Synology DS1513+ Released

The Synology DS1512 has been a popular choice for many home labs in recent years. I hoped that the company’s raft of recent product updates would reach this model eventually. Well my wish was granted as Synology have announced the DS1513+. There are a few modifications to note. The one that stands out the most at first glance is the doubling of LAN capability.  The DS1513+ boasts no fewer than 4 RJ45 ports. That does seem like quite a lot. It does open up some interesting possibilities though… The full specifications for the DS1513+ can be found here.

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Get Your Homelab in the Clouds with AutoLab

Since we have a small but significant following of people who run home labs here on vSpecialist, I thought I’d mention a limited offer that may be of interest. If you’re not familiar with AutoLab, it’s designed to produce a nested vSphere 5.1, 5.0 or 4.1 lab environment with minimum effort. Prebuilt Open Source VMs and the shell of other VMs are used along with automation for the installation of operating systems and applications into these VMs with the end result being a useful home lab that you can stand up from scratch in a short amount of time. Anyway, it’s possible to get an AutoLab setup and running in the cloud and BareMetalCloud actually offer it as a service. Mike Laverick has some discount codes available (use MAGICMIKE100) to the first 100 people to take up the service. Check out his post […]

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Don’t over-complicate!

Having recently relocated my home office and my home lab within my house, I have set about rebuilding my lab from scratch. As it evolves or my needs change, a rebuild is good to purge out the remnants of the various experiments and tests that I’ve done. However, I will sometimes fall into the trap of trying to be too clever. Take last night as an example. I happened to read about a piece of software called Cobbler. To save anyone having to read what is quite a lengthy man page, Cobbler manages the provisioning of operating systems from a single server. I thought it would be great if I could automate and control the complete rebuild of my entire lab from bare metal to fully functional at the touch of a few buttons with my QNAP NAS acting as the Cobbler […]

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Reset VM Stuck at 95%

I’m not convinced that this is supported, but it did work. As with anything on a blog, use at your own risk. I was working on rebuilding my home lab and wanted to clear down the host that my vCenter VM was sitting on. Before doing that I wanted to rescue some files from it (long story). For some reason it hung on me and wouldn’t respond so I tried to reset it. This process got as far as 95% and then got stuck 🙁 One way to unstick such a VM is to SSH onto the hosts that it’s running on and use the vm-support command. How? Run “vm-support -x” to show the world IDs of the running VMs on the host: The one that I wanted was 9190. Using “vm-support -X 9190” and answering “y” to the three […]

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VMworld Europe 2012 – Day 0

I’m calling it Day 0 as the full conference started on Tuesday. Monday was Partner Day at VMworld and a chance for many to just turn up and register as well as take a few Hands-on-Lab sessions and do some networking. I walked to the venue from my hotel and eventually managed to find my way into the Hands-on-Labs as I was keen to try out a few of the changes to elements of the vCloud suite (I haven’t managed to update my home lab yet since 5.1 was released). I’ve enjoyed using the labs in the past and I did so this time as well but I came away with a few observations / suggestions that I’d like to share: The manuals for each accompanying lab were a little tricky to navigate at times. I know a few people […]

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