Superguide: SuperServer home virtualization lab storage tiers, platinum through bronze, how many efficient drives fit inside this tiny chassis?

You can go with RAID for increased resilience and/or speed. Or you can go simple JBOD, and simply use the magic of VMware's Storage vMotion to move VMs among tiers at will, depending upon your needs for which speeds.Click to see more. I have chosen the latter approach for my Supermicro SuperServer…

Sep 25 2015

Superguide: Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T - THE Ultimate Home Virtualization Lab

TinkerTry's tagline: TinkerTry IT @ home Efficient virtualization, storage, backup, and more... I tend to go pretty deep in my articles for nearly 5 years now, ever since I created my original self-built Core i7 beast aptly named vZilla in 2011. It worked well, but using a consumer motherboard…

Sep 20 2015

Superguide: Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE

TinkerTry's tagline (since January 2013): TinkerTry IT @ home Efficient virtualization, storage, backup, and more... My writings are not done on a whim. This new Veeam beta obviously has my attention as the most interesting product in years, since bare metal restore software for Windows is…

Dec 17 2014

Superguide: Home virtualization lab backup software, some special deals for VMware VCPs and vExperts

It's a smart move, when an enterprise backup company markets their wares to the home lab enthusiast. Why? Well, we're often IT professionals, and there's no better way to get to know sofware than by trying software. 30 day time bombs don't exactly encourage you to really test these products hard…

Nov 26 2014

Superguide: iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus Migration Tips

Ookla speed test in my home on Oct 29 2014, on 802.11ac Yep, it's that time again. Migrating my extended family to iPhone 6. Eventually, all seven of them. One iPhone 6, 6 iPhone 6 Plus. See also Verizon iPhone 5 customer upgrading to iPhone 6 Plus on Sep 12 2014, here’s some useful tips. Doing…

Oct 29 2014

Superguide: Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

All things R2 Essentials, all in one place. If you’re looking to avoid domain joins, I've written up the exact client connector installation steps. My Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials system is handling daily backups of 12 PCs in my extended family, since January 2014. It's humming along as a VM…

Jun 11 2014

Superguide: Efficient hardware for your home network

TinkerTry has featured many home network related articles. This is the place to easily find the best of them! Quick look at tiny and efficient D-Link Gigabit Switches For networking devices you leave running 24x7, you can get unmanaged gigabit switches at incredibly low prices, with very high…

May 26 2014

Superguide: CyberPower PFCLCD UPS Mini Towers protect your home's computers and entertainment

This is not a sponsored blog post. My extended family has purchased 7 of the various PFCLCD models since 2012, and it's gone well, with just one battery replacement needed so far. I've found them to be very easy to install and configure at friends and family homes. Without a PC, and without a…

Jan 7 2014

Superguide: Home virtualization server enthusiasts' colorful variety of ESXi whiteboxes

(I've not been updating this article since May 2015, because I've been focusing my efforts on a big step up from typical of Intel NUC / Shuttle PCs, moving to 128GB of RAM with the Xeon D-1540, details here) Let's start with the shopping tools. If you're after which mobo works with which CPU, then…

Jan 5 2014

Superguide: Home Theater Combo - Samsung TV, TiVo Roamio, and Vizio Soundbar

Recently had the opportunity to outfit a family member's house with a new entertainment system. Had to nail down a beautiful and super easy-to-use solution for the holidays. Mission accomplished! Learned a few things along the way to share, should you choose to buy these exact 3 highly-rated items…

Dec 22 2013

Superguide: Timeline of USB, SATA, and Thunderbolt speeds

There's a fair amount of discussion lately about USB 3.1, SATA Express (SATA 3.2), and finally, the Thunderbolt 2.0 that's arriving soon in the Apple Mac Pro. So when I was asked by a family member about the speed differences, I figured it'd be easy to answer. I Googled around, but all I found were…

Aug 24 2013

Superguide: Insteon Home Automation

My home automation experiences started painfully, with thirteen years of mixed luck with X10 devices. I finally cut over to Insteon products in 2008. My first device was the 2413U and the clunky HouseLinc software, and an always-on Windows system to run it. While it controlled my Insteon devices…

Jun 23 2013

Superguide: Windows Server 2012 Essentials

If you're looking to avoid domain joins, I have a write-up on the connector installation, Windows Server 2012 Essentials – Connector installation followed by this fix, Windows Server 2012 Essentials remote client loses its Internet connection, here’s your DNS-related fix and optionally, the…

Jun 5 2013

Superguide: VMware vSphere

Here's a collection of articles to help you build your own VMware vSphere lab. The focus is on simplicity, with ways of getting going with a very usable rig, quickly and effectively, using affordable commodity parts (see also Superguide: vZilla). This Superguide will be updated with the latest…

May 17 2013

Superguide: Antivirus Solutions for the Microsoft Windows Home Server Family

Usually, the server versions of Windows require a centrally managed antivirus solution. That also usually means the considerable cost that comes with such enterprise solutions. But what if you just want to find a basic antivirus solution that works on any of these 3 generations of products: …

May 4 2013

Superguide: Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock, to affordably add 2 external monitors to Windows/Mac/Linux

The Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Docking Station (0A33970) is available from Amazon here. If you want to learn more about the possibility of getting more monitors hooked up to your USB 3.0 equipped system, you've come to the right place. Should work with nearly any brand of recent vintage laptop or…

May 2 2013

Superguide: gZilla, tZilla, & vZilla are born! (gaming, thinkpad, & virtualization)

All of these systems have a focus on energy efficiency, with few frills to needlessly burn up watts. Built for the long haul, to serve my family's needs for the next 3-4 years. And they're pretty much bricks if access is unauthorized (RAID encryption, HDD passwords, etc). The content here is…

Oct 1 2011

Superguide: Z68 Sandybridge Motherboard VT-d Test Matrix: Which Mobo/CPU combo works with VMware ESXi 4.1U1 VMDirectPath feature?

I’ve tested 4 brands of Z68 motherboards out, and the results are in, certain ASRock and MSI Z68 Motherboards can do VMDirectPath! I tested these 4 mid price point boards myself while building vZilla and each cost somewhere between $170-$230. As of July 14, 2011, using the BIOS version listed in…

Jul 14 2011

Superguide: “vZilla” Z68/Core i7/LSI 9265-8i - built for virtualization, storage, and speed

Jul 12 2011 Original Post: (see also updates, appended at the end) Create your own fast and resilient VMware whitebox, for both "production" and "lab" use. I'm happy to finally be publishing this summary on July 12, 2011...the day vSphere 5 was announced. Back in April, my goals…

Jul 13 2011