Rest in peace Mr. Iwata.
Many thanks for all your ideas and work at Nintendo.
Rest in peace Mr. Iwata.
Many thanks for all your ideas and work at Nintendo.
When you work on IT you’re prone to two things: being a geek and carrying a lot of gadgets.
Well, I surely can’t escape my fate, and suffering from both issues (geeking with gadgetry) I have a plethora of things always ready on my “IT Guy Kit”.
Here’s the list:
And you? Do you have a kit as well? What do you usually carry arround?
The problem here isn’t the money this young man is making with his videos… the problem is that there are 37 million souls watching him playing games instead of spending that time playing games themselves, which to me makes no sense at all.
It might be a sign that I’m getting old, but I rather play games than watching some guy doing it while screaming hysterically.
Bah! This kids today… <waves fist>
Still on the Gen 8 topic, here’s the lowdown on some questions I was asked:
After I got the Gen 8, it was testing time. I knew the roles I wanted for my new server:
When the hardware arrived I had to improvise a bit, since the budget I had, was not enough for the “perfect configuration”, so I had to settle with what I bought and with what I already had.
The “perfect configuration” I mentioned before would be IMHO, to upgrade the CPU for a Intel Xeon E3-1265LV2, 16GB of RAM, 4x 4TB WD RED, a 250GB SSD for the OS or a 64GB Micro SD to boot VMWare ESXi, running an entire virtualized solution.
The bundled CPU is a Celeron G1610T, and it’s not very powerful (2 cores @ 2.3 GHz) to run VMs, but enough to run the roles I had in mind. I just needed a few more gigs of RAM and my father got me an 8GB DIMM he had laying arround that luckily was compatible with the Gen8.
So from 2GB I was now sporting 10GB of RAM which, BTW, helps a lot with the HP B120i Controller. It’s not a great controller, but for the price I don’t think it could get better. Still, if you want, there’s a PCI-E expansion slot inside the server that you can use to add another controller (or anything else).
As for the storage, I got 2x 3TB WD Red drives, I managed to scavenge some WD Green drives I had lying around. So, my current storage configuration is:
As for the OS, I tried a few. FreeNAS was the first. It resembled a lot of the NAS OSs you can find in regular NAS, but a bit behind QNAP and Synology OSs. It’s very powerful and robust, it’s based on FreeBSD, but the configuration is not very user-friendly. The Plex server configuration didn’t go as smooth as it should. Still, it’s on my top 10.
Second was CentOS 7. It all ran smoothly, with an exception (very big exception that also happened with FreeNAS): the Gen8 has only on big fan for the entire system. With CentOS, the fan would not lower from 16% and the temperature sensors on the server ILO reported temperature a bit higher than expected. This is probably related with how CentOS handles the Gen8 ACPI or some drivers… either way, I didn’t have time or the patience to look for a solution.
For Synology fans, there’s also a hack of the Synology OS for X86 machines – XPEnology – but maybe because I was trying to install and boot it from the MicroSD, I didn’t have success installing it 🙁 Also, it seemed a bit too much of a hack and by then I was trying to use the Gen 8 as a full server and not just as a NAS.
I then realized that I had my Technet copy of Windows Server 2012 R2 unused 🙂 and like I work with W2k12 on a daily basis… why the hell not?
Every piece of software I need is available on Windows. As an added layer of data protection, online backup plans like Crashplan and Backblaze also run on Windows (still Backblaze doesn’t run on Windows Server or Linux). HP drivers usually are very well optimized for Windows Server, so I went ahead.
The setup was very smooth. After I installed the OS, I ran the Service Pack DVD with the latest drivers and firmware from HP and some Windows Updates later, I noticed that the temperature readings dropped a lot compared with CentOS 7. When idle, the fan doesn’t go beyond 7% even when my office is at the peak of the heat and I don’t have Air Conditioning over here, just a window. The server is very silent, and notice, that my QNAP NAS was fanless!
So, now I have my Gen8 running all the services and roles I need. Is it perfect? No, not yet, there’s still room for improvement. Perhaps when I have the time and money I might try to carry out more and transform this into a VMWare server. Right now the most important for me is that I got full fledge server that suits my needs, cheaper than a NAS, and you can’t beat a good deal like that 😀
Feel free to ask me anything about the Gen 8, here in the comments on Twitter. I’ll be glad to share more info on this with you.
Update: Here’s part three.
I had a QNAP TS-119 unit as my home NAS for as long as six years. It worked very well until recently it began to corrupt the OS data in the HDD as well as the USB HDD connected to the unit for backup.
Even with a new HDD fitted in the unit and several clean firmware updates, after a few months, the NAS would show a lot of errors in the logs, regarding the HDD. SMART checks and other tests a like didn’t show any problems with the HDD…
This and the fact that the NAS was a one bay model really got me worried about loosing data and so, I began searching for a replacement.
My requisites were simple:
I first looked at QNAP and Synology, since they make the best NAS models in my opinion. Both OSs are Linux-based with a lot of functionalities, applications and stuff geeks like me love to play with.
At the end of the day, a NAS is nothing more than a server, a little dumbed down on the hardware. QNAP and Synology have good hardware and their OSs make most of it giving the user the ability to run applications and services like you would on a normal server… it’s a bit limited but it’s useful and cool.
Nowadays, having a NAS at home provides you with a personal cloud, since most brands have their own personal cloud service embedded in the NAS OS. Still you can always install your own options, like a VPN, SFTP server, HTTP/HTTP server, BT Sync, etc…
But I digress… looking at the NAS models from QNAP and Synology that would fit my needs, I suddenly found a pattern… they were all too expensive for my budget. I still needed to buy two WD Red 3GB drives for the new NAS, and this would bring the total up to more than I wanted to spend.
I looked at another brands like Western Digital and Netgear, but I found that their OSs were rather limited comparing to QNAP and Synology. All that apps, bells and whistles I mentioned before were not available entirely in these brands OS.
That’s when a friend of mine sent me a link for an HP Proliant Microserver Gen 8. The HP Microserver Gen8 is the follow-up model to HP’s Gen 7, which was talked a lot because of the form factor and the HP MediaSmart Server that it replaced.
The Gen8 (for now on) was released in 2014 and it had a lot of advantages compared to a NAS: the entry-level model, with a Intel Celeron G1610T, 2GB RAM, 2 Gigabit ports, one ILO port, several USB ports (some of them 3.0) and four HDD bays (!) would cost me about 250 Eur. With that price I could only get a two bay entry-level NAS from QNAP or Synology and this was a full fledge server, I could run anything I wanted there with almost no limitations.
So you guess right, this was a no brainer, I got the Gen8 and I’ll tell you more about this awesome micro server in part 2.
I often forget that I own a blog.
This place…. where I began blogging in 2005, is becoming 10 years old in September.
10 years of mostly obsolete content and information. I tought about deleting it out of shame of not updating it even once a month… guess that says a lot about myself and the life I’m living now.
Facebook, twitter, instagram take most of my attention and get 100% of the content I generate, still none of them feel the same as writing here. It doesn’t make sense, I know. And I don’t know why I can’t make myself write here as often as I should.
I think it’s probably because social sites are faster and lazy Of course you can write decent posts in Facebook, but reposts, retweets, photo posts, are way more easier and faster… A blog always demanded more. More attention, more caution, more love.
I’ll try… once again… to discipline myself into writing here.
That, or I’ll drop this space, once and for all.