20120119 VMware Users Group (VMUG) Meeting

Agenda:

  • 3PM: Check-in, Welcome, Facilities
  • 3:05: VMUG Video
  • 3:15: Fusion-io preso
  • 3:50: Break
  • 3:55 VMware vShield Security preso – Karl Fultz, VMware SE
  • 4:40: Open Discussion
  • 4:55: Drawings
  • 5:00: Break
  • 5:15: Social networking at Buffalo Wild Wings

My Notes:

  • VMUG Video
    • VMware Paul Strong, CTO, Global Customer and Field Initiatives, VMware
    • vCloud Community, 8 Certified providers
  • Fusion IO: Gus Siefker (sales) and Victor Backman (tech)
    • 4 years in business, 80,000 cards
    • Move a lot of data, fast
    • Hardware and software combo that does a minimum of 100k IOPS
    • Good for DBs, VDI density
    • VDI Design: abstracting the layers (HW, OS, App, User Data) helps prep for putting Fusion-IO in the mix.
    • Boot images and high-IOPS data go to FIO, User Data and low IOPS go to SAN storage, lower tiers.
    • Basically a block level device. Presents to host as local storage.
    • Storage is persistent, can be (if needed) moved to different servers. Gave example of one client that ships them off site rather than file transfer over Internet/WAN.
    • Nutanix Complete Block: 4 Fusion-io ioDrives = 1.3 TB fo storage.
    • Card draws about 25 W of power, but replaces lots of HD spindles.
    • Uses NAND Flash memory like an SSD, but removes the controller from the mix.
    • 15 micro second latency.
    • ioTurbine: recently acquired by Fusion-io. Allows vMotion of local storage on a Fusion-io card which normally couldn’t be vMotioned.
    • There is an ioTurbine guest driver installed on the VMs. Acts as a read cache. Writes still go to SAN.
    • Keeping up to 80% of IO local to ESXi host, and reduces read load on back end storage.
    • Lab test with F-io card and NetApp back end storage using IOmeter as the load with 8 VMs. F-io solution averaged around 12,000 IOPS once the cache “warmed” up. NetApp read ops just about nothing, so its write ops performance increased.
    • When a VM is rebooted, its cache is flushed and it needs time to re-warm.
    • Guests supported are Windows only for now. Need a driver in the guest. Linux support is “coming soon.”
    • There is also a host driver.
  • Refreshment Break
  • vShield Security Overview: Karl Fultz, VMware SE
    • Enterprise Security today is not virtualized, not cloud ready.
    • Most people are still using physical security devices.
    • Moving workloads is challenging when the security doesn’t move with it.
    • vShield moves the firewall/security into virtual appliances on the host.
    • Perimiter, Internal, and End Point security.
    • vShield Zones/vShield App are basically the same. vShield Zones included with 4.1 Enterprise Plus. Segmentation and data scanning. vShield App new stand-alone product.
      • Provides 5-tuple ruleset firewall
      • Hypervisor-level fw. Inbound, outbound connection control at vNIC level
      • Groups that can stretch as VMs migrate to other hosts.
      • Flow monitoring, policy management, logging and auditing.
    • vShield Edge is perimiter security.
      • Provides NAT, DHCP, VPN, some load balancing.
      • VLAN /Port Group isolation. PG isolation requires vDS.
      • Detailed network flow stats.
      • Policy management and logging/auditing.
    • vShield Endpoint is AV offload.
      • Offloading scanning to the Security VM. No AV agents in the guest VMs.
      • Central management.
      • Enforce remediation within the VM with the driver.
      • Trend Micro (now), McAffee (in beta now), Sophos (coming soon), Symantec (coming soon) provide endpoint appliances.
      • Windows only for guests.
    • vShiled Manager is the management plugin in vCenter.
    • vShield App with Data Security had pre-defined templates to scan environment for data loss. (DLP, agentless if you don’t count VM Tools as an “agent”). Can configure trust zones.
    • Security policies follow VMs. Allows for mixed trust zones.
    • vShield Zones is not supported in vShield Manager 5.0, must use older verson of vShield Manager to support Zones. Will need multiple managers if mixing in 5.0 vShield App/Endpoint/Edge products.
  • Q/A Time
    • I asked for clarification about vShield Zones/App:
      • Enterprise Plus 5.0 still includes Zones. App is a separate add-on product, but they are almost identical. App adds a little more granularity.
      • Zones rules are stored in vCenter db, so backup of vCenter includes backup of the rules.
      • Upgrade path from Zones to App? First time anyone has asked him. Since the rules are in vCenter db it SHOULD just work.
  • Drawing for prizes

