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Thursday, December 30, 2010

System.Threading.Timer Sample Code (VB.NET)

I consider this to be best practice.

This sample codes requires the knowledge of multi-threading.


1.) It examines two models.

1.1.) Single timer multiple tasks model.

1.2.) Multiple timer objects model.

2.) Reentrancy Issues:

For both model, reentrancy will still happen. In fact, reentrancy cannot be avoided, it can only be mitigated.

2.1.) Try to use system.threading.timers and asynchronous processing. System.timers.timer are more for synchronous processing.

2.2.) Design the program in such that if previous scheduled task is not yet completed, ignore current task schedule and come back later.

3.) CPU Utilization:

Both models have the about the same CPU utilization, with single timer model suffers slightly higher CPU.

The bottleneck is happening at refreshing text at 'System.Windows.Forms.Label'

The more GUI refreshes is made, the high CPU utilization and the slower data gets to be displayed real time.

4.) Benefits of Single Timer Multiple Tasks Model:

Improve manageability, single point of troubleshooting, single point of view.

4.1.) Reduce the possibility of deadlock.

4.2.) Reduce the possibility of exceptions.

5.) Conclusion

5.1 Both models are workable.

5.2 It is not necessary to deploy the single timer multiple tasks model, which will give rise to more bottlenecks and more CPU utilization. Using multiple timer objects proves to be more optimized.

5.3) The most important thing is to mitigate Reentrancy.

Download the (sample code)VB.NET Visual Studio 2008 SP1

Other References:

Also refer to 'System.Timers.Timer Vs System.Threading.Timer'

And 'System.timers.timer hung or hangs'

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 A Year Flashback

Jan 2010:

Apple launched iPad.

Feb 2010:
Mar 2010:

TM launched UniFi.

Apr 2010:
June 2010:

10th Malaysia Plan ICT related.

Jul 2010:

Aug 2010:

Microsoft introduced Microsoft Partner Network.

Sep 2010:

Google introduced dynamic search.

Oct 2010:
Nov 2010:
Trends:

The most happening periods of the year were 2nd quarter and 3rd quarter, with May 2010 tops the list.

The government of Malaysia relaxes on ICT initiatives, choosing to focus on mobile and Internet lifestyle.

There isn't any significant funding and grant initiatives for entrepreneurs.

The launched of UniFi by TM ended years of speculation on the HSBB (High Speed Broadband) project initiative by the government; Malaysia has high speed broadband now.

Network based technology is going to take over, due to the fact that cloud computing has gained a lot of momentum and attention. Besides that, Internet coverage has improved. This is going to give a lot more opportunities for the Internet culture. Anything to do with Internet Protocol (IP) based, Internet, web will have good prospect.

By the way, happy new year :D

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

F5 Simplifies and Centralizes Access Management for Citrix Applications

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced its improved support for organizations that run Citrix and other virtual desktop applications.

Organization can consolidate and centralize authentication and access control for better access management across all virtual desktop environments, including Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware - using F5’s BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager™ (APM™) or BIG-IP Edge Gateway™ solution.

This gives F5 customers a choice of flexible solutions to meet their business needs, rather than only being able to work with a specific vendor’s offerings.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Latest Updates from TM on UniFi

First of all, UniFi is HSBB (High Speed Broadband) project; an initiative lauded by the government of Malaysia to improve the broadband coverage in Malaysia.

It is happening now, it is UniFi.

'UniFi' is using Fibre and the core is totally IP(Internet Protocol) based, therefore, it is a very complex system.

It will be a 10 years project started since 2008.

Total cost = RM 11.3 billion over 10 years. (Shared between TM and government).

It involves 2.500 contractors and approximately 19,000 TM staffs.

Currently, the service is available to a few locations namely Klang valley, some industrial areas in Johor and Penang.

Beta stage has already passed, it is considered to be live now.

According to TM, 90% of traffics go international, this makes the bottleneck at the international gateway which has limited bandwidth.

1% of the users are using 25% of the traffics.

In lieu of this, TM recognizes the need to implement traffic management based on Fair Usage Policy (FUP).

