Business virtualisation

The complex weave of the modern IT world

Cisco certificationsCisco, as you may know, has introduced a new set of professional technical certifications based around the data centre. This is a natural move. Cisco already has Voice, Security, Routing and Switching and Design certification streams and the Data Centre is a big part of its future.

At Timico we use a Cisco data centre fabric with UCS blades running on top of EMC storage. On that infrastructure we run VMware. We also run Microsoft applications, use Cisco at the Edge of the network and Juniper in the core. Most of our ISP server estate is Linux based.

That’s an exciting technology mix. It’s also a lot of areas of specialisation and not only are our engineers often doing training courses but we are always on the lookout for specific talent, especially in the virtualisation world.

Where is this conversation leading. I guess I’m concluding that it will be increasingly the case that our customers will not have the right mix of skills in these technology areas to be able to effectively develop solutions for their own business. The role of an IT department, apart from servicing their own stakeholders, will be more and more strategic focusing on the selection management of their supplier partners.

Cloud Engineer virtualisation

It’s All About Storage – datadomain #VMware

datadomain storage

Nice bit of lab kit we have just installed downstairs. This is a datadomain DD630 backup storage device.  You can see that it has 12 x 1TeraByte hard drives – that’s quite a chunk of storage compared to your laptop or desktop PC.  The box above it is running test servers using VMware (click on the header photo to see it all).

This is all lab work being done in preparation for the new data centre when it opens in January. The twelve 1TB drives result in around 9TB of useful space once RAID, hot spare and storage of the OS are taken into consideration.

The beauty of this though is that we are likely to be able to store far more than 9TB of real data once it has been “deduped”  – for example identical copies of operating systems removed. In our trials we are backing up some VMs and are seeing 2TB of data being compressed and deduplicated down to only 140GB on the datadomain. We won’t necessarily get the same savings when the system scales up but it is easy to see that it is an attractive piece of kit.

One of the nice features is that if you lose your primary VM server then the system allows you to boot from this backup whilst it rebuilds the original server in the background.  This can save a couple of hours of work – very valuable in  a problem situation.

As we start building out the virtualisation platform I’ll do some more update posts. The inset photo is the same kit with the front cover on.

Business Cloud datacentre

Hot off the Hollywood press – new video of the Timico Newark data center in progress

The video stars Timico Technology Group Chairman Tim Radford talking about the plans for the data center business.

Business Cloud datacentre

A data centre’s progress – drinka pinta milka day

new data center for Timico in progress

It’s coming along as you can see if you click on the header image. It always amazes me what one bloke can do when he has a few tools to help him. I guess it is the same in farming. Along came the industrial revolution and everyone left the fields to be replaced by machines.

Today has been spent entering industry awards. I assume it is the same in the farming business (to continue with the theme).  “Why is your pint of milk better value than your competitors?” I suppose you can brush up your best cow and take her along and have something solid for the judges to evaluate:).

I have had to sit through some long hot tedious awards evenings, usually run by a magazine eager to reward its biggest advertisers. They can be useful to win though as we  have found out when we got Highly Commended in the Best ITSP (Large Enterprise Category) at this year’s ITSPA Awards. Independent Awards can be quite prestigious.

I’m not going to tell you which awards these were today in case we don’t win – you will have to wait 🙂 – and my advice to you is to “drinka pinta milka day”.  It will make you a winner.

I should think that by the time I put up the next photo of the new build the walls will be complete. Btw I have been asked if I can put up an artist’s impression of the new building but I’m sorry to say I don’t have one in electronic form. I will ask the builders if they have one.