OSX, Fedora 17

Is this the linux desktop that has long been promised and never delivered ?

Ok so ignoring the fact that the linux desktop will probably never be that main stream this is the first I’ve used the new Gnome interface.  As someone who has used Quicksilver and now Alfred on OSX I can’t see what all of the fuss is about to be perfectly honest.  I’ve never liked navigating into a folder (and sub folder, and sub sub folder) of applications trying to find the right shortcut, hit Apple+Space type in a couple of letters, start the application.  Simples.

So the new Gnome is nice, I like the way it works, I like especially the way it works out of the box installed on VMware Fusion with no tinkering.  The same updates completed as for F16 and that’s the VMware tools installed so my mouse is free to move in and out of the window, copy and paste between guest and host works, and well to be honest it just works.

I’ve also installed Cinnamon on the recommendation of Richard Morrell, and again it just works, and it works great.  I certainly know what I’d be loading on to a machine as my default OS if I ever went back to PC hardware, and I wouldn’t be too upset to do so (probably).

Clearly I’ve not really used in anger yet, that comes later, but initial signs are certainly promising…..

VMWare Server Build

Well with the snow came the abuse of the company VPN (will post more about that later) and some sofa / server time.

The least shocking element was the amount of work I could get down with a 3 year old and 6 week old in the house, easier to work from the sofa (no office yet) and less distractions than being the office…

So it was time to build some servers, I’ve got SonicWalls Global Management System and ManageSoft all requiring servers, also as we change things around the way we build and use servers will be changing, so I had three servers to build, (well four when we take into account the new development server for the in house digital team)

1) Windows 2K3 (64Bit) and SQL 2K5 Server for ManageSoft and SGMS usage
2) 2 x Windows 2K3 (32Bit) for ManageSoft ECM and SGMS
3) RHEL 5.4 Server for dev.

The windows servers were pretty simple. Build a new server, fully patch, then clone to a template, then join the server to AD with it’s new name and carry on with the specific requirements for the server.

Next server.
Use the fully patched template you’ve just created for your shiny new server, join to AD and you’re done, new server in under 10 minutes, sit back and rejoice at your new power…. repeat.

Three servers created in the time it would take you to create one new server.

Did the same with RHEL, so now I have my four new servers and three templates to enable me to deploy a new instance in under 10 minutes.

Nice having uninterrupted time to get stuff done – also printed out the manuals for the NSA2400 / SGMS / SSL-VPN, time to get reading…. and shortly re-configuring the NSA to make the most of the new power (before deploying to the other new NSA units via SGMS…)

“I have a cunning plan m’lord…”


So I finally managed to spend some time over the last few days on sorting out the 7 VMWare servers we have in the London (Main) office and more specifically get a free server available so that I could retire a VMWare server that couldn’t be upgraded to the latest version of VSPhere.

Course of action was simple.

– Install a new management server as a physical machine
– Move all existing VMWare servers under the control of the new management server
– Profit.

Not quite that simple, until I had upgraded a server to VSPhere it couldn’t be managed by the new VCenter Server as it didn’t have the old 3.5x license server running.

So it took a bit of moving instances around the various servers and gradually upgrading all servers to VSPhere.

Once I’d worked out the correct order to move all of the servers around without killing anything it was time to get started, I moved all of the already upgraded servers under the control of the new VCenter Server, and then migrated the BDC and PDC from VMWare servers that needed upgrading, this meant I was left with two 3.5x boxes to upgrade one of which was running the old VCenter Server with the 3.5 license manager.

I shut down the old VCenter Server and migrated into on to an already upgraded VMWare Server then set to work upgrading the last two servers.

All very simple, just required a bit of planning to ensure I didn’t end up with a 3.5x server that I couldn’t do anything with as the license server wasn’t available (I’ve got around this issue before using an emergency local license but it is a problem best avoided.)

So I now have 7 VMWare servers all running the latest version of VSPhere (well 3 of them will be auto updating using the update manager over the weekend) and a physical install of the Virtual Center Server.

I’m happier that the main management machine is a physical box as it makes life easier doing updates.

Now to set about getting in the extra kit to go HA ;-)