Windows 7 Streaming: Media on an External Drive

In an effort to preserve some functionality of not having a dedicated Media Center PC (see this post for more), I have a Windows 7 VM with media streaming enabled. What does that mean? It means that any DLNA enabled device can see my media library and stream its contents. I recently needed to add more storage space to said VM, and in doing so moved all media to the new E:\ drive. Then the problems … Read more…

FreeNAS Performance Part 1: NFS Storage

EDIT 1/8/2013: This post should be titled FreeNAS: The performance you will get when you don’t allocate enough RAM, or enough disk resources. These results are not a true representation of what FreeNAS can do. Here’s a better example: FreeNAS Performance Part 2 Following the Microsoft iSCSI VS. StarWind iSCSI, I would like to also compare another option that offers FreeBSD based network storage – FreeNAS. It supports AFP, CIFS, NFS, iSCSI and has a … Read more…

Software iSCSI Targets: Part 2B – StarWind, Multiple VMs

Part 2B: 3 VM IOMeter load on a StarWind iSCSI datastore. Same procedure as previous testing – Complete install time: 32 minutes, 39 seconds – 3.5 minutes faster than the Microsoft iSCSI target software. Here’s the setup: Here’s the CPU\RAM of the iSCSI server during OS install: Just as previously, RAM is allocated to cache and CPU is heavily utilized. Here is the network utilization during OS install: The utilization graph looks strikingly similar to … Read more…

Software iSCSI Targets – Part 2a: MS iSCSI – Multiple VMs

In Part 2 of this series, we will look at the performance of the Software iSCSI targets under a heavier load – more specifically, 3 server VMs. While this may not seem like very much load, keep in mind that the backend storage is still just a single 7200RPM spindle, and all networking is over a single 1GbE link. All of the hardware from test 1 is the same, but here are the specs for … Read more…

StarWind iSCSI vs. Microsoft iSCSI – Part 1

*NEW* StarWind V8 [BETA] is here!! and it looks VERY promising!! For┬ásome small to medium sized businesses and even some home power users, shared storage is a must-have. Unfortunately, standard high performance SANs carry with them a hefty price tag and a massive administrative overhead – so an EMC or NetApp filer is often out of the question. What is the answer? Turn an everyday server into an iSCSI storage server using iSCSI software target … Read more…

Windows Server 8: Offline servicing

From the little that I’ve looked into Windows Server 8, my favorite new built-in feature is offline servicing. This was possible in the past with Windows Images (WIM files) using the dism.exe tool, but this new feature looks much more promising – the VHD is becoming a very powerful format.     This will make servicing VMs even easier.  

BE.net 2.5

After a lengthy period of downtime the blog is back up, and is now running on BlogEngine.net 2.5!! Now that we’ve moved in to our new place, there should not be any other major interuptions.