Tag Archives: Hardware

Battery Life Sank on Macbook Pro (2012) After Upgrading Hardware (?)

I recently purchased a new 2012 Macbook Pro, not the retina model, and have been loving it.  After a month or so of use, I decided to upgrade both the RAM and the hard drive because I wanted to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the machine that I could without paying the premiums that Apple charges for it’s upgraded parts.

After doing some research, I ended up purchasing a Crucial 256 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT256M4SSD2 and a Corsair Vengeance 16 GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz PC3 240 Pin DIMM Memory CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 kit from Amazon.  I considered using OCZ for the SSD since performance on that drive was rated higher, but after seeing the power requirements of the OCZ, I changed my mind and went back with the Crucial.  I also read some user reviews that said that the OCZ had compatibility issues the MacBooks.


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Affordable Server for ESX / ESXi

Dell’s 1900 series servers are a great entry level virtualization server.  It’s the perfect hardware to get you started with ESX or ESXi, at an affordable price.  Affordable price being a relative term of course, but you can configure a 1900 series server, tower case, for less than $3000 in most cases, and depending on the deals that are going at the time, maybe even less.  $2300’ish in my case and a few of my co-workers.

With the configuration below, I’m currently running 10 VMs (virtual machines) including production and development environments with plenty of room to spare.  Processor and RAM utilization, along with storage, would probably yield another 10 VMs depending on what they were doing.  Now, with ESXi being free, VMware and Dell are putting in consumer hands, technologies that used to be reserved for enterprises only, and if you take into account some of the Virtual SAN appliances that are available for download from VMware (some free), you could have your own virtual enterprise infrastructure.

Want to learn a technology?  Want to play with new things?  Already have an MSDN subscription?  Why not create an environment in which you can play and not be dependent upon your employer’s equipment, network, and infrastructure?  If I remember correctly, my 1st major application development workstation cost a lot more than this.

Oh and if you do go this route, don’t forget to enable "Virtualization" in the system bios so that you can install 64-bit OS’s.

Oh, and another thing… some of Dell’s discounts don’t show up until you add the server to your cart.  I thought I had missed the deal, added the server to my cart, and had an immediate $750 discount.

I also imagine that this server would work well with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V, but I haven’t tried yet.

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Getting Started with Virtualization and Server Consolidation


Virtual what?

Many people over the last several years have used the word Virtualization and the phrase Server Consolidation as buzzwords.  Meaning they used the words to sound knowledgeable in specific areas or felt the oncoming rush of what is now upon us.  These are no longer buzzwords and catch-phrases.  It is an actual movement within the technical community that is gaining momentum on a daily basis.  Virtualization is the running of a physical server as a software server, while server consolidation is the converting of physical servers to software based servers.  If this seems to be a strange and foreign concept, that’s because it is.  People are used to installing operating systems on a physical machine and now you can install operating systems on non-physical (virtual) machines, so that any single physical machine can run multiple virtual machines.  The obvious gains are increased server utilization, ability to provision new servers without the need to purchase new hardware, lower power usage due to less hardware running, lower equipment and maintenance costs, and lower physical space needed as far as server footprints.

One of the biggest questions involved in getting started with virtualization for the first time, is what software to use and how to use it.  I’ll begin by saying that in this blog entry, I’ll only be discussing VMware products.  I’ve come to love and adore the VMware offerings, and it’s not just because I work for EMC.  I’ll mention some other products that you can research on your own if you should so choose, and actually I’d advise you to, so that you can arrive at your own decision as to product quality.  Onto the VMware products and how I’ve used them over the past several years.

VMware offers a multitude of virtualization products that are designed to meet a multitude of business needs.  Fortunately over the last few years, competition with Microsoft, and VMware’s efforts to increase the market’s interest in virtualization (completely my opinion and not backed by VMware or EMC) VMware has begun to offer a few top of the line products for free.  The products that I intend to cover in this article are:

VMware Workstation – low costs
VMware Server – free product
VMware ESXi – free product
VMware ESX / Virtual Center (also known as VI3) – costs

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Network Security Appliance for Free: Untangle

About a year ago a good friend, Bobby Shea, introduced me to Untangle.  I finally got around to implementing it on my network and I’ve found it to be an amazing system.

Untangle is an open source scaled down Linux implementation that can turn your old throw away PCs into commercial grade network appliances.  Why spend several hundred to several thousand dollars, when chances are that you’ve got the requisite hardware just sitting around gathering dust.  You’ll likely have to add a NIC or two, but otherwise, that’s it!  Oh, and it can even be virtualized.

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