Archive for July, 2010

Thought this was awesome and deserved capturing :)


Some of the fiber gear has arrived: (cables and, what i thought were NICs but are in fact HBAs- all part of the learning process!)

Not really much use till i get the fiber switch and new fileserver (i think i’ve picked the hardware which i’m going to get shipped from the US- still a lot cheaper than sourcing here in the UK). No idea for the operating system- whether to go with Windows Home Server, Freenas, Openfiler or something else? ZFS or hardware raid?

I’m also in the process of moving house, so all my gear will get re-racked then i can hopefully post some shots up!

P.S. Is it fiber or fibre?

P.P.S. I possibly saw the best Simpsons intro ever this afternoon so i’m going to try and cap it and post it up (there’s a few back-to-front poor quality versions on youtube…)


Roughly 6 hours “film” condensed into a 5minute video:

This is 9,000 photos (one every 2seconds-¬†totaled¬†about 16Gb) taken at the lowest resolution (2784×1856 pixels- still considerably higher resolution than 1080P HD).

I also filmed with 2 video cameras (much poorer result) which i wont be posting online.

I was amazed how simple it was to join the photos into a .mov in QuickTime on my Mac. The company i was filming for wanted it delivered in WMV which was easy with free Mediacoder (i kept getting errors at first, but then it seemed like it doesn’t default to the entire video- once i set the in and out points everything worked like a charm).

This is the first time i’ve done something like this and i was really impressed with the outcome!


Trixbox Working!

Finally got it working! From the CLI i did a system-config-network and set a static ip and pointed at my dns servers. Then did a service network restart. Voila!

I’ve installed X-Lite softphone on a few computers to test and have ordered a cheap second-hand wireless cisco ip phone to start playing with!


Trixbox Install Attempt #2

I had another attempt at installing Trixbox still a no go’er! Had a search around and there are a number of reported problems so i’m going to download and give that a try!

Fileserver Hunt

Why do all of them seem to only be available in the US? Still looking like Supermicro or Norco. I’ve also seen a few Rackable Systems servers which would be perfect. I’ve sent a few questions to eBayers to see if they can ship to the UK a bit cheaper than stated on the auctions.

I’m still undecided whether to go with FreeNAS, Openfiler or Windows Home Server (WHS) once i get the hardware? Also which RAID configuration (if any?).


Not 100% sure what i ordered will work/be compatible with my gear, but fingers crossed. All from eBay:

2x Emulex LP100000 PCI-X 2Gb Dual Port Channel Fibre Card (intended for my Dell Poweredge 2950s)
2x Linksys MGBSX1 Compatible SX SFP Gigabit Mini-GBIC LC (intended for my Linksys SRW2024)
1x EMC AP-7420B Fibre Channel router (although described as a router, i’m hoping it will function as a switch… 16ports @ 2Gb)

I’m still looking for the cheapest cables- looking at ordering 2x 1M, 2x 2M and 2x 3M to begin!


No major progress with the IT projects today (just some rather run of the mill stuff!). Had time for a quick shoot on the beach though:

A selection of the photos on facebook:


Trixbox Install Attempt #1

Not much of an update, but i had a shot at installing Trixbox on a VM (xenserver) today. The first thing which struck me as odd- when it boots it says 2.xxxx despite me downloading the ISO for And secondly, i can’t login to the maintenance web gui (even after logging on to the console and resetting the maintenance password). Watch this space for if/when i suss it out!

Xenserver 5.6 Performance Issue

After a power outage i had to reboot my Xenserver and couldn’t believe how long it took to boot just 4 VMs. I did a bit of googling (as i recall hearing people having issues with 5.6)- initially to find lots of discussion about tcp offloading, but my issue was occuring during boot with little to no network activity. After further reading i found – bingo! I’m running on a Dell Poweredge 2950 and found the cdrommon process using 99.9% cpu! I killed the process and everything’s full speed ahead (until i next reboot). So i went into the BIOS and disabled the cdrom drive. Problem solved.



I started a blog years back, but never disciplined myself into posting regularly- so let me try again! I have a few reasons for doing so:

1) To bore anyone who’s crazy enough to read :)
2) So i can look back to find solutions to problems i know i’ve encountered before (and hopefully others can too)

Here’s a list of some of the projects/bits i’m playing with/working on:

Virtualization (vmware & xenserver)
Network/system monitoring (currently trying spiceworks)
Software deployment/monitoring (currently trying microsoft systems center configuration manager (sccm))
VoIP (looking to try trixbox – an asterix derivative, not yet purchased any hardware)
New fileserver (looking at hardware and software- may lead to upgrading lab to fiber)
I’m sure there’s plenty more, but nothing that immediately springs to mind…

I spend most of time working with Crystal Reports and SQL server and vb.NET, so expect a lot of talk about them too!

When i’m not busy with the IT stuff i’m a freelance photographer & videographer so may post about that too.

Good day!


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