Today I’m going to dive into the hardware I selected for FreeNAS, starting with the motherboard, CPU, and memory. FreeNAS runs on any PC hardware, but building a reliable and scalable storage solution means picking higher-end components. I selected a Supermicro X10SL7 server-class motherboard with 14 (!) SAS/SATA ports paired with an Intel Xeon E3-1231v3 (Haswell) CPU and ECC memory from Crucial.
Long-time readers of my blog know of my love for Drobo, but the time has come to say goodbye. My old Drobos (and Iomega ix-4) are showing their age and I decided to go in a different direction: I’m building a FreeNAS server. In this article I’ll talk about my thinking behind this move; later posts will talk in more detail about the hardware and software setup.
I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with the Raspberry Pi, and have even deployed a few as UNIX servers in my home and office network. The quad-core performance of the latest Pi models is awesome, but serious I/O limitations remain. With just one USB 2.0 interface shared for all network and storage operations, you aren’t going to […]
UASP has a lot of promise, bringing SCSI performance and features to the ever-expanding world of USB storage devices. But support has been haphazard, especially for Mac OS X and Linux, and this limits its impact. It would be nice if storage vendors could work with operating system developers to better support this storage protocol.
4K video is still in its infancy, but Mac users are clamoring for high-resolution external displays. Many Macs have the ability to drive a 4K display, but it’s not easy to get it to work with older hardware. Here’s how I connected a 4K Dell P2715Q display to may 2012 Retina MacBook Pro, one of the first 4K-capable Macs.
A few months back, I asked folks on Twitter and LinkedIn for recommendations for a desktop amplifier for a pair of bookshelf speakers. I ended up with a Topping VX1, one of the many “Class-T” digital amps lauded by audiophiles for their excellent sound reproduction. Boy am I impressed! It’s rare that such an inexpensive gadget (around $100!) delivers so much performance!
After some frustration with stability and latency connecting my virtual pfSense router to my cable and DSL modems, I decided to switch to a physical box. I selected the Netgate RCC-VE 2440 as my hardware platform, since it’s the same box that pfSense themselves use as their OEM bundle. It also checks all the boxes with a dual-core Atom CPU, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and low-power fanless design. Here’s my first impression and installation notes!
The Borg, Lt. Uhura, and security guys wore them. People talked to themselves in public. Once upon a time, Bluetooth headsets were all the rage, filling mall kiosks and Best Buy stores. There were curving behind-the-ear loops, chrome blobs, and sleek black sticks like Apple’s. And it seemed that everyone who was anyone had a Bluetooth headset to accompany their […]
There comes a time when a cheapie Ethernet switch just won’t cut it. That’s where the TP-LINK TL-SG2424 really shines, bringing the features you need at a price you can afford.
Although I enjoy my AIO Robotics Zeus 3D printer, I’m under no illusions that it’s an economical or practical device. It’s a toy that takes me into the future, and I love being there!