Enable Long (64-bit VT-x) Mode Support on Latitude D630 for VirtualBox

I was in the process of setting up a 64-bit CentOS x86_64 virtual machine instance on my Dell Latitude D630 and received a message from the RHEL installer: “Your CPU does not support long mode. Use a 32bit distribution.”

This perplexed me a bit, as I verified that the D630 with Core 2 Duo T7250 does indeed have VT-x support. Apparently, VT-x mode is not enabled by Dell by default and I do not see a setting in BIOS to turn it on. Instead, Dell’s Client Configuration Toolkit (CCTK) must be installed and used to enable VT-x. Thanks to this web site for providing instructions:

http://mathy.vanvoorden.be/blog/2010/01/enable-vt-x-on-dell-laptop/

Basically, the steps are this:

  1. Download Dell CCTK here: http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriverDetails?driverId=6HCTN
  2. Install CCTK
  3. Run c:\Program Files (x86)\Dell\CCTK\x86_64\cctk.exe --virtualization=enable
  4. Create your VirtualBox virtual machine and enable “VT-x” in Settings > System > Acceleration > Hardware Virtualization

Astricon 2013 Presentation Slide Downloads: Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

Many thanks to Digium and the Astricon committee for accepting my presentation proposal. THANK YOU for attending my talk and giving quality feedback to improve Astricon next year.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to the entire team that help put Astricon together; we all look forward to many, many more years of growing Astricon events.

Download my Astricon 2013 presentation slides below.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity: The Asterisk Advantage

Astricon 2013 – Celebrating 10 Years of THE Asterisk Event

Digium (Asterisk) Astricon 2013 kicks off today in Atlanta; this is the 10 year anniversary of THE Asterisk telecommunications event!

See you tomorrow at 3:30 in Ballroom II for my talk, "Disaster Recovery – the Asterisk Advantage".

If you are involved with telecom in your enterprise, this is the place to be.

Reliable, secure and scalable Asterisk Business Telephone Systems for the Enterprise

I recently had the privilege to present at the Asterisk VoIP Users Conference, Astricon 2012, and gave an overview of how to use commodity resources and Open Source Asterisk PBX systems in the globally-distributed enterprise.

Watch the presentation here

tapestry technologies Offers License-free Business Telephone Solutions using Asterisk®, Polycom® and Xorcom™

VoIP telephony engineers at tapestry technologies, LLC are now certified with Polycom and Xorcom to design affordable voice over IP business phone systems that do not require yearly per-feature, per-user, hardware, or software usage fees.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/8/prweb9668518.htm

Comcast Business Class + Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) = No Go.

I have been using Comcast Business Class internet for going on two years now at my home office and am quite pleased with the service. Up until now, I have been paying a flat $59.95 per month for internet that is usually quite fast and has been very reliable. It has been even more gratifying that my past bills have never had a tax line item.

One thing that has always annoyed me about Business Class is that Comcast provides an SMC “gateway” device that essentially forces double-NAT, even if you just want a modem. There is no true bridge mode with the SMC device. A few months ago, I did some research and settled on a Zoom 5341 DOCSIS3 modem from Comcast’s approved modems list, but never go the chance to swap it in.

Fast forward to today: I received my latest Comcast bill and an “equipment charge” of $7.00 plus $0.42 in tax has shown up on my bill. Suspecting that I already knew what was behind the 12% increase in my bill, I called customer support and verified that indeed, I am now being billed for a leased modem. Apparently, Comcast just increased prices for some services and audited accounts; they are now charging me for the modem I have been using for almost two years.

No big deal, I will just swap in the modem I bought months ago, I thought. Since I do not have a static IP (requires the SMC gateway) or digital voice, I just need a modem and this swap should be easy.

After 45 minutes with tech support and speaking with a supervisor, it is confirmed that Comcast Business Class will not allow a business subscriber to “bring your own device” (a.k.a. BYOD) because they quote “can’t support it”; the only exception is the Motorola SurfBoard 6120 and it is said to be semi-supported, whatever that means. Nevermind the fact that I am an I.T. engineer and can support my own connection, thanks. Or that Comcast Residential has an extensive list of devices that you can use with the service, which happens to included my device. Or that I know and agree that “unsupported” means I will pay a service charge if I can’t figure out how to plug in the device I provided and get an internet connection.

Let’s get real, there is no technical difference between Residential and Business Class service and this is all semantics.

Thanks for being a hard-ass Comcast; you have once against reaffirmed the terrible customer service reputation that everyone associates with the name “Comcast”.

 

We have lost a great visionary. RIP Steve Jobs

http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/

FOSE 2011 Government IT / Security Conference & Expo, 20% Discount Code

The top Government IT / Security Conference & Expo, FOSE 2011, is returning to Washington, D.C., July 19-21 with featured speaker Steve Wozniak. In past years, the vendor floor has been very good and I enjoy getting hands-on with the newest tech.

The 400+ vendor  expo is free, and if you plan to attend the conference, you can get a 20% Discount Link here.

Hitachi GST warranty replacement taking ages: UltraStar C10K600

I have to say that I am pretty disgusted with Hitachi GST. A client of mine ordered 10 hard drives for an integration, 30% of which failed within the first few hours of life. Hitachi’s RMA department has been sitting on them for 40 business days and still have not shipped a return. Did I mention that advanced warranty exchange is not an option?

Part number for Hewlett-Packard HP 2.5″ SAS/SATA Drive Carriers / Caddies / Trays

I recently bought an HP DL385 G7 server without hard drives. HP will not sell drive carriers by themselves, neither will they give you a part number to locate the drive caddies by themselves (ie: not loaded with hard drives). If you want to use your own drives, you are forced to buy HP drives in carriers at a premium or figure out the part number for yourself. Through some research and luck, I located hot plug drive trays that work with the DL385 G7. Near as I can tell from my research, these 2.5″ SAS/SATA drive carriers work across the line of late-model HP servers that use 2.5″ drives.

The part number that works in my DL385 G7 is 378343-002

You can find the carriers through a variety of suppliers. I bought mine here: Buy.com

I also found in my research that there is a newer model drive caddy without the metal bottom cage, but I have not been able to locate the part number for these newer trays; HP’s site has a product update bulletin, but of course no part number. If you know the part number, please feel free to share with the rest of us in the comments.

For those who wonder, like I, about the conductivity of the metal tray bottom… they appear to be coated with some sort of non-conductive coating to prevent shorting out your drive PCBs.

According to what I have found, these carriers are “compatible with the following Compaq Proliant systems BL20p G4 – BL25p G2 – DL360 G4p – DL360 G5 – DL380 G4 – DL380 G5 – DL385 G2 – DL580 G3 – DL580 G4 – DL585 G2 – ML330 G6 – ML350 G5 – ML370 G4 – ML370 G5 – ML370 G6 – ML570 G3 – ML570 G4 This list is not inclusive – may fit other HP servers as well”