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[#] Sat Jan 01 2011 01:08:58 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Or KVM :-) (recent kernels)



[#] Sat Jan 01 2011 01:26:44 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Doesn't happen on ESXi either. That's the way to go.

[#] Sat Jan 01 2011 01:46:24 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Binary blobs scare me.  I have a few too many binary blob programs that no longer run under current Glibc releases.  If KVM gets replaced at some point with someting better, I would guess I would have a way to continue using my ancient vm images that I keep around to punish myself and my free time.  I can't say that about the more recently abandoned VMWare Server product - Firefox breaks the browser plugin and I end up having to use a hack for the ESXi management tool just to see the hosts I have deployed.  I would guess the blob would quit working at some point as well with a Glibc update.  At least the qemu convert tools will give me some hope.

Probably being to harsh on VMwer, but KVM fits the bill for 99.99% of what I do (i.e. no games or graphics intensive stuff, but they are working on that via seperation from the vnc stuff).



[#] Sat Jan 01 2011 11:05:38 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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KVM is quite clearly the future king, at least in open source virtualization.
Having been blessed by Red Hat, Canonical, and Linus "I like to break the kernel ABI on a daily basis" Torvalds, KVM will find itself the happy recipient of quite a lot of improvements and optimizations, and eventually a really nice set of management tools will spring up around it.

Xen is toast. No doubt about it. VirtualBox will continue to enjoy its current position for as long as people continue to run systems without hardware VT on the processors.

VMware continues its reign of awesomeness. There's still nothing out there quite like vSphere. And y'all know what a big open source advocate I am, but I still love vSphere. On the other hand, VMware Server 2.x is probably the single worst product they've ever released; it tries as hard as it can to suck as much as possible.

My server on the Internet is running a standalone copy of ESXi. I tend to make the big changes whenever I get new hardware, which in this case was last summer. It was my first VT-capable box, so I took the opportunity to switch from OpenVZ to VMware ESXi. It'll probably stay that way until my next hardware upgrade, by which time we will hopefully have a much more manageable and usable KVM available.

[#] Sat Jan 01 2011 12:00:11 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Agreed, that about sums up the current state of things.  I have been having fun scripting KVM (via Libvirt) using Python for admin tasks.  The Virt-manager does a fairly nice job of simple tasks.  For the down and dirty tasks, I have to admit I touch xml definition files and use the virsh shell quite a bit as well.



[#] Sat Jan 01 2011 20:08:50 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Or did you manage to pull it all together using only drivers that are

in the repository?

so far I've never had to do anything with vbox but install from the repo or the download. Never had to compile anything, and on linux, never found a conflict of any kind.
Had some problems with windows installs at work, but I blame that on my work machine more than vbox.

[#] Sat Jan 01 2011 20:11:35 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Doesn't happen on Windows.

Touche.

When I built my current machine I had a hard time deciding if I was going to run windows or linux on it. Either way I was going to run a lot of vms but I tried xp64 first ran some tests then installed ubuntu and ran similar tests and the response was just so much better performance wise with ubuntu I went with that.
It's still true that the same basic thing in windows just takes a hell of a lot longer to run than it does in linux.
And Idon't have to reboot my linux machine every 3-4 days
I still marvel at the problem that you can try and delete a 1k file and expect to wait 5 minutes for windows to accomplish that task.
There is no excuse for that. Ever. I don't care how much shuffling of recycle bin stuff you have to do. There's no reason you should have to wait minutes to drop a directory entry.

[#] Wed Jan 05 2011 14:55:04 EST from skpacman @ Uncensored

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There's no reason you should have to wait minutes to drop a directory entry.

Well said. With Win7 it says "discovering items" when really it means "wait a minute... i gotta find somewhere in the recycle bin index to cram this before actually deleting it.."

