Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dell PowerEdge R900 freezes / locks with Windows Server 2008

We have 3 Dell PowerEdge R900 running Windows Server 2008 they started to freeze at random (it did not blue screen). We have sent Dell and Microsoft a memory dump use the Non-Maskable Interrupt (NMI) on the front of the server.

Microsoft came back saying that the megasas.sys is the problem, this driver is used for the Dell PERC 6/i to run the local hard disk in the server (we had a RAID 10 layout). The PERC is made for Dell by LSI Logic Corporation.

I have asked Microsoft to remove the Dell R900 for Windows 2008 from the Windows Server catalog.

We have spent many weeks working with Dell to fix this problem but they still have not come back with a fix. LSI has to rework the drivers. In the mean time Dell said to change the control but we have reinstalled under Windows Server 2003 and the servers are looking happy.

Photosynth Outside My Home In London

So I was looking at Scobleizer blog and he blogged about Microsoft PhotoSynth. I tried it out from on the courtyard outside my home in London on the last sunny day on Summer 2008. But are watching a video it looks like can get a lot more complex.

I am going to make a more complex one later, but you can check out my current one at

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cisco Catalyst 4510 SUP V cant deal with iSCSI

My network team telling me DONT PUT iSCSI with Dell Equallogic or any iSCSI system, but I was telling them to do it and lets see how slow is goes.

So we plugged it all up and ran the stuff, running ok.. but when we doing a big SQL run the disk got disconnected. I could not belive it, I was thinking had to be a problem with the Dell Equallogic box.. I could understand it running slow, but disconnecting.

So we ordered in some Dell PowerConnect 5448 and they did the job and for a lot less then some new Cisco kit.

We started the final tests for upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics AX 4 to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. I hope to have some numbers for everbody.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Barcelona just was not up for a fight

I waited, and I waited.. Dell and AMD kept saying it will be here before Intel.. Barcelona is beomcing AMD verions of Intel Itanium...

Being so late and talking about VM and 16cores ect ect... but now nobody cares..

I final blow came today for me with this news from VMmark.

"Our partners at Dell have published the first VMmark results using the new AMD quad-core Barcelona processors. Both the 2-socket (8-core) R805 platform and the 4-socket (16-core) R905 platform have been tested. You can find all of the details on the VMmark results page. If you do the math, you will see that Dell achieved an excellent 1.8x throughput scaling from the 2-socket system to the 4-socket system. Another thing I'd like to point out is that some of the VMmark workloads utilized AMD's Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) technology to improve performance. VMware supports a wide range of virtualization techniques and is able to uniquely leverage both hardware and sofware virtualization technologies in order to provide optimal performance."

Intel (on Dell R900) 14.23@10 tiles
Amd (on Dell R905) 14.17@10 tiles

So who cares about " AMD's Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) technology to improve performance" when Intel is about the same speed with a product that has been on sale 6months before yours.

I was really hoping that AMD was going to lunch and be shipping Barcelona with 16cores before Intel.. but some where, somthing went wrong and their is an other Itanium running around looking for a home.

I will have to wait to see the final price with discounts from Dell on AMD/Intel... but with many customers and my sell already having Intel Xeon 7300 and know that we cant Vmotion to any AMD Opteron and back their is no point.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Forget Vmotion go Xmotion from DELL

I dont know how I missed this but their is a Citrix® XenServer Dell Edition™ !!!!. What is Dell up to :-).I know its not going to happen, but their might be a chance that it would work on our Dell IA boxs.

More info at

Also some demo videos

Fast VM Cloning Demo
Hot Add/Remove Resources Demo
XenMotion Demo

you cannot Vmotion between Amd and Intel servers

You cant Vmotion between AMD and Intel servers says Dell, I was hoping you could would allow me to have a mix of AMD and Intel in my office.. I really want to give AMD ago (they try so hard). Been waiting for 1 year for their 4corex4way box.

Dell has a PDF giving more info about what you can and cant move from.

16cores and 80+GB of RAM on VM?

Is anybody out their playing with 16cores and 80+GB of RAM? Just trying to work out is I should have 2 HUGE VM box, of 3 Mid size VM boxs ? Less boxs the better when comes to play for the VM side?

Any idears.. thanks

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Old to Some, New to Me.. Free Microsoft Software

DreamSpark is simple, it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools at no charge so you can chase your dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on your career.

Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Zelda .. in ART

A choir sings "original work from Japan", its amazing that we remmber this songs more then anything eles.

I think the people behind music of computer games should get more awards for their work, as most gamers and other people will remmber their songs over a britney spears or 52cent any day.

Jump to 2mins if you cant watch it all.

Friday, May 23, 2008

If = 12, you got a problem

So on one of the products we was doing a beta in our live environment, and the upgrade was long but we got their. Come this morning we had 2 problems

The company had stopped supporting Windows 2000 for the software

But the 2nd was very odd, some user could not log in and I was thinking this problem might start to effect others.. After running around pulling people at the Vendor from all around the world we start to see what the problem was.

