This is something to get excited about for 2013, the Xi3 Modular Computer or Steam Box. Supposedly it has been developed for Valve (called the Piston) and will provide an alternative living room device to the games console or PC but Xi3 are also aiming this at business users too. At CES this year Xi3 were answering (and avoiding) questions about the Steam Box and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on one.
Steam itself has over 50 million subscribers, is available on the Mac and PC, and with Big Picture it brings movies and gaming into the living room. The problem for now is that we dont’ all want a monster PC in the living room, hence the imminent arrival of the Steam Box.
I’m actually really looking forward to the winter this year, and it seems that 5 is the lucky number. The new iPhone 5 will be released, rumours suggest this will be on or around 15th October, and then there is the iPad 3 (ok, it’s not 5 but worth mentioning!) which should have a far superior retina display which will be great for reading PDF’s and studying with! I’m still using the iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 so my Xmas list is easy this year, whether I get what I want depends on how good I am!
In the virtual world, at least inside the cloud, VMware have released vSphere 5 and View 5, in addition to many other new products. With the up and coming release of Microsoft Windows 8 with it’s incredible boot time thanks to the way it shuts down in a hybrid shutdown / sleep state, I can only imagine the benefits this will bring to desktop virtualisation and end-user computing as a whole.
VMware View 4.6 has just been released which includes over 160 bug fixes and support for PCoIP with Secure Gateway servers. See the release notes here: http://www.vmware.com/support/view46/doc/view-46-release-notes.html
I have just received an email from VMware Education Services highlighting the new VMware vCloud training courses that are now available. If you are new to VMware then they offer a 1-day vCloud Overview course (see below), for seasoned VCP’s they offer a more advanced 3-day course Architecting the VMware vCloud, in addition to other courses and e-learning available.
This week VMware officially announced that VMware vCenter Lab Manager will not see further major releases and support will continue until 1st May 2013. Over the past few years I have spent a considerable amount of time supporting a large development team with Lab Manager since version 2.5 so I’m kind of sad to see it go, but this is an exciting time in a new era of VMware vCloud Director…
VMware have released vSphere 4.1 Update 1 which adds support for additional operating systems (RHEL 6, RHEL 5.6, SLES 11 SP1 for VMware, Ubuntu 10.10, and Solaris 10 Update 9). ESX/ESXi 4.1 Update 1 now supports 160 logical processors. Looking at the number of patches for ESX and ESXi below, it makes me wonder whether this will be the last release of ESX, in favour of ESXi?
I have just received an email from Virgin Media to say that my upload speed on 50Mb broadband is now 5Mb! I’ve just done a speedtest and it’s pretty damn close, although it’s peak time at the moment so I’ll do another test when it’s a bit quieter and see if I can get any better!
Creating a Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) is straight forward and can be used to securely access your Windows servers over port 443 using the Remote Desktop Connection Client. I use this to access my home lab when I’m on the road or at work, and it saves exposing your machines to the internet directly over RDP (TCP 3389). The RD Gateway isn’t new, in fact it was available on Windows Server 2008 as TS Gateway, and the installation is the same. For this article, I will be using Windows Server 2008 R2.
Way back when VMware VI3 was released in 2006 (doesn’t time fly!), I built a home-brew lab server for ESX 3.0 and used it partly to study for my VCP exam. That particular machine is now my home theatre PC (HTPC) as it wouldn’t stand a chance of running VMware vSphere, so here is my mission to build a whitebox VMware vSphere lab server. I must also give credit to Simon Seagrave and Simon Gallagher their vSphere lab server articles which have inspired me to do something about it and build a vSphere lab at home. Simon has lots of great articles on building a vSphere lab, and I urge you to visit his site.
I’m not an ITIL expert by any means, but I am ITIL v3 Foundation certified and have been working with ITIL projects and service delivery since ITIL v3 was released in 2007. From a technical perspective let’s not forget what service the IT infrastructure is providing. It is all too easy for IT staff to get so wrapped up in the technology; they forget what they are actually delivering as a service to the organisation. ITIL has inspired me to strive for perfection, and take a new approach to delivering technical solutions.