Thursday, January 19, 2012

RHEV 3 vs Vsphere 5 0

SkyHi @ Thursday, January 19, 2012
Some days ago Red Hat has announced the availability of its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 3.0 public beta. The first beta of RHEV 3.0 was announced in August, but was not available to the general public. You needed to have an active RHEV subscription at that time. The evaluation is immediately available to anyone with a Red Hat Network account.
About the new features and the improvements there is a specific page on RedHat site. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 includes updates such as:
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager is now a Java application running on JBoss Enterprise Application Platform on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Was silly that first versions of this products required a Windows Server to run.
  • A power user portal that provides end users with a self-service interface to provision virtual machines, define templates and administer their own environments.
  • Extended multi-level administrative capabilities, allowing fine-grained resource control, Role Based Access control, delegation and hierarchical management.
  • An integrated and embedded reporting engine allowing for analysis of historic usage trends and utilization reports.
So the features of the Virtualization Manager are now similar of the core features of VMware vCenter Server (from the first releases).
About the hypervisor layer, KVM introduce new capabilities focused around scalability, performance and security. With the limits described in the previous post, we can try to compare some hypervisor features between the RHEV beta and the current vSphere version:
RHEV 3.0vSphere 5.0
Max cores per host160 cores160 cores
Max RAM per host2 TB2 TB
Max vCPU per VM64  vCPU32 vCPU
Max vRAM per VM512 GB1 TB 
Other hypervisor features:
  • Transparant Huge Pages: New feature where the Linux kernel dynamically creates large memory pages (2MB -vs- 4KB) for virtual machines, improving performance by reducing the number of times that memory is accessed, typically improving performance for most workloads. This feature exist in ESXi from several versions.
  • SELinux: because the KVM is a Linux kernel hypervisor, SELinux framework can be use to hardening the hypervisor.
On the performance side, some benchmarks (Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization crushes the competition) try to demonstrate that the open source KVM hypervisor leads the industry in overall performance and scale-up as measured by the SPECvirt industry-standard virtualization benchmark.
A few days ago appeared on the site VKernel an article that compares the current vSphere 5 with the next Hyper-V. The title is quite explanatory: Hyper-V 3.0: Closing the Gap With vSphere 5 .
One wonders whether the article was prepared before or after the acquisition of Quest, but in the end it does not matter ... it is still an analysis of products that are not really omegenei, at least not from the point of view temporaire (the new version Microsoft Hyper-V is not released yet). When 3 Hyper-V will be released will talk about his upcoming confrontation with the vSphere.
There remain, however, the raw data showing that, on paper the two products are approaching the level of the hypervisor functions:
Other features that are expected (or at least declared) in Hyper-V 3.0 are:
  • Ability to live migrate a VM that is the state of his records (in fact the equivalent of a VMotion + Storage VMotion).
  • Live migrate VMs without shared storage.
  • Networking completely revised with the possibility of third-party virtual switches (Already Implementing Partners Microsoft Hyper-V Virtual Switch 3 ).
  • The storage medium of type NAS CIFS, SMB, NFS (also referred to can support nfs4).
Since Hyper-V will also be available desktop side (but you have to do with what versions of Windows 8) could be some form of migration (almost certainly cold) even between desktops and servers. But basically Workstation 8 already does today.
But perhaps the most interesting data, as also written in the article by VKernel, will be those related to performance: in August, VMware showed a performance study conducted by third parties , which showed that vSphere 5.0 was 20% faster than Hyper V-2.0. We must see the data between 3 and Hyper-V version of vSphere next year (likely date of issue of the new Windows family).

92 Open Source Apps That Replace Everyday Software

SkyHi @ Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


SkyHi @ Wednesday, January 18, 2012
At Semi-Legitimate Software, we use and highly recommend DropBox for file sync, backup, and collaboration.
We recently had a need to run two DropBox instances concurrently on a few of our Windows 7/Vista workstations (if you are running Mac or Linux there are alternate methods to do this documented here. If you are running an older version of Windows, this may work for you. We've not tested either of these alternate methods so can't vouch for them.).
By the way, if you need to create a new DropBox account to complete this setup, please use this link to sign up and we'll both get some free extra DropBox space!
DropBox is a great service. Please don't use two accounts to step around their single free account size limit. Pay for a larger DropBox storage space if you need it.
Before we start working on our second DropBox instance, make sure you do a normal install and setup your primary DropBox account with your primary windows user first. Just use the normal default install method for this.
Next, we need to either create a new Windows user or pick an existing one already setup on your machine that you'll use to run the second DropBox instance. This alternate user account does not need to be an administrator or anything, just a normal user is fine.
This user must be password enabled. It doesn't have to be a complex password, but must be non-blank.
Now log on to your machine as your new user. Once logged in, download and re-install DropBox as the new user (you may have to enter an admin password here if your new user isn't an admin himself).
Go through the entire setup process and sync out the DropBox repository to a location that will be accessible to your primary user account. Something like c:\dropbox works just fine.
Log off your new user, and back on as your primary user.
Now we need to create a custom shortcut to the alternate DropBox instance. On both Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the DropBox executable is stored under the local users AppData directory. Something like:
For this example, my user is named "sls" so my path is:
Navigate to the DropBox executable under your alternate user account. (the AppData directory is hidden by default, either type it in your address bar or set Windows to show hidden files). Once you find the executable, right click it and click Send To > Desktop (create shortcut).
Now right click the new shortcut on your desktop and click "Properties." In the "Target" text field append the following to the beginning of the command that is already there:
runas /user:USERNAME /savecred
For this example (USERNAME is sls):
runas /user:sls /savecred
The final contents of the "Target" text field will be something like:
runas /user:USERNAME /savecred C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin\Dropbox.exe
For this example (USERNAME is sls):
runas /user:sls /savecred C:\Users\sls\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin\Dropbox.exe
Click OK to save the changes to the shortcut and then double click it to run. If your alternate user had a password, you will be prompted for it at this point.
You will now see your second DropBox icon appear in your system tray.
Congratulations, you are now running two instances of DropBox concurrently as two separate Windows users!
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Dropbox and vimwiki

