Hazard: Playing a Dangerous Game

Last years silly season was dominated by protracted rumours surrounding the transfers of Sniejder, Nasri and Modric. The football season has barely ended and we’re engulfed in another media exacerbated frenzy.

Many transfers and open Manager positions are getting coverage but none as much as the destination of one Eden Hazard considered among the finest emerging talents in European football. His eyelash flattering & media savy teasing of potential suitors has earned him the moniker ‘The Ego’.

Twitter is awash with rumours and speculation but in turn these unconfirmed sources are being published as news by media outlets and print. Much of what Mr Hazard is supposed to have said is either falsified or deliberately taken out of context.

The Story So Far

  • Informed his club that he wishes to move on
  • Contract Release Clause – precludes Lille from invoking a bidding war (which United would obviously lose)
  • Spoke of his desire to play in the Premier League
  • Repeatedly spoke of a number of clubs who he was negotiating with (Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea)
  • Told the media he had not yet made a decision
  • Told the media that he wouldn’t disclose his destination until he had put pen to paper
  • His agent says that terms have been agreed with 3 clubs
  • Hazard says he will now make a decision on footballing grounds (notably, playing time and position)  between those three clubs!

So far it all adds up; a sensible if annoyingly public approach. We know that realistically we’re the best choice in these circumstances, but Chelsea could us a foil to link Mata and Torres and the departure of Drogba makes room. While he would cause a selection & formation headache for us; (Cleverly restricted?, Wayne & Hazard?).

Manchester City Media Savy

However given the long term criticism and widespread accusations of mercenary bahaviour recent Citeh acquisitions have fostered and the bad feeling this has generated; I think City will aproach this summer differently.

PR Coup?

I’m worried that City’s communications and PR men are orchestrating this Hazard situation with two goals;

1) A Coup over United in attracting top talent
2) Making it clear that they didn’t outbid, outpay us but that the player chose them on footballing grounds (fabricated).

I hope not, I hope he takes his career more seriously than that ! But don’t underestimate how persuasive and agent can be if he’s getting considerably better payouts from one of the suitors.

Hazards terms may well be agreed with all three clubs but who knows what the oil rich negotiators are offering his agent.


Viagogo going gone !

Man Utd Season ticket holders will be receiving emails letting them know that the viagogo service will not be available for the upcoming season.

For me this service will be sorely lost; as it’s an excellent way of legally selling on tickets for matches you cannot attend. Last season I bought about 6 United tickets for relatives and friends from this service as birthday and Christmas presents.

I hope United come up with some alternative to replace this service !

Viagogo email

Viagogo Email

Champ19ons !

I couldn’t help but notice the beauty of the scoreboard this afternoon at Old Trafford ! (Not to mention the two cheeky slackers)

Old Trafford ScoreBoard exalting the 19th Title


Check out the celebrations over at Flickr

35 Years Celebration

Mike Summerbee recently exclaimed that the main stream press weren’t giving Manchester City enough credit !

Well I was inspired by Mr Summerbee’s cry for help and dug deep to do my bit for the Bitters by using the internet, more specifically social media to promote their cause. To that end I commissioned a couple of beautiful cakes to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the last time Citeh won a trophy.

If you want to see the rest of the photos check out the set on flickr.com

The Character “Lil Tevez” is from the excellent satirical football comic studs-up.com by Chris Toy who gave his permission for Carlos to be reproduced as long as he was tasty !

Sue from http://allshapesandslices.co.uk/ made the cakes she really is fantastic. The guys from Splash Damage devoured Tevez (a 70 slice cake) in no time at all.

You can follow the no doubt excessive flaming that will ensue on twitter/benhop.

VMware Mount Drive/ISO & SQL Server 2008 DVD

The SQL Server 2008 disk acts as though it were corrupted if mounted to a VM through VMware.

Back Story

So I’m doing some work from home and one of the tasks I had set for myself was to install SQL Server 2008 on a virtual machine; so when I was leaving the office the other day I jammed the SQL Server disk into one of our ESX boxes dvd drive and boom I’m out the door.

Unfortunately when I tried to run the Setup file to begin the prerequisites I got an error

“.net Framework 3.5 installation Failed”

which was bizarre as I had already installed it and doubley bizarre as SQL Setup normally installs .net framework if it isn’t available.

Google was once again my friend and I quickly discovered this was a common error when people were trying to mount ISO’s they had downloaded from Volume licensing websites.