The e.g. user had the problem no matter what desktop they tried. E.g. user names

Xyeda.Xassan; Xusso.Xouros; Xelal.Xehmet; Xehmet.Xacet; Xonika.Xrasa; Xerdar.Xltun

We finally worked out if the user account was 12 Character only then they could not log in. More or Less then 12 is fine.. only 12 would not let them log in… a few hours later we have a fix.

What this really comes down to is badly written code and design. Where in the back end their might be logic for less then 12 and more then 12 (some one back in v1 of product had limit of the length of user name)

Fun time with Beta software

Live on Beta for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 7.0

Well it was a long one, but we now running Cisco Unified Contact Center Express version 7, we upgraded from version 5.2.

And its all good :-)

Thats all I am allowed to say

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 RTM 22nd May 2008

Well done to the Microsoft Dynamics AX Team for RTM of Dynamics AX 2009 (22nd May 2008), its a greate product that really shows what a group can do with the full Microsoft stack

Microsoft Dynamics AX helps Xbox

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We Don't Need No Architects

The Architecture Journal from Micosoft is one the best journals out their, and this month really hits home for me.

"role of an architect in software development has come under attack of late. On software projects, the title Architect is often ambiguously defined and the value provided by architects is not easily quantifiable. The perception that architects live in an "ivory tower" disassociated from the realities of delivering a software solution contributes to some of the animosity toward those of us with the title."

I would check this one out

Also check out

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Old Cisco Logo

We just just doing some upgrades on some our Cisco kit.. and this cute little Licence validator app started running and it still has the old Cisco log on it.

I had to log a case as its a Bug :-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

"World's 1st iSCSI optimized switch" Dell PowerConnect, Dell EqualLogic says NO

So we ordered two Dell EqualLogic boxs at huge cost, then we got to the point to order our dell's switch, at which point Dell turned around and said that’s not a good idea and we should order Cisco 3750 and that our current Cisco 4510 SUP V will not do the job.

So I got $200,000 of Dell SAN and $120,000 of Cisco switch. I don’t want to buy any more Cisco switch as so fed up with their products.

Any body got any ideas when Dell going to sort our their own product?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

THUS Plc has power cut at datacenter warrington

So, getting ready to go home.. when 2 of our sites says their network connection is down.

We use THUS Plc for our MPLS network. We worked out that their Warrington center is down.

We tried 10 times to ring their support number and was getting messages saying their to busy to pick up and call back. We got into their support que and waiting 50mins for some one to tell me, that they would fix the problem in 4 hours and they had a powercut.

How can you have a powercut at a teleco DATA CENTER ? Anybody body out their that has MPLS network in the UK with out any problems?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Support Issue 73 | Coldfusion On Google

I think ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) should be the next supported
language on Google App Engine.

Take Your Vote to

See the full list of issues at

behind the scenes, Love it

Nice public presentation for a techie and always love to see how the behind the scenes stuff.

$120,000 of Cisco switching, but cant deal with iSCSI and numbers dont add up

A few years back we order two Cisco 4510 to replace our two Cisco 4006. At the time I am thinking about moving to iSCSI away from Fiber Channel.

So you can select diffrent Engines with this product and when I have this types of options I buy the BIGGEST. and I was thinking I was getting the best (Its Cisco its the best, its cost $120,000).

So I had my self Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Supervisor Engine V-10GE with 8 x 48 Port 1000mbits PoE line cards.

2/3 years later I find out..

a) the line cards have 48 x 1000mbits dont support Jumbo Frames (up to 9216 bytes) when I was thinking that Jumbo Frames was a Engine feature.

Per slot switching capacity is only 6 Gbps when the total for switch 136 Gbps. I have 10 slots... so why dont I have a min of 13.6 Gbps per slot? If I have a 48 Port line card I should be able to pump thu 48 Gbps.

c) Every 6 ports on 48 Port line card shares 1 Gbps. So I can only get 8 Gbps, but does not matter as the slot only supports 6 Gbps.

So I got 24u (1/2 a rack) of tin.. which cost $120,000.. and does nothing for iSCSI. I really think I have to review my want to buy Cisco. I think Cisco is amazing company but I really hoping for a lot more.

Plus this not the only product. If you played with Cisco Router 3640 it can support up to 8 E1 interfaces, but it can deal with more then 2 1/2 with H.323.

CBUS Network Install

Here is where all the CBUS Relays (2 x 12 channels and 1 x 4 Chaneels) & CBUS Dimmers come to.

All my lighting, heated floors, central heating and blinds come back into this boxs.

I have 28 Relay channels, 20 Dimmer channels and 80 control actions via the "light switch" (not really a light switch, just an addressable control). Thats 128 address, would been cool if they where IP Address.

