• RE: I guess Skyetel doesn't want business

    @Obsolesce said in I guess Skyetel doesn't want business:

    Why not a credit card like all the real businesses?

    Visa gift cards, and "cash cards" are common currency used by people who commit fraud. I've never been able to get a SIM without presenting my passport/ID.

    posted in IT Discussion
  • RE: I guess Skyetel doesn't want business

    @Skyetel said in I guess Skyetel doesn't want business:

    We're not using it for 2FA - its just to verify the following:

    Your in North America (Foreign cell phone numbers wont work)
    You are actually a real human being (because you have to put it in)
    You are not planning on committing fraud.


    Given how much VOIP fraud and spam is happening, telco's need to be able to have something that traces back to a person the FBI can lock up.
    This (combined with shaken+Stir being deployed) is critical to saving the PSTN.

    posted in IT Discussion
  • RE: Examples of proper utilization of SAN

    I don't know how Starwind vSAN can be run but if it's on a hypervisor it's severely limited by I/O congestion through the kernel. NVMe drives is causing problems that was of no concern whatsoever with spinners. Both KVM and Xen has made a lot of work to limit their I/O latency and use polling techniques now but it's still a problem. That's why you really need SR-IOV on NVMe drives so any VM can bypass the hypervisor and just have it's own kernel to slow things down.

    Anton: There are no problems with polling these days 🙂 You normally spawn a SPDK-enabled VM (Linux is unbeatable here as most of the new gen I/O development happens there) and pass thru RDMA-capable network hardware (virtual function with SR-IOV or whole card with PCIe pass-thru, this is really irrelevant...) and NMVe drives and... magic starts happening 🙂 This is how our NVMe-oF target works on ESXi & Hyper-V (KVM & Xen have no benefits here architecturally, this is where you're either wrong or I failed to get your arguments). It's possible to port SPDK into Windows user-mode but lack of NVMe and NIC polling drivers takes away all the fun: to move the same amount of data we normally use ~4x more CPU horsepower on "Pure Windows" Vs. "Linux-SPDK-VM-on-Windows" models. Microsoft is trying to bring SPDK to Windows kernel (so does VMware from what I know), but it needs a lot of work from NIC and NVMe engineers and... nobody wants to contribute. Really.

    Just my $0.02 🙂

    posted in IT Discussion
  • RE: MangoCon 2019

    @JaredBusch I forgot to tell a story about me using a laptop as a grill fan.

    posted in MangoCon
  • RE: Where IT Consultants fit between Vendors and Clients

    @EddieJennings said in Where IT Consultants fit between Vendors and Clients:

    I don't recall saying consultant vs non-consultant, but the responses in the thread have addressed the question of who should interface with a vendor.

    I feel like I should provide some context for how some vendors operate to get a better idea for the level of vendor involvement and who the vendor wants to work with.

    Few things....

    1. It depends on the vendor, and who the customer is. For instance, some vendors are 100% channel sales (Datto I think fell in here) and a customer outright can't buy them directly.

    2. Most larger vendors DO NOT WANT to talk/sell to smaller customers directly (It's too expensive, as they pay too good of benefits, and too high of compensation to their salespeople to scale down to small accounts that because they only sell their products can't form a meaningful relationship). There typically are 4 "buckets" for products.

    a. Retail sales for VERY low-value non-complicated sale items that a website can sell. These products don't require sizing assistance or are pretty simple. Think an ethernet patch cable.

    b. More complicated items on smaller deals that intend to be 100% channeled in sales (You don't want this stuff sold by Amazon as the customer will likely buy the wrong SKU, or screw upsizing). Note, the vendor may offer a direct model but will often have "cannon fodder" class salespeople in this space, and generally will even charge more for going direct. A VAR is your best bet here. Think someone buying 3 servers, or 20 laptops, or a single palo alto firewall for a SMB. all services are going to be VAR partner led when possible beyond post-sales support escalations. Also in these smaller accounts it's expected that the VAR/MSP is more than likely going to know the needs potentially better than the customer does.

    c. larger enterprise deals where the VAR is still involved but the vendor takes some leadership because the account is big enough to matter, or the vendor wants a strategic presence in this account. The paper may shift to being run by the vendor at the higher end of this, with a small revenue share back to the VAR who brought this deal to them for the life of this deal. Think ELA's, 100 site MLPS circuit deals etc. services might be delivered by either the partner or the vendor at this stage.

    d. Direct only deals. These are sometimes called "named accounts" and the vendor will 100% run paper directly. A partner of record might get 3% of the deal if they are lucky, or be subcontracted if they are a marque support partner with tons of certifications.

