Flash SAN and the Path to 10Gb iSCSI (and beyond!)

As you all know (or should know from the post Fibre Channel SAN on the Cheap), I’ve been running all my virtual machines off a custom 4Gb FC SAN. The bulk storage is on some big spinny disks, and the virtual machines themselves all run on a RAID 10 of 24x 146GB 10k SAS drives in an MD1120. This has been working fine, but after watching some Grafana logs of queue lengths and taking a look at my power utilization, I’ve decided it’s time to move to flash. The noticeable amount of noise produced by the disk array shan’t be missed either.

New Theme & Stuff

The time has come to say auf wiedersehen to the old and tired blue and white theme. To replace it, a new theme has been selected (obviously) which includes a magnitude more features, and looks much more modern and clean. Along with not displaying some things properly, the old theme didn’t showcase certain things very effectively, sometimes making them look like a run-on page from 1999. Hopefully its replacement will remedy all that.

On a side note, I’ve been working on the first of a series of posts regarding the holy grail of home labs – the blade chassis. Stay tuned!

Why I put pfSense back on bare metal

Throughout the years I’ve been torn between running pfSense on metal (directly on the hardware), and running it in a virtual machine. There are pros and cons to both options, however I’ve come to the conclusion that virtual pfSense just doesn’t provide enough up-time in comparison to running it on metal. Granted, if I was able to get my hands on some static IPs so I could utilize pfSense clustering (which is a rather interesting and inconvenient requirement, by the way), this post might have a different title. So, let’s talk about up-time……

Fibre Channel SAN on the Cheap(ish)

I told myself I was going to post here more frequently. I am afraid I have failed in that regard over the course of 2015. I’d like to say I’ll do better in 2016, but I’m not one to make new years resolutions, because I know they’re just a crock of shit anyways. Moving on…

A typical Dell PowerVault SAN enclosure (MD3200 or the like) with iSCSI/FC support will go for several thousand USD on eBay. Used. With no disks. I didn’t like this, so I decided it would be a good idea to buy some enterprise parts, build my own x86-based storage device and hope there was software to back up what I wanted to do….

A Smarter Home, Vol. 1: Genesis

Being the overly enthusiastic tech nerd that I am, I am naturally attracted to new gadgets, gizmos, toys and anything that could make life easier or more enjoyable. When coupled with the recent acquisition of my first house, it seems rather appropriate that I have been particularly drawn to home automation.

This will be the first in a series of posts as I begin my adventure down the home automation rabbit hole. As I continue to expand my robot empire, I will be sharing the gadgets, software, schematics, configurations, hacks, instructions and other shinfo as it relates to my goal of ultimate home convenience….

Hello world!

Same shinfo, new place, new face.

I’ve decided that I’m tired of hosting my own websites, and have moved this blog to Microsoft’s Azure hosting for several reasons:
-The commercial private sector has many free offerings
-I’d like to not give everybody and their grandma my IP address
-The cloud is more reliable than my house

The low-down on what will be posted here:
Software development hints, tips and tricks
Current project goings-on
Future project ideas
Some stupid things
Some things less stupid than the aforementioned stupid things

I promise to try to keep this thing updated more frequently now that it’s hosted on a more reliable platform (yeah right).