WorkingWithIT Welcomes you into 2013..

January 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Right now I’m imagining the little mice from the film ‘babe’ going ‘3 weeks later’ … but instead of 3 its 5 … and instead of weeks it’s months.

I feel large compunction of how long it has taken for me to update.

First of all I would like to say a big sorry to all the followers of my blog, the last handful of months have been so hectic and time has just slipped away from under my feet! In the last few months a lot of virtual related project work has been going on in our school and there is loads to talk about, I won’t be doing that just in this update, however I will try my best to update at least once a week, this is one of my new year resolutions.

Also I shall be venturing into different topics of IT of which I find interesting, I’m not sure whether or not to put them on the main page or maybe make a separate page for other unrelated topics, hmm I’ll have to have a think about that one! (Where would you like to see any other material? Leave me a comment below).

So Ryan, What have you been doing?

Well first of all, I would like to wish all of WorkingWithIt’s followers and readers a very happy new year!

2013 copy

Nothing says joy and jubilation, like a square with 2013 in red, I hope that you all have had a perfect holiday and an amazing start to the new year.

Intel 910 cards

So to give you a long waited update on what we have been doing around here, the last post was a video of me explaining and showing you an ‘out of box’ experience of the new 910 intel cards, we were all very excited to get them in and working. But there was one problem, the drivers.

We surfed around the internet for many a day trying to find out what we needed in terms of drivers to get these cards working. After many posts of people using the more expensive fusion cards we decided to plug the Intel SSDs in and hope for the best, these cards come with redhat linux drivers all built in, and apparently they are ‘plug and play’.

Once plugged in the hypervisor managed to find them and it took very little configuration to get them working.

So were they worth the money?

Once they were up and running we ran a few tests to figure out whether they really were cracked up to all the hype, during our testing we had to remember that these are cheaper SSD cards, not like the fusions, so we couldn’t imagine that the performance increase would be life changing, however some sort of change would be good, but there was no real change at all.

I know, I know, making those types of statistical accusation really needs to be backed up with evidence, however we moved on from these cards so rapidly before Christmas, the data we had accumulated has long gone, however I will try and get my hands on it, but for now I cannot present these as facts, but merely by my own meandering experience.

We found out that the read and write speeds were faster on the 10k sas drives we have, so when dell eventually release a sas drive that is 15k and 600gb we will just upgrade to them increasing speed even more, so for now there is no need for SSD cards in our virtual setup. However we are keen to keep them obviously and maybe incorporating them into a file server, but HEY that’s another post!.

We want to know in brief, what have you achieved over the last 5 months?

Well I guess the next area to discuss to you guys will be how far we have actually got with the virtual project

We have, ‘thus far’ rolled out the thin clients to 5 different rooms, and we have configured and ‘racked’ 6 servers now all running the Hypervisor, so we have full load balancing and redundancy for all of the rooms. Currently we have only virtualised our vlan1 because we need a whole new Xen Server for our vlan 2 and that means more servers and money which we just don’t have BUT it shall be done eventually!

We have also figured out a way to make sure the content filtering works on Vdiab, this was a big step to overcome, let me ‘tattle the tale’ to you;

Here in London, every school has content filtering, this content filtering can apply to the user who logs in or the IP address of the machine, we have always applied it to the IP ranges so that we can achieve ‘blanket’ filtering. However, when we started to create personal desktops on the virtual environment this proved to be a problem, we placed a reservation for the personal desktop and applied the filtering to the IP, the filtering worked no problem.

At this point you’re probably thinking, ‘well that’s okay the personal desktop has a reserved IP’. Ahh but, the whole nature of the virtual world is to destroy and rebuild machines when needed, of course these personal machines wont be refreshed in the same way as pooled desktops but would be refreshed eventually. Therefore when we needed to open up the Master Image and do an update, and then refresh the personal desktops, it changed the MAC address, thus deeming the reservation useless, and the filtering pointless.

So we toyed with the idea of having a large spreadsheet of all the MAC addresses and changing them one by one when we needed to do an update, and rapidly dismissed that idea. Then we stumbled upon this gem.


This allows you to add a MAC range into your VDIAB so that all of your VM’s that are created post this change (and your current VM’s when they are refreshed) will be given a mac address in the range you specify.

Obviously you have to specify how many MACS you will need, once done the crucial part is that personal desktops do NOT lose their MACS under this method, so hey presto! We have got our answer for webfiltering.

And that is about it as far as I can remember, however this post is more of an update and a ‘I’m still here’ post, to kick start my blog again, and like I said I will be posting on a more regular basis, with hopefully some more interesting content.

Once again, happy new year!



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