vmware vsan in Argentina – why makes sense to use it

vmware vsan in Argentina – why makes sense to use it. First of all this post is essential to anyone that is in charge of IT or determines a vmware architecture for a remote office based in Argentina, Venezuela and other emerging countries.

It will cover how the economic and political situation impacts on organisation’s technology purchase processes and definitions.

Let me admit that I’m an associate of a vmware business partner in Argentina. Some of the readers will think that I’m writing this article because I want to close more deals but it’s not the case. Any other software-defined storage applies the same way in Argentina so there is no intention here. I’m focusing the post on vmware vsan because is the technology that I know best.

Argentina’s Economic and Political  Situation

Argentina’s Economic and Political situation is not the best right now. And it’s even worst if we relate it with information technology.

Argentina does not produce any information technology related to infrastructure (hardware or software). Because of that the country is forced to import everything that a modern datacenter needs to be built or to keep it running.

The economic deficit is forcing the government to regulate every transaction that involves importing products and services in order to minimise the impact on foreign currency reserve.

This situation forces delays in hardware and software purchases of weeks and months. In some cases the transaction doesn’t even take place mainly because the government has to approve each and every transaction.

On top of that, if you need to import something from another country you are forced to pay 30% more because you are not buying local products. Products that are not even produced here.

It’s easier to get a transaction approved if it’s related to software than hardware.

vsan in argentina and emerging countries

vmware’s technology adoption in Argentina

vmware’s technology is widely adopted in Argentina and that’s the first reason why vsan makes sense here.

It’s software-defined storage incorporated on the same web client that administrators are used to operate every working day so it won’t be a problem to incorporate new knowledge.

It’s going to be easier for any IT admin in Argentina to learn how to administer vsan than any other new storage solution that you plan to implement.

Argentina’s organisation sizes

Organisations in Argentina are smaller than the ones you can find in other countries like The United States, Canada or The UK.

When vmware announced the use cases for vmware vsan indicated that it’s ideal for remote/branch offices you need to understand that IT requirements of most argentinian organisations  are more related to small businesses requirements in The States than with big organisations.

This is another reason why vsan makes sense.

Breaking up architecture standards

I’m sure that most of the readers of this article never considered vsan as a solution for a main datacenter of a subsidiary overseas. But in case of Argentina you have.

Creating an IT standard isn’t something that you will do overnight. But at least consider modifying your existing ones including vsan allowing your remote IT staff to make the final decision.

vmware vsan in Argentina – why makes sense

To recap:

  • Importing hardware is complex than importing software
  • The knowledge is already in place
  • It’s easier to get a few disks than a full storage system
  • Getting disks will take a few weeks
  • Getting a full storage system will take months

vsan will be an excellent option if you are planning some changes at your remote datacenter in Argentina.

Argentina’s situation is pretty similar with Venezuela’s and another emerging countries, that’s why the article applies to both.

10 absolutely free books about Big Data

Books about big data
Big Data by Ron Mader

Last week took sometime to write a new post on wetcom’s virtualization and cloud computing blog (in spanish) about 10 free ebooks about big data that I found on amazon.

Since english is not my mother language it  took me a lot more time to translate the article but here it is!.

There are countless blogs and online portals specializing in Big Data but in most cases have a common problem. Not having a structured way to read the content already published makes impossible for those who only want to learn or even begin to analyze Big Data.

For this, and looking to simplify the process a bit I decided to find some books (ebooks specifically) on amazon with the following characteristics:

  • The main topic is Big Data.
  • Related to Big Data in any way.
  • Have at least 1 positive review.
  • Be Free.

After a few hours of work, and here the result of the research.

 10 books about big data absolutely free!


books about big data
Disruptive Possibilities: How Big Data Changes Everything

This book is a good introduction to the world of Big Data. Presents simple technologies that can work both open source as those taken by various vendors who applied their proprietary technologies on them.

Has a clear focus on what disruptive Big Data is. This book has 13 reviews 9 of which are 5 stars on amazon.


books about big data
Big Data Now: 2012 Edition

This book is not purely technical. Has a dedicated business approach and especially ways you can use the information in order to create new products.

It also serves as an introduction to Big Data’s “Lingo”  as it includes basic definitions and structures that will enable the reader who is just beginning to have simple and neat idea of the ecosystem.

It has a few years already but it serves as a reference. It has 21 reviews 9 of which are 5 stars on amazon.


books about big data
Decoding Big Data

This is the first book I chose about Big data that doesn’t belong to the series published by O’Reilly.

