XenDeskop and PVS: You Must Restart Your Computer…

Most XenDesktop deployments are not rolled out all at once – they are usually done in phases: demo, pilot, test, initial, major, and completion. And more often then not, these phases span months if not years depending on the size of the project. Or sometimes hardware is purchased at different times and happens to be before and after a release of new processor tech. The below error can be a bit hard to track down: … Read more…

Ubiquiti Networks Unifi AP Review

For the last few years wireless in our house was provided by a Cisco AIR-AP1252 dual band A-G-N access point – as seen here: Let’s just say that it’s not the most attractive thing in the world. I was given two choices by “the board”: either find a different solution, or put it somewhere out of sight. I first chose the out of site option and moved the AP to the basement. This worked for … 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…

The Ultimate Windows Media Center Build and Troubleshooting Guide

After many years (and iterations) of Windows Media Center PCs, I have finally arrived to a place where the benefits outweigh the issues and I have full approval from the ‘Board’. Take a look at all of the previous posts here: http://blogs.serioustek.net/post/category/fine-tuning-media-center-7 We are now using HTPC Windows Media Center PCs on our Primary TVs and for once, everything is working perfectly, and there are ZERO ‘weird little issues’ that I have to explain away … Read more…

Intel NUC i5 HTPC Review

The Intel NUC looked appealing ever since I first saw it – it provides HD 4000 graphics, an i3 or i5 processor, an SSD, HDMI output,¬†and 1Gb LAN all in a 4″ by 4″ by 1″ package that can even mount on the back of a monitor with a VESA mount. Here’s the Intel reference page: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/motherboards/desktop-motherboards/nuc-i5.html When my son started crawling and pulling himself up on things, he became VERY interested in buttons and … Read more…

StarTech HSB430SATBK – Fan Replacement

The StarTech HSB430SATBK is a great drive cage – it fits into 3 5.25″ external bays and gives you 3 3.5″ SATA hot-swap HDD bays. Unfortunately, fans going bad is not uncommon. Here’s a quick how to if you ever need to replace the fans on the StarTech 4 bay HDD cage. First remove all the screws from the back plate – don’t remove the screws from the fans – they are screwed into the … Read more…

FreeNAS Build Project: Part 1

FreeNAS Build: Part 1 – Turn on a Power Supply without a Motherboard After doing much research, I’ve decided to move forward with my FreeNAS build for my home lab\storage. I will be storing VMware datastores via NFS and tons of files via CIFS. The system will be configured (for now) as follows: HP DL360G5 2x Dual-Core Xeon 3.0GHz 32GB RAM 4 1Gb NICs IBM ServeRAID M1015 flashed to an LSI-92118i HP SAS Expander Habey ESC-2122C for 12 … Read more…

Habey ESC-2122C Storage Server Chassis Review

I have been testing lots of storage software lately – since a NetApp Filer is overkill for a home lab environment, I’m sticking with other software based storage. The goal has always been to serve storage for two things – Fast storage for an ESX cluster and lots of storage to share over the network with CIFS. The first iteration was a DL380G5 with a p800 card connected via external SAS to an MSA50. The … Read more…

FoxConn R10-H1 Review

I recently built a cable-box replacement system using a FoxConn R10-H1 barebone system. It is essentially a case, power supply and motherboard all-in-one (plus some extras in this case – a heat-sink fan assembly). Here’s a link to the system on NewEgg. After having several AMD systems in the past, this was the first Intel setup I have had in some time. It has gigabit ethernet, and an HDMI port – perfect for an HTPC. Here’s a … Read more…