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Battery for Fujitsu FPCBP325AP

Beancounters like boxes you can point at, particularly when they have big black-and-white labels saying “CORP-MailServer-01”. Auditor-baiting is a great game, and you can only do it if you have core stuff in your DC.You may, of course, end up deciding to move your entire production application world into the cloud. It’s inexpensive, security isn’t regarded as an excessive problem, and support costs generally go down markedly when someone else has to look after the hardware and the software upgrades.Even if you do, though, the data centre remains the ideal place to do your architecture tests and prototyping – trying things out and seeing how they behave. The example I gave earlier about inviting people to pull the connection out of the simulated WAN link is exactly what I’m talking about: a platform that physically exists but isn’t part of the production infrastructure. It’s got routers, servers, switches, storage, bits of cable, its own internet connection, and preferably additional tools such as a WAN emulator, dedicated PC for network monitoring, and so on.The cloud has a fairly core problem: it’s the cloud. You have no idea of the underlying hardware, or how far server A physically sits from server B. You have high-level monitoring but nothing below a very abstract set of statistics, so although you could use something like PerfMon/TypePerf at the Windows level (or the Linux equivalent if you’re an Open Source kind of person) you have no idea what’s going on on the network.

Particularly for an application specialist this is a big deal: in any networked application each contact between endpoints has several phases, from the initial DNS lookup right at the end of the delivery of the results to the user. In the cloud you just can’t see this – so research on how your apps perform in this regard needs you to have some kind of data centre presence with some real, physical equipment in it.And the beauty is that you can often equip your R&D “lab” without costing the earth. After all, you didn’t throw out those end-of-life switches or routers, did you? In most cases you replace kit not because it’s completely unusable but because the vendor no longer supports it and hence it’s no use in a business-critical infrastructure. So if you gave me a few Cisco 2600s routers, 3750G switches, ASA5510s, four-year-old Dell servers and the like I’d be perfectly happy. Although you’ll need to buy some stuff, it won’t be an expensive ground-up purchase.And the point is I’d be able to let my gang run riot with them and practise stuff. Flash an ancient copy of the ASA firmware onto a 5510 and let them figure out how to upgrade it to the latest release without breaking the VPN connection. We can unplug things and see how the database copes, and whether it manages to get its bearings and pick up where it left off once the connection comes back.

Engineers are like children: we like stuff that’s new, and we like trying stuff out and finding things out for ourselves
Buy some assorted hard disks – SATA and SAS spinning disks and various types of Flash drive – and do real benchmarks and show yourself just what the difference is. Record what you see, because when you then look back to the cloud for your production systems you’ll be so much more convinced that (say) the extra performance of the SSD storage option is worth it – because you’ll remember that “Holy crap!” moment when you saw how fast the benchmark was on your own physical box, run by your own fair hand.The cloud abstracts everything too much to be useful for infrastructure research and testing, and so an in-house alternative is the obvious way to go.And the thing is, engineers are like children: we like stuff that’s new, and we like trying stuff out and finding things out for ourselves. And if this can involve real engineering, with real metal boxes (preferably with the lids off where possible), and flashing lights, and bits of electric string, all the better.And this means physical kit. On our premises. Combine this with the undeniable fact that experimenting is fun, and it’s the obvious way of getting the fun stuff back into the data centre.

Video People who bought the first batch of Microsoft’s Surface Book slab-tops are furious that a glitch causes the screens to flicker.Microsoft’s support forums and the Surface subreddit are filled with folks claiming their displays erratically wink completely on and off. This happens, we’re told, whether the tablet is running on its own or when it’s docked in its base station.A small number of customers have flagged some issues with their Surface Book, a Redmond spokesperson told The Register. We are working hard to resolve them quickly and easily with Windows Update.
The reports come just two days into the retail run for the high-end Microsoft tablet-notebook convertible. Marketed as a high-end expansion on the Surface Pro, the Surface Book starts at a price of $1500 and offers up to an Intel Core i7 processor and 1TB SSD in the tablet, with an additional Nvidia discrete GPU built into the keyboard dock.That high-priced, hefty hardware package seems to be coming with some early hiccups. A video captured by one Surface Book owner shows the mysterious screen flicker in action.

Just got my unit, i7 512GB. Applied all the updates (including the recent firmware). My screen keeps flickering on/off, whether or not the screen is docked, user Jarem said of the problem.I’ve tried resetting but the issue still persists. It also seems independent of running apps or focused windows. Adjusting the brightness doesn’t resolve the issue.It doesn’t seem to do it when the screen is attached in laptop mode, but flipping the screen around makes it flicker like crazy, wrote user JohnnyLocust.Spent about 2 hours with tech support on the phone. All we did was a complete factory reset and reinstall the latest firmware and drivers. One hour later, the flicker started right back up.While the cause of the flickering has not yet been determined, users have suggested the problem may be related to Hyper-V, as some reported that disabling the Windows 10 hypervisor alleviates the flickering issue.Though many Windows users will not need Hyper-V enabled, the issue could be a problem for the Surface book in particular, as Redmond has positioned the tablet, with its in-dock discrete GPU, as a solution for high-end enterprise users. This week, the pair developing the Novena open laptop have provided an update on their work. The idea is to develop a usable system that is completely open to customization and scrutiny – from the electronics to the firmware to the operating system to the applications.This is ideal for people paranoid there is malicious code hidden in closed-source drivers and firmware in their motherboards and hardware, or just fed up with insecure and broken closed-source software from manufacturers.

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