Samsung 960 EVO vs 950 PRO M.2 NVMe SSD - FLIR thermal video of VMware vSphere 6.5 Windows 10 VM cloning

It sure took a while, but the first Samsung 960 PRO and EVO shipments to US customers finally arrived the third week of December, that long saga unfolded here. So far, it's looking good! But why should only I have all the fun, as I performed my first set of confidence-building tests. I wanted to…

Jan 3 2017

Samsung 960 PRO/EVO/SM961 M.2 NVMe SSD disappearance workaround is to power cycle, boot from NVMe problems also reported

This article has had several significant additions since initially published, to incorporate new findings from amazingly helpful readers who commented below. I'm apparently starting out 2017 smoothing out bumps-in-the-road that a few home lab enthusiasts ran into recently during their normally fun…

Jan 2 2017

XPoint Storage Accelerator arrives in Kaby Lake ThinkPads in early 2017 as a really fast 16GB NVMe cache for its Intel RST RAID volume

3D XPoint is spoken as three dee cross point, see also Intel® Optane™ Technology co-developed with Micron, who calls it QuantX Technology. PC Perspective has once again done a great job of covering the latest consumer storage technology in yesterday's article and podcast discussion. We don't yet…

Dec 29 2016

vSphere 6.5 Core Storage white paper - one home virtualization lab enthusiast's perspective

Let's start with Cormac Hogan's recent post: Announcing vSphere 6.5 Core Storage white paper Nov 28 2016 by Cormac Hogan at VMware | Blogs > Virtual Blocks I’m delighted to announce the availability of a new vSphere 6.5 core storage white paper. The paper covers new features such as VMFS-6…

Dec 7 2016

M.2 expansion for your NVMe SSDs - EZDIY adds, Angelbird Wings adds and cools, Amfeltec Squid adds, cools, and quadruples

Introduction Such adapter cards pass signals from your M.2 NVMe device right through to your motherboards PCIe slot, with no speed degradation. You can see these simple wire traces in the close-look video that's featured below, so there's no special drivers needed. Modern PCs and servers simply…

Dec 6 2016

Where to buy your Samsung 960 EVO or PRO M.2 NVMe SSDs, featuring the latest ordering and availability info

There have been many reports of issues with these 960 drives! Please read: Samsung 960 PRO/EVO/SM961/PM961 M.2 NVMe SSD disappearance workaround is to power cycle, boot from NVMe problems also reported Original article appears below. This will likely be my last manual update of order status. As…

Nov 30 2016

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 NFR license now available to certified IT Pros, vSphere 6.5 support coming soon

Here's highlights of Veeam's recent announcement that I received from Clint Wyckoff (@ClintWyckoff), Product Strategy Evangelist at Veeam: As you probably know, we’ve recently announced a number of features of Veeam Availability Suite 9.5. Today, I’m happy to announce that version 9.5 is here!…

Nov 22 2016

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 6.1.1 works with ESXi 6.5, virtualizing Windows PCs & VMs for free

Last night, I was recording a nifty ESXi 6.5 install video using a Windows 10 system that was running on some older hardware. That was a mistake, it bogged down right when I needed it, live on camera. Oh well, time to migrate this VM to another system as I prepare for round 2, the VCSA install. The…

Nov 16 2016

Easy fix for Supermicro and other Xeon D systems experiencing SATA3/AHCI slowdown on ESXi 6.5

Article is a work in progress, revisit/refresh for updates. So far, I've been unable to replicate his findings on a new ESXi 6.5 install, seeing normal SATA3 speeds. Others in different circumstances may still run into this slowdown, reasons why not known yet. Details of the ongoing investigation…

Nov 16 2016

How to use Parted Magic's Secure Erase for SSDs, updated for PCIe and M.2 NVMe

Why might you need a fast and easy way to quickly wipe all the data off any brand of SSD including PCIe NVMe and/or M.2 NVMe drives? I covered the SATA version of this back here: How to use Parted Magic's Secure Erase to restore performance of your home lab's abused SSDs This article is just an…

Oct 22 2016

TinkerTry Highlights 001

TinkerTry Highlights New tech evolves quickly, TinkerTry's agility reflects that reality My ongoing home tinkering tends to bring new insights to previously published topics. As I explained here, when the technical updates below articles are significant, I'm pulling together a curated list of those…

Oct 19 2016

Anandtech - Samsung Announces 960 PRO And 960 EVO M.2 PCIe SSDs (Updated)

Josh @jcefidel, about your tweet, pictured at right, I'm honored! Loaner status (not Loner status ;-) Unfortunately, despite my attempts to reach Samsung PR, and my visits to their booth at VMworld 2015 and VMworld 2016, I have failed to secure any test samples. In a perfect world, I'd be…

