I guess I am on another one of these kicks… traveling back down memory lane. I dug up this article from the archives, and I remember sitting down to write it the first time I ever checked into a hotel in Redmond, Washington. What is more fun about this article is that it took me down memory lane back in 2006, and then discusses (briefly) my first forays into Server Virtualization, a technology that I could not have known then would not only change the industry, but my life and career. I made a few minor corrections for style and grammar, but the message is intact, down to the invitation to my first ever User Group presentation on Virtualization! I hope you enjoy it too.
As I settled into my hotel last night I could not help but think back on my travel experiences of the past few years, especially as pertains to Information Technology.
I have done a bit of traveling since I moved to Montreal (nearly ten years ago!). The first thing that I notice is the power of the computers. I remember the Gateway 80486/66 laptop that I brought with me in 1996 which, at the time, I thought was quite powerful. Although I had eventually upgraded it to Windows 95, when I bought it second-hand it came equipped with Windows 3.1, and when I wanted to get onto the Internet I had to either wait a week for my ISP (Actcom) to mail me three floppy disks to configure TCP/IP with Trumpet Winsock, or I could connect to their server (with a 33,600bps modem) and download the three disks. Of course I had to wait for them to send me the disks with Mosaic before I could surf the net. In the interim I sufficed with chatting… which consisted of using Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in a text window.
So let’s review… in 1996 it took about six hours of downloading and then a week of waiting before I could actually connect to the Internet, for about the equivalent of $40 per month. Because of the local phone company rules it cost me about five cents per minute to stay connected. If I left the city in which I lived and wanted to connect it would cost me long distance charges… plus the nickel per minute. This was all for the privilege of connecting at 33,600bps.
Last night I checked into my hotel after a long flight. I was in a city I had never been to (Redmond, WA) in a state I was last in when I was a teenager. I was tired and jet-lagged, and anticipated the backlog of new e-mails that awaited me since my layover in Toronto (there were 27). I got into my hotel room, opened my computer into Windows Vista, and within about a minute I was connected to the net at speeds that could not be achieved in 1996 if we connected two computers to each other via a cable. Without any configuration (save for the Marriott home page asking if I wanted a firewalled or non-firewalled link) I was on-line, and my e-mails were happily downloading.
As IT Professionals it is our job to stay up to date with the newest technologies. It is not sufficient for us to be working on five year old technology when we are trying to service our clients and their needs. It is not good enough for us to read up on a technology in order to sell it and maintain it, it is vital that we use it on a day-to-day basis so that we can get to know the ins and outs of them. That goes equally for desktop operating systems and servers.
Of course we cannot all afford the latest technology, and running multiple servers to run each version of Server would take up too much space. That is why I am proud to be presenting Virtual Server 2005 R2 at our meeting on April 20th. I will go through the steps to plan and configure it not only for production environments, but for your test labs too. Come on down, meet your peers, have a doughnut, and learn what’s new in virtual technology. You’ll be glad you did!
See you in April!