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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Google Apps for Business - My First Deployment Experience

Today I had the opportunity to help a local SMB start-up make the switch to Google Apps

Never having had the opportunity to deploy this offering I was a little worried that things wouldn't go right, or that the process would take too long. I did do quite a bit of reading, researching scenarios and planning prior for some different possible issues that may have to be dealt with during the migration.

Wow, I was wrong. 

This was a really small deployment (only two employees currently, but will be growing in the coming months) so yeah, maybe not what some would call big deal, but again, >this guy< never has done this before. So to be done with the domain verification with GoDaddy and be up and running in 15 minutes shocked me!

The SMB I was working with on this will be taking advantage of some Google Apps enabled CRM and Project Management systems which was their primary decision in going with Google Apps. It is so easy to add capabilities to Google Apps accounts / organizations. Literally with the click of a button you can deploy services that you need and do so instantly over the web. Think of Google Apps for Business as a single LEGO piece, that you can take and build into whatever you like by snapping more pieces to it. To start off at $5 per account per month, any SMB that is dealing with a highly mobile & distributed workforce should be using technology like this. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

I Have Read My Last TechRepublic Article...This Was The Final Straw.

I am not one that normally will rant about a "tech" website but this is something that has been tugging at me for a while now.

I have decided to not read another TechRepublic.com article from this point forward.

Now, you are probably wondering, "Why do you feel that way?".

Well, let me tell you what pushed me over the edge.

I get to work this morning, and start my normal routine. I check my email, do some light reading and then plan the rest of my day as far as projects that need to be done, along with supporting customers & increasing my knowledge about the products I support. Pretty typical stuff. This morning one of these emails was from TechRepublic.com, with a link to an article in the headline of said email:

Seven reasons virtualization hasn't fully taken off in the enterprise

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/data-center/seven-reasons-virtualization-hasnt-fully-taken-off-in-the-enterprise

Excuse me??!!?! I had a double-take for a moment, couldn't believe I read that headline right so I followed the link and began reading.

Was this an article from 10 years ago? Nope.
Was this an article from a well respected IT Guru? Nope.
Was this article anywhere close to being technical? Absolutely not.

I'm not going to go too deep into the details, but obviously the author should not be writing an article talking about virtualization technology, when the author has no credentials to do so. Mary Shacklett shows no prior experience with virtualization, and yet is allowed to write an article on virtualization, making ridiculous statements such as the the above headline.

I'm not sure where Mary has been the last 10 years. But I am not seeing anyone in the SMB market not talking about and implementing virtualization. And I would bet that you will be hard pressed to find an enterprise data center that hasn't been virtualizing like crazy over the past few years. I mean, no one is using any cloud service right? No one in 2013 is using SaaS, IaaS or PaaS right? Wrong. The word Virtualization is being incorrectly used in this article to describe what are false arguments.

The author, and I say this with all due respect, should stick to making marketing material, and stay out of the tech article business. And TechRepbulic, this has been a trend for a while that I have noticed, putting out garbage articles and passing them as authoritative when they are far from it. I have been a loyal reader since 2009, but today was the last article. I am taking my eyes and time elsewhere, to higher quality tech sites.

So long!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Enable Intel-VT Option on a HP z420 Workstation

I recently was the receipient of a new workstation at work. It is a HP z420 Workstation that came stock with 8GB of RAM, a quad core Xeon E5-1620 CPU and a ATI Fire Pro 4900 GPU. It's fast, and the build quality is amazing. This system is an excellent starting point for anyone working with engineering and CAD software.

I need to run some virtual machines locally using VirtualBox as part of my IT admin / support engineer role and had some difficulty at first with the BIOS. I updated to the latest revision from HP, and could not find the location of the VT-x options. Not a very intuitive menu system and my lack of trying harder to find it resulted in coming across this article which pointed to the correct location. BIOS > Security > System Security > Virtualization. That's it. I was looking in all the wrong places because I wouldn't think to look in security options for VT options. It should have been it's own menu.

Here's the link that helped me figure this out:

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Workstations-z-series-xw-series/Enabling-hardware-assisted-virtualization-in-the-Z420-BIOS/td-p/5712989