Blog & Tutorials Hardware

Dell PowerEdge R710 Photos and Specs

We received first batch of our Dell PowerEdge R710 servers today (the old dell 1950 III and 2950 III are going away). These servers are for Vmware virtualization testing environment to simulate various virtual infrastructure configurations. I used the opportunity during initial configuration to take some pictures. We are hoping to get some more servers in the near future, including a decent SAN so we can test storage virtualization as well. I hope certain vendors (HP?) take note and allow us to test virtualization on their products as well, we certainly do not have budget to run multi-vendor environment thus any support from hardware folks would be greatly appreciated!

Let us dive into the hardware details for the Dell R710, the servers are equipped with Intel Xeon 5650, 32GB Ram, here are full specs:

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Pictures of the Dell R710s in the setup area

Be sure to comment on this and other posts in our Virtualization Forum.

Desktop Virtualization

Parallels Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7 Makes It Simple to Upgrade from XP, Vista

RENTON, Wash.: Parallels, the worldwide leader in automation and virtualization software, announced that Parallels Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7 is available today at and Amazon, and will be available at retail stores starting on May 31. Parallels’ new software empowers PC owners to simply and safely upgrade from any edition of Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7, as well as keep and use their existing programs – even if they are not yet compatible with Windows 7.

Parallels Enables Customers to Keep and Use Their Programs, Even If They Are Not Yet Compatible with Windows 7

“Parallels Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7 provides a simple and safe solution for Windows XP and Vista customers who want to successfully move to Windows 7 but may be overwhelmed by the process,” said Parallels CEO Serguei Beloussov. “Whether people are upgrading an existing PC or moving to a new PC, all of their programs, files and user settings are automatically moved. Even programs not yet compatible with Windows 7 still work, so there’s no reason not to make the move.”

Parallels Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7 benefits include:

  • Simplified Windows 7 Upgrade Experience: Parallels Express Installation allows you to complete the upgrade to Windows 7 on your existing PC without having to stay at your computer. The Upgrade Wizard makes it easy by walking you step-by-step through the process.
  • No Need to Reinstall Programs or Find DVDs: The Parallels Upgrade Agent moves all your programs, data and media from your old computer to your new Windows 7 computer so you don’t have to find DVDs.
  • Simply Transfer Programs, Files, Settings and Media to Your New PC: The included Parallels high-speed USB transfer cable, your network connection or an external hard drive make it easy to transfer your programs, files, settings and media to your new PC.
  • Keep and Run Programs Not Yet Compatible with Windows 7: Parallels enables you to continue to run programs that aren’t yet ready for Windows 7 and do so seamlessly from within Windows 7 by accessing them from the Start menu.
  • Quickly Learn How to Work in Windows 7: Interactive video tutorials are available on demand to help you quickly learn how to work in Windows 7.

Parallels Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7 is available for $49.99 with a Parallels high-speed USB transfer cable, making it easy to move to a new Windows 7 PC, or for $39.99 without a cable, making it easy to upgrade your current PC to Windows 7.

About Parallels
Parallels is a worldwide leader in virtualization and automation software that optimizes computing for consumers, businesses, and cloud services providers across all major hardware, operating systems, and virtualization platforms. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with more than 700 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Desktop Virtualization

Fedora 13 Propels Open Source Innovation, Virtualization Enhancements

RALEIGH, N.C.: The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced the availability of Fedora 13, the latest version of its free open source operating system distribution. Fedora 13 combines some of the latest open source features with an open and transparent development process. Fedora 13 includes a variety of features and improvements to enhance desktop productivity, assist in software development, and improve virtualization.

“Fedora continues to help advance free and open source software and content,” said Paul Frields, Fedora Project Leader at Red Hat. “This release comes just six months after the release of Fedora 12, and it incorporates technologies built by free software developers around the globe. The Fedora Project reciprocates by contributing everything built in Fedora back to the open source community.”

Fedora 13 includes several new features with special focus on desktops, netbooks, virtualization and system administration. Its robust feature set includes:

Simpler installation and device access
The user interface of Anaconda, the Fedora installer, has changed to handle storage devices and partitioning in an easier and more streamlined manner, with helpful hints in the right places. Once installed, Fedora automatically offers driver installation when the user plugs in a printer. Software applications for instant or scheduled data backups, photo management, and scanning make it easier for users to load, edit, share, and secure their content. Color management offers creative users the ability to produce more color-accurate art and photos, from loading to display to printing.

Accelerated 3D graphics using free drivers
In previous releases, Fedora introduced free and open source 3D drivers for Intel and ATI video cards. In Fedora 13, a variety of Nvidia graphics cards can now be 3D enabled to support free software games and an enhanced desktop experience. New DisplayPort connectors are now supported on ATI and Nvidia cards as well. These free drivers are expected to be enhanced over the course of Fedora 13 and beyond, and become part of the platform for the next-generation free desktop including GNOME 3.