SkyHi @ Wednesday, January 18, 2012
let g:vimwiki_use_mouse = 1
let g:vimwiki_list = [{'path': '~/Dropbox/vimwiki',
\ 'path_html': '~/Dropbox/vimwiki/html',
\ 'html_header': '~/Dropbox/vimwiki/template/header.tpl',}]


10 Open Source Shopping Carts to Run Your Ecommerce Business

SkyHi @ Wednesday, January 18, 2012
More and more companies have turned to the Web to transact business. And, of course, if you are going to sell on the Web, the right shopping cart can mean the difference between red and black ink. When shopping for your own ecommerce shopping cart software the most important aspect to consider is how well the cart software meets your business objectives. An ecommerce shopping cart has to be customizable to fit your business needs and branding, be flexible enough to scale as your business grows, be secure and support industry standards and provide solid integrate with payment gateways.
Open source shopping cart software is an attractive option. Storeowners might look to open source ecommerce software because it will typically deliver the features and tools to manage a product catalog on a website without the hefty licensing fees that come with proprietary or off-the-shelf packages.
Open source shopping cart software also provides access to communities of users including developers, storeowners and enthusiasts who freely offer community-based support and add-ons to enhance the open source software package.
Storeowners who decide to use open source shopping cart software can always pay for additional support and service through qualified third parties if they find the community-based support is not enough.

Top 10 Free and Open Source Ecommerce Solutions

Here are ten options if you plan to invest in open source shopping cart software for your ecommerce business.
1. Agora Shopping Cart: Lots of Features and Back-End Management Options
AgoraCart is a customizable and secure open source ecommerce shopping cart that you can install on an existing website. With AgoraCart, you can expect the typical features such as customizable templates for setting-up your store, support for different product categories, options for different tax rates in addition to back-end store management tools. On the upscale side of ecommerce, AgoraCart is PA-DSS Complaint (PCI-DSS) and supports more than 10 payment gateways.
The free community edition (5.2.x) is supported only though online community forums. AgoraCart version 6.x Gold is available for $49.95 and offers storeowners additional license, features and support options.

2. Broadleaf Commerce: An Open Source Enterprise Ecommerce Platform
The Broadleaf Commerce solution is an open source alternative for enterprise ecommerce companies. It offers an enterprise-level platform that (built on Java integration technologies) and can be customized to specific business needs.
With Broadleaf Commerce, retailers can manage customer accounts, upsell, create promotions and manage email marketing. The platform supports social integration, catalog browsing, search engine optimization (SEO) and integrates with Google Analytics and any existing business database and fulfillment system. The newest release (Broadleaf Commerce Version 1.5) offers enhanced administration and promotion capability over previous versions.
The Broadleaf Commerce community provides an online forum for discussion and contributions, articles, development guides, and project API documentation. Broadleaf Commerce uses the Apache license.

3. Commerce.CGI: A Free Perl Shopping Cart
Commerce.CGI's claim to fame is being the first free Perl shopping cart on the web. First released in 1998, it is a fully featured shopping cart for Unix-based servers, although it can run on Windows NT with minor code adjustment. Commerce.CGI can be an add-on to an existing web site or installed and configured to manage a new product website.
Commerce.CGI offers the standard shopping cart features you would expect -- it's template-driven and provides tools to configure email management, product search and payment methods. It supports sales tax, multiple shipping options, discount calculations and other options for customer check out.
Commerce.CGI is free and supported through the Commerce.CGI mailing list or BBS. Paid member features ($49.99) include wish lists, product reviews, coupon support and other customizable shopping cart enhancements. The Commerce.CGI site offers user-contributed modifications that are freely distributed. The current version, V.4.6.1, is available in zip or tar formats.

4. Loaded Commerce: A Highly Customizable Cart
Loaded Commerce is the 6.5 release of the software developed by the CRE Loaded team. Loaded Commerce, based on the popular CRE Loaded program, includes security modifications. The Loaded Commerce Community Edition (CE) is a shopping cart designed for the small office, home office (SOHO) storeowner who wants to add transaction capabilities to an existing website.
This ecommerce solution offers a number of features for product, customer, order and content management. It is highly customizable so you can change your site design choosing from hundreds of templates, edit customer information, orders, invoices and more.
The CE is the free edition of the ecommerce shopping cart software and supported by the Loaded Commerce community. A customer account is required to download Loaded Commerce.

