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Virtualization HyperDrive Ultimate

Some test results from the changeover, obviously not thorough.  These comparisons are really meant to put NFS/UFS/SCSI against VMFS/SATA in I/O, but the actual variables between the two "solutions" include different drives, controllers, buses, etc.

Network Copy: NFS/SCSI is twice as fast.  I attribute this the Sun/LSI's excellent hardware.

openssh scp binary for win2ksp4 on ntfs v5 via fast scsi pci33hz raid5 (ami megaraid) -> sshd binary for solaris10 sparc on ufs via ultrascsi pci33z raid5 (sun hba & a1000)
Another Day In The Clouds - mixed by Cardamar.mp3                                     100%  100MB   1.2MB/s   01:23

openssh scp binary for win2ksp4 on ntfs v5 via fast scsi pci raid5 -> sshd binary for esxi on vmks to sata pci133hz
Another Day In The Clouds - mixed by Cardamar.mp3                                     100%  100MB 504.3KB/s   03:24

Virtualized Write: NFS/UFS/SCSI is just as fast --

-- HOWEVER, rewriting is much slower.  I'm assuming NFS/UFS is making calls not needed by VMFS, such as fsstat() or lookup(), or instead of merely writing bits to the same inode, it's actually freeing an inode, allocating a new one, etc.  All hypothetical but the test was consistently slower after the initial write.

writing 1GiB file within guest centos4.5 on ext3 via esxi3.5's nfsv3 to solaris10u5 sparc on ufs via ultrascsi pci33hz raid0 (a1000)

[root@centos-45-32b ~]# rm /tmp/1GiB
rm: remove regular file `/tmp/1GiB'? y
[root@centos-45-32b ~]# time dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/1GiB bs=1024 count=100000
100000+0 records in
100000+0 records out

real    0m0.976s
user    0m0.065s
sys    0m0.823s
[root@centos-45-32b ~]# time dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/1GiB bs=1024 count=100000
100000+0 records in
100000+0 records out

real    0m14.154s
user    0m0.077s
sys    0m0.890s
[root@centos-45-32b ~]#

writing 1GiB file within guest centos4.5 on ext3 via esxi3.5's vmfs to sata pci133hz

[root@centos45-32b ~]# rm /tmp/1GiB
rm: remove regular file `/tmp/1GiB'? y
[root@centos45-32b ~]# time dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/1GiB bs=1024 count=100000
100000+0 records in
100000+0 records out

real    0m1.027s
user    0m0.079s
sys    0m0.851s
[root@centos45-32b ~]# time dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/1GiB bs=1024 count=100000
100000+0 records in
100000+0 records out

real    0m1.053s
user    0m0.091s
sys    0m0.863s
[root@centos45-32b ~]#

Virtualization HyperDrive

Finally got my new virtualization design working.  I love how Winblows doesn't know it's infamous C: drive is actually an NFS share mounted for it by a Linux brain (ESX) and serviced by an array of disks managed by a Solaris box.  It could go in the opposite direction but I don't trust Microsoft disk management.  Let Winblows be a slave to the system ;) 

This was actually the best solution with the parts available.  The design allows each guest a dedicated LUN, where the array itself handles caching; the Solaris box merely interprets the file handles via NFS and offers a management interface for creating and sharing new LUNs.  ESX still creates a virtual disk for the guest (with its crappy filesystem, VMDK) and presents this disk to the guest OS; I expect that will be the only bottleneck.  It's always the weakest link, and in this case NetApp's Triantos has admitted that bandwidth is less of an issue than IO latency, i.e. ESX generates lots of little read/writes versus big ones.

So far, it seems just as responsive as the previous setup: direct connect SATA.  That is saying volumes.  The parts available for the new setup range from circa 2000 - 2004. The SATA stuff was all new, and had far fewer hoops: virtual SCSI drive -> guest OS VMDK -->> VMDK formatted volume -> SATA controller -> SATA drive.  The diagram below doesn't do justice for increasing to .5TiB, because the new sequence is: virtual SCSI drive -> NFS client kernel (ESX) -> NFS server module (Solaris) -> guest OS VMDK -->> UFS formatted LUN -> array controllers -> SCSI drive.  

and SUPER geek!

Voice of America

I forgot how close I've lived to Voice of America's towers, or technically speaking "antennas", until checking out offroad trails at Google Maps.  Dad used to always take the road that ran next to the field, NC HWY 102, and I as a kid, it was in awesome site.  As an adult, I see how the government probably abuses these things, and how the media misinforms us about where such things actually exist, i.e. everyone says the site is in Greenville, but it's actually 20miles closer to the ocean.  Hopefully I can get closer to them with a camera before leaving here!

Sociobiology and Ed Wilson

So this charming southern fellow, Ed Wilson, sparked up all this socio-biology debate way back in the 70's!  And we're still debating it while studies verify it! 

