Saturday 25 April 2009

You know you’re a sad Geek when..

Following some links about the new Gnome Network Manager included in Ubuntu 9.04 I found a blog by Dan Williams who was responsible for much if not most of the underlying work that has made it such a pleasure to use with 3G network devices.

This article where he complains about the firmware on one of the new Huawei 3G cards brought a smile. Been there dude! I often had exactly the same reaction when testing my own cellular device discovery code against various hardware. Then I realized just how sad it was to be able to fully understand and sympathize with a comment like:

…the response to AT+GCAP is simply “+CIS707-A, +MS, +ES, +DS, +FCLASS”.  No, it’s not prefixed with “+GCAP: ” like every other modem on the planet that I’m pretty sure the relevant standards (TIA/EIA/IS-131, TIA/EIA-602, and V.250) require..

I need to give this new Network Manager a proper try out on some diverse hardware now as it seems possible that it finally gets Ubuntu up to a level where it is as good an experience as that seen on the best Windows systems.

Saturday 18 April 2009

Everything you ever wanted to know about VMware vSwitches

I just came across a fantastic series of blog posts from Ken Cline at “Kens Virtual Reality Blog” that ties up pretty much everything you will ever need to know about configuring networking in ESX 3.5 \ ESXi. No doubt there will be some significant changes in ESX 4 but even so this is a great resource. There are 5 parts to this so far, all the earlier items which explain all the background detail are linked from this fifth part where Ken makes some hard and fast recommendations around how to tie it all together to create robust and effective ESX network design decisions.

The Great vSwitch Debate (Part 5).

He covers everything from the basics of creating vSwitches and Port Groups, VLAN tagging – clearly explaining what VGT\EGT\VST tagging variations actually mean and how they are enabled, load balancing options and their usefulness (or not) especially in relation to 802.3ad \ LACP\PaGP, NIC failover especially with regard to Beacon Probing and Link State Tracking on your physical switches, security options (Forged Transmits\MAC Address changes, Promiscuous mode) and a lot more. Definitely recommended for anyone who either builds or wants to understand ESX installations.