Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unitrends UEB - Best Backup Solution Ever!!!

I recently went to an IT conference in Austin, TX a few weeks ago called "SpiceWorld" (not related to the Spice Girls, but nonetheless, just as awesome! HA!).  This was my second time going and if you are an IT guy like myself, who takes care of small to medium sized businesses, first of all you need their FREE software, and secondly, you need to be at this conference!  Great networking, product demos, and presentations to help you stay afloat of the ever-changing IT world.  The second part of that last sentence is what this post is about.  Our company recently went to a nearly 100% virtual server/machine infrastructure and built our own private cloud.  I wanted to find a way to have another server take periodic snapshots of every critical server running in that environment, but could not find the best way to go.  Enter the vendors at SpiceWorld.  There were a few that I wanted to talk to specifically for this, but none moreso than the folks at Unitrends based off all positive feedback listed in the Spiceworks community.  After talking with the reps on-site I knew immediately that I wanted to try the product.  Fast forward a few weeks after conference.  Business is back to it's normal break-neck speed, where I'm jumping from fire to fire, dying to have an assistant to help me, when I get a call from Kathleen at Unitrends.  She said that she got my info from SpiceWorld and wanted to find a time for us to talk.  We spoke and I laid out my goals of finding a backup product for my VM's and she pointed me to the Unitrends UEC free version to test out their product.  I hear that ALL...THE...TIME from vendors, and I wanted to do it, but as usual just didnt' have the time.  She checked back with me a week or two later and I was in the same predicament....needing to find a solution but having no time.  She gave me a link for a demo and so I decided it was time to fit it in the ol' schedule.  I watched the demo and was BLOWN AWAY.  "No way could things be so easy" I thought.  I downloaded the virtual appliance, threw it on my VMWare ESX server and fired it up.  I had it up and running, seemingly, in less than five minutes!  Again, "No way this could be setup that easy" I thought.  Again, wrong.  Everything was up and running.  Now, on to finding the best server to test their backup software on.  I found a small one that wasn't critical, and if something happened and it toasted the server, that I'd be good to go if it was gone forever.  I looked how to set it up for backup and I was up and running AGAIN in less than five minutes!  "This is ridiculously awesome....IF it works."  The skeptic in me blaring loudly.  I wake up the next morning and check my emails.  I see a few from my new Unitrends *FREE* appliance saying the backup was successful.  "Okay, cool."  I thought, thinking about wondering how well it truly went.  I check my server backup and it's totally in tact!  Okay, how does the restore function work you may ask?  I turned off the server, fired up the backup, and everything worked like it should and noone was the wiser!  People...this is a FREEEEEEEEE product that works as well as something I would pay THOUSANDS of dollars to have in my infrastructure!  So much so, that I am in talks with Unitrends now to bring in one of their appliances, or to use some of my equipment, and bring their full-scale backup and offsite replication process in-house!  I cannot wait to get this up and running, and to let me breathe that much easier with a full-blown disaster recovery process at my J-O-B!  You don't even know.  Bust out the champagne y'all, and if you're in the IT game like me, needing a DR software...CALL THESE GUYS NOW!!!  Better yet, just go to the link below, download the free version of their UEB product where you can backup F-O-U-R entire servers FOR FREE and try it out!  (Have I mentioned that it's FREE for up to four servers?  IT'S FREE!)

Click the link and stop wasting time worrying.  Click the link and stop looking elsewhere.  The search is over.  I've already done the research and testing for you.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

It's alive!

Hey all, how's it going?  Miss me much?  I haven't felt the need or desire to blog, now that Facebook and Twitter have been a mainstay in my life and only grow every day.  I just don't normally feel the need to ramble on and on like a blog used to be the avenue for any more.  Usually,  a quick 140 character tweet will get my point across, or if, by chance, I want to speak longer and in proper grammer, I'll choose the Facebook route.  I haven't felt any need to get in here and go on and on for some time, but for some reason, the safety of my blog compelled me to come back and write today.  Not a safety that I'm worried about speaking my mind in here, but just the nice quiet safety of knowing that probably no one checks this any more, or at least if they do, it'll be a small number of people.  So I can talk about whatever, and know that everyone who reads this, really knows me, what I'll say, and we'll just go with that.  I know, I'm weird.  I think I'll try and work on getting posts (however long I do this again), to a normal format of one topic per post to help smooth things out for any readers.  With that being said, here we go....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

31. Things you'd like to learn more about

My wife.  She is the one person in this life that I never want to stop learning about.