Godz, one has to 'luv PBS

Mobile Bookmarks

Wonder if delicious have a bookmark page just for mobiles.  I'm gathering a few here:

http://m.google.com -- general searches
http://www.livejournal.com/mobile/ -- journaling from anywhere
http://m.facebook.com/ -- social networking from anywhere
http://www.librarything.com/m/ -- check my reading list before buying (another)
http://www.netflix.com/Mobile -- check movies before renting
http://m.tripit.com/home -- travel schedule
http://m.safaribooksonline.com -- technical reading from anywhere

SuperSecure Mobiles

DEFCON organizer (forgot-his-name) noted that far more mobile devices were vulnerable to Hydra-like attacks than any laptop at their 16th conference.  As more and more people use their phones for doing personal/private things, like writing email and sexting, security is overlooked.  The three vulnerabilities are everything people like about cell phones: Bluetooth, Wifi, and physical access.  Regardless of whether *you* have anything to hide, others have different ethical standards, even if it's just to redirect your conversation to their hands-free set and listen in. 

In that vain, I'm quite happy that my old phone died and I replaced it with a Blackberry 8830 WE.  People boo at its lack of camera but here's what it does have:
  • NSA Suite B compliance - yes that's the US government agency's public standards for securing data
  • 2-factor authentication - via SmartCard reader; really overkill but cool nonetheless
  • FIPS 140-2 validated - that's another government standard written in post 9/11 paranoia; basically the BB OS was designed with cryptographic API's for BB programs to secure data
  • AES/3DES storage encryption - 256-bit, and does this with a click of a button
  • S/MIME & PGP email signing & encryption - pretty standard if you download the right programs
  • TLS/SSL management - store certificates securely
  • GPS - if you get lost after running away from 007, then it pinpoints upto 10 satellites ;)
  • CDMA & GSM - if you get chased overseas, then you can still phone home (900/1800 Mhz ranges)
So yea: I've got a superkewl phone :)  On that note, I should enable my two Thinkpad's TCG chips and secure all keys in hardware.  And for my next usb schtick, I'll get either an IronKey or Kingston Blackbox.  Very sweet stuff :)

Ott House Prices!

Everything is acceptable as long as house prices don't crash.  ~Ott, "Roflcopter"

http://www.last.fm/music/Ott/_/Roflcopter, @ 3mins into the song

Mating and Symmetry

Is it just me or are there a perponderance of "scientific" studies about mating and physical symmetry?  NPR has been churning out interviews like fanatics these past few years.  Now Wikipedia has an article dedicated to it. 

Physical attraction isn't everything, obviously, but it usually matters ... for initial attraction -- and hookups.  S fell for a guy who rejected her feet!  Her FEET weren't perfect!  It seems superficial but it'd be a big deal if your partner had a foot fetish.

I'll admit to some symmetry affection.  Cate Blanchett, Uma Thurman, George Clooney, and Brad Pit are divinely symmetric IMO.  The Ocean's 11-13 lineup is something I'd like to freakin' see at the next airport, and not for gawking reasons -- I'd just smile at 'em all:

But what about us who are asymmetric?  I have this thing where my left eye is higher than my right (or vice versa ;)  Glasses masquerade it to some extent, and plastic surgery might help out when wearing contacts, but I've just grown to light up my eyes when outside ... and live mostly as a hermit with the books.  It avoids the red carpet spotlight :)  Not a solution but what to do if this is genetic?  What I mean is: as animals, can we overcome instinctual preferential treatment?  With rationalizing it??  Pfft!

My second admission is that I'm actually attracted to some asymmetries.  Not sure about S's foot thing, and I don't want to sound perverted, but if there is something unique then I tend to like it.  Odd.   It's probably a reflection of one's self.  The perfect are attracted to the ideal, the unique are attracted to differences.  That's some confirmation bias right there!  :)

Frack FICO

There was this ethics lesson in Intro to Computing that has been weighing on my mind ever since posting a private entry that would seriously make people question my morals.  ... people are highly motivated to do typically unethical things when members of their "fellow" society regurgitate things like "credit checks are fair" in the context of food, shelter and clothing.

Frack FICO.

Hold on to that Truck

I've been window shopping (on ebay, autotrader, etc.) for a AWD manual wagon to combat snow, ice, and off-road fun in <fill_in_new_home> but am discovering reasons to keep my Ford Ranger.  It'd be awesome to upgrade to something like an Audi Quattro but a) I should save money and b) there isn't much need (right now).  Here's what the edmond.com and therangerstation.com are saying about me little truck:

1999 Ford Ranger XLT

4.0L V6 - 158hp @ 4250rpm; torque 223 lbs/ft @ 3000rpm
5-speed Automatic Transmission - the 5R55E;  OverDrive switch for towing/highway
4WD - Dana 35 TTB (Twin Traction Beam) front axel; Zexel-Torsen worm gear limited slip differential; Pulse Vacuum Hublock "shift on the fly" - electronic locking between 2WD, 4WD low, 4WD high
towing & axels - registered @ 5-6 tons (GVW);  8.8" rear axel rated @ 2750lbs towing
off-roading - torsion bar A-arm front suspension
ABS - all (4) wheel
wheels & tries - 15x7 factory rims - tire ratings for 35 Inches (TTB); 4 Yokohama 235/75R15 - which i can upgrade to 265 height (31") without lifting
Extended "SuperCab" - 4 doors, two suicide doors; big enough for kids, ... I     mean Kim
Reese hitch - post factory (Dad added it)
collision & emergency: Front crush zone (added 1999), Side door intrusion beams (added 1999), tow hooks assist

So I should keep this thing and give it some TLC.  Tune-up, serious engine look-over, all new tires, and serious suspension/alignment look-over.