Once it finds somewhere to put it, it doesnt actually delete the file... it's still sitting on your HDD in .recyclebin{blahblahblah} for who knows how long... even after you "empty" the recycle bin, it's there as an indexed entry until you run a secondary program like CCleaner to physically wipe it off the HDD...

 

Linux is too simple for that process... rm /path/to/file/  and deleting a directory just takes a -r for the command and, hot damn, it's actually gone. no fuss.

-- 
Stephen D King
Network Admin
Blurred Vizion Studios
outsider@blurredvizionstudios.com



[#] Fri Jan 07 2011 00:48:35 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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I really wish DoD would get serious about information assurance.  Switching to Windows Vista for desktop productivity--as the Army did THIS YEAR--is ridiculous.  I'd settle for at least developing solutions that worked cross-platform so we didn't have to follow them over the cliff on our machines at home...



[#] Fri Jan 07 2011 07:38:52 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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The army used to embrace unix-like systems, as I recall.  But I guess they like going with what feels familiar, and Windows is pretty familiar to a lot of the officers and such.  It's just awful.



[#] Fri Jan 07 2011 10:30:20 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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It's hard for us because our IT department is particularly bad.  I used to contract for the Navy and I always believed that was the worst IT environment I'd ever seen, but this trumps it.  A few examples that spring to mind:

-CD-burners and USB storage devices are disabled.  You have no way to get files off the network to a soldier other than e-mailing them BUT

-Massive restrictions on what file formats you can e-mail (which I would actually support, except for point the first)

-100 MB e-mail account limit.  I can burn through this in about 3 days.  I make copious use of personal folder storage, but that's not an option for soldiers who don't have their own computer (e.g. 95% of them), in part because

-No network personal shares.  I can browse to a spot on the file server where I can save things, but there is no share that is "mine" and no file security whatsoever.  I don't have permissions to modify the security of my own files on the network.  Since I deal heavily in personnel and pay (and occasionally health) information, this is horrifying on a number of levels.  An officer outside my company didn't see why this was an issue; I did a quick search and showed him his last few evals.

-Every e-mail to the helpdesk distro (what THEY tell you to do) generates a new ticket in their tracking system, creating so much junk and noise that they rarely find or address the actual help requests.  After the third time that my ticket was closed 3 months later without any action at all, I stopped trying to use that method.  I did request through other channels an additional network drop in one of my offices.  They sent out a contractor who did a bang-up job doing the physical installation, and then closed the ticket without actually hooking it up to anything.  When I sent a (polite, really) request to find out what else I needed to do to make it work, they threatened to blacklist me from support.  I refrained from pointing out that we would likely never know the difference.

-I had a network printer/scanner sitting in my office for 4 months.  They never hooked it up, and eventually took it back for deployment elsewhere.

-No user data backups.  Really.

-DAR encryption.  The contents of my hard drive are constantly being checked and encrypted using a certificate on my common access card.  This is good, I guess.  If I lose my CAC for whatever reason, the files are unrecoverable.  They will revoke the certificates, issue me a new card, and presumably a new laptop because whatever was on the old one is inaccessible.  They sent out instructions on how to manually (and very temporarily) decrypt files prior to getting a new CAC; they never addressed what happens if you lose one.

-If a machine is off the network for more than a few weeks, it's removed from active directory.  If it's new enough, they will nuke/pave it with the latest desktop image, else you just turn it in and hope they might give you a new one some day.  We are down to one general use computer (a WinXP P4) for the 50+ soldiers who come in each month.  It was disconnected 4 months ago for some reason IT was unable to determine.  We've been trying for that entire time to get a bunch of the 1SG's files off it, including dozens of NCO evaluations from the last few years, without so much as even a response from IT.  (To keep this vaguely on topic: yesterday I wiped the local admin password with a Linux-based recovery tool on USB and grabbed the files.  Too easy.)

