud purchases and deployments. This is the vision of the Dell Cloud Marketplace beta. This new beta solution from Dell will empower IT to respond more quickly to their customer’s cloud needs, while maintaining control and visibility into the organization’s cloud purchases. Welcome to the new and improved IT department!
In August 2014, we are introducing new ways to license vWorkspace. In the past, the most common way to license vWorkspace was based on the number of concurrent users (CCU). While CCU licensing has been popular for many years, feedback was that it was not appropriate for all use cases and not what some customers or partners wanted or needed. Below are the licensing options that are now available from Dell for vWorkspace. All licensing options are perpetual, except for service provider licensing which is month term:
Per concurrent user (no change) – This is typical for RD Session Host (RDSH) usage when customers are delivering line-of-business applications that are typically not used by all employees at the same time.
Per named user (new) - This is typical for desktop replacement with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or RDSH where there is only one shift of users, and the users may access vWorkspace from many endpoint devices.
Per access device (new) - This is typical for desktop replacement with VDI or RDSH where there is more than one shift of users and the users access vWorkspace from a fixed set of endpoint devices.
There is no change to the pricing of vWorkspace CCU SKUs or service provider access licensing. Per named user and Per access device SKUs are listed at 1/2 the price of the CCU SKUs. Customers may choose whichever licensing method works for them, or even use both for different use cases.
The integrated Dell™ Remote Access Controller with Lifecycle Controller helps to manage, monitor and deploy Dell Servers. iDRAC provides remote management capability. It provides an Out-of-band mechanism to monitor, update and troubleshoot the servers. The latest version of iDRAC is iDRAC7 which is present in the Dell™ 12th generation servers.
IPMI is a standardized computer interface that is used for hardware management. IPMI supports both in-band and out-of-band management. The focus of this post is the in-band management of Dell PowerEdge servers using Dell iDRAC7 and Windows Server 2012R2.
Microsoft Windows PowerShell includes CIM Cmdlets which make remote management operations easy. PowerShell 4.0, which is a part of Windows Server 2012 R2 /Windows 8.1, also supports the CIM Cmdlets that were first introduced in PowerShell 3.0. Integration of PowerShell in Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2 along with iDRAC7 provides a rich set of remote management capabilities.
Consider a scenario where you want to retrieve the iDRAC IP Address. To manage the system remotely, you can retrieve the iDRAC IP address in-band from the OS easily. This script uses the IPMI functionality that comes native within the OS.
Using Microsoft Windows PowerShell CIM Cmdlets with Dell iDRAC
For more related articles visit Managing Dell PowerEdge VRTX using Windows PowerShell
This upcoming VMworld in San Francisco will be my 5th VMworld with Quest/Dell and never have I been this excited. For those of you who have been to VMworld, it is one of the best technology conferences run by any vendor and VMware has done an exemplary job of keeping the conference meaningful and technical in nature.
This year, Dell will have a major presence at the conference as a Global Diamond sponsor and Foglight for Virtualization will have five demo stations in the Dell Software section of the booth. Why five demo stations just for Foglight? Well, we are previewing the most significant release of Foglight for Virtualization (vFoglight for those of you who have been around prior to the name change in February of 2013) in the product’s history. As Dell announced today, my colleagues and I will be previewing Foglight for Virtualization 8.0 which introduces several new features.
Before I begin with an overview of the new features in Foglight for Virtualization 8.0 (FVE 8), let me share a little history on how this release came to be. A little over 4 years ago, Quest Software (before we became part of the Dell family) purchased a fast growing startup, vKernel, that had a popular product called vOps (now Foglight for Virtualization, Standard Edition). The purchase of vKernel was to both gain entry into the SMB market, whereas Foglight was focused on the mid to large enterprise, and to also get access to exciting technology the vKernel product had and Foglight did not, specifically around the area of capacity planning tools. I’m happy to say, we’ve been able to leverage the same development team to bring two of the most popular features of vKernel to Foglight in the areas of Capacity Planning and Change Analysis.
The new Capacity Director option in FVE 8 will go beyond the Capacity Management functionality we have today, by building upon the data provided in Foglight Capacity management with the following features:
In addition to the new features in Capacity Director, we’ve enhanced the current Capacity Management functionality to improve accuracy for predicting utilization and when CPU, Memory or Storage will be exhausted.
The second major new feature in the product is the new Change Analyzer feature that will allow virtual administrators to track, and optionally roll back, change events in the following areas:
Admins will be able to see a historical record of all changes that log the change event, the event time-stamp, name of the object and name of the person who implemented the change. Other key features include in Change Analyzer include the following:
Last but not least is the new set of Dashboards being developed to provide a faster time-to-value for new and cursory users of the product. We’ve focused on bringing the “most important” data to the forefront with a new set of dashboards that provide a synopsis of your virtual enterprise. Key components of the new “Getting Started” dashboard include:
Environment Summary - Infrastructure inventory
Monitor - VM health
Investigate - issues needing immediate resolution
Tune - under/over allocated VMs
Plan - available capacity and utilization
A rendering of the new dashboard (still in development) is below:
I think the thousands of Foglight for Virtualization customers will be extremely pleased with FVE 8.0 and the new features including the before mentioned Dashboards, Capacity Director and Change Analyzer. This comes on the heels of our FVE 7.2 release on August 13 that introduced VMware vSwitch monitoring with Netflow level analysis and the 7.x releases last year that introduced vCloud Director support, VMware View support and the popular Optimization feature.
The rapid introduction of new features in Foglight for Virtualization demonstrates our commitment at Dell Software to deliver best-of-breed solutions to our customers and to be customer driven with regards to new product features.
Don’t forget to stop by the Dell booth, 1417, and/or come to my session, MGT3022-SPO, on Monday August 25 where I will go over the new features of FVE 8.0 and drill in on the new Capacity Director.