Rob Pelmas

Recent Posts

Active Directory services in a heterogenous environment:

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 @ 06:11 AM

Tags: Mac, OSX, SOX, Compliance, Security, Xinet, AD, Active Directory, Linux

Once in a while, we find a great tool that solves a big problem, quietly, effectively, and efficiently at an affordable price.

Enter Centrify, a tool that puts all your Linux, Mac and Unix  platforms under Active Directory services. It solves your SOX compliance, security, and auditing requirements, letting you manage and verify all your platforms with minimal effort.

For our customers who operate a Xinet production environment, it brings both the server and the desktops into the AD realm.

We’re aware of two approaches to implementing Centrify in Xinet domains.

One reduces your initial  license cost, but adds some complexity, reduces functionality and is unsupported by Centrify. We don't do this. It does save some upfront costs, and reduces the annual maintenance.

Obviously, we think that approach is deeply flawed.

We’ve built a robust practice around implementing Centrify as a stable, flexible and fully supported tool. Centrify sets a very high standard. Would that all software worked so well.

Suite 16 upgrade winner announced for September!

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Tue, Oct 05, 2010 @ 10:49 AM

Congrats to Jim Rabkin of DDB, the winner of our monthly iTunes gift card drawing. No purchase necessary, natch -- just arrange for an upgrade to Xinet's award winning, best of breed product WebNative Suite 16 and you're entered.

If we haven't been beating down your door over the last few months, please call or email us and we'll get you on the short list to be upgraded to the latest and greatest version of Xinet's DAM solution.


WebNative Suite 16 rocks for big databases!

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Thu, Jan 07, 2010 @ 04:27 PM

I've spent the last couple weeks upgrading 2 of the largest Venture database in existence. One took 6 days, the other 7 to convert everything, but baby was it worth it!

One of the biggest pain points of large Xinet installs databases is performance- to increase  performance when you have Millions (or tens of Millions) of records, you need to 'index' things you search on. In the old version large sites could take a week to drop, repair and recreate the database should something corrupt (and things do corrupt- if someone kicks out a power cable, you're gonna break MySQL tables).

Last week I put an index on the file table of one of these GINORMOUS sites in under 4 hours. Under 4 hours compared to 3 or 4 days! Oh, and during that time? Venture was usable.

That's just awesome.



Snow Leopard and Xinet

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 @ 10:15 AM

Tags: Xinet server DAM Systems

Yes, I know- Snow Leopard is out! Best, fastest thing since sliced bread, as they say. "I'm gonna upgrade everything!", the irrational, futuristic you thinks.

Sadly, the voice of reason in the guise of RP has to step in and throw a bucket of cold water into the mix. 

 Here's the skinny in a Xinet world-

SL as server platform- not supported yet. Xinet's working hard at it, since new servers out of the factory are coming with it, but at this point, hang out and enjoy it on your laptop.

SL as client- here the news is better; it's working for the most part, but with a few caveats. There have been some AFP permissions errors, and you lose your contextual plugins, out of box. There's some workarounds to this that are in process, but be careful! 


As always, a phased intro is key- try a few machines, run 'em through their paces, and see what you think.




10Gb networking and DAM

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Wed, Jun 03, 2009 @ 09:56 AM

Tags: knowledge, how to, DAM Systems, Portal, workflow

We're a bunch of performance geeks here. We've been tweaking blocksizes, stripe, and interleave settings on disk since SGI first gave you access to 'em. Tuning and re-tuning SWAP size, location, type is in our blood. A few percentage points here, double digit gains there, all without more capex. Gotta love it.

Now, anytime a paradigm shift in technology comes out there's a steep cost differential to it, right? 10Gb networking had only a tiny little blip of time when it was out of reach of the masses, which is a refreshing change. You can kit out most servers with a card, an acceptable managed switch with a 10Gb port or two, for a very reasonably cost.

Why go to 10? Our desktops have had Gb cards for what seems like forever, and very fast CPUs. With just a couple 'power' users you could swamp the networking capabilities of a server. Of course, a handful of years ago disks could only cough up 150Mb/sec or so of sustained data, so network tended to not be the gating factor in server  performance. Modern disk starts at well over 300Mb/sec, and if you stripe or otherwise use some common sense design principles you can achieve multiples of that.

 Xinet and NAPC both use the 1 to 6 rule for users and performance: with 6 retouchers (or 'power' users), you can assume 1 of them will be accessing the server at one time. 12=2, 18=3. It's a rough rule of thumb, but one that seems to stand up over time. 12 heavy hitters can thus drain 120Mb/sec out of a server, which is the better part of 2 1Gb cards bonded together. Add in the other users, doing layout, OPI printing (yep, some folks still use an OPI workflow), and Portal access, you've got a saturated pipe. 10gb gives you a good 800mb/sec of access speed, which will sate all but the most demanding organizations needs for data.

Next of course, we can talk about teaming 10Gb interfaces! (insert evil chortle of delight here).