Explain the basics of Big Data, their use cases, and how companies that invest in these technologies are exposed to potential risks and rewards never seen before.

It’s a short book, 60 pages, published by Portfolio Penguin. It has few reviews but highly valued.


books about big data
Planning for Big Data

The book explains that Big Data is, what it means for business and how to start solving problems related to data.

It also includes a section on the role of virtualization in the world of Big Data and a very detailed description of the entire Hadoop ecosystem and the contributions made ​​by different vendors that adopted the technology and developed their own Big Data solutions.

Personally this was the first book devoted purely to Big Data I read. It has 10 reviews in total and all between 4 and 5 stars.


books about big data
Designing Great Data Products

As you can see this is another book on the subject published by O’Reilly. More than a book you should consider a report by the less than 30 pages it has.

The focus is the same, predictive systems developed in the last decade used for climate prediction as well as in product recommendation systems such the developed by amazon. While developing these topics it also presents the evolution occurred in recent years and the future outlook.

It has 2 reviews 3 and 4 stars each.


books about big data  Mobile Banking: Financial Services Meet the Electronic Wallet

This book is not 100% focused on the world of Big Data but does so on the world of mobile banking (not internet banking) and its evolution in what is becoming known as “electronic wallet.”

Poses a disruption of the traditional banking system and raises alternative channels for new products or services by applying Big Data.

It has few reviews, 4, and shared among 4 and 5 stars on amazon.


books about big data
Data Jujitsu: The Art of Turning Data into Product

It raises the possibility of breaking into small problems with larger subsequent analysis using Big Data solutions.

Suggests the use of human inputs to simplify the process of designing automated analysis seeking new solutions for our users.

The book has 13 reviews of different flavours.


books about big data
What Is Data Science?

Within the world of Big Data we can identify two major roles. Developers (called Hadoopers) and Data Scientists. The latter are those who bear the focus of the book.

In recent months, the job searches of Data Scientists increased considerably making them a buzz in the world of technology. These roles, usually occupied by mathematicians, are responsible for defining the analysis models that will then be developed by hadoopers.

This is a good book as an introduction to this world. He has 19 quality reviews.


books about big data
Getting Started Guide: Analyzing Big Data with AWS

This guide presents the use of Big Data technology that amazon provides to its customers through the AWS.

Has some introductory information to the subject and focuses on the use of its technologies for information analysis.

This is not a purely technical book but an introductory guide. It has 49 pages and 6 reviews.


books about big data
Big Data, Analytics, and the Future of Marketing & Sales

The book discusses the benefits of using Big Data in the world of sales to potential buyers facilitating the decision-making processes (by recommendation).

Suggests the use of technologies to identify potential business opportunities, convert those opportunities into products and direct customers.

Has an analysis that shows that companies that invest in Big Data have gain levels between 5 and 6% higher than companies that do not do.

The book has 98 pages and 12 reviews in total.


These were the books about Big Data and I found that seemed to bring some information ordered or even as an introduction to the world of Big Data, what the blogs are not bringing today.

BTW if you want to read the article in spanish you can find it at libros sobre big data.

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Aspen – failed to authenticate current system user

Found myself into a problem today trying to get to work Aspen Process Explorer 6.1 on Windows 7. The error we received was

Security Authentication Error: Info: Failed to authenticate current system user: username with the domain domainname

Aspen process explorer authentication error

If you looked at the logs of the AFW Security Manager you would see that in some cases it worked if you typed the credentials instead of leting Windows 7 pass the security to the application.

In our case we were working on a windows 7 deployment on all of our desktops and most of those desktops had Aspen Process Explorer installed, so it was crucial for us to get the Aspen process explorer authentication error fixed

We solved this by changing the compatibility level of the application to Windows XP. It actually didn’t need to be run as administrator, changing the compatibility level was enough.

Hope it helps solving your Aspen process explorer authentication error.

Nicolás

10 things you should know before buying vmware workstation

Managed to take the time to prepare a list of things that you need to know before buying vmware workstation which I consider your first step into virtualization. Hope you find it useful. 
Buy vmware workstation

1 – Multiple os instances on the same 

The first point I want to make here is that you can run multiple instances of an operative system on the same computer, that means that you are not running a sort of emulation on vmware workstation, you are actually running separate instances that are completely independent from each other.

This is an advantage over other other virtualization solutions for the end user that emulates the operative system running on the virtual machine and, in some cases, if one of the emulations fails the others also get affected.

2 – Specific Hardware

Unlike other vmware products that may require a specific hardware to install on or to run on, Vmware workstation doesn’t have an specific requirement other than enough hardware to run the base operative system and the virtual machines that will be hosting.

