New virus infections spreading fast!

Many of my clients have had to contact me in the past week related to new Virus infections.

The axiom: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure  is extremely accurate.

Prevention is fairly simple.

Get a reputable anti-virus product installed,  keep it updated.  Most of the better products ship with software firewalls.

I personally use ESET Smart Security Suite 4 for all of my Windows systems.  I use Clamav, Selinux, and IP chains for my servers.

The misconception that an email attachment or an infected file from portable media is the only way to get infected will be the demise of many small and medium sized businesses this year.

AV Comparatives Offers comparative unbiased Anti-Virus reviews.

High Performance Computing. Part 2 of 2. Multiple Core advantages and disadvantages.

There are numerous myths even in the technical community related to the advantage of multiple cores and multi-threading.

In part 1 of this article I used my car/highway analogies for simplification.

I will use some of that same analogy in this article.

Most current applications are written for 32 bit application and only use one core. This limits them to a single threaded runtime.  The application is not symmetric multi-processing (SMP) compliant.
So for an average 32 bit Computer running Windows XP Pro envision the following:

I want to get 500 cars to the school at 8:20AM.   I have a 32 lane highway(System bus of the computer) with 32 lane on and off ramps(Memory) and ONLY one RAMP(Processor core) that allows cars to enter the parking lot of the school.  That one RAMP becomes the choke point.  It’s where the traffic jam begins.  Things get really congested about 8:10AM.  They will stay that way until 8:30AM.  This is the SINGLE CORE computer.

Next week I pay more money to get another RAMP(Processor Core #2)  with 32 lanes that can enter the school parking lot.  If I am using software that has SMP compliance, it will use both of the schools ramps ( Core 1 and Core 2)  and the traffic jam may be avoided.  Especially if I am only using one application at a time.  Most of the software available today is not SMP compliant.  That’s ok.  The Second RAMP to the school parking lot can still help some.  This is a DUAL CORE computer.

Now I am hooked on the concept that more is better and I go spend huge amounts to get TWO more ramps or Four more ramps built for the school parking lot.   The problem is that there is not enough traffic for all of those extra ramps to be  faster than 2 ramps are.  This is a QUAD CORE computer.

A major factor at this point is true SMP compliance.

Some software was tested for SMP compliance when there were only two core processors available for the PC or IBM Compatible computer architecture.  So if the software was tested and it managed to use two cores simultaneously it was considered SMP compliant.

When four cores or more became available it required changes in the method of coding the software to effectively use four or more cores simultaneously.  This is the reason that some software that claims to be SMP compliant does not perform any faster on a Quad core than on a Dual Core.  If the software is not SMP compliant at all, it will never perform faster on two or more cores, than it performs on a single core system.  If the software is truly SMP compliant, you will see a significant performance increase when you increase the quantity of cores.  You can verify if a program is running on multiple cores in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 by right clicking on the task bar and then selecting task manager.  Select the performance tab.  This should show your cores independently with a graphic representation of the amount of work each core is performing in close to real time.  If this only shows one graph, change the setting under VIEW, to one graph per CPU.

Programmers creating new code today are more aware of the advantages of SMP and 64 bit operation.  Some programmers are even optimizing their code to take full advantage of both SMP and 64 bit operation at the same time.   Adobe Flash 64bit Beta is a good example of 64 bit SMP software available now.  It is only available for Linux 64 bit platforms as of this writing.  Without SMP compliant software, your multiple core system is allowing many of it’s processor cores to sit idle most of the time.

High Performance Computing. Part 1 of 2. Why 64 bit operating systems outperform the 32 bit versions.

Some people that try to explain 64 bit performance will simply say “64 bit is faster”. That is incorrect. Though the actual results may make that appear to be accurate.

Think of your computer as a multi lane highway. The I/O path (Processor, System bus and RAM) limit the number of lanes (32 or 64bit) of traffic. The bits are represented by cars. The objective is to get the most cars moving at the same time.

All new processors, Intel or AMD, sold as new today are 64 bit capable. All new memory is 64 bit capable also. Most new motherboards are 64 bit capable as well.

Using a 64 bit operating system does not increase the speed limit of the highway, it increases the lanes from 32 to 64. The Ghz rating of your Processor is the speed limit of the highway.

The hard drive is like a Long Term Parking lot. Cars can NOT move fast in the long term parking lot, but they can be stored efficiently there.

The RAM is like an On ramp and Off ramp that offers 64 lanes on and off of the highway.

Now 64 cars (bits of information) can be moved at once.

If you are only using one application to do a small amount of work, the lanes will not get congested with 32 bit. When you attempt to run several applications like Firefox and Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat all at the same time the 32 lane highway becomes congested and everything goes slower than the posted speed limit. On a 64 bit operating system this is less likely to happen, it also happens less often. The number of lanes prevents the traffic jam from building up in the first place.

Ultimately more data is moved at the same time resulting in better performance, when more lanes are in use. I will post part two about multiple cores and symmetric multi processing soon.

An interesting note: Adobe Photoshop was originally created by Adobe on and for MacIntosh computers. Adobe has released a 64 bit version of Photoshop for 64 bit versions of Windows but has not released a 64 bit version for 64 bit Mac OS.

Technology costing analysis. Why you pay for Sparkling wine, instead of the draft.

I have formal training and certifications including: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, US Government certified Terminal Area Security Officer, with various other lesser certifications. I have 25 years of data technology experience. I build some of the fastest servers.

The fact that my profession requires more of my personal time than most other professions to be well educated and informed is a reality. So, yes it is a labor of love.

If you want solutions to your problems that work, hire a professional. Have a professional do it right the first time. When someone comes to me after a network is in extremely poor condition, the dollar signs roll in my eyes. It costs three times as much or more to repair an improperly maintained or engineered network than it does to do the job right from scratch or maintain as it is needed.

Those of you considering information technology as a means to make lucrative six figure salaries would be better served to study law or medicine. You’ll make more money quicker with less of your personal time occupied by your professional requirements. The rules of science and law change SLOWLY. Information technology changes occur daily.

In my years of providing professional support and services I have had one client of note that OVER SPENT on Technology. The Client has a small office with eight work stations and purchased $150,000 of server hardware and software from an organization. They would have been better suited to spend $28,000 or less. I suggested they sell the excessive servers that they could not even afford to maintain correctly.  Then to purchase more cost effective solutions. There are companies out there that will take advantage. Before you spend $20,000 or more on technology, get a second or third opinion.

Fastest Servers on earth for compiling Apache web server 2.2.11

I now have the 3 fastest benchmarks for compiling Apache web server version 2.2.11. The server I build that out performs everything else is the ECC® Sabre, which I build on a case by case basis. The results are published at Phoronix

If you are interested in ordering an ECC® Sabre or any of the other servers I build by hand in the United States of America, feel free to contact me at jaguar07 at evanscomputers.com or visit my web site