Thursday Apr 16, 2009

StarOffice Presentation Minimizer

I would like to point people to my favorite StarOffice plugin, the StarOffice Minimiser. You can get it here, and I do so wish that everyone would use it. Many presentations I download now exceed 10MB in size, and some exceed 20MB, and this is usually because they are full of JPEGS that have a resolution more suited to the sides of buildings than a presentation!

You can use the StarOffice Minimiser repeatedly on the same slide set as you add/change slides (i.e. new images will be minimized, previously minimised images will not be minimized again). There are also options to delete hidden slides and removes notes as part of the process, if desired.

Enjoy!

Thursday Jan 10, 2008

Sun Fire X4500 Wins 'Technology of Year' Award

I saw this on the internal Sun homepage - it is good news worth sharing...and it was not just the Sun Fire X4500 that won an award!

Sun received three InfoWorld 2008 Technology of the Year awards, which recognize the most groundbreaking, valuable products in IT. Solaris 10 was named "Most Innovative Server OS", Sun Fire X4500 (Thumper) "Best Storage Server,"and ZFS "Best File System."  

Links to award details: Solaris 10 | Sun Fire X4500 | ZFS

Saturday Sep 08, 2007

Papers on the Fundamentals of Storage Area Networks (Fibre Channel & IP Based)

About four years ago, when I was in a different role at Sun, I wrote a document called the Sun SAN Cookbook which gathered together all the obscure configuration rules for Sun Storage in a Fibre Channel Storage Area Network. Every storage array had a different set of rules in those days: it was something of a minefield!! Over time the SAN connectivity characteristics of Sun's storage arrays came into some kind of alignment and that part of the document became less important..and eventually went away all together; what remained was a general guide to Fibre Channel SANs and that is now published as an article on BigAdmin called SAN Fundamentals: How Fibre Channel SANs Are Built, Secured and Managed. It is worth reading if you are trying to understand how Fibre Channel SANs work.

About a 18 months ago I looked into IP SANs and iSCSI. The resulting document is also now on BigAdmin and is called IP SAN Fundamentals: An Introduction to IP SANs and iSCSI. It provides the reader with useful background information on the fast moving world of IP SANs and iSCSI.

I don't do SAN stuff no more, so these papers will stay as is, but the technology does not stand still: Solaris 10 8/07 (AKA Solaris 10 Update 4) just came out and includes a Solaris iSCSI Target; if you combine that with the Sun Fire X4500 and Solaris ZFS you start to see some very interesting possibilites!

Tuesday Aug 28, 2007

G10 Enterprise Video Manager - Sun Fire X4500 Based CCTV Solution

Sun Fire X4500It has been my pleasure over the last few months to work with a company called G10. They have developed the G10 Enterprise Video Manager, the world's first Solaris based Network Video Recorder for the Closed Circuit TV marketplace. They are basing their solution on the Sun Fire X4500 and are utilizing Solaris ZFS as the data store.

The basic way it works is that cameras stream data across an IP network to the server running the Enterprise Video Manager software.

The video streams and telemetry from the cameras are stored and indexed; users from anywhere on the network can connect to the system via a web interface and can view, pause and rewind live video streams (it works just like a DVR in this respect); users can also search and view historical data.

As ever, it has been fascinating to learn about a new technology area. I was amazed to see that the latest cameras can identify certain kinds of body language and patterns of movement e.g someone going up a down staircase, someone loitering by an ATM or looking into parked cars one after the other. All this information is in the telemetry from the cameras...amazing stuff!

We are developing some papers and marketing material with G10 and I will provide a pointer once they have been posted...meantime G10 can be contacted directly, check out their website for details.

Thursday Jul 26, 2007

Perspectives From ISV Engineering

Every week I have a call with Georg Edelmann. Georg is an interesting guy: born in Germany, he lived in the UK for over a decade and now lives in the USA..so he has a broad cultural perspective. His wife, Kimberley Brown, also works for Sun and she blogs here.

Georg works in ISV Engineering, an Engineering group in Sun focussed on ISV adoption for Solaris, and he is responsible for Storage related projects; I work in the ISV team in Sun's Storage Systems Product Group focused on ISV adoption & certification for my group's focus storage platforms: we meet every week on the 'phone to discuss our groups activities and to ensure that we are pulling in same directions. I always find it an enjoyable call.

Georg's blog is well worth visiting. His write up on Sun's recent Storage Academy in Germany is excellent.

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Tim Thomas

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