Electricity and how it works.  Because of how it can kill you, I've always been scared to mess with it beyond instances where I have to deal with it.

Working on cars.  I wish I knew how to change my own oil.

I wish I knew how to do "man" stuff.  Just feel like I never know what to do and wish I did.  Thank God though, check out YouTube for any questions on how to replace/fix stuff, as it's helped me many times already.

I actually did it...I posted 31 blogs for the 31 days of August! Now, don't plan to see any more for a long time!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

30. Make a list of things you want to accomplish by the week from now until the end of the year (your gameplan)

I can't plan week to week, so I'll just say what I'd like to do by the end of the year.

I'd like to replace the screens around the house.
I'd like to clean the garage.
I'd like to take at least one of my MCSA tests, if not two.  

I can't plan too far in advance like Belinda can.  It's not my strength.  I'm someone who lives in the now, and maybe a week in advance, and that's where B comes in and takes over.

Monday, August 29, 2011

29. Complete this sentence: In a perfect world....

I'd be 80lbs lighter, a great paying job, no bills, a maid to clean the house, plenty of time to spend with the kids and do whatever I wanted to do.  There would be world peace, everyone would feel safe all the time.  My kids would have free rides to college because of whatever they do well in whatever field they choose, and would do well and prosper in life.  Belinda and I would live to a very old age, with no pains, aches, and would be in great health until the end.  The kids would marry the loves of their lives, who would be great, upstanding people, and would have lots of kids to enjoy like we did.  It would all just be one big happy world.

Of course, the only perfect world is Heaven, so I basically just pray God feels I did well enough to make it there.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

28. Favorite topics to surf the web about (blog topics you read, google search, twitters you follow, etc)

1st thing I look to when I log in, in the morning, is ESPN.com.  I gotta get my daily fix of what happened the day before and overnight.  Now that it's fantasy football season, I try to look at my major player's teams to see about any news that could affect them.  Then I check my team of the current season (Cubs, Chiefs, or Magic).

2nd thing I look at is what's going on in the news, so I check out CNN.com.  I know some people say it's too liberal or whatever, but I just love the format of the site, and read through the top stories, then down to the bottom section to browse through the Entertainment, Sports, and Tech section.

Next I go through my Google Reader feeds to see what else is new in Christian music news, Belinda's and other's blogs, tech blogs I follow, and then catch up on my favorite webcomics.  

After that, I do a quick peruse through Facebook, Google+, and then love to sit through Twitter to catch up on whatever the top stories are.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

27. Where would you go if you could go on a vacation with your best friends and why?

I would take the guys to the original Starbucks in Pikes Place, WA, to visit the original place of our favorite hangout, then hit the mountains of the Rockies to sit on the porch and look at the mountains while just hanging out and talking.

26. Describe each child's personalities

I honestly can't say it any better than my wife did on her post:

Evan-4 years old, preschooler, thinker, constantly has to sing Justin Bieber songs, more intense than the others, silly, interested in learning, imaginative, lives for Legos.

Braden-7 years old, 2nd grader, easy going, along for the ride, loves baseball, works hard in school, quiet, loves to snuggle, good sense of humor, sensitive, big heart.

Jaelyn-10 years old, 5th grader, artistic, caring of others, animal lover, sensitive, loyal to friends, beautiful, good imagination, good student, loves drama/theater, musical

Avery-13 years old, 7th grader, natural born athlete, honor student, musical, plays trumpet, well rounded, great sense of humor, makes friends easily, likes to goof around, loves video games.

25. Who have you lost contact with over the years that you wish you could reconnect with?

Jeremy Wicks.  He was my closest friend all through High School, and for some reason, we lost contact when we went into the military.  We talk on FB, but we don't really talk, ya know?  I'd love to sit and and catch up with him over some beers some time.

Really though, I still talk to all my closest friends.  My boys Stan, Doug, Kris, and Nick are friends I talk to, not every day or week even, but ones that we can catch up in two seconds and laugh about whatever the topic is, or talk deeply about whatever is troubling us.  

My best friend though, is B, and she's always there for me whenever I need to get away.  And with Avery growing older and can watch the kids more, we can get more time together!

24. Biggest project you'd like to do that can be completed by the end of the year

To clean out the garage!  It's a huge mess, and even though we've been cleaning and getting rid of things slowly but surely, I wish we could just get rid of everything in there.  I hate having tons of junk around the house, and every time I go out there, I get stressed.

