Tag: technology

Rufus 3.5 -Boot Media Creation Tool

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Rufus!!! A tool to make bootable flash drives. These days CD-ROM and DVD hardware are not installed in laptops or even desktops very often. You can buy an external DVD or Blue Ray but it’s basically a waste of money unless you enjoy ripping movies. If you have a need to load different Operating Systems or even re-load your Windows 10 system, you should use bootable flash drives.

Rufus is a free tool that has been used by 100 million plus users since its release in 2012. It’s only function is to help you create bootable flash drives. Pete Batard is the developer. He provides this software out of the goodness of his heart and does not ask for a dime. Thanks Pete!

Round up your Flash Drive and the Operating System (OS) ISO you want to boot. Everything from Windows to Free DOS to Linux can be used to create bootable media.  I‘ll review and demonstrate a new function in version 3.5. Downloading and creating boot media for any version of Windows 10.  Say you would like to get the latest version or possibly an older version of Windows 10.  Rufus will download the ISO and create the bootable media for you.

Insert your Flash Drive and start Rufus. When you first start Rufus, the ability to download a windows image is not available. You must first go to settings and set the check for updates function to something other than “disable”

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I set mine to “Monthly”

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Click “Close” then restart Rufus. This time you can see the dropdown function next to “Select”

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Change the dropdown from “Select” to “Download”. Click on “Download”.

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This is an interesting few steps. I won’t take screenshots of these. After you make each selection a “Continue” button will display. Just keep selecting the options you want and continue clicking “Continue”. Once you get to download, click “Download” and select a location on an internal drive that has enough space for the ISO.

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Once the download completes, click Start. Remember, you must choose the correct boot method (UEFI/GPT-based or BIOS/MBR-based) or it may not boot. If you are not sure, go here and read up on the difference.

Get Rufus 3.5 here.

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Having performance issues running SQL in a virtual machine?

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Solarwinds Orion’s interaction with the SQL server is extremely disk write intensive and requires a fast storage sub-system on the supporting SQL server.  RAID 10 is the fastest disk configuration with redundancy. Having a fast controller with write cache also increases performance. I use a tool called SQLIO.exe to test the write speed of the SQL storage system hosting the log files and tempDB. It can be downloaded from Microsoft.com.  This tool performs controlled disk read/write operations and is used to gauge the storage system IO performance.  The higher the number, the better the performance. There are dozens of options for SQLIO.  I run general write performance tests on the SQL log file drive. A score of 800 or higher will do for most installations. I’ve seen throughput as high as 7000 IOP’s on solid-state drives.  There is no reason you cannot install SQL on a virtual machine using a SAN as long as you can get acceptable IOP performance. Click the image to the right. This is the new AppInsight application monitor contained in Solarwinds Server and Application Monitor (SAM) 6.0.

Refer to this Solarwinds White paper for SQL tuning guidance  PDF – Managing Orion Performance

 

Solarwinds Network Performance Manager (NPM) Groups

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NPM provides the ability to create groups of objects contained in the Solarwinds database. You are able to create groups of interfaces, nodes, volumes, applications, hardware categories, player locations, components, groups (yes, you can create Groups of Groups), hardware sensors, ports, transactions, transaction steps and volumes.  A group function that is not obvious is the ability to create a group of different items. You can have a group consisting of any number of the above listed items.  This is handy when you are creating a group to represent a complete system. A system would consist of a number of components that must all be operational for the system to function. An email system would not be functional if the DNS server is off line or the SMTP relay service is down.

Another great feature of groups is the ability to create dynamic queries to populate the groups automatically. You can create a group of like items based of a custom property or characters contained within the node name.

But wait, there’s more.  There are three status roll-up modes for groups.

  • Show Best Status – as long as one item in the group is green, the group LED will remain green.
  • Mixed Status shows warning – If one item in the group is red then the group LED will turn yellow.
  • Show Worst Status – If one item in the group is red then the group LED will turn red.

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I find it very useful to create maps with the SolarWinds Network Atlas tool and use groups to populate the map. Clicking on a group will display a page listing all items contained in that group and you can drill down from there.

Don’t get stuck on the old ways of monitoring.  Listing a bunch of nodes and watching for node Up/Down. Design your Network Management system to support complete systems that provide a service to the end user.