Finally found my E2180! Chip en route, overclock results to come

I’ve been doing sporadic checks on a few major vendors’ sites and on price comparison sites on when this mythical CPU may appear. As luck would have it, I finally found the CPU for sale at eWiz last night. Put in an order for the elusive thing, and hopefully I will have my hands on it sometime next week. For approx. $95 including shipping and CA tax, it wasn’t so bad a deal in my opinion.

Reports from many forums indicate that even the E2140 and E2160 are starting to show up with the M0 stepping. These things are supposed to be monster overclockers, with reports of them clocking just as well as their G0 siblings, providing the boards are capable. Now that I have my Q6600 dialed in comfortably at 3.6ghz as my workstation, it’s now time to build a new box to replace the aging home server, the Dell SC400 with a 2.0ghz Celeron Socket 478 inside. With 3gb of RAM, the CPU is practically pegged @ 100% utilization while running a multitude of services, in addition to 3 instances of VMs on VMWare. Hopefully, I can get the E2180 to the same 3.6ghz range without much trouble. Such a setup should have enough muscle to comfortably take over the same services, with maybe a few more VMs thrown in.

In any case, I am getting WAY ahead of myself here. I’ll report back next week with the results.

Fake Steve brags about MS guy converting to Apple

Check this out.  FSJ pointed out that this Microsoft dude bought an Apple, and he’s happier about it.  Funny thing is, and I quote:

For now, at home, I just run XP on my Mac with most of the automatic features turned off.

And I like it that way.

For most of the post he went on to praise how much more intuitive OSX is vs. Vista/XP.  But he ended the blog post with those two lines.  Kinda ironic, don’t you think?  So the guy got Mac hardware to run Windows.  That’s got to be the dumbest thing I’ve heard. PC’s main strength is its ability to run on cheap hardware.  Buying overpriced hardware to run in his opinion an inferior OS is just beyond me.

Sorry FSJ, but this guy’s decision is nothing to be proud of.  Like you said, he’s a Microtard.  Unfortunately, he’s now converted himself to an AppleMicrotard.

VMWare’s IPO splash – Wake up call for the others

VMWare rocked the market today, and that really is no surprise. With the most comprehensive product offering of all the Virtualization solutions (and also the priciest), this is THE VM solution to go with for the enterprises that are adopting it. For instance, the company that I work for has already been steadily migrating racks into the ESX environment. If these other competitors don’t shape up soon (and it doesn’t look like they are), EMC’s toy project is looking to become the de facto player in the Virtualization game.

Let’s briefly look at the competitors:

Amazon EC2: This service shows great promise in taking away many of the start up business that VMWare would have had. Can’t see established big corporations utilizing this much though.

Microsoft’s Viridian: So far, it can still be considered vaporware. It may be too late of an entry for Microsoft once it gets released.

SWSoft’s Virtuozzo: Slightly different approach to virtualization, OS based. A little late in getting into the Windows space, but looks to be a decent contender. Unfortunately, marketing doesn’t seem to be doing the product justice.

SWSoft’s Parallels: Toy for the Mac fans. Unfortunately, VMWare’s Fusion is looking pretty capable in stealing quite a bit of this small piece of pie as well.

Xen: Not quite as polished or robust in terms of management as VMWare, but it’s coming along quite nicely. Could be a cheaper alternative than VMWare. Could also benefit from better marketing.

Virtual Iron: Already positioning itself as VMWare’s cheaper alternative. Shows promise, but it’ll probably never overtake VMWare.

The rest of the smaller players out there are probably not even being considered by big enterprises at this point.

As the market currently stands, VMWare seemed to have captured the hearts and the pocketbooks of the majority of the enterprise markets out there.

My verdict? I see great promise in VMW, though at today’s valuation, I would wait a bit before I’d consider picking some up.

What are your thoughts? Which one of these are you a fan of?

UPDATE: Looks like Citrix read my article last night and decided to buy XenSource this morning. 🙂 Check it out here.

iMacs in the enterprise

PC World published a piece by Rafael Ruffolo on corporations considering iMacs.  Here are some quotes:

According to Q2 results from IDC, in the overall U.S. computer market, which includes desktops and notebooks, Apple is now tied for third with competitor Gateway at 5.6 per cent of the total market share.

Tim Bajarin, president at Creative Strategies, said that while Apple lacks the enterprise sales force, servicing capabilities and the expressed interest in the enterprise sector, he does admit that this could change in the future.

My opinion is this:  Yes, this could change in the future, but not in the foreseeable future.   The reasoning is pretty simple.  First of all, Apple is not serious about competing for the enterprise.  Jobs is good at building machines that tug at the heart strings, but he is also VERY good at building devices that tug (pretty hard) at consumers’ purse strings.  Enterprise IT is about providing a pre-determined service level with a controlled budget.  For large enterprises with pre-existing investment in the MS architecture, migrating to the iMac does not make sense financially.

Neither does it make sense architecturally.  Apple currently lacks the will, or a way in providing a robust roadmap in providing a solution that can rival MS’s management features.  This alone would create havoc in a well-managed enterprise environment. Are you aware of any SMS or Forefront equivalent in Apple’s arsenal?

Lastly, such a move does not make sense in a resource management perspective.  Not only will you have to replace a whole slew of machines, you will also need investment in training your legions of support staff.  Sure, there will be some who are already well versed in OSX, but this is by no means the norm.

What I think the article is trying to convey is that the trend of Apple devices sneaking into the enterprise may increase– but that is easy to see.  All personal tech items will eventually sneak into the enterprise– this by no means will only apply to apple products though.  Personal blackberries/smartphones/PDAs will soon creep into the managed environment.  Sure, iPhone and iPods are popular, but their place within the workplace is currently dubious at best.

As the article said, virtualization may be the joker in this whole deck of cards.  Yes, the technology will enable iMacs to act like a PC, but at that stage, what’s the advantage of choosing the iMac + virtualization solution?  So users can also run OSX and Apple software?  Circular reasoning alert– OSX currently needs a separate management strategy to thrive in the enterprise.  Unless an enterprise has a financially justifiable reason to choose Apple (design, art, etc), I would be absolutely stunned to see any kind of inroad being made by Apple through such grassroot approaches.

Great sensational journalism though, PCWorld.  I thoroughly enjoyed the read.  This may just be the fuel that this small fire needs to create a more competitive enterprise IT marketscape.

Dual core vs. Quad core for VMs

Tom’s just posted an article on the benefit of going 4 cores vs. 2 cores.  Interesting read, however since the readership is heavily biased toward gaming, its testing apps were mostly games that have not been written to take advantage of the 2 additional cores.

As far as using quad core for virtualization however, the advantage is obvious.  Of course, performance is more dependent on the virtualization architecture than a few mhz in speed, as can be seen here.  If performance is a concern, then be prepared to throw more money on hardware, or stay with paravirtualized solutions like Xen.  My personal recommendation is OpenVZ / Virtuozzo for best performance as they are OS based solutions.  For manageability though, VMWare currently reigns king.  Stick with VMWare server if you want free, but keep in mind that performance will suffer.

Or I guess you can just throw more hardware at the problem like always.  Thanks, AMD & Intel for the price drops!  Please keep them coming!