Unitrends Free – Review: Part 2

In Part 1 of this review, I walked through the deployment and initial configuration of the Unitrends Free backup appliance. I’m now going to touch briefly on some of the other features of the product before summarising my thoughts. Recovery There’s no point taking backups if they don’t work, right? Well there are a few options available here. The first of them is a file level recovery. This mounts a VM’s backed up disks as file shares on the backup appliance. To test it, I created a couple of test VMs to backup and selected to restore from one.   A file level recovery “job” is started and a share is created using the backup job number.     It’s pretty easy to browse to the share and the required files could be recovered from there. Another restore option is an Instant Recovery. […]

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Unitrends Free – Review: Part 1

I was asked to give a new, free backup tool a quick road-test recently. Unitrends have had an Enterprise version of their backup software for some time. And, as I’ve used it a bit in my lab with an NFR license in the past I was only too happy to give Unitrends Free a go. Features As a free edition, you expect a basic set of features. The goal of such offerings is normally to get you hooked, but wanting more. Unitrends Free offers the following features: Backup from VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V Unlimited VMs and host CPU sockets supported Instant VM recovery (allows you to run a VM directly from the backup files) – this feature also allows for recovery verification testing and use of backups for test and development purposes Unlimited incremental backups (subject to storage space of course) […]

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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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New HP Proliant Microserver N40L

HP have recently updated their Proliant Microserver to sport a slightly nippier processor. As well as the 250Gb SATA drive it also now comes with 2Gb RAM as standard – although if you’re thinking of using one for a home lab Virtual Infrastructure you’d need to replace that with 2 x 4Gb sticks anyway. HP’s ongoing cashback deal for this little gem is still running too. Before cashback they’re about £200 + VAT meaning that once you get your cheque back from HP, they work out at only £120 each. Not bad at all for a home lab and the AMD NEO N40L 1.5Ghz dual-core processor should be enough to handle a reasonable lab-like load. ServersPlus are one of the places in the UK to pick one of these servers up. They even offer an ESXi 5 testbed bundle that […]

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Pimp My Microserver!

I’m not normally in the habit of posting this sort of thing but I do own a number of these MicroServers and they’re great for home lab use. They may only take up to 8Gb RAM and have single, dual-core chips in them but they don’t eat much power and don’t make much noise. They’re also as “cheap as chips” to buy! Enough about why I have them. ServersPlus are running a competition of sorts to design a cosmetically pimped up MicroServer. If you submit what becomes the winning design you get the first one of the batch for free. Submissions have to be in on 11th November and voting runs until 30th November.

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