Importance of Shared Storage in Virtualization

First, let me remind you that shared storage is very important to a virtual infrastructure. That’s typically where the virtual machines are stored and it allows many of the advanced features of a virtualization to be possible. If you are building a virtualization lab, very likely you would have some sort of low-end storage area network or network attached storage appliance. You might also have a server that you turned into an NAS or even use a virtual storage appliance which is just a virtual machine that simulates a storage area network (SAN). So, there are 3 different options for share storage. Having a dedicated hardware appliance like a SAN or NAS is going to be the best performance, but also it’s going to cost more than for example, a virtual storage appliance.

It’s unlikely that you’d need shared storage if you just have one ESX, ESXi, or hyper-v Server, but as soon as you go beyond one server you’re going to want to start using features like Vmotion, live migration and vmware high availability. When you get to that point, you might need shared storage.

This is the shared storage appliance I have in my lab. It’s an Iomega X4200D. There’s also a smaller model, the IX2, but I recommend the IX4 because it has space for 4 drives. Both of these models offer iSCSI SAN and NFS.

Here’s a video presentation of this server:

Secure Your Data Clouds Before Storing Any Data

There was a time when one could just upload a file to the cloud and never worry about their security at all. It is no longer that safe anymore and we have to take measures to improve this insecurity otherwise we are prone to losing confidential data that may cost us a lot.

The Measures Taken By Some Cloud Service Providers

The only proven security for your data is use of encryption. The encryption should always be used before the data is even uploaded to the cloud.

For the Dropbox and Skydrive as well as the likes, one can use an add-on so as to encrypt the data before it is uploaded. The use of Safe Monk or the Boxcryptor enables an encrypted folder to be added before you can upload your files. This is also done for other services that may be using the WebDAV standard.

If you want a server that does not use an add-on, Dropbox and the likes have to be dropped completely. The Spideroak whose Hive service is known as the Zero-knowledge data backup is a great security tool since it does not even store your password and deletes it once you log out.

The Bittorrent Sync is a p2p file sharing one and works the opposite of Spideroak. It has no 3rd party file management systems or the central server. Therefore data is transmitted between the devices.

Note: The use of the devices is prone to physical damage and risk of data loss.

Cloud service providers and their security degrees.

  • The Dropbox and Google are the giant physical cloud servers that are usually used by most people for personal and even public data. However they are not secure at all
  • The Microsoft Skydive and the Apples I cloud are other servers that provide cloud services to the public and are encrypted to improve its security. However, the hackers have beaten them in their own game.
  • The Network Attached Servers are personal cloud service providers, whereby unlike the Dropbox and others, they use the external hard drives that are connected to a person’s Wi-Fi network hence they can transmit the data stored whenever a person connects to it. Examples of such are the LaCie cloud box and the Seagate Central drives. Sometimes they are not referred to as the cloud services because of their nature.
  • The cloud locker is another one but more secure than the NAS since one has more control over the files stored.
  • The Tonido and the Pocket cloud do not use the hard drives are can be remotely access the home computer. These tend to be more secure since there is no sharing of a password and the data is accessed from a device to another rather than the insecure from a device to the cloud then to another device.
  • The pocket cloud wholly relies on the Google log in for security.
  • The General Security Measures For Cloud Use

The major one is to understand the type of cloud service you are using. Norton contact can be of great help.

  • Choose a good master password.
  • Choose a cloud password that is unique from all the others you use
  • Do not share your password with someone you don’t trust
  • Always have a backup for your data.

For online backup and internet protection solution check this Symantec product and coupon.

Parallels Desktop for Mac 13 Upgrade Features

 Performance matters, so Parallels made the fastest faster again. Here’s a list of my favorite features :


Support for OpenGL and DirectX 10 making 3D graphics and web browsing up to 15% faster. The user can enjoy an up to 40$ increase in disk performance and the virtual machine operations are up to 25% faster.

Optimization for Cloud Use and File Syncing

Say good bye to unnecessary duplication of files locally. With Desktop 13, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google drive, iCloud are optimized, so you can sync them either to your Mac or the Windows virtual machine.

Power NAP Support

The Power NAP feature now extends to windows and windows apps, so your applications are always up to date.

Enhanced Windows 8 and 8.1 Suport

Parallels Desktop 9 brings back the real Start Menu on Windows 8 and 8.1 and lets you use metro apps in a window instead of a full screen.

Thunderbold and Firewire Storage Device

The thunderbolt and firewire storage devices now connect directly to windows on your Mac.

Easy Multi monitor Set up

when using Windows in full screen and connecting to an external monitor, Parallels Desktop remembers those settings and extends full screen into the monitor.

Mac Features at Windows Apps

Not only do you have dictation for windows but Parallels Desktop adds the dictionary lookup gesture in windows apps.

All in One Security Center

Make sure you download and install the complementary security software trial subscription to keep those Mac and Windows safe from viruses and malware. Security center puts it all in one location.

New Virtual Machine Set Up Wizard

now, it’s easier than ever to set up or import a new virtual machine especially on computers that do not have DVD drives.

PDF Printer for windows

Print from any windows application to PDF on the mac desktop even if an app doesn’t have that functionality.

There’s more:

– editable keyboard shortcuts for windows

– significant enhancements for linux guests with share applications, shared folder profiles added support for popular distribution like Linux Mini and Linux Mageia, the latest Fedora.

How Much Does It Cost

With Parallels Promo Coupons things are getting even better. The initial price of the Parallels Desktop 13 is $79.99. If you have already an older version and want to upgrade it, then you pay $49.99. Now, if you redeem the promotional code or a bundle offer you will save around 20%.