Finn R. Alden
Finn R. Alden, owner

When I started learning about computers back in the mid ’80s I never thought it would change as fast as it has. Since then I have worked on operating systems like Novell, Banyan and all the versions of Windows Server and desktop operating systems, Microsoft Office and other programs. What I love is to set up physical/virtual servers, storage units, and get it all play together for users to be able to work and play. I could never understand why I would have a user sitting alone and not being able to share with others.

In 1995 I had my first introduction to Internet. Not a big thing in those days, but it soon became clear that it would influence everyone. Not just our way of doing business, but also how we approached learning and interacting. This was my second encounter with sharing information, but this time in a public arena where you could go to a place on the internet and get information. In 1997 I created my first web site, and have over the years changed to using Drupal and WordPress.

Around 2001 I took my first look at virtualization technology (one or more physical servers with virtual machines), but I found them to be unstable and did not recommend them for customers. Over the years I have continued to test and found stability and security improved.  I admit that my testing is a bit more brutal than real world scenarios, but I like to know that what I am building can handle rough use. I have tested and used Windows Server, Proxmox, OpenStack, VMWare, CentOS and other virtualization software. As a result of that testing I found that

  • Proxmox is the best for small businesses. Up to 10 virtual servers works well if you don’t have an internal IT person, but get someone in once a week (physically or remote) to check logs and make sure backups are successful. For bigger deployments I would recommend that you hire someone for daily maintenance and backup.
  • VMware is a good option for large businesses that have full time staff, but beware of license and support cost.
  • Hyper-V can be okay if you only need one or two virtual servers and you are on a shoestring budget. But don’t expect a lot of innovation or improvement in the coming years.
  • OpenStack is for bigger businesses that can have at least one person working full time on maintaining it. It is a powerful package.