Thursday, September 30, 2010

Future Proof Your Home's Wiring

One important consideration to make is to “future proof " your home. Future proofing covers a wide spectrum, we will focus on “future proof " your home’s wiring from a technology point of view. Everything is going or has gone digital and you do not know exactly what is around the corner a few years down the road. Preparing for the future can save you money and help your home’s market value.

You’re probably already indulged in (or aware of) Home Networking, High Definition Television (HDTV), or any of a number of other digital products and services out today. A term that has trickled from the “computer world” is structured wiring. Your entire home’s wiring is considered to be one unit and wires are in a "home run" (star) configuration back to a central location in your home. The wires should incorporate the following: Data, Video, Telephone, Audio, Fiber Optics, Infrared Control, Alarm (including surveillance video), VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Fiber optics is considered the “big daddy” of data transport, at the speed of light. It may be a little out your price range now, and a little too extreme. Installing it now will save you money later.

  1. Troubleshooting - Each of the cables can be individually isolated from the rest of them and tested easily.
  2. Manageability - With all of the cables running back to the Central Wiring Panel you can easily change how and what these individual cables are connected to and what they are used for.
  3. Eliminate Splices - Splices are bad and create unnecessary problems. They are prone to failure and can pickup noise and interference.
  4. Better signal quality - With all cables running back to the Central Wiring Panel they can all be connecter to the same source and get the same signal level.
  5. Planning for the future can save you time and money and eliminate you destroying your home to run or upgrade wiring in your home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

ESXI 4.1 - HP Flash Drives and N68-S ASRock Motherboard A "No Go"

Could not get ESXi 4.1 to boot on a HP flash drive or SanDisk on a ASRock N68-S system. It would only boot maybe 1 out of 8 times. Definitely not production ready with this setup. Moving back to hard drives in RAID 1.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dell PERC 5i SAS RAID Controllers

The Dell PERC 5i RAID controller cards are perfect for IT departments on a budget. These cards provide the popular RAID levels 0, 1 , 5, and (my favorite) 10. These cards are compatible with just about any installation including VMWare servers. You don't need a server motherboard with these cards as they fit in a standard PCI-Express slot. These cards do require extra cooling and a mounting bracket. Watch out because the non-RAID versions of these cards are on eBay and are described as having RAID, but you will sadly find that they do not. Just Google the part numbers to verify what you are buying.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Going Virtual with VMWare ESXi

I have a bunch of low end servers running many different things. I never like to keep all my eggs in one basket, so I spread services and apps over a lot of servers. I need a better disaster recover plan so I have decided to virtualize as many servers that I can. I do not have any money to spend, expect maybe for hardware. I think I am going with the free version of VMware ESXi. It's free with lots of community support. I already have one server running Ubuntu with 3 servers running on Virtualbox. It has a quad core Phenom 9600 with 4 GB of ram. I have a SMTP, ASSP spam filter and Blackberry server running on it. It runs really smooth and has never crashed. I really like Virtualbox, easy as pie to setup and runs like butter. It just doesn't have a lot of admin type tools and "live" backup or migration tools. I may still keep the Virtualbox server up for a while to see which I like better.