Selecting and Flashing my Home Lab Router

It’s taken me a while to select and configure a router for my home lab environment. Part of the problem has been sorting through some conflicting requirements. For instance, I want to keep my power bills low but the functionality that I want demands something something a little hungry in that respect. I also wanted to keep things as simple as possible in my home yet still giving me the flexibility to run lots of different software and setups. In the end I have selected the NetGear WNR3500L for the following reasons: It doesn’t draw too much power Meets the needs of my home lab and other home networking Provides 802.11n wireless capability Has gigabit ethernet ports Most importantly, it can be flashed with alternative firmware It is that last reason that is the most important to me. Most home […]

Read More

QNAP NAS and Twonky Media Server

Ok, so it’s not really virtualisation related but I thought it needed writing down somewhere. I have a QNAP NAS at home. I don’t really use it in my home lab for hosting VMs. I prefer to use EMC’s VSA for that. I do use it to store templates, ISO files and other software along with all of my digital media and documents etc. One of the features that comes built in with most QNAP devices is a UPNP Media Server, which is actually a repackaged version of Twonky. When enabled it allows me to stream video content from the QNAP to my blu-ray player and watch it on a decent sized screen. It works well with DivX AVI files but it wasn’t happy with several other formats. I put it down to a lack of support from my blu-ray […]

Read More

HP MicroServer Cashback Offer Extended (March 2011)

Just in case @kiwi_si hasn’t posted about this, it seems that the cashback offer on HP’s MicroServer has been extended again until the 31st Macrh 2011. Even better, ServersPlus have apparently picked up new stock at a lower price that they are passing on. This means that after cashback that you can get one of these little fellas for under £100 (ex VAT) – sorry, UK only. For further information about these servers, including how well they work in a home lab environment, head over to TechHead. Or, for that low price, you could just buy one and play with it!

Read More

What is a Xsigo? (Part 1)

I happened to mention Xsigo in passing to someone I know and they asked, quite rightly, “What’s a Xsigo?”. In this day and age of Google being everyone’s friend it’s not hard to find out and I’d encourage anyone to go and have a look for themselves. This is my take on it though. So, Xsigo (pronounced ‘see-go or Zee-go if you like) is actually the name of the company. In my experience people refer to the devices themselves as Xsigos because it’s a lot easier than “I/O Director” or “VP 780” and you’re not likely to have lots of them lying around to get confused about. Xsigo are in the business of providing I/O Virtualisation. And why not? Your servers are virtualised, your storage is virtualised and even your desktops may be virtualised. I/O is the missing piece of […]

Read More