Hardware hoarder

Picked up a new toy!  I figured it was a decent deal since 4tb NAS drives are $125~150 each.

Pair of 4tb Seagate NAS drives
4gb DDR3 sodimm
Intel Atom D2550 @ 1.86GHz
ASRock AD2550R/U3S3 Mini ITX Server Motherboard
Chenbro Mini-ITX Home/Small Business NAS Server Chassis Case SR30169 w/ PSU

The specs on the motherboard say it will do only 4gb of DDR3 ram, however the previous owner had a single module in there.  I put a pair of 4gb modules in there and it saw all 8gb!  Unfortunately it recognizes the pc3-12800 as pc3-10600 but whatever.  The case holds has four drive trays, that can hold either a 2.5 or 3.5" drive in each drive sled.  There is also an internal 2.5" drive tray.

In comparison to my FreeNAS ITX build it has a way slower CPU (cpu mark of 667 vs 1740), only takes 8gb vs. 16gb of ram, consumes less power 10-watts vs. 17-watts.  Six ports and PCI-E on the AsRocks VS. four SATA ports and PCI on the Gigabyte.

For kicks and grins I installed VMware ESXi v5.5.  It complained a few times during install.  Surprisingly it did complete and run! It even saw the NIC and the 3gbps SATA controller, not the 6gbps (no surprise).  This CPU doesn't have Intel-VT so I cannot run 64bit OS's.

Eventually I will make it into a NAS4Free or Windows Storage server or something to be used for backups.

Installed Windows 7 just for testing....Ignore the graphics rating as Intel GMA3600 video card drivers aren't loaded (by the way, there doesn't seem to be Windows 64bit drivers).
Interesting that Seagate 4tb NAS drives (5400rpms 64mb cache) outperform the HGST 1tb (7200rpm 32mb cache).

***update: so I benchmarked the 2nd HGST 1tb SATA drive in this system and if come in around 85 mbps according to ATTO vs. 130ish.....  Probably not advisable to but these two in the same RAID.  I suspect that drive is going to die at some point.

VMware: Vsphere Data Protection woes

I decided to install VMware's VDP, went to MyVMware.com and downloaded it.  I was presented with the option to download v5.8.  So download the OVA, installed, configured, and did a few backups.

Then it was decided to upgrade the vCenter Appliance, from 5.5u1 to 5.5u3.  The compatibility matrix said all was good.  After the vCenter upgrade, VPD would not work any more.  "An attempt made to backup a client failed because no data was found that matches the type of data the job was configured for."  Turns out VDP v5.8 isn't compatible with vCenter u3.
Uggg...  Okay let's upgrade VDP, but MyVMware.com doesn't list a newer version.  Googling for it however yields that v6.1 out, and gives links to downloads.

Ok, download the latest and greatest v6.1.2.  Note to do an inplace upgrade, one must download the ISO, attach it to the VDP appliance.  Also note one must also make a VMware snapshot before the upgrade.  When launching the update process it just sat there forever spinning its wheels.  Turns out that one cannot upgrade to v6.1.x; the version of SUSE Linux it is built on had a major version shift and there isn't an inplace upgrade.  So download the 6.0.2 ISO, attach, upgrade.

After upgrading to VDP v6.0.2.4 I still have the same error message.  Still working on this...


Restoring Active Directory user & Exchange accounts

For reasons I won't go into here.  I had to restore a person's account who left the company over a year ago, two months ago, that account was finally deleted.  Whatever....

Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows 2012 AWESOME!

As expected it restored the person's email account, great!  Next went to restore the person's email which was archived off to a PST.  Shouldn't be a problem.

Except it was a problem!  I couldn't import the PST, in fact I could not use OWA or Outlook to get into this person's email account.  Also errors showed up in Exchange Admin Center.  After much digging around we deleted the person's account in Exchange, recreated it, then things started working.  Turns out that the default AD retention is 90 days, however in Exchange it was only 30 days.  Since the deletion happened roughly 60 days ago, Exchange got confused.