-Because of the lack of computers, most soldiers in my unit no longer have accounts on the network.  You have to log in to a computer on the network (not just the Outlook Web Acccess or SharePoint) at least once every 30 days or it gets disabled.  Even if we had computers for them to log on to from time to time, we aren't necessarily in the office every month, nor do we drill on the same weekend every month.  Rather than modify this policy to make it fit reality for a one-weekend-a-month organization, they have just stopped giving computer accounts to soldiers who aren't full-time (e.g. 90% of them, including most of the commanders and senior NCOs).

OK, that was more than a few.  But that was just what I could think of off the top of my head.

 

 

Fri Jan 07 2011 07:38:52 AM EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

The army used to embrace unix-like systems, as I recall.  But I guess they like going with what feels familiar, and Windows is pretty familiar to a lot of the officers and such.  It's just awful.



 



[#] Wed Jan 12 2011 00:06:14 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Good enough for government work?

I would imagine the status quo has to change first.

[#] Wed Jan 12 2011 07:57:51 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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That's a spectacularly awful IT department, possibly informed not by anyone who actually knows how to run an IT department, but some butterbar who wants to prove something (and is failing at it).



[#] Wed Jan 12 2011 17:13:52 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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on my dime.

[#] Thu Jan 13 2011 23:13:39 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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I brought my work laptop with me to some training at Camp Murray (the state HQ) only to discover that the web app on which we were being trained required JInitiator or something that I didn't have.  About 20 of us had this issue; they sent us across the street to the IT directorate to get it fixed and continued the class.

Now, it's been a few years since I did desktop support--OK, it was 2003.  But if I'm working the desk and 30 soldiers suddenly walk in with identical problems, the new primary mission of everyone present has just become to identify a solution and apply it 30 times and get these people out of the nice quiet workspace.  Instead, I watched as one harried person applied the fix 20 times.  One very slow-moving sergeant wandered over and inquired whether I was there for something different.  He nodded glumly when I described the problem.  "Yeah, I don't know how to do that, sorry."  Then he went back to puttering aimlessly about the office.  I wanted to choke him out.  How about watching the one person do it, maybe take some notes, and then start helping people?  That's a good, safe course of action that would a) help you learn something new and b) get people out of your office a little faster.

The entire concept of customer service seems foreign to these people.  You can tell that they are only competing for their positions with other soldiers of similar backgrounds.  I'd wager not a one of them has ever had to compete in the Seattle-area IT contractor market.



[#] Fri Jan 14 2011 10:28:56 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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If I remember the general attitude correctly, most of them don't really want to do anything anyway.  So it's easier to not learn what needs to be done to resolve the problem.

It isn't about service.  It's about the paycheck.  And the paycheck is going to happen regardless of the service.  There are no consequences for bad service.



[#] Fri Jan 14 2011 11:18:42 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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Bingo.

Fri Jan 14 2011 10:28:56 AM EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

There are no consequences for bad service.



 



[#] Fri Jan 14 2011 11:36:45 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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I should adjust that.

There are no consequences for bad service delivered to most people.  You do have consequences for bad service delivered to certain commanders... terrible consequences that could include paycheck, but mostly the amount of free time you have for your own.



[#] Sat Jan 15 2011 17:41:56 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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It takes a lot more than being incompetent to find yourself unemployed in this organization.

That does raise a valid point, however.  My full time boss, the battalion XO (a major), has only nice things to say about their customer service.  I suspect it is similar for other field grade officers.

When I worked for the Navy as a contractor, I remember an occasion where I was pulled off a "entire office is unable to print" ticket to go set up the base commander's Blackberry.  He wasn't even in that morning, but his secretary insisted that it be done before he arrived.

Fri Jan 14 2011 11:36:45 AM EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

I should adjust that.

There are no consequences for bad service delivered to most people.  You do have consequences for bad service delivered to certain commanders... terrible consequences that could include paycheck, but mostly the amount of free time you have for your own.



 



[#] Sun Jan 16 2011 08:07:51 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Yep, that's the military I remember.



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