This problem is not new to TM actually, based on their experience from Streamyx where 90% of traffics go international and 1% of users are using 25% of the traffics. However, the challenge is that they want to make things better now, make things right.

Users are getting more sophisticated, most of them are downloading Blu-Ray movies, making use of VPN tunneling and MKV container. This scenario puts network engineers into sleepless night.

TM reckons that an understanding needs to be achieved between TM and consumers.

The reason is that most UniFi users are hard core users, while Streamyx users are soft-core who may only use up to the average of 512 Mb, it is a different scenario now.

Since its launch (Mar 2010), TM has tried to implement several FUP methods such as contention ratio (CR) which some believe that it could have been responsible for the recent outage, according to TM, they are still finalizing on the actual causes of the outage. According to the technical team, it was due to routing issues which could have been resolved instantly, nevertheless, it took them 36 hours to make sure that everything is well checked; a risk mitigation procedure.

According to CEO Dato' Sri Zamzamzairani, FUP in the form of volume based pricing will most likely be introduced by 2011. The exact date is unknown, however, consumers will be informed earlier.

Other strategies include getting favourite contents to be hosted locally; a move which Google (YouTube) and Microsoft have implemented. This means that if you are using TM's broadband service, access to YouTube and Microsoft's Updates will be faster than when using other providers.

TM stresses for the need to have more local contents which to me is very encouraging to local ICT entrepreneurs.

TM is geared up to work with the social media, particularly on popular forums like lowyat.net.

And on customer service, TM reckons that there are rooms for improvement. As the matter of fact, TM would like the social media to help out with such area.

Finally, on competing with YTL Yes, CEO Dato' Sri Zamzam thinks that TM is strong on the fixed line business while mobile Internet will always have certain limitations such as signal's strenght and availability. TM is looking forward to setup more hotspots to supply consumers with more coverage of broadband services.

The conclusion for now is:

Contention Ratio (CR) is based on speed. 2M package is slower than 4M package. Volume based (VB) pricing means that for the same speed, charges are according to the total bytes downloaded or uploaded.

By default, CR should be the way of broadband. But there is actually no standard for UniFi unlike ADSL; UniFi is the creation of TM.

Therefore, there is no right and wrong on the solution towards the limitation of international bandwidth per se.

Using CR, slower package users will donate bandwidth to faster package users. While using VB pricing, hard core users donate bandwidth to soft core users.

The culprit is international bandwidth because if this country is USA, then everybody can have fast access to Google, YouTube, Facebook, Microsoft and etc; as fast as the core.

Juniper Networks Secures iPad for Mobile Devices

Juniper Networks® announced the Junos® Pulse App for the iPad, which enables anytime, anywhere secure remote access and connectivity to all enterprise resources, is now available for free download on iOS 4.2 from the Apple iTunes App Store .

With more than 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies deploying or piloting the iPad and 7.5 million iPad's sold worldwide1, securing the device while enabling productivity for the enterprises has become paramount.

The Junos Pulse App for the iPad is part of Juniper's broader Junos Pulse platform. It builds on the market-leading Juniper Networks® SA Series SSL VPN solution that already enables more than 25 million end users to remotely and securely connect their devices, including laptops and smartphones, to corporate networks. The Junos Pulse App has been built for ease of use and seamless deployment so enterprises can enable the mobile workforce of iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to be productive and secure.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My First Encounter with SolarWinds

I visited SolarWinds (Singapore) while I was in Singapore few days ago.

I have known Ms. Audrey Too (Marketing Manager) previously.

The office is located at Suntec City, Tower 2. It is a pretty nice place to be, with so many different companies camped there waiting to conquer the world, particularly the APAC region.

Ya, Singapore is very successful country, primarily it is able to attract investors from all over the world and hence it is considered to be the gateway to the APAC.

SolarWinds (Singapore) is no different, was first setup two years ago.

SolarWinds Incorporated was founded in 1999, during the early stage of Internet where all possibilities were possible.

Currently, its Regional Sales Director for APAC is Mr. Patrick McKinney.

The company's core products consist of:
  1. Orion - network performance monitoring (NPM) and application performance monitoring(APM) suite
  2. Profiler - storage performance and monitoring suite.
Network performance monitoring means monitoring by knowing all registered network-oriented devices about its status (up or down) which includes VM (virtual machines) devices.