23. Favorite thing you have done this past year

My favorite thing I've done this past year was to coach my kids in basketball (Avery) and baseball (Braden).  I'd give anything to be able to do but have more time and commitment from parents (Avery's team), and to just be able to help this year on Braden's select team (which I think I will be able to).  It's super stressful, but also a ton of fun to just be with my kiddos.

Day 22 - What Would Be An Awesome Way to Celebrate a Milestone Birthday?

Here would be my dream birthday:

Wake up just Belinda and I in a log cabin overlooking the snowy Rocky Mountains.  Helicopter waiting for us to take us and the kids to an airport to jet over to Chicago for lunch at Gino's East, to have some pizza.  From there we'll hop over to the afternoon Cubs game where we'll see them clinch the World Series for the first time in 100+ years.  We then fly back to San Diego, so that we catch the rest of the day and can still enjoy some fun in the sun and time on the beach, with fresh pina coladas.  We then fall asleep to crashing waves on the most comfortable bed ever, with a nice, cool breeze blowing on us.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

21. What has been your best vacation?

I don't know how I can pick just one favorite vacation?!  So, I'll pick two.

My first favorite vacation was when I graduated HS and my parents let me pick where we went for vacation that year.  They were expecting me to say Florida, California, or some place big like that.  Where did I pick?


Yeah, that's right, Chi-town!  I wanted to see my Cubs and White Sox!  I got to see so much more though.  The Navy Pier, the Museum District, the Planetarium, the Magnificent Mile, Nike Town (was and still am a big Nike fan), and so much more.  I as able to eat at Gino's East, Lowry's Steak House, and even Michael Jordan's Restaurant.  I loved getting to feel like I had control of a big situation like that, and it was awesome to get to be in my favorite cit in the world.

My other favorite vacation was when we went to Destin, FL last year.  It was our first real vacation as a family!  Avery was 12 years old...his first real vacation at 12 years old?!  We went to Iowa year after year, since we moved down to TX, but after we went last year, we realized what we were missing...MEMORIES OF OUR OWN!  I remember vacation every year, and I want our kids to have that as well.  We didn't do anything crazy while in Destin, but we just had fun doing something out of the norm, doing stuff that was fun, and doing it together.  After we got back, we decided we'd do vacations every other year...that way we can see family back in Iowa, and still do vacations.  As the year has gone by though, and after we decided to do a staycation here and see more of the Houston area, I honestly don't know when we'll go back to Iowa next.  I really miss my friends and family, but they can come see me just as much as I can go see them.  So, I guess we'll see who really wants to see the Sheldons that bad!  HA!

Vacations...you can't have favorites if you do go!  Here's to many more memories!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

20. What is a memory you have of your childhood?

Going to Hawaii was probably one of the coolest things of my younger childhood.  I went to Oahu with my maternal grandparents when I was 11 years old.  It was amazing to see the most amazingly crystal blue ocean you could ever imagine.  The most beautiful fifteen foot waves on top of it.  The sea creatures below it.  The coral reefs that go on for miles.  The customs that the people had opened my eyes.  How they eat rice with every meal.  How they have the clay roof tiles.  All the things that an island community would do opened my eyes for the first time, the reality of a "world beyond" Iowa and all I knew at that time.  All the memories I have from that trip are still almost as vivid as if I had just came back.  My first meal, the place we stayed, the places I saw, the U of Hawaii stadium and flea market outside it, North Beach, and everything else.

What I remember most is my grandma and grandpa.  My grandpa is still alive, but my grandma is not.  They were always super funny, but my grandma gave me one of my favorite memories ever.  After a LONG day of walking around, we got back to the place we were staying and were all super tired.  We took the elevator from the parking ramp below the hotel and as we were going up, we all hit the proverbial wall.  We were pooped as pooped could be.  It took awhile to get to the floor we were on, and we all just became quiet, as the moment hit us that we were about to be "home" and could rest.  When out of the total silence, from the direction of my grandma, I heard a loud and long fart!  My grandpa and I looked at each other, then looked at her, and she laughed so hard, with her eyes squinting almost shut.  We all laughed the entire rest of the night, and joked about it for years after.  I loved my grandma.  Miss her still.

Thank you for Hawaii and our memories, grandma and grandpa.