For example, in Oder to install ESXi and have proper support from vmware you are required to use hardware that is included on vmware’s compatibility guide. Workstation doesn’t have such need.

3 – You still need a base OS

Vmware workstation runs on top of an operative system like windows or Linux just like any other application.

So, for you to be able to run workstation you still need to have a base operative system unlike ESXi that is an operative system by itself.

4 – Limited resources

You have limited hardware resources in order to run your workstation’s virtual machines. That limit is set by the amount of free resources (memory, CPU and disk) that you have available on your desktop or laptop.

You also need to remind that hardware resources are also shared with the base operative system and with any other application that runs on top of it so take a closer look on your available hardware.

5 – Long list of supported Operative systems

Unlike other virtualization software for the end user vmware workstation supports a huge list of operative systems.

The las test version of Vmware workstation supports the following operative systems can be found at the vmware compatibility guide

6 – Compatibility with other vmware products
One of the things that I like the most of vmware products is the compatibility between each other and workstation is not the exemption.

During virtual machine creation you can set the compatibility level of the vm so if you need to move it in the future to another vmware product you can do it without problems.

In some cases you can also change the compatibility level of the virtual machine after it has been created but certain limitations exists because depending on the change that you need to make you will also need to change some configurations inside the guest OS.

7 – Licenses requirements
On thing that anyone need to know before buying vmware workstation is that an operative system license is required for each and every powered on virtual machine.

That means that if you have 3 powered on Windows 2008 vms you will need 3 Windows 2008 licenses. There are some options that you can use like buying one specific licenses of Windows 2008 and it will allow you to run as many vms that your hardware can with the operative system.

Those licenses are not available on every country so please contact your Microsoft partner  or reseller in order to get the proper license agreement your your lab.

8 – Hardware Maximums

vmware has improved workstation’s hardware limits. The latest version maximums are:

Support for 16 vCPUs
8TB SATA disks
64GB of RAM
20 virtual networks
SSD Passthrough
USB3 streaming

9 –  Snapshots and clones

One of the best features of vmware workstation for a home lab are snapshots. With snapshots you can set a point of time for your vm before starting to make changes.

If anything goes wrong you can always go back to that snapshot and, basically, go back in time which is something good in a lab or test environment.

The other excellent feature are clones which allows you to create a virtual machine install al the software you need and then clone it any time you need. Cloning a vm with all the software required installed only takes a few minutes depending on your disks speed.

10 – virtual networks

vmware allows you to create different kind of networks depending on your special needs. this is extremely important if you are working with multi -tiered applications where a front end and a back end is needed. The most common types of virtual networks that are in use today are internal and externals.
Internal networks allows virtual machines to communicate with each other but not with the outside network. If you need the vms to communicate with the external world the vms will have to use an external network.

This article was also published on tumesadeayuda.com.ar under the title 10 cosas que deberías saber antes de comprar vmware workstation.

Cloud computing impact on open source software adoption

Not long ago companies were reluctant to the idea of implementing open source software on their data centres unless there were a financial crisis that limited the budget available for software acquisition or that a hacker employee were able to deploy the software using his/her knowledge.

On this particular case, when speaking about open source software, I’m referring to infrastructure software that runs on servers and provides services to a group of users on the network.

Lots of open source project with great products/solutions were backed by a confident and loyal community of users that believed on what they were developing. On the other hand we also had a lots of good open source projects with confident communities that developed great products/solutions but had a financial support from one or more companies. Companies that invested on an idea.

without caring about the source of the project, whether financed by a company or not, when a new investor came into play they found the same questions over and over. Is there a market whiling to deploy enterprise open source solutions? do they have the internal knowledge to support this kind of technologies?.

The investors finally found the answer to this questions a few years ago with the maturity of cloud computing solutions and cloud computing providers. The idea is not new, SaaS. Software as a Service were around for long time but the technology just didn’t fit the requirements.

As long as the companies adopted cloud computing for their services it was easy to open source projects to stay away of the idea of "open source" and moving to the cloud computing field. 

Players like Amazon or Rackspace are simplifying the adoption of this technologies, why?. Because it’s easier to the company behind the project to deploy their solutions on the cloud and provide their product or service for a monthly fee. With that, it made sense to everyone.

Now companies doesn’t have to run software (open source or propietary) on their premises. Just a monthly fee paid by credit card is enough. Their problems shifted from maintaing a smooth infrastructure and competent staff to control Service Level Agreements, analyse security policies and backup and recovery strategies in place from the vendor. 

