Saturday, June 11, 2011

FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament

If you've watched any professional golf on TV, you'll have noticed people standing around in the crowd, holding up signs that read "QUIET" when the players are taking shots.  In Memphis, these signs say "Hush, Ya'll". Gotta love it!

Live, from the land of Mickey and the Fark "Florida" tag

The flight from Memphis to Orlando took just over and hour and a half, and was as near to perfect as any flight I've ever been on. Which was a good thing, given that the day started out with me leaving my cell phone at home. I discovered this when going through security at the airport, which of course meant that it was way too late to go back and get it. Rather than wasting money on getting our pet sitter to ship it to me, I went ahead and upgraded to a new phone from Verizon. I've already got the shipment notice, so hopefully I'll have it here tomorrow. Gayle will get the Droid I left at home, and hopefully I can switch the data plan from the USB modem I got her when she was first going to Kentucky.

 (pause 6 days )

And, welcome back to Memphis!

I kept looking at the first paragraph, thinking that I really needed to finish the post.  However, I'd said that I'd detail a single host/single san ESX to ESXi upgrade, and frankly I just didn't want to. Strangely enough, I still don't, but I'll do it tomorrow regardless of "want to" status.  For now, I'm going to talk about the forum.

If you ever want a huge ego boost, be a presenter at a large technical forum.  I was the "token customer experience" portion of a combo Dell/VMware "the future today" type presentation.  I evidently did well, as right after the presentation and several times in the next few days I was told just that, from both customers like myself and from channel partners.  The next day the clinic and I were mentioned by name again in a different presentation, and so of course I had to put in my 2 cents worth in that one, too.  All in all, I had a wornderful time, and learned a good bit to help enhance our current setup. I met a lot of interesting people, including some of the product directors at Dell.  While a lot of forums like this are more marketing efforts, with salespeople everywhere, Dell's storage forum was officially a "no sales" zone, where the sessions actually taught you something, with most of the things discussed have already been released, and not merely vaporware, to maybe be released at some date in the far future.  They had a hands-on lab, which while slow was very well implemented, and easy to use. But mainly, there were Dell staffers everywhere, all willing and for the most part able to answer any question you might have.

So, bottom line: if you're a Dell storage customer, or if you're thinking about becoming one, you owe it to yourself to go to next years forum.  You'll not be disappointed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Thursday before the storm

We got our new employee settled in, and he's started to take support calls.  Still a little hesitant, but he'll get over that pretty quick, with the volume of calls we get.

I fly to Orlando on Sunday for the Dell Storage Forum, and can hardly wait.  Of course, not having known when I'd be doing my presentation, I had already scheduled out all the presentations I wanted to hear.  Fortunately, I'm not missing too much during my Tuesday morning spot.  Sheesh, what'll I do if nobody shows up for my part?

My wife posted a picture of her father (90 years old, infirm, shaky grasp of reality) mowing the yard with a push mower.  She's had fits with him insisting that the grass be kept at 1/2" it seems, and that he be the one to do the mowing.  I had the brilliant idea...get him one of those Fisher Price toy mowers that they make for kids.  I wonder if they make them in a senior citizen edition?

Ok, so how do you begin a migration from VMware ESX 4.0 to ESXi 4.1?  Document EVERYTHING about your current environment.  I took screen shots of all the networking configurations, the storage setup, the storage adapters, the licensing, you name it.  If you can see it in vCenter, make sure you have a record of it.  This will make your job so much easier.

After documentation is complete the next thing to do is to schedule the upgrade.  If you're upgrading an existing cluster, you can (if you're brave) upgrade during normal hours.  I did ours on the weekend, with notice to the few that work weekends that outages are possible. If you're upgrading a single host setup, you've no choice but to schedule the work for the off hours, as everything will be down.

Next time...upgrading single host locations.