    Others can comment but sales teams tend to be organized around these different groups Example:

    1. Commercial-1 Smallest accounts and people who haven't bought anything in 5 years from you. These are called "Whitespace accounts" and you basically have people trying to get a meeting with hundreds of these in a territory or verticle and seeing if they can find some gold and get people with a low priced entry solution. ALL sales will be inside teams at this scale with VAR's or MSPs type shops doing any in person meetings.

    2. Commercial-2 Slightly larger accounts. Might have spent a few thousand, but there isn't a strategic or lucrative relationship. You might have a field team at this point but they will likely cover hundreds of accounts still.

    Midsized Accounts - Still larger. They will likely have some clue who their account team is, but still rely on a VAR for most day to day stuff.

    Large Enterprise - Big names you recognize. These accounts will have teams who might have only 5-10 customers. Alignment on this is going to be tied to geograhpy still more than likely.

    Globals - Account teams will be in some cases 1:1, or if there is a specific industry (Say automakers, or oil gas) you might have a team in a city (like Houston) whose job is to wrangle these guys. The Cxx levels of the vendor likely have strong relationships with these accounts and for a software vendor these accounts could be spending 9 figures at a time, or for hardware companies 10.

    posted in IT Discussion
  • RE: HPE Supermicro?

    @scottalanmiller said in HPE Supermicro?:

    Basically all appliance makers use SuperMicro. SM is the appliance chassis provider to the world.

    Quanta has a decent run rate also. SuperMicro offers more form factors than anyone. Their T41/42 platforms were used for VxRAIL prior to Dell buying EMC.

    In this case, I think Apollo and their hyper scaler stuff came from SGI who might have OEM'd SM.

    posted in IT Discussion
  • RE: Infrastructure Needed for Hypervisor Cluster

    @DustinB3403 said in Infrastructure Needed for Hypervisor Cluster:

    I suppose if you are going from a bunch of 1U servers with six 300GB 10 NL disks to two 1U servers with 2 disks and a SAN sitting behind it that it looks consolidated. . .

    I'm more a fan of not using spinning drives for boot devices. Flash SATADOM, M.2 devices. Even USB/SD cards (Slower on boot, have to redirect logs) tend to have better thermal resistance to spinning disks.

    posted in IT Discussion
  • RE: Infrastructure Needed for Hypervisor Cluster

    @scottalanmiller said in Infrastructure Needed for Hypervisor Cluster:

    Sort of, but it then begs the question of "Didn't SAN and VLAN already do that?" And they did, so it's not a great definitely all on its own.

    VLAN's don't provide end to end transport across long distances (unless your that insane person who believes in running layer 2 between continents or data centers at the physical underlay, and want to risk the spanning tree gods destroying your data center). VLAN's don't provide portability of networks across sites. VLAN's don't provide consistent layer 3 and layer 7 security and edge services between hardware. Yes I know PVLAN's exist, and no they don't do all or really any of this (Just useful for guest to guest isolation). Microsegmentation, security service insertion, VxLAN gateways and overlays, policies that stick to VM's (or users of VM's) and follow them etc fall under modern networking virtualization services.

    Hypervisors provided similar features to mainframes of old (LPAR) but did so on generic servers, without the need for proprietary hardware. SAN's typically ended up with proprietary disk arrays, and while storage virtualization is a thing, it's generally always tied to one proprietary platform that it hair-pinned through. SDS systems also exist, but your dedicating compute to these platforms while HCI is about being able to flex that pool of resources for storage, compute and networking functions.

    Notice I saw generic servers and not just x86. ARM HCI is upon us 🙂

    posted in IT Discussion
  • RE: Infrastructure Needed for Hypervisor Cluster

    @DustinB3403 said in Infrastructure Needed for Hypervisor Cluster:

    You take several smaller boxes and create a virtual, larger box out of the individual smaller boxes.

    When you say that I think of LPAR combining servers (Bull, Hitachi).
    HCI is just about doing for networking and storage what virtualization has already done for computing.

    posted in IT Discussion
  • RE: Infrastructure Needed for Hypervisor Cluster

    @scottalanmiller said in Infrastructure Needed for Hypervisor Cluster:

    3PAR makes it less likely to be redundant, rather than more, I would wager.

    3PAR is Active/active symmetric architecture with a full fiber mesh between controllers. Most cases where I've seen issues were tied to firmware on SSD's (Specifically the ~4TB Samsung ones) and people making giant RAID 5 pools, or people trying to move the array while it's running (yes this is dumb).

    One really nice thing with the array is it does offer pretty solid vVols support with vSphere so you can manage it as a object system in that regards (No need for VMFS).

    posted in IT Discussion