With this, you can measure just everything that you want to measure such as bandwidth usage, latency, bottlenecks and etc.

And of course, you can do many tasks with the software such as creating reports, creating alerts, creating triggers and etc, just everything that one needs for monitoring,management,analysis and troubleshooting.

Application performance management is about monitoring for network connected devices' computing resources such as CPU utilization, memory utilization, up or down as well as the storage.

While APM is focusing on computing resources, the profiler is focusing on storage.

SolarWinds primarily focuses on selling its products to network engineers and system administrators. It is suitable for organizations of any sizes as long as you have network devices which include routers, PCs and even mobile devices.

What I am fascinated with the product is the core idea, which is to serve as a platform to integrate all sort of technologies together, to create some sort of console view of what is happening around your IT assets. Such technologies are SNMP, WMI, Netflow, IP SLA as well as other custom APIs.

In other words, the product is just able to work with any other network-oriented devices out there in the market, as long as it supports open standard technologies, known technologies or custom APIs.

Orion is selling at about USD 2,500. It is web based and supports Microsoft platform. Currently, it supports Windows Server 2003 onwards. The application is pretty much AJAX and CSS oriented, with simple GUI and caters for simplicity with the back-end as Microsoft .NET technologies.

Mr. Henry Pea (Sales Engineer) told me that the secret of success is Thwack.com; a community knowledgebased web site for its customers and the general public. Thwack.com provides us with forums, blogs and knowledgebase.

Through Thwack.com, not only customers get to have technical supports, they also gain access to other know-hows and tips. Besides that, this is the platform for product innovations where customers get to request for new features while critics get to challenge product innovations.

Having Thwack.com is what I call it the 'closed circuit product development strategy' where every issues will be able to get known and resolved eventually; nothing is left in the dark.

Another culture that I like about SolarWinds is the free tools provided. Each free tool is actually a module of the Orion suite with some limitations. Orion suite simply combines everything together. And one can utilize such tools to solve many technical issues arising daily.

“SolarWinds (Singapore) is one of the fastest rising companies in Singapore and we see tremendous opportunity for SolarWinds in the APAC region. With the recent addition of the Brisbane office as the APAC Headquarters, we intend to continue the expansion of our presence in APAC in 2011 especially in countries like Australia, Singapore and China.”

For Malaysia, existing customers include Green Packet P1.

SolarWinds encourages companies to monitor all network oriented devices, to maximize investments and productivity. It is always better to have more visibility.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Google launches new tools for businesses to grow internationally

Google yesterday introduced a number of new resources for businesses to expand internationally. The Google Global Market Finder is a free online tool for advertisers to find new markets overseas. This tool will be available as part of Google Ads for Global Advertisers, a new website and hub for businesses to identify, reach, and engage with
customers worldwide.

These new tools help businesses of all sizes address traditional barriers to international
expansion, such as finding the right customers, translating their websites and ad campaigns into local languages, and reaching customers in foreign markets with relevant ads.

This is a global launch and Malaysia is the second country after China to launch this business initiative.

Check out details.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Internet Connected But Browser Not Working

Able to connect to Internet, able to ping www.yahoo.com, windows updates able to work, but not able to use browser; all web browsers.

Having ability to ping www.yahoo.com means that IP, subnet,DNS, gateway settings are correct. It also implies that the network card is working normally.

Try to 'telnet www.yahoo.com 80'



Not successful.

Check Windows Firewall; is off.

Try to ping the PC from other PC in the LAN.

Not successful.

Thus, since Windows Firewall is off, there must be another firewall which prevents such to happen.

The culprit is Norton Internet Security.

Tried to open Norton Internet Security, unable to.

Must be corrupted.

Uninstall Norton Internet Security.

It works. Web browser is able to surf the Internet.

Thus, either someone changed the settings of Norton Internet Security or there is a trojan which corrupted the settings, even made it not operable.

When everything is able to work properly, if you perform 'telnet www.yahoo.com 80', a blank window will open.

You can also use WireShark to see the communication.

Install WireShark, apply filter for 'Http' only. Then start to capture the network interface.

