Sunday, May 27, 2012

In virtualization, use as few vCPU as possible for optimal CPU performance

Nowadays, virtualizing a physical server into several virtual servers is a common practice. In fact, the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model of Cloud Computing is based on virtualization too.

Unlike physical server running on physical CPU, whereby the common sense is more CPU (or CPU core) is better, in a virtualized environment, it is often a best practice to configure as few virtual CPU (vCPU) as possible to the virtual server.

In most cases, if 1 vCPU is sufficient, it is advisible to configure the virtual server to use 1 vCPU instead of more.

This is because:

  • Each vCPU will consume some physical CPU resource even if it is in idle state.
  • Unused vCPUs still consume timer interrupts unless the guest OS kernel is configured with the NO_HZ "tickless timer" option (a feature available in the latest Linux 2.6 kernel).
  • The more vCPUs a virtual machine has, the more interrupts it requires.
  • Maintaining a consistent memory view among multiple vCPUs can also consume additional resources, both in the guest OS and the host.
  • Some older guest OS execute idle loops on unused vCPUs, thereby consuming
    resources that might otherwise be available for other uses.
  • The guest scheduler might migrate a single-threaded workload amongst multiple vCPUs, thereby
    losing cache locality.
  • In SMP guests the guest OS can migrate processes from one vCPU to another. This migration can incur a small CPU overhead.
In addition, it is a good practice to disable screen savers and Window animations in virtual machines. On Linux, if using an X server is not required, disable it. This is because screen savers, animations, and X servers all consume extra physical CPU resources, potentially affecting consolidation ratios and the performance of other virtual machines.

Reference: Performance Best Prictice for VMWare vSphere 5.0

Monday, May 21, 2012

3 questions to ask yourself before venturing into a new business

Are you planning to be entrepreneur to start your own business?

I have just learnt that there are 3 important questions you must ask yourself and sincerely find out your answers, because these are the crucial factors that will affect the success rate of a new business venture.

The 3 questions are:

  • How likely will your targetted customers be really willing to take out the money from their pocket and pay for it?
  • How big is the profit margin?
  • What make you remarkable from others?
Basically, these 3 questions will test the feasibility of your business in terms of acceptability, profitability and sustainability.

You need to get the actual feedback from the real market by doing a lot of observation, conversation and testing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

2011 Customer Experience Impact Report - Getting to the Heart of the Consumer and Brand Relationship

Based on a survey commissioned by RightNow (recently acquired by Oracle) and conducted by Harris Interactive, the 2011 Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report explores the relationship between consumers and brands.

It reveals facts about what consumers are looking for from a brand, how quickly they will dump a favourite brand, and their tendency to seek retribution after a breakup.

Well, what makes a memorable experience that causes consumers to stick with a brand?

According to the CEI survey, consumers want:

  • Friendly employees or customer service representatives (73%)
  • The ability to easily find the information or help they need (55%)
  • Personalized experiences (36%)
  • Brands with a good reputation (33%)
Positive engagements create long-standing, loyal relationships, and this is so important to consumers that they are willing to pay for it. In fact, according to the CEI survey, 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience.

For consumer organizations today, good customer experience is a competitive imperative. Understanding what customers want is the 1st step in creating exceptional experiences.

When asked specifically how companies can better engage with consumers to spend more, respondents said the following:
  • Improve the overall customer experience (54%)
  • Make it easy to ask questions and access information before making a purchase (52%)
  • Improve search functionality and overall Website usability (36%)
Click here to download the complete 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report - Getting to the Heart of the Consumer and Brand Relationship.

Friday, May 11, 2012

DestraShield nanoliquid screen protector with Ag+ formula

I discovered this DestraShield nanoliquid screen protector with Ag+ formula by Destra Nanotech Sdn Bhd in GoMobile 2012 exhibition today.

This is quite an interesting screen protector. It is in liquid format, therefore can fit any form and size of glass surface. To apply it, just drop on the surface and spread it evenly with the melamine foam sponge that comes together in its package. After dried out, it will form a protection layer that claimed to be able to last for up to 6 months, after which we can reapply the liquid onto the surface again for continuous protection.

They say this nanoliquid screen protector can be used for handphone screen, camera lens, spectacles, computer monitor, television, mirror, ... and even car windscreen.

Its features include:
  • Anti-bacteria
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-static
  • Hydro and oleophobicity
  • Scratches resisting
  • Super hardness up to 7H
  • Hard wearing and durable
  • Improves clarity and brilliance
  • One size fit all
  • Easy to apply
They can demo to you its scratches resistance and hardness at their booth in GoMobile.

I applied this protector on my handphone. After application, the handphone screen has a mirror effect (can become mirror when screen is off). The screen display is crystal clear too. It also does not pick up much fingerprints, and the mild fingerprints can be easily wipe off with cloth material. It is also water resistant, when dropped with water, the water would not stick to the screen.

