Windows Server 2016 ISO now available for download, Microsoft offering free datacenter licenses to VMware users*

* Customers pay only the cost of Software Assurance. See also visitor comment below. You may recall me doing a bit of Hyper-V testing and demonstration earlier this year, using the impressively-stable Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 (beta) code. I also tested it as a VMware ESXi 6.0U2 VM…

Oct 1 2016

Attend VTUG Summer Slam 2016, your chance to choose a FREE TinkerTry'd Supermicro SuperServer Bundle 2!

You may have recently read about VTUG Co-Leader Chris Williams, in my recent post about falling DDR4 prices that are helping make Supermicro Xeon D-1541 SuperServers more obtainable for virtualization enthusiasts who are always thirsty for more RAM. Well, just so happens he's taking delivery of his…

Jul 19 2016

CPU and chassis fan replacements attempt to reduce Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T mini-tower's already low noise levels while increasing M.2 NVMe SSD cooling

I now have measurements of watt burn and dB levels for each of the SuperServer Xeon D form factors, seen near in TinkerTry's exclusive comparison table. The mini-tower is still by far the quietest and most versatile. The faster and cheaper Samsung 960 M.2 NVMe drives run cooler than the 950 PRO, so…

Mar 4 2016

Intel Xeon D-1540/1541 HWiNFO64 and power usage comparisons

Just a quick update to the original article back on February 7 2016: First look at the new Intel Xeon D-1541 Supermicro SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T since a number of questions have come up about the CPU and the multiplier. While this Xeon D-1541 loaner is a pre-release BIOS on a pre-release Rev.…

Feb 21 2016

How cool is that Hypercube Lego Server, featuring the powerful Xeon D-1540 on tiny and familiar Supermicro X10SDV-F motherboard

What a nice way to start the day, thanks to TinkerTry commenter Jay Oliphant @JackOfAllTech. I somehow hadn't spotted this article yet, what a great find! Jay is also the super helpful TinkerTry visitor who helped me squash a strange TinkerTry CDN bug, back in 2014. A Lego server, nice! Hey…

Jan 19 2016

Here's how Mark Allison migrated from ESXi 5.5 to Hyper-V 2012 R2 Core

I've said this before. Using VMware vSphere in a home lab isn't without its challenges. For IT Pros, it's best to know multiple platforms anyway. For me personally, VMware is still a vast majority of what my customers run, so keeping up on the latest vSphere is what spend much of my time doing in…

Jan 14 2015

Intel's Haswell-E X99S and Atom can handle 64GB of memory, affordability TBD

VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V home labs crave RAM. Lots of RAM. It's likely the bottleneck you'll bump into first. It's also not easily upgradeable, once you hit your CPU/motherboard limits. So we continue to wait for possible solutions. My own 2011-vintage Z68 based vZilla build has 32GB of…

Aug 11 2014

NVIDIA and IBM create a GPU Interconnect called NVLink that's faster than PCI Express 3.0

Disclosure. I work for IBM's storage division, but am not involved in this NVIDA collaboration in any way. This is a personal blog, reflecting my own opinions and observations. Today, I was rather surprised to see announcements about this new NVLink. Can you imagine a shared…

Mar 25 2014

The Virtualization Technology User Group - 8th Annual Winter Warmer 2014 at Gillette Stadium, with >1,000 IT Pros!

A great collection of VTUG Winter Warmer 2014 Videos, thanks Chris Harney! It's cold. It's dark. It's foggy. It's winter, in New England. The perfect time to head on over to the Gillette Stadium to hang out with over a thousand other IT Professionals, and talk about virtualization! C'mon, let's…

Jan 22 2014

The Virtualization Technology Users Group Fall Forward 2013

Fall Forward 2013 Agenda & Breakout Sessions. Another wonderful event, thank you Chris Harney @csharney! See also Virtualization Technology User Group Summer Slam 2013. Met a lot of new folks, learned a lot in the breakout sessions, and enjoyed some beautiful autumn weather on the drive…

Oct 19 2013

Build your own VMware vSphere 5.5 Datacenter with ESXi and VCSA

Mar 12 2014 Update, see also ESXi 5.5 Update 1 info, just released Mar 11 2014: TinkerTry.com/download-vsphere-5-5-u-1-lab original article appears below. Do you have an efficient and affordable home "vZilla" system of your own, that's got some RAM, and a yearning to juggle many…

Sep 30 2013

BrontaStor, a brawny little beast for home server enthusiasts?