Then perform 'telnet www.yahoo.com 80' from command prompt.



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Freecorder 4 - Download Youtube Videos, Record Love Songs

I have just discovered this free software; Freecorder 4.

It is supposed to be able to cater for YouTube videos, and record audios which come out of the audio output from your PC.

This is cool!!


Now you can sing love songs and convert it to MP3 and send it to someone.

Freecorder is distributed alongside FLV (Flash) player.

Other features include:
  • Audio formation conversion.
  • Built-in to web browser.
  • Include FLV player.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Year in Malaysia Search: Google's Top Searches of 2010

Today, Google announced its annual Zeitgeist, a look at 2010 through the collective eyes of the world on the web. The 2010 Year-End Zeitgeist offers a unique perspective on the year's major events and hottest trends based on global searches, as well as searches conducted in Malaysia on google.com.my

When it comes to Malaysia's fascination with the Proton Inspira, not even Apple’s iPad and the Greatest Show on Earth come close to the national car manufacturer’s Mitsubishi Lancer lookalike, which was launched in November. The fastest rising searches of 2010 also showed Malaysians going online for a variety of reasons, from checking out Indonesian drama Benci Bilang Cinta and spending time interacting via Facebook to looking for the best deals in town on mudah.com.my and staying up-to-date with the latest news on Utusan. They also kept their reflexes sharp playing online games on Didi games and kept an eye out for singing teen sensation Justin Bieber.

Juniper Networks Announces Acquisition of Altor Networks

Juniper Networks announced it has acquired Altor Networks, a leading provider of virtualization security technology that enables organizations to secure the virtualized world. This acquisition will allow Juniper to extend its market-leading security position by delivering an integrated, highly-scalable security architecture that protects physical and virtual systems. Under the terms of the agreement, Juniper acquired Altor for a cash purchase price of approximately $95 million, net of Altor shares already owned by Juniper.

The acquisition builds on Juniper’s existing technology partnership with Altor and will extend Juniper’s leadership in security for both the enterprise and service provider virtualization markets. As organizations rely more on virtual servers for critical applications, concern around server security in the cloud has increased. Altor has developed some of the industry’s most advanced capabilities to address this challenge, including a high-performance hypervisor-based firewall, on-board intrusion detection, complete network visibility and monitoring and comprehensive reporting for compliance. Altor’s solution enables security visibility, compliance and control over the entire virtual machine infrastructure, giving security teams’ visibility to understand the applications, services and traffic being sent between virtual machines.

Check out details.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A 2010 Year End Wrap Up From Juniper Networks (By Wan Ahmad Kamal)

Cloud computing and mobile Internet has finally gained a lot more momentum in 2010.

Juniper Networks has proved to be able to keep up with everything which include development of new products and evolution of existing products.

One of the fundamental challenge of existing economy is to have solutions which are good in terms of quality,affordability as well as manageability.

Check out all Juniper Networks product launching and initiatives.

On top of that, Juniper Networks has also demonstrated capability in supporting the 'Connected Culture' which gives rise to higher requirement for security. The launching of Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite is a major paradigm shift for the Telecommunication industry.

Telecommunication providers business models are heavily dependent on network products innovation, as such that cloud computing is heavily dependent on the concept of virtualization.

En. Wan Ahmad Kamal explains that Juniper Networks plays major role in transforming the economy of our societies. The network will not only be key drivers for communications, but will also become other economical drivers for the content industry, XaaS and etc.

A number of Malaysia based organization has deployed Juniper Networks solutions, such as Packet One, Technology Park Malaysia, the Malaysian Research and Education Network (MYREN), and University Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP).

En. Wan Ahmad Kamal endorses the coming of mobile Internet age to Malaysia, which is also lauded by the Malaysian government recently under Malaysia Budget 2011 announcement.

Going into 2011, Juniper Networks expects to see accelerated spending on technologies that innovate and preserve the network, such as cloud computing, server virtualization, desktop virtualization, security software and appliances, unified communications, WAN optimization, XaaS applications, networking management software or appliances, wireless networking, and application acceleration.

Refer to full text here.

2010 is definitely a great year for Juniper Networks.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Conversion failed when converting datetime from character string

This applies to T-SQL.