Virtualization enhancements
Fedora continues to be a leader in virtualization technologies and is one of the leading contributors of key technologies like Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), libvirt and virt- manager. Fedora 13 adds support for stable PCI addresses, enabling virtual guests to retain PCI addresses’ space on a host machine and expanding opportunities for large-scale automation of virtualization. New shared network interface technology enables virtual machines to use the same physical network interface cards as the host operating system. Fedora 13 also features improvements in performance for KVM networking and large multi-processor systems. These features offer savvy technologists the opportunity to experience virtualization innovations before they are seen in later releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Enhanced software development and debugging
Fedora 13 includes new support that allows developers working with mixed libraries (Python and C/C++) in Fedora to get more complete information when debugging with gdb, making rapid application development even easier. The SystemTap utility adds support for static probes, giving programmers expanded capabilities to improve and optimize their code. And with new support for userspace processes, developers can instrument code written in high level languages such as Python, database applications, and more.

Expanded Btrfs features
Fedora continues to be a key contributor to Btrfs development, and adds support for filesystem snapshots in Fedora 13. Plugin support for snapshots allows administrators to experiment with software updates and more easily revert the system as needed. As in previous releases, advanced users can enable experimental Btrfs support in the installation process to try out this next-generation file system.

During the past year, the Fedora community, led by its volunteer corps of Fedora Ambassadors, has held 14 Fedora Activity Day (FAD) events around the globe. At each FAD, community members gather to work on focused Fedora tasks, teach users and administrators, and plan coverage of worldwide events. The Fedora Project also held three Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) events in Porto Alegre, Berlin, and Toronto. The Fedora Project’s record of open, transparent collaboration with the community continues to attract participants, with over 17,000 currently registered contributors.

Fedora will also be at the 2010 Red Hat Summit and JBoss World on June 22-25, 2010 in Boston. Summit attendees will receive a free Live USB key containing Fedora 13. Visit the Fedora table on the mezzanine level of the Seaport World Trade Center, or in the dedicated Fedora room, where community members will answer questions, take feedback, offer demonstrations and help attendees get involved. The next FUDCon is scheduled for July 15-17, 2010, in Santiago, Chile. For more information about FUDCon Santiago 2010, visit here. FUDCon EMEA will follow on Sept. 17-19, 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland.

About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions and an S&P 500 company, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with over 65 offices spanning the globe. CIOs ranked Red Hat as one of the top vendors delivering value in Enterprise Software for six consecutive years in the CIO Insight Magazine Vendor Value survey. Red Hat provides high-quality, affordable technology with its operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, together with virtualization, applications, management and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide.

Data Center

F5 Optimizes Microsoft Solutions Enabling the Dynamic Data Center

SEATTLE: F5 Networks, Inc., the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced enhanced application delivery capabilities to help Microsoft customers implement dynamic infrastructures that can quickly respond to changing business needs and variables. With F5 solutions optimized to work with Microsoft technologies, customers gain strategic points of control throughout the infrastructure, giving IT the ability to access and allocate resources on demand. Specifically, F5 is announcing the advantages of deploying the F5 Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager and the BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager Virtual Edition in concert with Microsoft products, in addition to expanded partnership efforts.

Virtualized environments require sophisticated tools to help IT provision and unify computing, network, and storage resources for maximum utilization and efficiency. F5’s solution portfolio promotes seamless application delivery for virtualization and cloud deployments running on Microsoft platforms. In addition, F5® solutions provide enhanced visibility into application delivery environments so that IT resources can be tailored to meet an organization’s business objectives while supporting users with optimized services.

“Customers looking to deploy Microsoft’s on-premise cloud and virtualization solutions will find F5 solutions to be a powerful complement for the enhanced application delivery, infrastructure visibility, and automation capabilities they provide,” said Dai Vu, Director of Virtualization Solutions Marketing at Microsoft Corp. “F5 shares our vision for the dynamic data center, and joint customers looking to deploy solutions in a number of distinct physical, virtual, and hybrid computing models will see added value.”

To support Microsoft’s vision for dynamic infrastructure with flexible deployment options and simplified management, F5 delivers:

Increased Support for Virtualization and Cloud Architecture Models
F5 offers a solution portfolio with both physical and virtual deployment options, providing comprehensive integration with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, and more. With F5’s BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager Virtual Edition, customers can conveniently scale their data center environments without incurring the added cost and time associated with deploying traditional hardware. This flexibility gives customers options for supporting Microsoft applications within a variety of data center architecture models, including those leveraging cloud computing.

Enhanced Efforts with Microsoft to Benefit Joint Customers
F5 has joined the Microsoft Dynamic Datacenter Alliance to further its commitment to providing joint customers with the IT agility they need to support their organizations and maximize the value of their technology investments. Recently, Microsoft announced that it would open its Dynamic Datacenter Alliance to technology partners, including the company’s compute, network, and storage partners. F5 is the first ADN partner in this alliance and one of the “founding” network partners. Through this alliance and other partnership efforts, F5 plans to further work with Microsoft on solutions that promote the companies’ shared vision of dynamic IT infrastructure.

