Thursday, December 30, 2010

44 major happenings in Information Technology in 2010

Oh, what a year! There's been no shortage of news stories in the Information Technology field in 2010, from the introduction of Microsoft's Kinect to VMware release of vSphere 4.0. There have also been many high-impact acquisitions, such as EMC's purchase of Isilon for $2.25 billion, or the Oracle-Sun deal for $7.4 billion. Here's the list of the 44 major events that happened this year in chronological order and that is important to remember in my opinion. Please feel free to suggest more if I missed some!

January 2010
  • January 12, 2010: VMware acquires Zimbra, an open-source collaboration software tool, from Yahoo. More here.
  • January 27, 2010: Oracle acquires Sun Microsystems for US$7.4 billion, based on an agreement signed on April 20, 2009. Sun Microsystems, Inc. is renamed Oracle America, Inc. More here.
February 2010
  • February 4, 2010: Nokia makes Symbian OS completely open source. More here. 
  • February 4, 2010: KDE version 4.4. More here. 
  • February 15, 2010: Intel and Nokia merge Maemo and Moblin in MeeGo. More here. 
  • February 24, 2010: Linux kernel 2.6.33. More here. 
March 2010
  • March 16, 2010: During the MIX 10 conference, Microsoft unveils first Platform Preview version of the browser Internet Explorer 9. More here. 
  • March 17, 2010: Google releases Chrome 4.1. More here. 
  • March 17, 2010: Oracle launches Enterprise Manager Ops Center, a platform for managing physical and virtual Sun environments. More here. 
April 2010
  • April 3, 2010: First IPAD with Wi-Fi released in the U.S. by Apple. Read more. 
  • April 12, 2010: HP buys 3Com for US$2.7 billion. Read more. 
  • April 28, 2010: HP buys Palm for US$1.2 billion. Read more. 
  • April 30, 2010: Apple releases first IPAD with Wi-Fi and 3G in the U.S. Read more. 
May 2010
  • May 6, 2010: VMware acquires GemStone, to be operated under VMware's SpringSource division for building Cloud Computing applications. Read more. 
  • May 12, 2010: SAP buys Sybase for US$ 5.8 billion. Read more. 
  • May 16, 2010: Linux kernel 2.6.34. More here. 
  • May 20, 2010: Release of Android 2.2 (Froyo) based on Linux Kernel 2.6.32. Read more. 
  • May 25, 2010: Fedora version 13 released. Read more. 
June 2010
  • June 1, 2010: HP to fire 9000 in the next three years. Read more.
  • June 10, 2010: VMware ESX 4.0 Update 2 Build 261974. Read more.
  • June 10, 2010: VMware ESXi 4.0 Update 2 Build 261974. Read more.
  • June 15, 2010: Microsoft releases Office 2010. Read more.
  • June 22, 2010: IEEE-SA approves IEEE 802.3ba (Ethernet at 40 and 100 Gb/s). Read more. 
July 2010
  • July 13, 2010: VMware ESX 4.1 Build 260247. Read more.
  • July 13, 2010: VMware ESXi 4.1 Build 260247. Read more. 
  • July 16, 2010: is online!
August 2010
  • August 1, 2010: Linux kernel 2.6.35. Read more. 
  • August 10, 2010: KDE version 4.5. More here. 
  • August 19, 2010: Intel buys McAfee for US$7.68. More here. 
September 2010
  • September 3, 2010: HP acquires 3PAR for $2.35 billion. More here.
  • September 9, 2010: NetApp and Oracle Corporation (the new owner of Sun Microsystems) dismiss ZFS lawsuits. More here. 
  • September 15, 2010: PlayStation Move is launched in North America, Europe and various Asian countries. More here.
  • September 29, 2010: Microsoft releases Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3. More here. 
October 2010
  • October 10, 2010: Ubuntu version 10.10. More here. 
  • October 20, 2010: Linux kernel 2.6.36. More here.
  • October 21, 2010: Windows Phone 7 released in Europe. More here.
  • October 26, 2010: Sony retires the cassette Walkman after 30 years. Ok, this is not a real IT news but I think that it can be considered as a sign of our digital age. So read more here.
November 2010
  • November 4, 2010: Microsoft's joystick free gaming console Kinect launched worldwide, starting in North America. More here.
  • November 9, 2010: NetApp unveils three new high-end storage systems dubbed FAS/V6280, FAS/V6240 and FAS/V6210 as well as three midrange systems: FAS/V3270, FAS/V3240 and FAS/V3210. More here.
  • November 11, 2010: China Grabs Supercomputing Leadership Spot in Latest Ranking of World’s Top 500 Supercomputers: the top spot is for the Chinese Tianhe-1A system at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin which achieved a performance level of 2.57 petaflop/s. More here.
  • November 16, 2010: Ballmer and Gates confirm that they will not break up Microsoft because they think it could “creates economic dis-synergies to split our server and enterprise business from our client business". More here. 
  • November 23, 2010: Oracle wins $1.3 billion law suit against SAP - the largest software piracy judgment in history. More here. 
December 2010
  • December 6, 2010: Release of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) based on Linux Kernel Read more.
  • December 14, 2010: Yahoo fires 5% of its staff. Read more.
  • December 20, 2010: Intel Sandy Bridge is on release in Malaysia. More here. 