5. Magento: Hosted or Deployed Solutions for Small to Enterprise Businesses
Magento offers an enterprise-class ecommerce platform, supported by a global ecosystem of solution partners and third-party developers. Acquired by eBay in 2011, Magento is part of eBay's X.commerce business unit.
Magento ecommerce gives merchants scalability and features for presentation, content and functionality. The platform offers marketing tools, search engine optimization, product catalog management and browsing, one-page checkout and a number of standard tools such as those used to manage shipping, tax and customer service.
The latest stable release of Magento Community Edition (version was released on October 19, 2011. This free version is available under the open source OSL 3.0 license. Merchants looking for a more mission-critical ecommerce platform can upgrade the Enterprise Edition.

6. OpenCart: Manage Multiple Stores with One Admin Interface
The OpenCart shopping cart helps storeowners to quickly and easily install, select a template, add products and start taking online orders. The built-in template system lets you switch between different templates or migrate your site's current design into OpenCart.
Other cart features include a multi-store capability to manage multiple stores from one admin interface, tax zones, shipping methods, back-end store administration, and support for a number of payment gateways and languages.
OpenCart is free open source software published under the GNU GPL License and both free community and commercial support is offered. OpenCart server requirements include Web Server (preferably Apache), PHP (at least 5.2), MySQL, Curl and Fsock.

7. osCommerce Online Merchant: Provides Front and Back-End Tools For Store Owners
The osCommerce Online Merchant ecommerce solution is a free offering that comes with features and tools to help storeowners manage the front-end catalog and back-end administration.
Released under the GNU General Public License, osCommerce Online Merchant v2.3.1 provides a basic template layout structure to customize the catalog front-end. The Administration Tool lets merchants configure the online store, insert products for sale, manage customers and process orders.
There is a large community of more than 256,000 storeowners, developers, service providers and enthusiasts contributing to the help, support and development of osCommerce. Other support options include mailing lists and the osCommerce Newsletter for storeowners. Server requirements include PHP v4+ (PHP v5+ recommended) and MySQL v3+ (MySQL v5+ recommended).

8. PrestaShop Features Multiple Languages and Localization Options
PrestaShop is a customizable, PCI-DSS compliant, ecommerce solution that will handle everything from Web store set-up to managing customers and orders. Storeowners can create and manage the front-end catalog and marketing, customize orders and change shipping options and localization to suit their business. PrestaShop is available in three languages (English, French and Spanish) with an additional 41 translations available.
PrestaShop v. (stable) is the current version published under the Open Software License (OSL) v3.0. Server requirements include Linux, UNIX, or Windows, Web Server (Apache 1.3 or later, IIS 6 or later), PHP 5.0 or later and MySQL 5 or later.

9. Zen Cart Requires Only Basic Skills to Install and Configure
Zen Cart is a free and open source shopping cart designed by a group of shop owners, programmers, designers and consultants.
Zen Cart offers a number of options to customize the cart using a template system to select a design and configure product categories, sales discounts, and shipping and payment options. The cart incorporates a WYSIWYG page editor for modifying non-database pages, and nearly every piece of information about your products is customized and managed within the Zen Cart Admin area.
Zen Cart provides community contributed additions for your shop and documentation and the community forum for support is available on the Zen Cart website.

10. Zeuscart Offers Web 2.0 Features
ZeusCart is a web-based PHP/My SQL shopping cart that boasts a rich user interface and a highly usable shopping cart that meets the demands of Web 2.0.
The cart is primarily for small and medium storeowners and offers inventory management, attribute-driven product catalog, category management, a built-in CMS and SEO-friendly URLs. Standard features such as discounts, taxation, shipping options, integration with multiple payment gateways and email templates are also included.
ZeusCart 3.0, licensed under GPL 2, can be installed on any server where a PHP interpreter, MySQL database server and a web server is present.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Rebooting When Filesystem Fails

SkyHi @ Monday, January 16, 2012
Recently I found myself stuck with a system that allowed me to ssh into it but the root filesystem was read-only and all the binaries in /sbin, /bin, or /usr/bin were simply not accessible.
I attempted to run shutdown -r now and reboot without any success. I was really stuck as I did not have physical or KVM access to the server which was located in our office and no one were going to be there until 9 AM. Needless to say, I was also trying to avoid going to the office in the middle of the night as I had a early morning drive to the airport to drop off my business partner.
So I decided to explore how I could reboot the system while the disk subsystem was not responding well. I wondered if I could somehow reboot the system by setting some values in the kernel memory via /proc filesystem. My research led me to the following commands:

echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
echo b > /proc/sysrq-trigger

The system rebooted immediately and after automatically running a fsck check on the filesystems, it came back as if nothing had happened, which was a very very lucky thing. It reminded myself that every now and then a little bit of good luck can be great blessing.