Improved Infrastructure Manageability and Visibility for Microsoft Solutions
Integration with Microsoft’s new Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit reduces the time required to deploy new virtual machines, and simplifies integral functionality such as virtual application provisioning, reconfiguration of network traffic, and holistic health monitoring. Tight integration between F5 BIG-IP solutions and Microsoft products enables the F5 Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and other F5 technologies to provide a unified view across Microsoft application environments.

For example, SharePoint—which operates as a composite of multiple application services, including core Windows Services, IIS, and Microsoft SQL—can now benefit from network visibility down to the component level. This provides IT departments with deep visibility into all the complementary technologies that SharePoint requires. Additionally, flexible F5 solutions—like the iControl® API and iRules® programming language—enable administrators to customize alert thresholds, reporting parameters, and resource provisioning. F5 is the only vendor providing comprehensive functionality, visibility, and management capabilities to this level of granularity.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues delivering value for joint customers,” said Calvin Rowland, VP of Application Partner Programs at F5. “Through collaborative interoperability and integration efforts, we’re enhancing organizations’ abilities to control and manage dynamic IT services. Real-time visibility into the status of computing, network, storage, and software application services allows organizations to make more effective, timely, and intelligent decisions regarding resource utilization and provisioning. The joint solutions stemming from this partnership enable customers to more readily harness the power of On-Demand IT.”

Cloud Computing Server Virtualization

Kuwait Ministry Migrates to Red Hat Enterprise Linux

RALEIGH, N.C.: Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW) in Kuwait plans to migrate its datacenter infrastructure from Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. MEW has selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the basis for its long-term IT strategy based on the platform’s ease of use, performance, scalability and security, and plans to run its mission-critical systems on the platform.

MEW serves more than 800,000 consumers with a 12 gigawatt power generation grid. Its decision to migrate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux comes as MEW aligns its strategic IT infrastructure to meet Kuwait’s need for increased power capacity. One of the key drivers for the migration is to lower MEW’s total cost of ownership. Red Hat provides a cost-effective infrastructure that helps the company to meet service-level agreements and keep its growing customer base satisfied. MEW plans to migrate its mission-critical systems for its Automated Meter Infrastructure and Geographic Information System, in addition to applications responsible for human resources, business intelligence and customer relationship management.

“Adopting Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a technology platform offers MEW the opportunity to solidify our business continuity,” said Ali AlWazzan, undersecretary for Information Technology at MEW. “With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we’re offered a valuable subscription model, a robust certified ecosystem and high-performance technology to fit our business needs. With a strong Red Hat Enterprise Linux base, we will additionally be able to investigate future plans to utilize virtualization and cloud computing technologies in our IT infrastructure.”

About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions and an S&P 500 company, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with over 65 offices spanning the globe. CIOs ranked Red Hat as one of the top vendors delivering value in Enterprise Software for six consecutive years in the CIO Insight Magazine Vendor Value survey. Red Hat provides high-quality, affordable technology with its operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, together with virtualization, applications, management and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide.

Server Virtualization Storage Virtualization

R1Soft Brings Pain Relief to XenServer Backups at Citrix Synergy 2010

SAN FRANCISCO: R1Soft, the developer of Continuous Data Protection® (CDP) for Windows and Linux Xen Virtual Machines, announced today it will exhibit high-performance backup software for Xen at the Citrix Synergy conference to be held May 11-14 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Calif.

Possibly the biggest challenge for virtualization and Citrix XenServer is storage performance. Xen frequently has multiple operating systems all sharing the same physical disk resources while at the same time pushing file counts across virtual machines into the millions. Typical backup applications that read and copy files cannot keep up with the enormous growth in data size and often present a massive drain on the physical hardware slowing Xen virtual machines down for hours during the backup process.

R1Soft’s CDP software reads data at the block-level, bypassing the file system and gaining unparalleled efficiency and performance. In addition, it performs most backups using an asynchronous-replication process it calls CDP. Asynchronous replication uses device drivers to know before the backup process exactly which changed blocks or deltas must be read from disk. This process has the result of shrinking most backup windows from hours to minutes while significantly reducing load on storage from the backup process.

R1Soft protects more than 185,000 Windows and Linux servers. Hosting and Cloud service providers have embraced R1Soft’s affordable and highly efficient backup software to protect XenServers for over four years on tens of thousands of servers.

“Everyone is talking about ‘The Cloud’ and more often than not, Cloud translates to Xen. R1Soft is thrilled to be exhibiting at Synergy to bring relief to the backup pain experienced by most XenServers and their users,” said David Wartell, founder of R1Soft, a division of BBS Technologies, Inc.

At booth #606, R1Soft will be giving attendees live demos highlighting the new features in their latest Xen backup products. Attendees can also enter the R1Soft Continuous Giveaway for a chance to win an iPad.

About R1Soft
R1Soft is the developer of Continuous Data Protection® (CDP) software. Their products offer scalable and high-performance backup software for Windows, Linux, and virtualization. CDP is recognized as the leading commercial backup software in hosted services and the Cloud. R1Soft is a division of BBS Technologies, Inc.


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