Sep 21 2016

AnandTech "Evaluating Futuremark's Servermark VDI on the Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T"

Anandtech has published an in-depth article that details not only VDI test results, but also new server testing tools from Futuremark. Given the hundreds of VMworld 2016 attendees who visited my Supermicro Xeon D VMware vSphere 6.0U2 cluster of 5 SuperServers yesterday, I won't argue with the…

Sep 1 2016

Introducing Supermicro's first Xeon D-1567, you asked for it, 12 core mini tower with even more CPU capacity strikes balance between performance, power, and cost

Sep 15 2016 Update - pre-orders of this new 12 core Bundle now available, with shipments expected to start in early October. This past winter, you may recall my observation that Supermicro's announcements of new Xeon D systems was conspicuously missing any new mini-tower form factor systems.…

Aug 31 2016

Endpoint Backup FREE stays free, with new support options and new name, Veeam Agent for Windows and Veeam Agent for Linux

I've been using Veeam Endpoint Backup to protect physical laptops and desktops for my extended family since its release nearly 2 years ago, and recommend it to friends who are often former Windows Home Server fans. Yeah, VEB doesn't have central management, but it can email daily backup reports,…

Aug 24 2016

TinkerTry's Xeon D All Flash vSAN mini-cluster featuring Supermicro and Intel NUC - Live VMworld US demo Wed. Aug. 31 8am-1pm at VMvillage, thanks @vCommunityGuy!

SYS-E300-8D and SYS-5018D-FN4T networking compared. ESXi 6.0U2, fully loaded! I used to do high jump and 400 meter hurtles back in high school. This Olympic month, it feels a little like that again. Numerous obstacles tripped me up on my way to the finish line. First, an NVMe storage vendor that…

Aug 16 2016

Choosing ideal mini server for a home lab, by Askar Kopbayev of VMware

There's this TinkerTry visitor who has been dropping a lot of insightful comments below various SuperServer articles lately. Like another VMware guy who reached out to me recently, it would seem that Askar Kopbayev is rather keen on getting just the right fit for his home lab needs. I'm hoping to…

Aug 12 2016

Intel Core i7 Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK spec comparison with all current Xeon D-1500 Supermicro SuperServers suited for home labs

The contents of this article are a work-in-progress and subject to change, testing and data collection (dB, watts, basic benchmarks) are still underway. On Nov 20 2016, a new sound and watt-use comparison video was added below. Below, you'll find that I've pulled technical information from a…

Aug 8 2016

TinkerTry's Xeon D cluster for VMworld 2016, man with a vSAN demo plan!

Fun new time-lapse video now available, in the updates section below the original article. The idea here is not what you should do in a home lab, it's really just determining what's become possible. Let's hold-off on concluding much of anything until I get this All-Flash vSAN rig fully…

Aug 2 2016

Supermicro SYS-E300-8D/SYS-E200-8D/SYS-5028D-TN4T and Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK - decibel and watt comparison

This is just the beginning, a good start at understanding the differences between the sound output of these svelte little Supermicro SuperServers and the tiny Intel NUC. For the initial run of tests, I'm only looking at sound and watts during the initial power up, and after POST has completed. All…

Jul 31 2016

Supermicro SuperServer SYS-E300-8D and E200-8D powerhouses arrive, have a look under the hood!

Frequent article updates below throughout this weekend. Come on back later and refresh your browser, and your soul. Having already carefully inspected those recent Supermicro PR stock photos, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I finally had a little time to have a close look under the hood,…

Jul 28 2016

Sneak preview of the upcoming HTML5 version of Supermicro Xeon D iKVM remote management shows you can't jettison Java quite yet

You've likely been itching to get rid of that pesky Java requirement if you want to remotely administer your Supermicro gear that's blessed with free IPMI/BMC/iKVM. Especially if you read my closely-related posts earlier this year: Supermicro's beloved iKVM Console Redirection is dumping…

Jul 27 2016

Supermicro SuperServer SYS-E300-8D and SYS-E200-8D close-up pictures

Article updates added below, including new unboxing pictures and video. Since spotting new arrivals at Supermicro's New X10 UP Server & Storage Solutions site, interest for big images of these little server beasts has been considerable. Coming Soon, as seen on the "Supermicro New X10 UP…

Jul 20 2016

Intel NUC-like micro servers with 4 or 8 1GbE/10GbE ports? Introducing Supermicro SuperServer SYS-E300-8D and E200-8D powerhouses, Xeon D-1518/1528 inside!

This article is undergoing significant additions and revisions now that the unboxing has begun, refresh to see the latest tech specs, with significant updates added below. Excerpt from Supermicro site, re-sorted. I happened to be poking around Supermicro's New X10 UP Server & Storage Solutions…

Jul 16 2016