My First iTunes Support Experience

The Setup

I recently purchased three albums from iTunes. After downloading them, syncing them to my iPod, and listening through them I was happy. While driving the next day, I thought I’d shuffle through the playlist I had created with the new tracks. I quickly discovered that all the tracks on one of the albums had a flaw that was only evident when shuffling them. Tracks 2 through 17 were missing the first 2 seconds, and tracks 1 through 16 had the first 2 seconds of the following track tacked on to the end. This is easy enough to fix in Audacity, but I felt it important to report to iTunes, if only to call their attention to the issue so they could fix it before too many others reported it.

Requesting Support

After surfing through the apple.com site for a bit, I finally landed on their Express Lane Support page. I had to dig around a bit more before I found “Quality of purchased content” under “Purchases, Billing & Redemption.” I filled in the information required and opened a case describing the issue. An automated message stating my support request would be responded to within 24 hours came back very quickly.

Initial Response

The “real live person” response came back within 4 hours of posting the complaint. Impressive, since I posted my complaint at about 12:20 AM. The responding service representative apologized and gave detailed instructions on how to delete and re-download the content. I as pretty sure this would not resolve the issue (it wasn’t a corrupt download, as they seemed to think), but I went through the motions anyway. Upon listening to the re-downloaded content, I confirmed that the issue was not resolved and replied to the service representative, advising them that I believed the source files on their servers were not correct.

The Final Response

Hello Kenneth,

X here again from the iTunes Store Support. I am very sorry about my delay in responding to you. I have been away from the office for the last 2 days. I understand the album is still incorrect. When it comes to your money, I can certainly appreciate how important it is to feel that you are treated fairly, and I would be more than happy to help you out with this today.

I’m sorry to learn that this item did not meet the standard of quality you have come to expect from the iTunes Store. I have submitted this item for investigation. Apple takes the quality of the items offered on the iTunes Store seriously and will investigate the issue with this item, but I can’t say when or if the issue will be resolved.

In five to seven business days, a credit of $9.99 should be posted to your card that appears on the receipt for that purchase.

Kenneth, I want to thank you for choosing the iTunes Store and for being such a big part of the iTunes family.

Thank you for contacting iTunes Store Customer Support. Have a great day.

Fix It Yourself

Given that response, I had no choice but to spend some time in Audacity repairing the tracks. The general procedure was as follows:

  1. Open the first track in Audacity. This imports it to a native format used by Audacity for manipulation.
  2. Jump to the end and copy the bit at the end which belongs to the following track.
  3. Open the second track in Audacity and paste the first two seconds into their rightful place
  4. Zoom in on the pasted part and remove the slight pause introduced by the copy/paste operation. I progressively zoomed in and removed large blank spaces until I was zoomed as far as I could, then I matched up the two ends, deleting the last bit of silence.
  5. Listen to the second track to make sure it was a seamless paste (and the right song).
  6. Go back to the first track and delete the tail end. Export that track to .mp3 and .m4a (AAC) formats. Close that track.
  7. The open second track becomes your “first track”, and the “second track” becomes the following track. Start again at step 2 above.

After all the tracks were repaired (I worked on a copy from out of iTunes), I deleted the originals from iTunes and re-imported the repaired versions. I then had to go through and repair the tagging, as it was a bit messed up. For some reason, the tagging didn’t import consistently from the Apple versions (either that or it was inconsistent to begin with).

I wonder how many free copies of this album they’ll give out before they correct the files on their server? I wonder how many people will complain and get a refund vs. the number who will just put up with the issue? I wonder how many other albums are messed up on this way?

First Photowalk of 2012

Took a couple of hours to walk around downtown Des Moines, IA this weekend along with some other fellow photographers. Unfortunately, I showed up late and had to leave a little early so I did not get to socialize very much. Also, I must have taken off in a different directly than the bulk of the group, because I didn’t end up running in to too many other photographers. From Java Joe’s, I headed West towards West End Salvage. I went to the top of a few parking garages to try to get a different perspective of the Des Moines sky line.

Here are my photos from that session. As always, please click on a photo to show it on Flickr, visit the whole set on Flickr, or just fire up the slideshow.

 

606 Walnut St BW

606 Walnut St

750 Mulberry St

8th and Cherry

800 Walnut St Reflections

800 Walnut St Self Reflection

800 Walnut St Self Reflections_resized

Safety First

700 Walnut St