Sophos XG Firewall LTE Backup

I work a good bit from my home office so obviously internet access is pretty important – so important that I have 2 carriers: Comcast via coax and AT&T via bonded pair DSL. As you may also know, I use the Sophos XG firewall home edition as a full-featured firewall and internet gateway – the conversion from Sophos UTM to XG was a bit tricky due to the UI of XG being…let’s just say not … Read more…

Homelab: A few weeks with XenServer and Nutanix

Earlier this month I completely re-worked my homelab – with both storage and hardware upgrades as well as the underlying hypervisors. If you’re interested in the changes made, see this post here. So how has the experience with the new gear been? In no particular order, here’s my notes: Miscellaneous Not having to burn 8+GB for a vCenter VM is nice – especially for a lab XenCenter console is far simpler and less of a resource … Read more…

Upgrades to the Lab: Local SSD and Hypervisors

Take a look at the #HomeLab hashtag on twitter, and you will see lots of technology experts that have some pretty extensive lab environments at home – add me to that list. OK I’ve been on that list for a while…my lab has gone through numerous iterations: Started with Hyper-V initial release (2008 – KB950050) Ran StarWind Virtual SAN for a while – great performance offloading cache to RAM Moved away from local storage to SAN\NAS … Read more…

VM Deployment in Nutanix Community Edition with MDT

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is my preferred method for deploying Virtual Machines in the lab (everywhere, really) – There are no potential issues with cloning, software can be automatically installed, and a driver pool can be kept up to date. It also allows for offline servicing of the base image, so no waiting for 140+ Windows updates. One of my latest adventures has been using Nutanix Community Edition (NCE) to get a feel for how … Read more…

Backup VMware with Veeam Free PowerShell and FreeNAS

I use FreeNAS to store the virtual machines for my lab. I had previously used NFS as it allowed for really simple backups of VMs – take a snapshot, do a copy from the snapshot directory to a different dataset, remove the snapshot, done. NFS is nice because it allows you to view the filesystem directly from the storage server…NFS on FreeNAS\ZFS is not nice because it essentially requires flash for the intent log due to … Read more…

Sophos UTM Home Edition Install

There are a lot of options when it comes to Firewall\Unified Threat Management appliances – including hardware, software, and virtual appliance. Several names come to mind including pfSense, Untangle, m0n0wall, and the topic of this post – the Sophos UTM Home Edition appliance (formerly Astaro Gateway). After doing fairly extensive research, I decided upon this distribution for a few reasons: Available as a virtual appliance, or software to run on your choice of hardware (or Sophos … Read more…

VMware on FreeNAS the RIGHT way

I see a lot of posts on the FreeNAS forums asking about performance for VMware\Hyper-V or any other hypervisor using FreeNAS as the backing storage for virtual machines. Then I see the specs of the systems those people are looking to build or already have built and I frown a bit. First, let me say that FreeNAS is more than capable of handling the task of storage for your home virtual lab – if you … Read more…

DL380 G6 Loud Fan Noise

The Proliant G6 line of servers are quiet – and that’s big for anyone using server grade hardware at home (me). I had started with G5 servers, but those were pretty loud – especially the DL380 – per the HP quickspecs document, 44dB. Then I upgraded everything to G6 servers and it made a HUGE difference – sort of. The ESX host is a DL360 – nothing special here, just an extra NIC. The G6 … Read more…