The impact of the cloud computing on open source software adoption is huge because now the customers just don’t care if the software is open source or not, they just care that it works, that it’s safe and that will be available when the users need to use it. Open source projects now have the option of take their solutions to the cloud and offer those to the customers for a fair price.

Instead of what used to happen 5 years ago, the companies that financed an open source project now have a way to market their products that were not available before. With the right communication and marketing strategy they have now a broader and more global market on their hands.

We are in a time of changes when we talk about technology. Software and hardware companies should be paying attention to this changes.

Nicolás Solop  

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vmware vexpert 2010-11-12-13

Named vmware vexpert 2013 – some thoughts about the efforts for next year

Last night received the notice that I was named vmware vexpert 2013. As in previous years where the vexpert committee elected me as vexpert had the same impact on me and the same idea run into my had… what are you going to do more, or different, this year in order to be named vexpert the next one?.

Users need information, help and knowledge that we have in order to solve their problems, to define an architecture for their systems or simply a friendly line of text from an expert that helps them move ahead without doubt. They need our experience to be used as a tool that helps them to move forward and that’s what we, as vexperts, must be willing to share.

Last year didn’t have the chance to participate the way I wanted on the community forum but did a lot of lecturing, recording podcasts and videos. Next year needs to be different the way things are changing. I think that taking part of the online community forum is a great way to help and find your way in the arena but I also think that for some people is more useful to watch a recorded video or taking an online presentation. That’s the way next year is going to be in my case, participating more on multimedia content like podcasting on blogging, recording videos and podcasts and trying to regain lost terrain on the forums.

The program is growing fast and the results are clearly visible with the amount of new vexperts that were named this year. Makes me happy to see that a lot of spanish people finally received their price for the hard work they do. Seems to me that vmware finally started to recognize the hard work of non-english speakers from emerging markets which I think is something great.

For those who are not familiar, the vexpert program recognizes the effort that some people make beyond the scope of the work they do taking the message of virtualization and cloud computing to the next level whether is doing presentations, podcasting, running a user group or participating on the vast user community/forums online.

As happened before, right now I can only enjoy the news and thank John Troyer and the team he runs from vmware’s evangelist group as a community manager for the excellent work they do during the year in order to get things settled for us.

Will write about this in a year, let’s see how the months ahead are for us.

Nicolás

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vmware vexpert 2010-2011-2012-2013

solved – Private loads not supported for this card

When you first receive your payoneer card and try to use the private load service you may find that your card does not support private loads. Needed some time but found out how to solve this and be able to load my card.

Private loads not supported for this card

Living in Argentina and trying to save some dollars loading my payoneer card through my personal credit card found that I was not able to do it because private loads were not available for my card.

First of all we need to understand that the main objective of payoneer is to receive payments from their business partners like Odesk or Paypal and not for private loading exclusively.

private loads not supported for this card

However there is a way to solve this and be able to load money to your card.

After being at the payoneer forums for a few days and writing to technical support the first thing that I learnt was that in order to be able to load funds to the card you need to make some small loads from any of the official partners like paypal. 

For a few weeks transferred small amounts of money from paypal to my payoneer card but nothing changed and my card didn’t accept any private loads. After a month, and since my main occupation is not internet business started to wonder why I applied for the card in the first place.

Then read in detail the requirements of payoneer’s affiliate program where you can earn 25 dollars for each of your friends that you recommend the card and applies for it. On of the requirements in order to earn that 25 dollars is that the referred person makes any transaction of 100 dollars or more.

Checking at my account balance found that there were less than 100 dollars on it so decided to give it a try and made a new transfer that adding to the balance I had at that time will reach the 100 dollars requirement.

After that, good news, I was able to load my payoneer through my credit card.

private loads not supported for this card

Since a friend of mine also received a card and didn’t load any money to it we did a load of 110 dollars to his card just to see if the card was able to receive private loads… didn’t work.

Payoneer states that in oder to receive private loads you first need to receive at least one load from any of their partners and then you get your card enabled to receive funds from credit cards but found out that is not as simple as that. Don’t know if it was because I was trying to load my card from Argentina or if there is a kind of rank of things that will enable your card to receive personal loads but managed to get rid of the limitation by loading my card doing small transfers of more than 100 dollars.

Hope this helps someone else. Wrote the same article for a blog related to payoneer in spanish you can find it at Resolver – Private loads not supported for this card.

Also, the guys from Payoneer affiliates latam featured this post on Informacion sobre cargas privadas de payoneer – thanks!

