Monthly Archives: June 2011

P2V migration servers with “small files syndrome”

The past weekend I was helping a customer perform several P2V of physical servers to VMware virtual machines. Those were critical applications with small downtime window.

Generally P2V are pretty straightforward and easy to do. Given enough time, any x86 physical workloads can be migrated. In the ones I just did, all I had was 4 hours each. On the surface, 4 hours for about 120GB worth of data was achievable over 1Gbps networks. For these, we needed a lot more time. We did a migration on one of the machines which had no issues with a tight window, it took 16hrs!

The cause, nearly 1 million small files!! Small files are the bane of storage, which are a pain to copy.

We had to use different techniques for the P2V. Block based copying was not an option, and so it would have to be just regular file based copying.

The solution? P2V the OS disk only, then copy the other drives using FastCopy.

FastCopy was much more efficient that standard file copying utilities. It is known to be very successful in copying small files, and it’s true! Even for copying over the network! Though it’s still far from being as fast as block copy, but it was certainly faster than leaving it to regular copy/migration means.

Update to my Manila SUN Cellular Experience

My earlier post was basically highlighting that if you are purchasing a Sun Cellular prepaid SIM for internet usage, you’ll have to get it activated before trying to apply and SBW load. Otherwise the load will be wasted, which was what happened to me.

The follow up experience to that was that I did get my GPRS (data) access activated within the 48hrs as mentioned by the call center help agent. There was no automated notification, I just had to keep trying to send “activate” to 2300. When it works, it will reply with the activation message.

Then I applied the SBW50 load and I was immediately online. The next thing I tried was tethering with my iPhone 3GS. The tethering didn’t work. In fact, the tethering option disappeared from the iPhone menu.

So what I did for the rest of the trip was to just use my E5830 to provide Internet access to my laptop and phone over WIFI.

I noticed for the E5830, in most places, there are good 3G signal, but for some reason the device will fall back to a slower speed. So I just forced the device to only use WCDMA to keep to the constant good speed. The drawback on this is when the 3G signal quality was bad, Internet access will be miserable.

SUN Mobile Prepaid SIM Service in Manila, Philippines

Here on a business trip, I decided to try out a local prepaid mobile service. This is from Sun, one of the 3 local mobile service providers.

The experience is pretty straightforward, and cheaper, compared to Singapore.

There are 2 types of prepaid SIM services, Sun Cellular & Sun Broadband. The former is for voice and the latter dedicated to data only. I bought both, as I was advised at the shop that Sun Cellular does not support data connection. This I have found to be not totally accurate.

For a heavy internet user like myself, opting for the time based internet access does not work for me. What works for me will be the unlimited day pass (SBW50) I can get for P50 (approx, S$1.42, US$1.14). The easiest way to activate this service is to buy a SBW50 Load card, scratch the card to get the code to activate the service. Here”s what I’ve realized, the SBW50 service CAN be applied to a Sun Cellular service.

The catch… which I was caught is you need to first activate data usage on the Sun Cellular SIM. Do this by sending a text “ACTIVATE” to 2300. It failed for me, and I called the customer service number 200, and there was some back end processing required first. Once that is done, then I can use data. I have already loaded the SIM with a SBW50, but too bad, it’s wasted.

Other than the hiccup above, I’m pretty happy with the performance I’m getting. It’s not super fast, but it works decently. I’m using the data SIM with my Huawei e5830.

Overall, I’m pleased with the solution I’ve checked out, and is saving me quite a few dollars!

IOS Devices : Automatic App Installation On All Devices You Own

I didn’t stay up to catch the Apple WWDC, but it’s the first thing I checked out when I woke up today. One of the new features which has got all my thumbs up is the ability for your devices to automatically download purchased content. More details is in this Mac Rumors posting.

I haven’t tested this yet, but what I believe it’s suppose to do is this; Say you have an iPhone and an iPad. If you’ve purchased  content, Music/App/Book, from the Apple Stores, it will automatically make it available on both devices. That sure takes the hassle out to trying to keep both devices in sync.

Without this, I’ve been maintaining synchronization using iTunes, or just manual re-download. Now it’s all automatic! That’s cool!

The best part, you don’t need to wait for IOS5, all you need is the currently available IOS 4.3!

My Personal Favorite IDD Service in Singapore

Looking for a smart and cheap way to make IDD calls over a phone? This is not VOIP or anything like Skype I’m talking about here. This is good old traditional land line or mobile phone.

This service that I’ve used for over 5 years now, and have been my favorite pick for IDD calling services. This is Zone1511, which has a good presence here in Asia.

The smart thing about Zone1511 is that it’s not a traditional IDD service. Think of it as an automatic aggregate of many IDD services. What you do is configure your favorite 5 service providers, and when you dial IDD via 1511, it will intelligently route through the cheapest provider at that point in time. If that provider is at capacity, it will automatically go through the next best provider.

The result, getting the best price and quality for you anytime and every time you make that international call.

Setup and registration is easy. Sign up online at their website with a credit card and you can start making calls instantly. The best part, there’s no minimal monthly fees or subscriptions. It’s purely pay as you use.

Can’t get any better than this folks, this is definitely the smartest and CHEAPEST way to make IDD calls from Singapore.

Can’t get better than this folks, sign up now!

Please use my referral link too 🙂