Two thousand ten is going to leave. Two thousand eleven is coming. Let's wait and see what the future brings!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

FREE: Xinorbis – Disk analyzer

I have just discovered Xinorbis Disk Analyzer. I haven't tested it yet but I am interested in comparing it with TreeSize which is at the moment my preferred tool. I will mainly compare the speed of the scan for very big storage drives. Speed of scan is the key factor for me. Here's some default screenshots from this application which look very nice to me.

Free Disk Analyzer - Xinorbis

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Powershell to get folder size with Get-ChildItem

Here's my script of the day. I wanted to write a Powershell script which could retrieve the files and folders size for a specified list of volumes. It was important for me to include also empty directories and zero size files, which is not so easy to get with the standard 'Get-ChildItem' method.

The script will return for each volume:
  • the name of the subfolder
  • the total size of the subfolder
  • the number of files in the subfolder (including zero size files)
  • the average file size

Here's the code.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Source IP address and skipassource hotfix for Windows 2008 R2

I ran into an interesting issue this weekend. I have one Windows 2008 R2 web server that has multiple IP address bound to the same network card and the problem with is that this server is having communication problems (read: server is not communicating anymore).

I have found out that, starting form Windows 2008, all the server's IP addresses get automatically registered on the DNS servers. And this is by design.

In fact Microsoft has changed how the way the TCP/IP stack behaves in the sense that there is no more a ‘Primary’ IP address. So, when multiple IP addresses are assigned to a single network interface, they are all treated evenly and they are are all registered into DNS.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Changing the target of a CNAME RR in DNS with Powershell

In your everyday sysadmin life there are situations where you could need a cheap solution for your infrastructure.

Typically if you host a service that doesn't tolerate availability disruption... it doesn't mean that you have the budget to install two pricey Windows 2008 Enterprise or Datacenter editions to build a cluster. This is exactly what happened to me. My company told me to put in place an HA solution for our file sharing solution but not to use a Cluster for the hostname resource, but just to stick to the Windows 2008 Standard Edition.

I have then decided to just implement the fileshare on two replicated servers and define an alias in the DNS which can be quickly moved from one backend server to another. So, if I lose a fileserver I would just have to check replication status and then update the CNAME's target fully qualified domain name (FQDN) field.

Friday, December 3, 2010


In Windows 2008 R2, I have had problems with Server Manager or OOBE reporting Roles and Features as in error state after performing Windows Update. The unfortunate exception code shown is 0x800706BE.

Error as seen under Windows OOBE

Error as seen in Server Manager
To solve this problem the first step is...
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