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Showing posts from March, 2013

Further adventures of XenServer on the HP N40L Microserver

We all know my delight in using the excellent N40L for all sorts of things. Recently a client of mine had issues with their Dell server - a server that had cost them over $20,000 5 years ago. It runs Windows SBS2003 and does a bit of file serving and not much else. I've migrated them to Google Apps for mail/calendar etc so they aren't even using Exchange. Unfortunately this client has fallen on hard times with the GFC so when this huge and expensive server of theirs began to fail, they asked for a low cost option to save their data and have a minimum of downtime. I had just purchased an N40L for my test lab and as their disks continued to decline was able to get a complete image of the system. What surprised me was they had a 5 year old server with 7 year old disks in it! What the? I acquired some Western Digital Red Drives and installed them and 8 GB of RAM into the N40L. My initial idea was to use Acronis or similar to do a Universal Restore of the data to the N40L, update

HP N40L and FreeNAS 8.3.0

My existing HP N40L Microserver is running out of disk space. 2 TB is not enough it turns out. So I thought why not add another N40L to my network? After all, it's been a success with my existing one thus far.... So on to eBay I went, and I found an Australian company selling them for $209 delivered! I'm amazed these are so cheap - after all even low end PCs are more than this. So I ordered one up and it arrived three days later. I put a couple of 2 TB disks into the box, an 8 GB RAM DIMM and an 8 GB usb drive. Half an hour later I had FreeNAS 8.3.0 installed and a 2 TB array set up. With an NFS share I can access the 2 TB array from my media PC and it all runs brilliantly. I've got space to add in two extra drives, and once I get two more disks I'll install them - running two 2TB mirrors and sharing out data easily. The N40L runs very quietly and efficiently and even running two of them is very quiet in the lounge room. I've used Western Digital Green Disks from

SSD's - a new lease on life for older hardware

Solid State Disks have been on the market for a while now and the prices are coming down per gigabyte which is starting to bring them into the realm of affordability. While recently searching to upgrade the disk in my Dell Inspiron 1102 net book I was offered a 128GB SSD. I didn't really think much of what it would do in the computer until I'd installed it. Once I got the thing imaged and transferred across into the net book I was pleasantly surprised by both the performance boost and also the boost in battery life. I was amazed actually. It was a much better machine than it had ever been, running Windows 7 quite well and most basic Office Apps. I've procured a second SSD for a venerable Lenovo R500. The specs on this notebook are pretty reasonable, but with a 6 cell battery it's lifespan wasn't great. An upgrade to a 9 cell battery gave it a boost but not a huge one. Installing an SSD made a significant difference. 6 hours of battery life is easily achievable wh