See the BrontaStor 822R-E4/SNU at Armari Performance In Computing. Other models announced Sep 18 2013 to follow, seen here, with a full review at Hexus.net, and product overviews at the BrontaStor YouTube Channel.* If you've been following my site for a while, you know that back in the summer of…

Sep 18 2013

Rufus takes seconds to create a bootable USB flash drive for ESXi installation

Mar 12 2015 11:15am EDT update – with ESXi 6.0 now released, worth noting that Rufus still works just fine, including the new but very similar Rufus 2.0 Portable, and this USB flash drive. 8 people are reading this article right now! Download Rufus, straight from the author at rufus.akeo.ie, or…

Sep 10 2013

Rufus lets you quickly and easily reformat an ESXi USB flash drive back to full capacity

Download Rufus, straight from the author at rufus.akeo.ie, or from reboot.pro: The executable is digitally signed and the signature should state: "Akeo Consulting" (v1.3.0 or later) "Pete Batard - Open Source Developer" (v1.2.0 or earlier) Rufus:…

Sep 10 2013

Wow, is that a 62TB drive in my home lab?

Remember this post, from Dec 16 2011? Practical ways to deal with VMware ESXi 5.0′s 2TB virtual disk size limitation by Paul Braren on Dec 16 2011 Well, 2 Terabytes isn't cool, you know what's cool? 62 Terabytes. With my new ESXi 5.5 GA build, passing through some or all of my 4 port USB 3.0…

Sep 7 2013

Which hypervisor for your home lab, VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, Linux KVM, or Citrix XenServer?

Well, this is a first for TinkerTry. A blog post that simply asks a question for site visitors to weigh in on. No need for me to stir the kettle on this one, since "MooTrader" has done that for us last night here: A bigger question, is it time for the home enthusiast to move to Hyper-V?…

Sep 2 2013

Virtualization Technology User Group Summer Slam 2013 in Brunswick Maine

Here's the fun email I received a while back YOU’RE INVITED: Summer Slam VTUG (aka NEVMUG) and Lobstah Bake! Hey All, I wanted to reach out to the VTUG community. As most of you know Summer Slam 2013 is fast approaching. It is a great event and in this day and age of training budgets being cut,…

Aug 1 2013

USB 3.1, Flash in DIMM slots, NGFF and Thunderbolt 2 are promising for virtualization at home

It tends to take a while for the latest and greatest in consumer tech to sneak its way into the datacenter. Think about USB 3.0, for example. It can allow a small businesses or test lab to implement much more affordable external storage and backup options. For example, USB 3.0 passthrough allowed…

Aug 1 2013

Summer virtualization travels to Maine

A little summer fun, combined with some summer learning, and a bit of travel tech. Today, I traveled from Connecticut to Maine, for the free Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals, where I'll use my eSATAp cable to non-destructively install Hyper-V on my laptop Wednesday July 17th,…

Jul 16 2013

With the recent suspension of Microsoft TechNet, is the return of VMware VMTN less likely?

This is big news today. I'm fortunate to have an active, corporate bulk MSDN subscription through April of 2016. But those with TechNet-only aren't likely to be terribly happy about today's news. Microsoft to shut down TechNet subscription service Ed Bott, Jul 1 2013 Summary: One of the best…

Jul 1 2013

2013 Apple Mac Pro as a virtualization platform? Think about it...

Yeah, nothing polarizes opinions more than talking about Apple. Hang on a second though, keep an open mind. I've used PCs since the mid 1980s, and I have to admit, from an engineering and design perspective, little out there impresses me like the surprisingly affordable 2011 Mac mini. Excellent…

Jun 11 2013

IDF 2013 Presentation: Intel Next Generation Microarchitecture Code Name Haswell

SPCS001 - Technology Insight: Intel® Next Generation Microarchitecture Code Name Haswell Per Hammarlund, Ronak Singhal, Hong Jiang This technical deep-dive with video is from an April 10 2013 presentation at IDF2013 (Intel Developer Forum) in Bejing, China is now available, with a brief…

May 1 2013

Thought about attending virtualization user groups? Here's a virtual tour of some of my recent positive experiences.

When working at an IBM customer center from 1995-2005, I spent a lot of evenings helping host local user groups, something I thoroughly enjoyed. If you've been to this site before, you already know I like getting out, such as attending the Hyper-V Loadfest. The value I get out of these events is…

Apr 6 2013

Windows Task Manager auto-started as an effective CPU monitor in your system tray

I've been given the opportunity to be a guest author over at IT Pro Guru Blog, by Systems Management Expert Dan Stolts of Microsoft. I've gotten to know Dan from the variety of virtualization user groups in the Boston area he and I attend, including Virtualization Group - Boston that he helps…

Feb 12 2013