A bit of thought about RAID

Given my present job role, I am often confronted with some assumptions people have about RAID arrays.

Thinking of those conversations, I decided to write a small and human-readable (I believe) article about this.

Let’s start by explaining what Hardware RAID is.
A RAID array, based in hardware requires a controller (AKA RAID Controler) physically installed in the system. Depending on your goal, and available hard drives, you can opt for several RAID levels—Please check about them here.

For not, let’s focus on what RAID can and cannot do for you.

What RAID will not be able to assure you?

Uptime of 100%. While a RAID based logical volume can offer some resilience and prevent some downtime, like many other systems, this is not a magical solution to have zero downtime issues. With RAID, the risk associated with hardware still exists. If a RAID Controler fails, you will have downtime to replace it. However, failures on such components are indeed less current than for example a hard drive failing, given its moving parts.

RAID is NOT a backup solution!

A frequently tested and properly planned backup solution will never be replaceable with a RAID array of any sorts.
You can suffer from data corruption, security incidents (ramson ware attacks for example), a myriad of human errors, and only a proper backup solution will rescue you by restoring a good set of data to replace the one you lost.

RAID will only protect you against hard drives fail on a running array an give you margin to replace the faulty drives (up to a limited number) without losing data or having downtime, but only this. I know I am repeating myself, but RAID is NOT a backup solution.

I would even advise that before considering RAID-based hardware, you should think ahead of a backup solution if you still don’t have one.

RAID does not always allow dynamically increasing in size the existing array.

If you need more space, in most cases, you cannot only add another drive to the array. Most of the times, it is true that you are going to have to start from the beginning, rebuilding and reinitializing the array.

Is RAID a good option for virtualisation and high-availability scenarios?

The answer is a straightforward No.

For such environments the right choice is based in SAN storage.

Chrome Tab Groups: How to enable them.

Tab Groups is an attractive new feature available since a few days ago in Chrome. This capability will allow you to organize all your open tabs into groups, making it easier to find your way through or even creating better separation of topics during the day. This post will show you how to enable it right now!

Let’s start to assure you have the latest available version of Chrome browser. To do so, you just have to navigate to Settings>About Chrome.

Once you have the latest version installed, you can type the URL chrome://flags/ in your address bar:

You can then search for “tab” and you will have available the following settings:

As you can see from the example above, Tab Groups was enabled in my Chrome Settings (along with Collapse). Chrome will ask you to reload after applying these new settings.

Congratulations! You can now create new Tab Groups and improve your browsing experience. How can you do that?

To create a new Group of Tabs, you can right-click a tab and select Add to new group option.
You will notice that you can change colours by clicking on the dot that appears in the new group treated. From there you can also change its name.
To add tabs to an existing group, you can right-click each open tab and select Add to a group. Alternatively, you can simply drag the tab and drop on the group. To remove tabs from a group, it’s the reverse process.
The video below will show you this in more detail.

Using Chrome Tab Groups

A pandemic or a global lesson from nature?

During the last days, my family and I had to change habits, cope and put in practice imposed measures to help to delay as much as possible the spread. Yes, we are concerned and scared up to a degree.

It gutted us the fact we had to cancel a surprise trip to Portugal. I alone being a sole child am suffering not from homesick (once I consider Cardiff my Home), but it is quite hard not to be able to see my parents for almost two years now.

They live in a place that was close to people from outside the moment Portugal started to have some positive cases. It was done like that to protect the population of that place: older people with underlying health issues. Getting out is also not permitted.

I feel gutted because my kids and wife were quite keen to see some friends again and remember some local experiences. After all, it is the country from we all came.

Again, I am only hurt (in a much deeper way, I believed I would be) about not being able to see my parents in such a hard moment for all of us. They are not getting younger.

I could not care less about the money lost with plane fares and hospitality.

I honestly believe in general people are not yet convinced this is deadly serious, and we all have to take a step back from our usual routines, assuring with that that we will be able to go back and do all we did as we did in good health.

I understand life cannot just stop. I know we are all living in a very economic centric society. But shouldn’t Human beings come first in all circumstances? I fear no to be able to assure bread and butter to the family if I have to keep taking some chances that from my perspective, could entirely be avoided. I don’t take them as a personal choice, and I often fall in a Catch 21 situation because ” things have to be done” to keep the economy-centric mentality alive.

Do I have to ask if I fall sick or worst, who will care about me? My family, for sure, but “care” means being able to survive in a world fueled by money. If I fail, the lives of another three human beings will be less secure for a while.

In the right name of truth, isn’t this a wakeup call from the Planet? Does it not seem like Earth is finding a way to self-balance itself in a moment Humans appear to be a virus infecting it all together?

Before cars, boats, planes, houses, night outs leisure and goods, Nature was here. We invented these “needs.” I do like them as well, note. But it seems that once a century we are called back down to reality by Nature. It has a clear way to remember all of us how fragile and dependent on the surroundings we are.

I am quite positive we, as a species, will outcome this pandemic. Covid-19 will be just a note in history books in a century. However, please do remember: we are fragile. Other dominant species before us perished. It seems like there were already five mass extinction events in this pale blue dot that floats in a not so central place of the Milkyway.

Do not get me wrong. I am proud to be Human. I always get surprised by our capacity to understand what is around us. Science seems to have come a long way ( and it did ), but there is still a lot to learn.

One of the things I believe we could use this time to discover would be a complete replacement of the existing money-driven mentality with something more realistic. Not an easy one, I know. To be completely honest, I would not know how to do it. I just know we have to.

To all of you, please stay safe and do your best with your available choices.

Facebook At work about to be a real thing

FB4workMany of us started hearing about this for quite some time now. Facebook is perhaps about to make work as addictive as social networking with its enterprise communication and collaboration network Facebook At Work real soon (this month)  and it is going to be based on a per-seat pricing model instead of a single price per company/organization.

Continue reading “Facebook At work about to be a real thing”

Hello and welcome

This is my first post on my brand new homepage. It’s meant to be a blog about IT in general with a strong focus on my core specialities.

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