Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mobile Sync from Axigen

Just came back from Perth for a family holiday. Relaxing place, except the hot summer weather.

I was clearing my mailbox when I saw that there is a Free Mobile Sync from Axigen.

It seems Mobile Sync is a definite must for any messaging solution these days.

PS: So you think it's free? Come on, nothing is free in this world. Valid until 31st March 2010. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sun Products download on Oracle E-Delivery Site

I met up with a long-time customer today. We were talking about a potential collaboration for a China project.

We used to customize Oracle E-Business Suite (CRM) for a government agency few years back. He lead his consultancy team; we beefed up his team with our Java Architects.

Anyway, as part of the collaboration requirement, we need to download Oracle E-Business Suite. He told me to go to Oracle E-Delivery Site.

So I went ahead to the site ... and to my surprise, I found Sun Products download as well!

However, Sun Products on Linux x86 and Microsoft Windows (32-bit) only.

Strange! Why no Solaris platform?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Email Forwarding Tracking for Administrator

There is a nice feature in OpenMail.SG that is worthed mentioning - Email Forwarding Tracking for Administrator.

Some of our corporate customers asked for this feature. We thought over it and asked ourselves "Why Not?".

This is a feature that allows administrators to track the forwarded email addresses.

Note that only privileged users (usually the HR or Security teams or the Business Owners) will be allowed this feature.

There are some corporate rules that disallow employees to forward their emails to external parties. Thus this feature allows the administrators to quickly identify employees who might have accidentally forwarded to non-intended parties.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weird IPMP Output - Part II

A telco in the Philippines engaged us to troubleshoot a IPMP (IP Multipathing) issue on one of their Solaris box.

The customer is using Probe-based detection, not Link-based detection.

They always encounter the following 2 problems when IPMP is configured on this particular Solaris box:

1. The standby interface (e1000g2) on the node will always fail whenever it is configured for IPMP
2. Otherwise, when e1000g2 is the active interface, it will never fail-back to the primary interface (e1000g0)

1. OS version is Solaris 10 U7
2. The Patch Level is 141445-09.
3. A check on SunSolve reveals the following fact:

Solaris 10 Kernel Patches 141444-09 (SPARC) and 141445-09 (x86) cause interface failure in IPMP when configured for probe based failure detection. This issue does not occur with a IPMP link based failure detection configuration. (Read here)

4. Resolution

This issue is addressed in the following releases:

SPARC Platform:
Solaris 10 with patch 142900-02 or later

x86 Platform:
Solaris 10 with patch 142901-02 or later

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Compliance vs Operational Archival

In my conversations with IT managers, most are not able to differentiate between compliance and operational archival solutions. All they want is an archival solution. But when you ask more, they are mostly confusing.

Today, I was reading the Sun Java Communications Suite wiki and come across the section on Messaging Archival again.

There are two types of archiving, compliance and operational.

Compliance archiving is used when you have a legal obligation to maintain strict retrievable email record keeping. Selected email (selected by user(s), domain, channel, incoming, outgoing and so on) coming into the MTA is copied to the archive system before being delivered to the message store or the internet. Archiving can be set to occur either before or after spam and virus filtering.

Operational archiving is used for mail management purposes. For example:

  • To reduce storage usage on the Messaging Server message store by moving less used (older) messages to an archiving system which uses lower cost storage.
  • As an alternative for data backup.

Note that compliance and operational archiving are not exclusive. That is, you can set up your system so that it does both compliance and operational archiving.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mail Filtering - Part II

I recently switched from Yahoo Mail to Gmail because of Yahoo's faulty mail filter. (See blog)

Architecturally, have you noticed any difference between Gmail and other mail servers?

Gmail does not have a Folder concept. It uses the Label concept. All emails, when filtered, are applied with a label. After filtering, they are still sent to the same INBOX.

Gmail's filtering is to attach a label to an email. After labeling, this email will "disappear" from the INBOX and "appear" when the label is clicked.

Ok, no big deal, I thought. So I went ahead to create my 1st filter.

I tried "Skip Inbox" so that this email will not appear in my INBOX. Then I applied "ADV" label. Simple!

After the filter was created, I could still receive emails from the above From-address in my BlackBerry. Strange.

I created my 2nd filter.

I tried "Skip Inbox" so that this email will not appear in my INBOX. Then I applied "ADV" label. Same as what I have previously done. But, in addition, I clicked on "Mark as read".

This does the trick! Emails that are read will not be pushed to BlackBerry or any PushMail handsets.

However, is this method good?

Personally, no. When I go back to my Gmail via a browser, I would still want to read those filtered emails. Ideally, their status should be unread so that I know I have not read them yet.

But with Gmail, this is not possible. Luckily, I do not use Gmail for business.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mail Filtering

If you have a BlackBerry like me or any PushMail enabled phone, it's annoying to receive unimportant or non-targeted emails. It will be ideal to receive only qualified emails.

The way to achieve that is to configure Mail Filter. (See diagram below)

From my experience, I also find that the sequence when Mail Filter kicks in is also important. The most effective method is to filter emails before they reach the INBOX.

This will ensure that only important emails are being push to your BlackBerry or any PushMail enabled handsets.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Say goodbye to Yahoo Mail (for the time being)

I have always been using Yahoo Mail to send/receive my emails from Gmail. (See my previous posting)

However, I am switching to Gmail for the time being (or maybe forever depending on how Yahoo Mail develops). Why?

Simple: Yahoo Mail Filter (for All-New and Classic interfaces) is not working!

Mail Filter is really important for me, especially since I carry a blackberry. I only want important emails to appear in my INBOX, and nothing else.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Disk-Path Failure Handling

Disk-Path Failure Handling refers to the ability to automatically reboot a node if all its paths to shared disks have failed. Faster reaction in case of severe disk-path failure enables improved availability.

Note that this feature is only available on Sun Cluster 3.2 onwards.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sun Cluster vs Veritas Cluster

Last week, my colleague and I traveled to Kuala Lumpur to conduct a TOI (Transfer of Information) session to our customer, a telco solutions provider.

During the session, we were asked the differences between Sun Cluster and Veritas Cluster.

Fairly common question, I'hv been asked a few times before.

Sun Cluster
* Kernel-based - faster in failure-detection
* Only support Sun Solaris OS
* Cheaper overall - e.g. IPMP, MPxIO, UFS, SVM all free from Solaris OS

Veritas Cluster
* Software-based
* Support multiple platforms
* More expensive overall - e.g. VxFS requires extra license

A typical scenario to utilize Veritas Cluster is a mid-sized to large-sized company having multiple platforms (Solaris, HP-UX, AIX ...) in their data center. In order to standardize the clustering software (so as to reduce training and operation cost), Veritas Cluster will be the choice to use.