19. How do you try to slow down time?

I don't know if I could say I ever truly feel like I can slow down time when I want to.  On the days I want it to go fast, it goes slow.  On the days I want it to go slow, it goes fast.  About the only time I can ever seem to get things to at least feel like they're slow is when I'm working out or studying (ha ha ha!).  Really though, on my day off if I can get up early to watch the Today Show, Regis & Kelly, and just sit on my iPad and Twitter.  Those days I try to get some coffee going, and just enjoy the news I rarely get to sit and watch, but in a format I thoroughly enjoy (aka The Today Show and R&K).  Good times.  Other times out of the norm that I feel I can slow down time is when we can go on vacation and sit and enjoy downtime while at the beach, or sitting around the pool, or late night at a hotel.  Reading a book helps some times, but usually the time flies and it's on to the next thing.  ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

18. How do you prepare for the holidays?

Realistically, I just say "Belinda, what are we doing?"  HAHAHAHAHA!!!

It's true!  Buuuuuut...I try to help and do stuff.  I'm not a big "put stuff up and fill the house with holiday stuff" type of guy.  I am a minimalist, so I prefer a Christmas tree with typical stuff, and some lights outside, but if it were up to me, that would be about it.  I'm not for decorating the house for Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.  I'm more of a feeler.  If it doesn't feel like the holidays outside, then it's hard to feel like doing stuff for it.  Being a midwest guy, I LOVE cool weather, and nothing feels like Halloween or Thanksgiving than cool weather, turning leaves, and football in the air.  Football will always be there in some form or fashion, but the leaves don't change much or at all down here, and the weather doesn't always get cool, so I have to deal with what I'm given.  I didn't really answer the question, but that's about what goes through my head.  I want to do whatever makes my wife happy, and so we do the decorations...we do the lights...we do all she wants to do...and we have fun!  The holidays are the best time of the year, and we're all on the same page in the end.  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

17. What are you looking forward to the most about kids going back to school?

I don't know if I can say anything really.  It gets hectic with four kiddos all in school, so it's gonna get all kindsa crazy here in a minute.  No more sleeping in.  No more only having to worry about myself for the most part, most mornings.  Nope.  I'll have to get back into getting kids to school, getting all their lazy butts moving and up, and now a preschooler actually ready and not just "up and over to grandma's house".  It's always good though, in a way, because in our house, we care about our kids and don't let any of them sluff off.  They will all graduate on time, and with good grades.

I guess the only thing I am looking forward to, will be to have lunches with just B when she's not working during a Tuesday or Thursday when Evan has preschool.  It'll be a nice, quiet, easy-going lunch with my boo.  As you can imagine, life with four kids, while awesome, is a bit hectic, so any chance we can get alone...I'mma take it!

Here's to the 2011-2012 school year!  Go Pandas and Wildcats!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

16. List 10-15 things about yourself that others may not know.

1. I'm actually a very shy person around people I don't know.  Especially if they make no effort to open up as well.
2. I've never been happy with what I see in the mirror.
3. I hate that I'm bald, only because I don't have control of being able to grow out my hair and do something different from time to time.
4. I LOVE to try new foods.  Not crazy foods just to do it, but new dishes that friends make, new foods at restaurants, etc.
5. I love to try new beers!  It's like anything you really like.  Once you get to taste something, and then try other styles, it's fun to see the differences and tastes.
6. I have crazy different locations for my favorite sport teams...baseball: Chicago Cubs, football college: IOWA HAWKEYES!, football pro: Kansas City Chiefs, basketball: Orlando Magic
7. I want to learn how to code an Apple iPhone/iPad app
8. I hated growing up in Polk City, IA, but now would love to live in a small farming community...as long as I had high-speed internet in my home. ;)
9. Right now, my dream job would be to either work with the Cubs, or have a successful tech-gadget blog/show where I test new devices/gadgets that come out
10. I would love to live in a nice suburb of Chicago, so we could go see Cubs games at Wrigley, even though I do admit that I like not having to deal with snow/ice down here in Houston.
11. I wish I could make enough money at my current job, so that B could be a stay at home mom, but that will never be an option, which frustrates me, but I love where I work and what I do.
12. I wish I was more creative.
13. I love and am amazed at video games even more than I did when I was younger, because of how amazing they look nowadays. I remember playing games with "dots" on the screen that represented football players.  Now we have full-blown football players on the screen, with individualized traits, tattoos, and even the ability to see their breath when it's a cold game.  Amazing!
14. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, because of the food, and because I love the name "Thanksgiving" because it's one more reason to help us remember to be thankful for everything we're blessed with.
15. I love my wife more than anything in this world, and it makes my heart hurt sometimes, because I just cannot get enough of that woman.