On this light switch you can see that I can put text or my own drawings. The top one is used to let the house know I am staying home. If this is switched on then the house will funcation diffrent to when I set the home to being away i.e. heated floors in the bathroom would start up at 6am.

Home Automation with Windows Vista Media Center ( with CBUS and Domia Harmony )

So I finaly getting around to setting up my (very very slowly) home integration / automation with Windows Vista Media Center. I have set up a CBUS network with a PC interface. On the PC I am running Domia Harmony .

I am now able to access my lighting, headed floor, central heating, blinds, sound system via HTTP/Web/API's, Wall Switchs and Windows Vista Media Center.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A day doing nothing

SO had one them days when been trying to fix somthing and not knowing where the error is.

Was dealing with two Windows Mobile Data Synchronisation Problems

1 ) Error

“Initializing SQL Server Reconciler has failed”

Our Fix

Don’t use fully qualified DNS names e.g.\sqlname, should be sqlserver\ sqlname in your .net CF code
repl.Publisher = "DAVINCI-SQL\\SQL2005INSTANCE";
Only found this problem due to SQL DB and IIS Replication Server being in different domains
To find the correct name to use “ EXEC sp_helpdistpublisher 'DAVINCI-SQL\SQL2005INSTANCE “
Microsoft use this error way to many place and the internet is full of reasons for it.

2) Error

“The specified validation type is not supported by the Subscriber. The supported validation type is 'Rowcount only (No Checksum)'

Our Fix

Our development system did not have this problem and did not need it to be changed.. But to fix it on our live system we did the following.
On the Distributor Server > Replication > Distributor Properties > Agent Profiles – Profile Default > Merge Agent > Select rowcount validation profile

Dell in 2nd and last Place :) Is that what happens when you OEM?

As you know we know got Dell EqualLogic PS boxs, but back in 2004 we ordered Dell CX700 to run microsoft dynamics ax 3.0 (Axapta 3.0). We are still running them today and moving to Dell EqualLogic PS with Dell R900.

I found this review "Diogenes Labs Storage Magazine Quality Survey" and it shows the following...

1. Compellent Storage Center
2. EqualLogic PS Series
3. Hitachi Data Systems Thunder 9500 V Series or AMS Series
4. Network Appliance FAS200/FAS900/FAS2000
5. Hp StorageWorks EVA
6. Sun StorageTek 6000
7. IBM FAStT and DS4000/DS6000
8. EMC Clariion CX
9. Dell CX Series

its funny how a company can have a 2nd place product and 9th place OEM product when the real version is 8th place.

I feel we have made the correct choice after reading this, I might have gone for Compellent but.. I dont know if the company will be around for next 5 years. One thing is for sure (well maybe) Dell should be around for the next 5 years.

Best In Class says Cisco Systems

Just like to thank everybody on my team that helped us get this Cisco award.

Best In Class EFT Site Cisco Unified Communications System Release 6.0

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dell EqualLogic faster then Dell MD3000i

We got told that take 3 to 4 weeks for EqualLogic boxs to come, but only 1 and 1/ weeks... :) it made it the same day as our Dell R900 server, but where is the MD3000i?

So while we wait for MD3000i.. trying to pick Xen or VMWare.

The problem I have with VMware right now is that with out getting VMware Control Center all the cool stuff like creating a system in under 10mins gets way to complex and not easy for my dev guys.

So right now my system team checking out Xen (Microsoft was selling Xen hard at a windows 2008 session). Also Microsoft supports their software running on a Xen, but not on VMWare.

Once we made a choice with VMWare v Xen then get back to building our new cluster.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Layout of new system

Just a layout of the new system and the names of all the servers and storage.

Itanium, EqualLogic, Dynamics AX 5 & Tigerton

I am going to be using this blog to document a project i am working on. Right now we are upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics AX 4 (formerly Axapta) to Microsoft Dynamics AX 5 (or AX 2009 as marketing would call it).

We are needing to buy new hardware as we can’t upgraded on our current platform as poor SQL 2005 does not have CPU, RAM or I/O to run our production AX4 and upgrade AX5 the same time.

So I had been given the green lights by management to moving away from our Intel Itanium 64bit server and moving to Tigerton from Intel aka 16core Xeon with Dell R900. I waited for AMD Barcelona for over 6 months.. still nothing to show for it.

Any how, while we where replacing our server looking at how much disks should I buy.. and working out we could get a whole new SAN then try put more into our EMC CX700... So we went way got our self’s Dell EqualLogic box and Dell MD3000i (MD3000i 4 time more cost effective per GB)

To add on top of all of this going to run Windows 2008 Cluster to achieve HA for SQL and iSCSI SAN replication between the two EqualLogic boxs over the WAN.

At the end of all of this going to have 3 IA 64bit boxs... anybody played with Xen VM with IA64?..

I will update you guys once the hardware starts getting shipped...