It's price isn't cheap though, selling at RM69 for a bottle of 2ml only. However, 2 drops is enough for application to handphone screen, and 6 drops is enough for my 21.5" touchscreen monitor.

I would say this is quite an innovative and useful product. Would be better if selling at a lower price.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Problem of Dell 1355cn colour laser MFP losing network connection seems to be fixed with latest firmware update

If you have a Dell 1355cn colour laser MFP printer and you connect to it using network cable via TCP/IP network, do you occasionally encounter the problem of unable to connect to the printer while it is in sleeping (power saving) mode?

As a workaround, you can regain the connection by switching off the printer and switching it on again.

I have just updated my Dell 1355cn MFP to its latest firmware (version A03, released 2 May 2012), and I noticed that this network connection problem seems to be solved.

If you are facing the same problem with your Dell 1355cn MFP, I'd encourage you to update its firmware to the latest version and observe if the problem is fixed or not.

Anyhow, this problem doesn't occur if you are connecting to the printer using USB cable instead of network cable.

Beside the new firmware, there is also a new driver update (version A03, released 2 May 2012) for Dell 1355cn MFP print, fax and scan functions as well.

GoMobile 2012

The annual mobile lifestyle event GoMobile 2012 is around the corner now.

Date: 11-13 May 2012
Venue: KL Convention Centre

GoMobile is actually 3-events-in-1, namely the GoMobile Expo, the GoMobile Conference and the GoMobile inOvation Awards And Celebration Party.

Also, there will be a special dedicated zone called Appcity to showcase Malaysia homegrown mobile applications, content and services.

Talks and briefings have also been lined up with topics such as Build An Android App With Zero Programming Knowledge, Why HTML5, How to Market Apps, Building Android Apps, Building iOS Apps, Windows Phone 7 Programming and Augmented Reality Programming.

This event is anticipated to attract more than 150,000 visitors.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lenspen VidiMax cleaning kit for LCD / Plasma screens

I got this Lenspen VidiMax cleaning kit for LCD / Plasma screens from an online auction.

It is used to clean the dust and fingerprints on large LCD or plasma screens such as computer monitor screen, TV screen, etc.

This cleaning kit consists of 2 layers. The top layer has a chamois pad with special non-liquid cleaning compound to wipe off fingerprints on the screen.

And the bottom layer is a super-soft dust brush to wipe away dust on the screen.

After using it, my personal opinion is: I still prefer wiping off dust and fingerprints from the screen with a piece of microfibre cloth. When the screen is slightly dirty, the result is the same; when the screen is very dirty, slightly damped microfibre cloth does a better cleaning job.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Qunda KT-1000 universal air-cond remote control

The remote control of my Panasonic air-cond seems to have difficulty sending sleep timer signal to the wall unit. The air-cond remote control replacement unit from Panasonic will probably cost me a bomb (its official price is more than RM80).

I bought this Qunda KT-1000 universal air-cond remote control at RM19 including batteries after bargain in the market.

This air-cond remote control can do most of the air-cond settings and supports 1028 air-cond remote control signal codes. The picture below shows all its available setting buttons after its cover slided down.

It claims to support 98% of air-conds in the world, including brands such as Alpin, Aucma, Aux, Banshen, Boerka, Carrier, ChangHong, Chigo, ChoFu, ChunLan, Corona, Conrowa, Consul, Daewoo, Daikin, Doctor, DongBao, DongXinBao, Electrolux, Frestech, Fujitsu, Funai, GuQiao, Galanz, Glee, Goldstar, Gree, Haier, HiSense, Hitachi, HuaBao, Huake, HuaMei, HuaLing, HuiFeng, HuiKang, Hyundai, JDC, JiangNan, JinDa, JinSong, Johson, KangLi, Kelon, Klimatair, Kongka, LG, LiangYu, Little Duck, Loren-Sebo, Macquay, Midea, Mitsubishi, Moritz, Panasonic, National, Panda, Philco, Proton, Raybo, Rowa, Sabro, Saijo Denki, Sampo, Samsung, Sanyo, Sasuki, ShanXing, Sharp, ShengFeng, Shinco, Shuanglu, Shuai Kang, Songge, Sova, Summer, SunDurg, Swan, Tadiran, Tatung, TCL, Teco, Tiandi, Micom, Toshiba, Trane, Uni-air, Weili, Whirlpool, Xileng, Xinle, Yangzi, Yinyan, York, ... which most of the brands I have never heard before.

I found that there are more than 1 signal codes able to control my Panasonic air-cond. However, all the codes which can be used to control my Panasonic air-cond are unable to do timer setting to the air-cond. The air-cond can respond accordingly to on/off switch, mode settings, temperature settings, air swing settings, fan settings, etc. but no respond to timer setting.

So, my problem haven't solved yet.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.