Monday, December 06, 2010

Don't run with five Active Directories, it helps no one


The group of companies have had some level of manual Active Directory integration for the last three years but with the appointment of … this program has been accelerated to better make use of the environment. Currently user population suffer from a series of issues which hinder business and irritate users:

1. Duplicated logons across several systems (Network, business applications)

2. No common and automatic contact list/GAL across the group of companies

3. No simple way to share files on file servers

4. A lack of a central and organisation based … services

5. No free-busy calendar outside of each specific organisation.

These issues make work harder and less efficient then it can be with double handling by user support and data management teams. To address these issues the general plan for organisation consolidation seeks to target the following:

1. A single and consistent contact list/GAL across all organisations

2. Simple and common shared folders and files

3. A single Intranet across the group of organisations with the ability to host general and specific business information

4. Common email platform across all users while maintaining the organisational persona for external email

5. Free-busy across all users

6. Movement to a common Office365/BPOS messaging system.

Over and above these the users are able to share a common internal environment with a common logon experience and desktop look and feel.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Where is the middle ground?


An average of about 3Kb, but a peak of 7.6Mb...



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

VDI is so simple


I don't know why everyone doesn't do it. At least we have a grip on it…

VDI Exploded

Agenda to review VDI rollout


Understanding the design goals for VDI (Customer)

Understanding the Datacentre/storage/ESX and servers (Customer)


Keys to VDI (Vendor)

The current physical desktop

Optimising the desktop for VDI

Application deployment (XenDesktop, Xenapp, Streams and in-gold-image)

Printing, logon scripts and other scripts

Home folders, USB, drive redirection

Profile Manager

Persistent verses non-persistent desktops


VMware details

DR, HA, DRS, VMotion

Clusters locations, and replication

Building out production

Keep and upgrade or Rip and replace pilot

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

VDI went live

Well, it has been two months work (one month for two TC's and a PM) but we went live with VDI for the first 150 users, 4500 to go.

The solution is based on 6 x (2 x 6 CPU AMD), VMware servers in a cluster with HR/DRS and it is smoking fast. There are two more servers acting as provisioning and file services with the same specifications. We are planning on about 10 users per-core and need storage to suite.

The OS is Windows 7 32-bit, Adobe CS5, Office 2007, Java, Flash, Shockwave, Silverlight. It has 30GB C-Drive and a 10GB D-Drive. Each VDI session gets 3GB of RAM and a .5GB swap file. To use it is just like the first logon to a new W7 computer and usage and screen is great, again just like hardware.

Application are native, streamed in if they start in about or less then 1 minute to start and Traditional Citrix servers for problematic apps.

There were lots of little problems to address, such as: VMxnet drivers, SOE look and feel, Printers, bad apps, slow apps, java apps, dealing with image revisions, Windows 7 firewall, networking, building it twice on two hardware platforms just to name a few.

But it looks great in production.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Transfer your Ubuntu application packages to a clean install

Transfer your packages to a clean install
5/01/2010 by Tyler James

With all the new installs of Ubuntu and clean upgrades going on right now, I thought I'd point out a few great ways to package up the apps you have currently and prepare them for a clean Ubuntu install. This can be useful if you're installing the same applications on a number of computers, or simply know exactly all of the programs you need and want to preserve this for a clean install. There's two great ways to do this, one which works well on computers with an internet connection, and one which works great when you don't have a connection.

Method #1
The first method works off of a little command line utility called Dpkg-Repack, which can be used to repackage any apps installed from apt into a deb, which can then be installed cleanly anywhere. With a little terminal-fu, this can be used to package up everything you've installed from the Software Center or apt into a giant deb.

We do this with three simple commands:

* sudo apt-get install dpkg-repack fakeroot
* mkdir ~/dpkg-repack; cd ~/dpkg-repack
* fakeroot -u dpkg-repack `dpkg --get-selections | grep install | cut -f1`

This installs the program along with fakeroot, which is used to allow selecting without conflicts of permissions. Then the second command creates a directory to store the deb in, and then lastly the third command which will take some time to complete will package up the installed applications into the big huge deb. Theres now a directory in the home folder with the deb.

Now, to reinstall this whole set of applications, we move the whole thing over to a usb drive and copy it over to the new computer or new install, and run:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb
This will install everything packaged up, even without an internet connection!

Method #2
The second way of doing this doesn't create a large package, but rather a small list of apps that can be used to direct your computer to what to reinstall. This requires no installation of anything to actually run the command, but does require an internet connection. Now, this creates a list of everything, even standard system stuff, so don't get freaked out if theres stuff you've never seen on it before. Any overlap with standard stuff works itself out, it won't reinstall or duplicate things. The really nice thing about this method is that you can manually add or subtract stuff from the list.

To do this, run this command:

* sudo dpkg --get-selections > installedsoftware

Then, all you have to do is copy that folder over to the home folder of the next computer and/or after the clean install, and then run:

* sudo dpkg --set-selections < installedsoftware

Remember, this second method requires an internet connection.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Quest software quality

Let me just explain, this is the quality of Quest migration software. No sledging as I have only used Migration Manager for NDS, AD and Exchange. There other products may be awesome?.

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