July 14, 2011

Server upgrade pt 3

Found more RAM that the server likes. 8gb total.

Turns out the NIC driver for my EP45-DS3R is not friends with 2008R2. After installing that driver update, it hangs on classpnp.sys.  I tried renaming it, deleting it and chkdsk but with no success. Chkdsk wouldn't run because the volume was locked? Thanks for helping me sort that one out, MS.
Ninja edit. the NIC driver is not hte only incompatible with R2.  The intial 80+ updates apply successfuly, the second round of 5 updates do not.  I have'nt been able to roll back, so it's a fresh install each time. Slow going.

Lots of Dell Poweredge server on eBay for reasonable prices, usually missing one piece of the puzzel i need. What I want in a server:
x64 bit CPU
CPU with Virtualization
at least DDR2 RAM.
SAS compatibility so I dont have to purchase SCSI drives. SCSI drives are high performance, low capacity, which is is great for a large number of users with small amounts of data. I have a small number of users and a large amount of data. I want large capacity and low performance (thinking of WD Green drives).

I've seen a Poweredge 2950 for $90 on eBay which lacks the CPU with Virtualization which I can over come with new CPUs but it only support SCSI, so no dice using preexisting drives. My search continues for a reasonably priced Poweredge.

July 6, 2011

Server upgrade pt 2

I got all my data backed up to a few external drives to reconfigure the data array.

Installed 2008R2, but when I went to add the HyperV role I get an error saying my CPU doesn't support hardware assisted vitalization. Sadministrator. This is a hard stop for this project. It is not possible to get creative for a work around.

My options are to either not run any VMs, and install everything locally on one server or to buy a new server. The goal of having the VMs was to learn, to have a practice environment not in production. I can't test in a production environment.

Now I'm waiting for a Poweredge on sale. They used to have a entry level servers for $200, so that's what I'm looking for now. I'll run the server and when another machine comes along it'll be a good time to learn server migration.


July 1, 2011

Server upgrade pt 1

Before putting the 6 year old RAID controller into production I had to update the firmware. I downloaded the driver, update tool and firmware. Everything sorted and organized for future upgrades. Updating through CLI is fun, most days it's done through an executable from Dell.

I finally convinced the server to take 2 x 2 GB of ram.

Organized in a spreadsheet how I will backup the data from the 3 x 1TB drives onto spare 750 and 2 x 320GB drives while I rebuild the array.

I think by the time I need to expand storage I will be ready for a new server.

End goal:
OS drive: RAID 1 onboard controller
Data drive: RAID 5 controller card.

HyperV server hosting at least 2 servers: production and test.
Keeping my eye out for a cheap Dell rack mounted server that I can put into a lack rack.