Monday, July 16, 2007

Virtualize Everything In the DataCenter

I've been selected to speak at a conference about virtualizing Exchange 2007. I submitted an abstract on this topic because it looks like it is just a matter of time before everything in the datacenter is virtualized. When performance intensive apps like Exchange can be virtualized, then it will be a sign to many in the industry that anything can be virtualized.

So to be fair, I'm still doing the testing and I don't know what it will show just yet. But evantually, applications like Exchange will be easily and routinely run as virtualized applications. The advantages of doing it will very quickly outwiegh the performance overhead - as servers become more and more powerful. When we have 8-core and 16-core servers available at the same price as today's dual and quad-core servers - we will be able to afford some performance overhead. In exchange (yes-this pun is intentional) flexibility in management of the datacenter is possible. IT staff will no longer have to wait until the wee hours of the night to upgrade hardware. Applications can be moved to servers with more power without being interrupted. A truly dynamic datacenter will be possible.

The reason that everything will be virtualized is that the management advantages are not fully realized, unless everything is virtualized. And once administrators get a taste of virtualization in test and dev or for their DNS and Domain Controllers they want the same capabilities in the rest of their everyday world.

The conference is VMworld in SF -

My session specifically is Virtualizing Exchange 2007: The Final Frontier? ( )

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Building an Online Community

I'm currently working to get wiki up and running at work. It is intended to be a technically focused wiki on what we call "enterprise" products. It's been really interesting and challenging. We are still in a fairly early stage, but we are growing quickly -

Anyway - In the end we are trying to do what lots of other people/groups have done before - Build an online community. I think that the issue is getting to that critical mass point - where a community of people will begin to build and maintain the majority of the site.

To me this is similiar to fax machines - stay with me for just a moment more and I will explain.

A wiki is basically a collection of information. The very first entry or page in a wiki may be great information - but it isn't really very useful without any other information to put it into context. As more information is added to the wiki, the usefulness of the site becomes greater and greater. More people find it and add more info and the value increases.

The first fax machine was a great idea, but very useless all by itself. When there were two fax machines, they were now capable of send documents back and forth. This still was not very useful in the scheme of things. As additional faxes were added, the value of the first fax continued to increase. Finally it reached the point where basically everybody had access to a fax and documents could be sent via fax to anybody (well anybody that could get to their local 7-11).

So I realize that the analogy is a bit stretched - but I like it none the less.

In terms of building a community Slashdot actually has a really interesting entry on their site about how moderation evolved that basically tells part of the story of how their community has evolved -