March 29th, 2007
MacWorld magazine recently ran a poll of their readership. The question they asked was “Do you want to run Windows on your Mac?” Guess what, 63% said that they would run Windows on their Mac. The really great thing with Parallels Desktop of Mac is you can run Windows on it without affecting MacOS X. In fact you can sandbox Windows so it is only able to run in its own environment without being able to even access the Internet (host networking). Will be interesting to see which version of Windows people buy given that if they are going to run Vista they must buy the business editions. Looks like XP could still be a winner for Microsoft even when its been superceded.
As a UK distributor for Parallels, Purple Rage are offering a free 30 day trial of Parallels Desktop for Mac, the leading virtualisation solution for Mac, which allows Mac users to run Windows simultaneously. To get it simply go to www.purplerage.com/parallels. If you like it you can also buy through our store for 24 hour delivery at £49.50 ex vat. Visit store.purplerage.com.
March 26th, 2007
I’m pretty sure there would be a deafening cry of “critical”. So how many users of SQL Server and its little brother MSDE, have a cast-iron solution in place to ensure that in the event of disaster (or the inevitable if basic precautions haven’t been taken), an up-to-date copy is available? How many are replying simply on good backups? Nothing wrong with backups, even if they are run multiple times during the day. Just not exactly up to the minute (or millisecond of failure).
I read an article recently by a chap who did a very good job laying out all the possible causes of failure, and then all the various methods of protection against them. The one method of protection he castigated was replication, but without any qualification. Also, he was trying to argue the merit of protection with minimal cost outlay. I’m all in favour of keeping a very close eye on costs, but to do the job properly requires expenditure; OS licenses, application licenses, CALs, oh, and hardware. With SQL Server you cannot skimp on any of these for your warm or hot standby. Why? Simple. Users are going to be working a lot slower if the backup is less powerful than the primary, and as a result the company cannot perform to the same level as previously. Furthermore, the less resilient the system, the greater the likelihood of multiple failures.
The important questions to be answered are these:
- How much data can you afford to lose?
- How much downtime can you sustain?
- How much business/money can you afford to lose?
The answers to all three should be NONE. The challenge now is how to get as close to this goal as possible. If your business is grossing £10,000 per day and a failure takes 4 hours to recover, the math is easy. But think on this, attaining 99.9% up-time still leaves a little over 8 hours downtime each year. So you’d potentially loose £10,000 per year. Not very scientific but the points’ clear. However, it does give the basis for a budget.
So you’ll need hardware. Probably dual processors to keep OS and application licensing costs reasonable, a good RAID NAS/DAS device, dual network cards, and a UPS. The combination of your existing setup plus the new minimises the points of failure, and increases its resilience to failures.
In a future article I’ll outline how the configuration of the applications can affect availability, and how third-party applications can play an important role in enhancing protection and the immediacy of recovery.
March 26th, 2007
Last week we held the first of what will be numerous webinars presented by Peer Software and ourselves, Purple Rage. It was all about PeerSync’s “CAD Collaboration” package, and from the responses of the attendees, it was a great success all round.
The PeerSync CAD Collaboration package is specifically orientated towards architectural and engineering firms. The package was created to meet the challenges that CAD users face; large project files require local copies at each branch and on-site. Dispersed design teams necessitate sophisticated collaboration solutions. Reduced design costs whilst still maintaining long-term archives to stay competitive.
PeerSync meets the challenges head on by delivering unobtrusive high availability, controlled collaboration and backup, with real-time mirroring and file locking. PeerSync is in a very competitive market sector but consistently provides the features and performance that managers are looking for. There’s a wealth of information on PeerSync from the Purple Rage website. Could really be worth your while taking a look.
