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VMware Server, a good FREE solution to Virtualization

March 24, 2008 Leave a comment

After using VMware for 3 years, it’s hard to imagine life about it. It has helped me get much more out of my hardware and given me the ability set up test environments in a matter of minutes. I first started using VMware sever at home, more fiddling around with new software than using it. It really became a viable tool in college when we first started setting up mini work environments to work with our various software packages. Since then I have consolidated 3 of my home servers onto 1 Virtual Server and started consolidating at work as well, cutting back on electrical costs and gaining usage from my servers.

Needless to say when I came across some old server hardware not being in use, I started installing VMware. using a host OS of Windows XP I managed to create a file server, automated network backup server and a SpiceWorks server (leaving room for more as needed). in doing this I was able to reuse old hardware and use a variety of Operating systems with open source software creating minimum cost for my dealership while adding a huge amount of functionality.

Over the next few days I will be posting on some How-to type documents that will outline how to configure some of these open source servers. So keep checking for updates!

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Text Message: Call manager is down, Love SpiceWorks

March 21, 2008 1 comment

Spiceworks ScreenshotThis particular message saved a lot of worry as I walked back to the main Dealership after getting a phone call that the phones were going crazy. This is only one of the many things my SpiceWorks server does in the run of a day.

I first found SpiceWorks while looking for an inventory management solution. During my search I had two criteria to fulfill

  1. Be able to keep track of resources over the network, taking out the human factor
  2. Free

and SpiceWorks managed to fill those two nicely with some added features. The question of how to keep your inventory up to date plagues many IT shops. SpiceWorks is just one in the large pool of asset management tools available on the market (including Micosoft SMS and LanDesk). Going the Open Source path SpiceWorks stands as a leader. An all in one Inventory and Help desk ticket oriented software, SpiceWorks works over the network polling machines and hardware using user defined options. During my original testing of SpiceWorks I was amazed on how much data was displayed from applications installed to the specifications of each system.

One of the key aspects of the system was this particular warning. Spice works is able to watch the heartbeat of a server on the network and e-mail someone if a particular action takes place (in this case it was a dead server, but it could be software installed or network printers out of toner). So I just set my cellular providers e-mail for my cellular as a user and I was set.

Here’s hoping I don’t get many more of these texts 😉