Tips for Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange on VMware

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, January 21st 2015 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Microsoft, VMware

E-mail, as we noted in last week’s blog, remains critical to business functions, and Microsoft Exchange is the most widely used e-mail client in the world. Virtualizing Exchange servers on VMware can improve performance, allow you to consolidate various Exchange server roles, combine mailboxes, and increase flexibility of your Exchange infrastructure, so you can scale up or down as your e-mail loads demand.

You’ll end up with 5-10x less physical hardware and more responsive Exchange, plus you can design your environment for your current workload. No need to guess at your resource utilization 3-5 years down the road—just provision a few more VMs when the time comes.

While virtualization can increase performance (VMware claims a 16 core server with vSphere produced double the throughput as physical hardware), Exchange has its own set of requirements and demands, so take a look at these best practices before you start up the installer in your virtual environment.

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Set Up and Optimize Ubuntu and Other Linux VMware Guests

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, January 6th 2015 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, VMware

So you want to jump into virtualization and take the open source route on your guest virtual machine operating system? Several of our customers have recently spun up Ubuntu VMs on top of VMware. Here are our tips for setting up and optimizing performance in a virtualized Ubuntu environment. These tips may also apply to other Linux distributions on top of VMware hypervisors.

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Why We’re Sticking with Renewable Energy Credits (for Now)

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, December 30th 2014 — Categories: Green Data Center

Bloomberg Businessweek posted an article this month about the seeming decline in popularity for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) among large companies in the United States. Citing Walmart, Safeway, Hilton, and others, the piece claims RECs have little power to spur new renewable development and don’t really eliminate the carbon emissions that companies claim.

We’ve covered the What and Why of RECs here on the blog before. Basically, each REC stands as a record of one megawatt-hour of renewable energy added to the general pool traveling the electric grid. When a company or individual buys an REC, they claim credit for that green energy. The income stream from REC purchases travels through brokers and on to renewable energy development companies, who use the extra funds for new projects like wind farms or solar arrays.

Where RECs get tricky is when companies use them as part of their claims to be carbon-neutral, or as strictly a marketing trick. The Bloomberg piece makes this clear when it reports a Hilton VP as stating RECs weren’t “having a major marketing impact.”

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The 12 Days of Data Center Christmas

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, December 19th 2014

As much as we’d like to see some lords a-leaping in our data center, they don’t have security clearance, so you might as well send them home. Here’s 12 Days of Data Center Christmas instead.

The 12 Days of Data Center Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my SysAdmin gave to me
A new network topology…

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The Essentials of Big Data Analytics in the Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, December 10th 2014 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware

Big data is driving new business insights and is hyped as a world-changer, as more and more devices are connected to the internet (Gartner predicts enterprise data growth of 800% between 2011 and 2015). Big data is the practice of locating patterns in enormous datasets to make better decisions. It enables intelligent decision-making across industries and applications.

Scalable cloud environments are great for big data platforms, but they come with their own set of planning and management concerns. In many big data environments, a hybrid solution may be the best fit. Let’s see what IT managers have to contend with to deliver the big data insights demanded by CIOs and CEOs.

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