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

*So far, I've not experienced this issue, but many TinkerTry visitors have. Details of the ongoing investigation will be added below. It appears mostly folks upgrading to 6.5 encounter this issue, but there is now a report of a fresh install experiencing this too, and Intel Avoton C2758, and an…

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

Pricing info updated on Mar 16 2017, with DDR4 pricing rising >25% in the last few months. Below you'll also find the detailed pricing & specs comparison table, relative sizes, performance testing graphs, and a thorough sound and watt measurement video of each system at idle and under…

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!

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, minutes ago. Remember, those E300 and E200 product pages don't even have instruction manuals yet, so I was quite eager…

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

Summer 2016 is heating up with ecobee3 and Ring Pro Video Doorbell updates, mesh WiFi tinkering, quiet 10GbE switch, 1TB M.2 NVMe, and falling DDR4 prices

There's a lot of great content coming up soon. To keep up to date, subscribe to the TinkerTry Weekly digest. My home's ecobee3 smart thermostat, 1 year later After Nest, what came next? The ecobee3 thermostat, with remote room motion and temperature sensors. Here's my latest updates on my 1 year…

Jul 13 2016

Lower memory cost reduces price of Xeon D-1541 SuperServer Mini Tower Bundles, 1U version also available

I've gotten to know many new folks during my years attending various VTUG (Virtualization Technology User Group) events. These inclusive events are VMware and Hyper-V friendly affairs, serving up a great combination of free education and fun. I'm super excited to be heading up to the famous VTUG…

Jul 13 2016

Save backup storage using Veeam Backup & Replication BitLooker, a free way to reclaim wasted space in your VMs

When working with large amounts of data like I do in my home lab, reclaiming storage space left behind when I'm moving stuff like 3TBs of media around can be a pain. Those big VMDK files don't automatically get any smaller when you delete large files within those VMs. Seriously. That's a dirty…

Jul 6 2016

Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE network backups to Windows Server 2016 with Dedup, a promising combination

If you backup many family PCs, you'll want to start by reading this article: Server Storage at Microsoft The official blog of the Windows Server storage engineering teams: Data Deduplication in Windows Server 2016 Apr 01 2016 by Will Gries at blogs.technet.microsoft.com Since we introduced Data…

Jun 29 2016

Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE works well with Windows Server 2016 (beta) already, here's how

Jun 27 2016 Update - Veeam's Anton Gostev has left a word of warning below, please read before you proceed! I actually enjoy playing around with beta code, because I like getting a peek at where things are headed. I also enjoy hitting the ground running, when the final product finally arrives. For…

Jun 25 2016

Samsung announces 960 PRO, 960 EVO, SM961, and PM961 NVMe M.2 SSDs in up to 1TB capacity

If you've followed TinkerTry for a while, you'll know that I'm kind of a speed freak. I strive to squeeze every last bit of performance out of my careful investments. I tinker with settings to get the best speeds because I enjoy being productive and creating content without having to wait for my…

Jun 22 2016

Puget Systems publishes "Samsung 950 Pro M.2 Additional Cooling Testing"

Available now on Amazon in 256GB and 512GB sizes, 1TB was originally expected to arrive early '16. I've certainly spend a fair bit of time with my Xeon D-1540 and now Xeon D-1541 based Supermicro SuperServers, the model SYS-5028D-TN4T. One key feature for my home lab was making the best use of that…

Jun 8 2016