Business, Hardware, Web Hosting

After 8 years, servers are moving on

After a good long 8 years (Sept 2006 to Sept 2014), have finally moved servers out of Viewqwest and stopped hosting services.

The 3 servers (Dell Poweredge 850 and 860 x 2) have been inactive for better part of 2 years now. Only the 850 has been humming along for close to all 8 years with 3-4 reboots. CentOS (Linux) FTW!

2006 to 2014 - Dell Servers

Hardware, Musings

Apples invading the home!

So Apple #10 is invading the study (Nano, iPhone 3GS x 2, iPhone 4 x 2, iPad x 2, iPad x 1, MacBook Pro).

Apple MBA Update: Shipment Delivered: Singapore

This time thanks to and bit of patience (not something I do well when it comes to gadgets), I’ve made the purchase of a MacBook Air which will come really useful on the work trips. Lighter bag (my rationale) and really nice specs (i7, 256GB SSD!, 4GB RAM, Intel Graphics that doesn’t SUCK too much).

The same day the new Mac Air launched, Lion also got released. Since I was stuck in a hotel room, the 3.9 GB download was out of the question. When I got back, the MacBook Pro 13 (nickname’d Atron) got the upgrade. So far, nothing much has changed other than some rather awkward trackpad gestures… How the heck do I go back and forth in Safari/Chrome now?

Don’t be mistaken though, 10 apples in the house doesn’t mean I’m giving up on Windows. Windows 8 looks really neat and I hope to get it running on the main PC soon enough. For gaming and programming, the triple 24″ workstation still works pretty well. I do wonder how 3 x 27″ Apple Thunderbolt Display’s would look like though 😉

Hardware, Musings

D-Link DGS-1005D shows compatible Non-IEEE 802.3ad (ALB) but not DGS-1008D!

Happily setup the DS1511+ and parity checking finally completed after 10 hours for 3 x 2TB hdd. Tried to setup network link aggregation (IEEE 802.3ad) since the 5 port variant showed compatible so my 8-port must work no? NOPE! Failed and had to just enable “Network fault tolerance only” mode which only kicks in if 1 NIC fails. I’m now looking at a 55 MB/s transfer rate and wondering how can I boost this?!

If you’re wondering, why do i need more speed? Well, when trying to transfer almost 3 TB worth of data, you want all the SPEED you can get! (DS1511+ has advertised 165.91 MB/sec Writing, 197.8 MB/sec Reading)

Did some research to understand bit more in depth and came across a post that asked the questions swirling in my head.

What exactly are the technical differences between the two Link Aggregation modes (“IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation” and “non-IEEE 802.3ad Adaptive Load Balancing”) that are supported by Synology? Is “Adaptive Load Balancing” the same as “Static Link Aggregation”, for example? The help-text in the UI does not really clarify this.

The answer?

Feature: ‘IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation’ vs. ‘Adaptive Load Balancing (ALB)’
Load Balancing: Tx/Rx vs. Tx only
Layer 3 Address Aggregation: yes vs. IP and IPX only
Layer 2 Address Aggregation: yes vs. no
Requires a switch that supports link aggregation: yes vs. no

Static Link Aggregation (SLA) is a form of IEEE 802.3ad, but is NOT supported by Synology. ALB is NOT a form of IEEE 802.3ad, but IS supported by Synology.

If you need to get even more info, read Intel’s explanation.

So now, should I go into overkill mode and bring back the Linksys SRW2024 (now rebranded under Cisco) from the DC? or go with a more sane 8-port Zyxel ES-2108-G?

Hardware, Musings

Time to stop flirting and get serious with a business-class NAS : Synology Diskstation DS1511+ with 5 bay hotswap

After a few years of attempting to build my own NAS with a self-assembled PC (RAID-5 using a FastTrak SX4000 ATA raid controller), a Linksys NAS200 (horrible buy) and trying to work with Microsoft’s Windows Home Server via the Acer EasyStor H340, I’m finally throwing in the towel and going for a proper NAS DS1511+ from Synology.

Synology Diskstation DS1511+

Synology Diskstation DS1511+

Microsoft’s next WHS doesn’t impress and frankly I’m more comfortable with Linux to run a 24/7 appliance.

Thinking back, I should have just gone for the quality product when it comes to data reliability. Many thanks to Alan Soon’s posts and reviews on the unit as well as the HDD test. Got 3 x Seagate Barracuda 2 TB LP (ST2000DL003) and will add 2 more WD 2 TB green hdd for 10TB of storage (less after raid config). This will hopefully let me have peace of mind when it comes to 11+ years worth of work and memories.