Mounting with daemon tools, or isomount util works, and for me copying the files to the server over the network did the job. Damn dodgy esx :)

SVGA Driver Killing Server 2008 VM’s

Vmware’s legacy SVGA driver that comes as part of the VMware Tools typical installation with is causing Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 virtual machines to lock up.

The frozen VM will still perform most of it’s functions but video output over vSphere console / Remote Desktop just doesn’t work.

According to VMware Update 1 for vSphere 4 has a new driver that fixes the issue.

Terminal Server: Exceeding the Connection Limit

How often have you run into the max-connection limit on your servers because you or other admins have left disconnected sessions logged in? Too often !

“The terminal server has exceeded the maximum number of allowed connections”

Terminal Server Warning

Terminal Server Woes

Terminal services allows up to 2 simultaneous connections for administrative purposes; but counts disconnected / inactive sessions towards this limit. Forgetting to log off; can essentially lock you and other admins out. Luckily session zero (console) doesn’t count towards this limit.

While connecting directly to the console often alleviates this problem, what happens when someone has commited the sin of leaving a session connected to the console (session 0).  Keyboard, Mouse and LCD?

Here’s a little work around I came across on the technobuff blog;

  • Open a command prompt and run the following;

query session /server:SERVERNAME
  • Record the ID of the session you want to terminate and run the following command

reset session [ID] /server:SERVERNAME

Sophos – Jumping through hoops !

Testing the new version of Sophos in a lab environment leads me to some interesting facts;

Enterprise console – the management back office of “Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection” does not currently support Windows Server 2008 R2 (release 2 available from October)

Remote deployment doesn’t work on Windows Vista or Windows 7 unless you take a variety of steps including running the remote registry service (+ setting to automatic start), modifying the local security policy disabling UAC for admins, opening various ports or just disabling the windows firewall in frustration, enabling file and printer sharing. Remote deploy on fully updated XP machines can also be problematic.

The client firewall doesn’t support servers (obviously) or 64 bit workstations (you what?) - including the 64 bit variants of XP, Vista and Windows 7! Though you’ll be pleased to know that 64 machines are supported if they run a 32 bit OS.

Come on Sophos adapt ! This isn’t 2003 anymore!

VMware VMFS Volume Size – Finding the Sweetspot

Reading a knowledge base post on the equallogics site I gleaned the following variables in relation to ESX that will have a factor on deciding VMFS volume size;

  1. ESX has a limit of 64 targets (volumes) per host
    • This is important in a HA / DRS environment where each host in the cluster must have access to all volumes even if the guest is currently running on another host.
    • Hence keeping volume counts down will improve scalability of the cluster
  2. ESX has a maximum queue length per target of 32 IO’s -
    • Thus more volumes means less pausing of IO opperations
  3. Certain Opperations (Start/Stop VM / Snapshot / vMotion) Require exclusive access to volume
    • Thus for a short period of time other vm’s IO is paused -
    • the more VM’s per volume the more this will impact performance
  4. VI 3.5 didn’t support MPIO so more volumes increased throughput
    • Does this matter anymore with MPIO in ESX 4? and multiple sessions per host taking advantage of all paths to the target.
  5. Don’t forget to account for snapshots in your volume size
    • vmware snapshots grow very quickly as they are an on-write copy delta of both the vm memory and it’s virtual hard disk.

ESX & SSH – Enable Remote Login

ESX ships with SSH enabled by default – so it may come as a surprise that it’s not actually possible to login from a remote station out of the box :o To enable remote logins we need to make a change to the ssh daemon config file, and restart the ssh service.

Why would you want to do this? Well chances are you already use DRAC or iLO for quick access to the service console on your esx box and chances are you’ve already got annoyed by the limited view screen space when comparing vswitch, port group and pnic configs.

#Move Context to the SSH Config Directory
[root@yourbox ]#
cd /etc/ssh

#Make a backup of the config file :)
[root@yourbox ]#cp sshd_config sshd_config.bkup

#Use sed to substitute the config string no with yes
[root@yourbox ]#
sed ‘s/PermitRootLogin no/PermitRootLogin yes/’ sshd_config > sshd_config

#Restart SSH so it picks up the config change
service sshd restart

sed is a very flexible stream editor but I mainly use it for substituting strings; more info on sed can be found on the oracle site

You might want to switch remote logins off when you’re not using SSH.

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