Monday, August 15, 2011

15. What do you think stands in the way of you achieving your goals?


I couldn't just end the post there though, but that's in a nutshell, it.  I stand in the way of my dreams.  I dream of being in shape and looking in the mirror and being happy with what I look like.  I stand in the way of getting things done around the house more often.  I stand in the way of getting down and playing with the kids more.  I stand in the way of not saving money to get the new MacBook Air I want.  I stand in the way of getting rest, but not being slothful and getting up to do stuff that needs to be done.  Stuff like working out, studying for more certifications, learning more IT skills.  I stand in the way of it all.  Really, isn't that the truth in all of us?  We can say we don't have "x" or not enough "y" to get things done, but if we'd focus, I'm sure we'd all find the time, save the money, put the effort, etc, into whatever needs to get done.

14. Everyone is addicted to something. What are you addicted to?

See previous post about gluttony!  HA!  Seriously though, I love to try new foods.  I love to eat my favorite foods.  Unfortunately, I can't just have a taste.  I can't just dip the chip into the dip.  I have to eat 20 bites.  I have to pull up a tablespoon of that GLORIOUS Anderson-Ericson dip on my frito!  So yeah, that's what I need to work on.

13. Which of the 7 deadly sins do you struggle with?

I don't know how you could say you only struggle with one of them.  I know I usually struggle with more than one at a time, and have struggled with them all at one point or another.  My biggest, and most often "tasted" sin is gluttony, though.  Sure, lust, sloth, etc, are all there, but gluttony rings the bell more often than not.  And the typical gluttony of food is the winner.  It's because it feels like it's the one thing I can control in this life.  I can't control my wife, kids, job, etc, but controlling my happiness of eating wins every time.  Of course, that's also why I'm back over 300 lbs.  UGH!  I'm working on it AGAIN though. Here's to hoping I can one day give up this sin and run towards the real prize of life!

Friday, August 12, 2011

12. What is a list of baby names you like now if you ever were to have any more children?

I'm a guy, we don't think of these things like you women-folk do, but if I were to have a kid, I'd love to name it after something I'm passionate about, like a sports figure/team, or something tech.

I could see Kinnick or Hayden as a first name, Kirk as a middle name maybe.  I follow a tech person on all my social sites and she's a programmer.  She uses a language called "Ruby" and she named her newborn that.  I thought that was pretty cool.  Besides that, I don't know.

11. What is something you regret doing?

I regret so many things in my life.  I think that's pretty much everyone's thoughts though, unless you were raised with no moral compass.  I wasn't raised in a Christian home, but I was raised with enough of a moral compass by my parents that I knew what I should and shouldn't do.  Yet, I chose to do enough bad that I wished I would have been smarter.  This is a tough one to answer for me, because I have so much I wish I could undo in my past, but my biggest regrets would be any time I've hurt my wife or kids.  They're what I ultimately leave on this earth, and have been blessed to form a life with, and they're the ones that hold my heart.  I hate whenever I let them down in any way.  I'm not close to my dad, and I want my kids to miss me when I'm gone.  I want to leave such an impact on their lives that they hurt.  Hopefully that makes sense and is a good thing, not a bad thing!  HA!  I want to be the man my wife craves, and feels like she is missing something whenever we're apart, because that's what she is to me.  So that's what I regret doing...anything that ever or will hurt them.  Hopefully it's less and less as the years go by.  ;)

10. What characteristics do you get from each of your parents?

I grew up with three parents...my mom and dad, and my stepdad who was with and married to my mom for 18+ years, and who is my dad as well.  I don't know how to accurately know what I got from my folks, but I'll try to do my best

From my mom I get my caring attitude, my desire to fix things and do what I can to make someone happy when they're down.  I get my desire to be all I can for my close friends and family, and to easily make friends and make relationships with people when I desire to do so.

From my dad I got my goofy attitude, I believe.  My ability to just be funny at all times.  Hopefully that's a good thing...keeping things light, but I know at times it's not. My dad liked to go to the park and stuff, and I get that from him, in that I love to take my family to the local park and hang out, or go see the Buffalo at another park...saving some loot, getting out of the house, and having fun still.

From my stepdad, I got my desire for technical stuff, which landed me my profession, which I feel is a pretty big deal to me, because it's a part of my life.  Also, I feel I got my desire to relax in situations and not worry about stuff until I feel I need to.  There's a time to worry, and a time to remain calm until you need to worry.  Jim is a laid back kind of guy, and so I get that from him as well.

That's about it...I think.  Feel free to post if I'm missing something.

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