Nicolás

Como llegamos a la volatilidad del mercado de TI de Argentina que tenemos hoy

Los diferentes rubros de tecnologia relacionados a tecnologías de la información fueron, sin temor a equivocarme, los que más crecieron en diversidad y cantidad de personal empleados durante la última década.

En el caso particular de Argentina luego de la crisis económica y social de 2001 muchos jóvenes se volcaron hacia el mundo de los sistemas para cubrir la creciente demanda de personal para cubrir los puestos de trabajo que iban abriendo las grandes multinacionales en el país debido a la competitividad del valor del dólar y la calidad de los profesionales con los que el país contaba.

¿De donde salían estos profesionales? Eran los mismos que tenían años de experiencia y títulos universitarios pero estaban desempleados debido a las grandes reducciones de personal.

Con el correr de los años, y viendo los resultados iniciales que obtenían, las primeras de estas multinacionales que se instalaban en el país al emplear a los profesionales desocupados cada vez mas empresas del exterior abrían oficinas junto a las empresas nacionales que se iban formando por aquellos años.

¿Qué pasó luego? Una vez agotada la oferta de profesionales calificados y con años de experiencia en el mercado estas empresas no tuvieron otra alternativa que comenzar a ofrecer cada vez mejores salarios para atraer profesionales lo que para el año 2005 generaba que grupos completos de trabajo migraran de una empresa a otra cada 6 meses y con la mejor de las suertes cada 1 año.

Mientras esto ocurría y para evitar esta volatilidad las empresas comenzaron con planes de capacitación internas conn el objetivo de incorporar jóvenes en los primeros años de la universidad o recién salidos del colegio secundario quienes atraídos por la promesa de ser Bill Gates en 1 año saltaron al mundo de la tecnología cual lemmings al vacío. Estos chicos que comenzaban a trabajar en tecnologia no lo hacían por su amor a la misma y mucho menos por pasión… Lo hacían por dinero.

El problema de hacer algo únicamente por el placer de hacer dinero es justamente ese, una vez que el dinero se acaba o no es suficiente comienzan a saltar de un empleo a otro como mercenarios en busca del ejercito que mejor les pague dejando de lado cualquier oportunidad de aprender, desarrollarse y mucho menos de crecer dentro de una organización.

Esto genera un deadlock. Por un lado las grandes empresas de tecnología internacionales, responsables de este paraíso ficticio llamado mercado tecnológico, tienen que estar haciendo malabarismos para crear planes a largo plazo con empleados cada vez menos dispuestos a quedarse más de 2 años en el mismo puesto de trabajo y por el otro tenemos gente trabajando en algo que no es lo que los apasiona, no están dispuestos a aprender nuevas tecnologías simplemente porque no les interesa porque no los mueve internamente.

Pero no contentos con todo esto y para seguir mostrando capacidad de absorber proyectos de diferentes geográfias las multinacionales dibujaban los números de la cantidad de personal especializado que tenían disponibles para los mismos cuando en realidad salían a buscarlos bajo demanda cuando los proyectos les eran asignados. Buscaban personal en un mercado ya saturado y volvían a buscar jóvenes sin experiencia con la promesa eterna de capacitación, formación, plan de carrera y una posición de Team Leader que en realidad eran tareas de coordinación de grandes grupos de gente por el mismo sueldo a fin de mes. Era esto o seguir aumentando los salarios para atraer personal de la competencia bajando la rentabilidad. Todo esto se hacía tan rápido que no tenían planeado un esquema de reestructuración salarial interna por lo que en muchos casos la gente que ingresaba a las empresas terminaban ganando, en algunos, casos el doble de lo que ganaba alguien en la misma posición que venía trabajando en la empresa desde hacía varios años.

Por todo esto cuando alguien le preguntaba a otra persona que conocía y estaba trabajando en la empresa a la que se estaba postulando sobre las condiciones laborales la única respuesta que obtenían era "Negocia bien el sueldo de entrada porque después no te aumentan nunca más".

No nos engañemos esto es así desde que comenzó el trueque históricamente. Es la ley de oferta y demanda por la que se rige el mercado y no por pasiones. Hubiese sido mejor un crecimiento más lento? No lo creo. Una vez que se toca el fondo como tocó Argentina la única opción real es ir hacia arriba a la velocidad que dictan el mercado interno y externo.

En mi opinión esto es lo que genera la volatilidad que existe en el mercado de TI y la cantidad de personas trabajando en algo que realmente no los motiva y es solo una cuestión monetaria.

Saludos,

N.