Discovering RedHat Enterprise Linux

I am a Windows guy so when it comes to Linux, I am a complete newbie although I’ve been exposed to a few RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 5 x86_64 tasks related to Oracle database administration. I’ve played around with Ubuntu and Fedora but I find it hard to adapt since I’m so used to Windows environment. Earlier this month, I was invited to attend a free half a day RedHat Workshop conducted by ECS Pericomp. I’ve dealt a few software purchase with them and so far I’ve been satisfied with their level of service.

ECS Pericomp is located in Kota Damansara. I had to hustle the peak traffic jam, I am puzzled of why is it that during the fasting month of Ramadan, the road traffic are more congested than usual. Maybe I was driving on the wrong route. Anyway, I arrived there slightly late and the presentation started:

I must say that ECS ICT Berhad is quite big. They have a list of smaller companies within their own premises. My company is way smaller than them.

Mike Lai is the Technology Specialist at ECS Pericomp. I really admire his presentation style because I think he loves to share stuff instead of selling.

Some brief explanation about what Open Source is all about.

Some of the software development milestone related to RedHat.

Some of the tools and features of RHEL. Mike continued to share that a lot other organization clone the RedHat to become their own, one is example is the Oracle Linux where the OS are fine tune with Oracle products.

Now this is what the entire workshop is all about, “Virtualization”. I’ve been exposed to virtualization ever since the creation of Virtual PC. From there, I moved on to VirtualBox and read a little bit about VMWare. It is really an interesting topic to learn and implement. I have a couple of ideas I wanted to experiment since my company has its own small data center and the aging servers are really hard to manage. Now comes the best part, demo:

In the demo, Mike showed how he actually makes a live migration. The Virtual Machine (VM) used is Windows XP. He opened a text file and without saving it, created an exact copy of the VM and launches it. The exact opened text file appears sort of like a clone. Of course this is no surprise for people who have been familiar with Virtual PC such as myself. However, the web-based virtualization tool used reminded me of Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute EC2 I’ve been playing around 2 months ago.

As much as I marvel all this new cool technology, conveying the virtualization idea and practical issues is something to work on. Overall, this workshop benefited me well enough thanks to ECS.

Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 Centralised Network Storage

I recently read about Seagate buying over Samsung division for its hard disk drive business. I have used several Seagate hard disks so far to store all of my digital stuff. Over the recent years, I only back up all my digital stuff on a portable 160GB hard disk drive. The 160GB was insufficient for me, therefore I had to burn all those stuff using a DVD writer and store it some place else. It was inconvenient and time consuming. I consider myself lucky since I never had any data loss even though my My Compaq Presario V3751AU Laptop ceased to operate anymore. My data back up practice is pretty bad. If for some reason my laptop got stolen or something bad happen, I’ll definitely be screwed.

Therefore I made a decision to search for a back up device. I went for a short trip to Low Yat Plaza, after a few hours surveying numerous back-up solutions, I decided on purchasing this Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 1 TB Network Attached Storage ST310005MNA10G-RK

Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 Centralised Network Storage

Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 Centralised Network Storage

Well 1TB is too large for me. My data accumulated over the years are only half of the size. So far, I’ve only used 26% of what this NAS storage has to offer. There is a few drawback using a NAS, if you are on a wireless network, the data transfer speed rate can only go up to what your wireless device can take. Like mine, I could only transfer 6GB in one hour. That is of course if the signal reception is consistent or when I’m not doing anything on the computer. Other than that, unlike the Buffalo Technology LinkStation Live 1.0TB Shared Network Attached Storage LS-CH1.0TL(Black), this device doesn’t have Bittorrent client to automatically download digital stuff I like.

Well at RM299 price, I consider this cheap for a 1TB personal storage solutions. Don’t you think so?

*Need more information about Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 1 TB Network Attached Storage ST310005MNA10G-RK you can check it out at this site.

My Blog On Mobile

Once in a while, I browse the internet on my HTC Touch PDA. I have no interest yet in owning an iPhone because of the price so I make use of everything that I now own. Recently I’ve tried out Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini. It’s an awesome piece of smartphone with amazing touch features.

There is a drawback when using mobile phone for browsing the net. Apart from having to pay for the data charges (that is assuming if you are not not subscribing to any data plan provided by your mobile carriers), the screen is just to small to look at all those amazing design and features a normal web browser can provide. Nevertheless, when using these tiny little small screens, we only want to read text or maybe some resized pictures or images.

Because of this, it would be best to provide your blog with tools to help people who loves your blog but only have time to read them on their mobiles. There’s a solution for this, Onbile.

Whenever a mobile user logs, the javascript provided will detect whether you are browsing using a mobile phone or a normal browser. This would really help your mobile readers and encourage them to visit your blog more often.

The only issue I have is:

  • Only 2 pages of your title list will be available (I am guessing this would depend on your feed setting)
  • You can’t revert back to your original layout once it’s loaded on your smartphone

I am still going to try this tool for a while and see if suits my need or else I am going to remove it and search for another tool or WordPress plugin.

An Intro to Oracle Enterprise Single Sign On (ESSO)

I’ve been writing a lot about Oracle lately. I’m not really an advocate for Oracle but I am a fan of Oracle’s technology and I am supporting applications that is using Oracle’s database. Oracle is very well known for it’s database market share and also known as the most expensive product in the enterprise database market according to clients that I’ve dealt with. Expensive is of course a rather subjective matter depending on the perspective you are looking at. For me, as long as it can do the job well enough, that is all that is matter. Of course if you want the best, you’ll definitely go for the best available choices. Let say if you want to drive a Mercedes, you’ll never go for Proton even though both car can take you from point A to point B safely. It’s a matter of preference or distinguish appeal.

Enough of the comparison crap. Last week, I represented my company to attend a brief presentation by Oracle Malaysia about Oracle’s Enterprise Single Sign On (ESSO). I was a bit surprised to find that Oracle Malaysia has moved from Citibank building near KLCC to The Garden Midvalley City since my last visit there.

There were a handful of people already arrived when I got there. Had a cup of coffee before the presentation started. The presenter for Oracle Single Sign-On was Peter Rajnak, Solutions Specialist Director, Identity Management Fusion Middleware APAC from Oracle Corporation. What a long title for a job title.

Which Single Sign On (SSO) is right for me? I’ve heard about single sign on before, simply saying you only need to remember 1 username and password. The presenter did a very good job at explaining how the mechanism work, he somehow manage to balance between the technical aspect and the business aspect.

The next presenter was Swapnil Mehta, Director of Global Access Management Practice of SENA Systems of AurionPro. A winner of the Oracle Titan Award, the firm has taken a lot of identity management jobs for enterprise level of Fortune 500 companies.

Let’s look at some brief “About Enterprise Single Sign On”:

  1. Too many users IDs and Passwords
  2. Security Risk
  3. Enterprise Single Sign On Must Be Easy to Use

In order to solve the issue above, Oracle has come out with Oracle Enterprise Single Sign-On Suite Plus. As usual, enterprise level product would require an enterprise level of implementation and that would involve some initial investment.

If your organization would like to lighten the IT department hassle in managing IDs and password, this would be a solution to look forward to.

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