When creating dynamic SQL query, you need to generate SQL string statement.

Thus, when you do that, SQL requires that the date is to be converted to string format.

This error occurs when SQL tries to convert the date to string intrinsically but failed.

The solution is to convert the date extrinsically.

Refer to all date formats of T-SQL.




Friday, December 03, 2010

SOLARWINDS ESTABLISHES ASIA-PACIFIC HEADQUARTERS IN BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

SolarWinds  a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software for more than 97,000 companies worldwide, announced today that it has established its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Brisbane, Australia.

The Brisbane office will offer sales, customer support, and services for Australasia and the greater Asia-Pacific region. The office will also have a development team focused on localization of SolarWinds’ network, application and storage management products. Doug Hibberd, who has led SolarWinds’ global research and development organization since 2006, has been named General Manager of APAC Operations and will be based in Brisbane and will continue in his role as Senior Vice President of Engineering.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Malaysia’s First 4G WiMAX Operator Packet One Selects Juniper Networks For New MPLS Core

Juniper Networks announced that Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (“Packet One”), Malaysia's leading 4G WiMAX service provider, has deployed Juniper Networks® MX Series Universal Edge Routers to create a new high-speed, service-enabling MPLS core network. With the MX Series, Packet One has increased network capacity while reducing operational costs and accelerating the delivery of advanced fixed and mobile wireless broadband services.


Packet One acquired one of Malaysia's four WiMAX licenses in March 2007, and was first to market with its service launch in August 2008. In the following 12 months, it signed up more than 80,000 customers, including a sizable share of new broadband business customers in competition with the incumbent fixed network service provider. To date, Packet One has over 200,000 subscribers.

“The broadband market is relatively under-served in Malaysia and we are supporting the government's goal of reaching 50 percent of households by the end of this year. We are on track to extend our 4G WiMAX coverage to 45 percent of Malaysians households by the end of this year, with the goal of hitting 65 percent by 2012,” said Michael Lai, CEO of Packet One. “To deliver the full benefits of 4G WiMAX to our customers and maximize revenue opportunities, it is essential to have a highly stable core network. The deployment of Juniper Networks MX Series routers helps to monetize our 4G network by accelerating service delivery, while reducing operational costs and complexity.”

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tech Blog Malaysia Statistics (Nov 2010)

As usual, check out the analysis for 2009.

For month of Jan 2010.
For month of Feb 2010.
For month of Mar 2010.
For month of April 2010.
For month of May 2010.
For month of June 2010.
For month of July 2010.
For month of Aug 2010
For month of Sep 2010
For month of Oct 2010

For month of Nov 2010, we have the followings.
  • The brand of this blog
  • Co-author of this blog
  • An Adobe's backend program
  • A common .NET programming issue.
  • A common CR8.5 issue.
  • Common Windows Font Issues
  • A social portal in Malaysia.
  • Malaysia ICT related.
Overview:

  • Total monthly traffic decreased by as much as 8.28%.
  • Traffic from referring sites increased by 0.67%.
  • Google still top contributor (50.34%). Up from last month.
  • Top 5 countries (Malaysia, US, India, Singapore, UK,).
  • New visitors 87.30% (up from last month).
Check Out Most Popular Contents

F5 Positioned in Leaders Quadrant of the Application Delivery Controller Magic Quadrant

F5 Networks, Inc., the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADC), announced today its position in the Leaders Quadrant of the 2010 Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers from Gartner, Inc.1

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers evaluates 13 vendors in the ADC market space based on Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. According to Gartner, being a leader in the Magic Quadrant for ADCs needs to have strong or growing market share, especially in the Advanced Platform ADCs, and to have solutions that resonate with an increasing number of enterprises, and expertise in complex data center application deployment.

F5’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Dan Matte says. “We believe F5’s strong customer and partner relationships have helped us become a leader in the Magic Quadrant. F5’s market execution and differentiation are the result of our ability to respond to the evolving needs of ADCs in the market. In addition, F5’s DevCentral presence as the industry’s largest ADC-focused community, continue to contribute to our success.”

To view the full ADC Magic Quadrant report, please go to:
http://www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/reprints/f5networks/vol6/article2/article2.html