Beta testing: In 30+ years, I have worked with ATI, Hercules, LSI Logic, and many other companies on optimizing drivers for their hardware. I have tested every part of a workstation from power supplies, CPUs, video adapters, firewire adapters, hard drives, etc. They have tested software for vendors I use. Many found my testing better and more complete. My writeups were usually 10+ pages instead of a few lines. I found that my testing methods did improve many of the products I used. If they did not listen, I replaced their product and posted on various forums.
Provided code to run Novell Netware-based Pervasive databases in symmetric mutltiprocessing. The commands went into the ini file. I also helped Leaseteam develop the hardware specifications for their products that we use at Americorp Financial, LLC.
I beta tested for Symantec Backup Exec to improve tape driver performance on backing up remote workstations and servers. I stopped beta tested once because Symantec would not provide optimized drivers. Others followed once I posted on the beta forum. Within 2 weeks they had my drivers and I continued.
I have worked with Adobe on rendering pictures on the GPUs of our graphics adapters instead of the CPUs along with converting more of the processing code over to 64-bit. This better optimized performance on my workstation.
Beta testing of games:
I have worked with game manufacturers on improving performance. I have tested Nvidia and ATI/AMD graphics adapter drivers with various games to fix tiling and other issues with game playability.
Computer Associates (CA):
I helped Michael Duncan, Director of Support, on the support web page design. I would test pages and links along with provide ideas on how I want the layout to work and feel. I also beta tested CA Arcserve to improve tape drive performance and D2D performance.
Americorp Financial’s HP C7000 Blade Center configuration allowed all VLAN servers to use as much of the 20 Gbps network bandwidth as available. I used VMWare 5.x priority levels of high, medium and low for each server to determine which servers could take bandwidth. An HP engineer took a copy of my configuration because I solved his problem of VLAN bandwidth issues. HP’s method was hard set bandwidth per VLAN. So all servers in a VLAN were limited on amount of network bandwidth they could use.
Americorp Financial’s HP 3COM A5800 series switch configuration solved a problem HP has with firewalls. Cisco and other firewalls used reverse packet spoofing to prevent packets from travelling on VLANs with different subnets. My solution was to use PBR (Packet Based Routing) to assign each VLAN on the switches their own gateway of last resort. I assigned each VLAN a next hop rule that sent the VLAN to the VLAN gateway address on the firewall. Each firewall from Cisco, Barracuda, Fortinet configure your VLAN address and its own gateway address. HP took a copy of my configuration and started to implement it.
Fixed the impersonator account issue by deleting the .Net SQL temp files from server. EMC’s solution was recreate Microsoft Active Directory services from scratch.
Why tape drives over D2D? We were hit by Cryptolocker once. Took out three servers and the D2D backups in less than 1 minute. The performance of our network allowed it to move quickly to the SAN. Tapes are immune to it. The backups done the night before are not affected.
The two tasks that take precedent on the network are backups and security. My rule has been 3 hour backups. The current backups were 7-10 hours.
My latest project at work was improving the backup performance on our LTO5 and two LTO4 tape drives. The ML350G6 server has two dual 10 Gbps NC522SFP+ adapters, 4 x 10 Gbps. I worked with HP on teaming drivers to improve performance on three concurrent tape jobs running on the three tape drives. I have two SAS controllers installed. One single and one dual channel for the best tape driver performance. On teaming 4 x 10 Gbps into one team, The three tape jobs were taking 7-10 hours to complete.
HP Teaming has a major flaw that HP and I found. It does not link balance. You can only fill one connection at a time. HP teaming used to allow you to balance the packets across every pipe evenly. The new teaming is fill up one at a time. With overhead, it was very slow and did not use all the available bandwidth.
So I decided to try a radical solution. I took the four 10 Gbps and 2 1 Gbps connections and assinged one to each VLAN. The default gateway was on one pipe. I have a WSUS server to update the Tape server. No reason for this server to access the internet. The performance increase on the backups were amazing. Three tape drives with a concurrent backup job running 8 streams each average over 17 GB/min. Backups take 2.5, 2.9 and 3 hours to complete. 42 Gbps of bandwidth being used. The three jobs run concurrent and none of the 10 Gbps adapters are over 25% used. I wonder how three LTO 6 drives would do?