March 23rd, 2007
I was reading earlier today in eWeek that Novell’s Ron Hovsepian is unapologetic about the deal with Microsoft. He argues that the deal has done a lot of good in improve the adoption of Linux and Novell’s SuSe. He pointed out that a number of large recent deals would not have gone through without the agreement. I presume that HSBC’s decision to standardise on Novell’s SUSE Linux is a point in case. What we wonder here at Purple Rage is how organisations are going to manage and co-ordinate authenticated access to the inevitable multiplicity of applications and operating systems in the data centre on and the desktop. Without a centralised approach this could get really messy and expensive to manage.
One excellent solution for both Windows, Linux and UNIX communities to consider Likewise Identity. Identity 3.0 allows you to centralise your identity management on Active Directory, and without even needing to do any schema extensions. Likewise Identity can improve staff efficiency, strengthen network security and help with compliance with regulatory requirements and Sarbanes Oxley.
March 23rd, 2007
On 3rd April at 6pm GMT (10am US PST) Centeris, the manufacturers of Likewise are holding a web seminar on “Leveraging Single Sign-On for Web Apps Using Likewise Identity”. Likewise Identity is a cross-platform identity management solution that allows seamless integration of Linux and Unix Systems with Microsoft Active Directory. This should be an unmissable event for anyone needing to provide cross-platform authentication through Active Directory for the most popular Web applications like JBoss, WebSphere and Apache hosted on your Linux and UNIX machines. Anyone interested in attending can sign-up here.
March 19th, 2007
Over the last few days we’ve had a number of clients asking about Parallels and whether they can run MacOS 9 in a virtual machine. Whilst others want to run Vista. Whilst the latter is mostly certainly possible (with a few qualifications), the former most certainly is not.
Its not that its technically impossible to run MacOS as a Parallels virtual machine. More that Apple does not permit their operating systems to be run on anything other than physical Apple hardware. We understand that whilst this issue has been raised with Apple, nothing has come of it so far. Let’s hope something does in the future, saving users from having to keep old and failing hardware going.
As for Vista, unless you’re running Vista Business, Ultimate or Enterprise, you’re not allowed to run Vista at all in a virtual machine. Not even if you’re running Microsoft’s own VM application! This is very explicitly declared in the EULA that accompanies the software. Seems Microsoft is being either greedy or shortsighted. By excluding the Home editions, potential users will either be driven away by the higher cost, or will simply head straight for the Windows XP second-hand market.
March 12th, 2007
Following the recent release of the latest incarnation of Parallels Desktop for Mac, users are now finding the traditional dividing lines between Windows MacOS becoming very blurred. The question now being asked by managers and company owners is now much more “which application do users need to do their jobs best?”. It matters little that one may run on MacOS X and another on Windows. With the introduction of the unique Coherence mode into Parallels Desktop, Windows applications run from wihtin virtual machines as though they are native MacOS applications. In Coherence mode, Windows applications like Outlook, Internet Explorer, and Word run on the Mac desktop and from the Mac dock.
Also included with the new version is a new product; Parallels Transporter. Got yourself a nice new shiney Mac but still need the apps and files from your old PC? Run Transporter and create a copy of your PC as a virtual machine. Now you can run your old machine on that new hardware. No complicated migration, no new licenses, no re-installation. Create the image with Transporter. Create the VM. Run the VM. Job done.
March 9th, 2007
PeerSync, the file protection, data replication, backup and distribution from Peer Software, has evolved again. PeerSync has always provided the highest levels of protection and service to meet specific needs. Now with the release of the PeerSync CAD Collaboration Package, architectural and engineering companies get a solution specifically tailored to their needs.
PeerSync CAD Collaboration Package facilitates high availability, collaboration, and backup among branch office CAD users, by providing unobtrusive real-time mirroring and locking of files.
A recent study of 40,000 projects found that 66% of projects completely fail or are late, over budget or missing critical features. The cost overruns average an alarming 43% according to the Standish Group International. One factor that can contribute to these failures is geographical distance among project team members. Project teams now rarely have the luxury of working together in a single location. And they often lack even the assurance of having a stable team for the life of the project. Thus, as companies outsource more design and manufacturing services, their teams must find ways to work together across geographical and often company boundaries.