Checkpoint: VMWare ESXi Out. Hyper-V In? Edition


I had an Evernote page filled with links of possible solutions to my VMWare ESXi hardware compatibility problems. I found posts detailing how ICH8 and Marvell onboard NIC compatibility issues were addressed with custom oem.tgz files for ESXi 4. I was hoping to adapt them for ESXi 5 but unfortunately that didn’t pan out at all.

I discovered ESXi 5 introduced a new driver format; drivers now need to come in a VIB format. Unfortunately due to the age of the hardware, no one has bothered to provide VIB support for ICH8 or older Marvell chipsets.

So where does this leave me? I could get everything working with VMWare ESXi 5 if I bought a new compatible PCI-E storage controller and a new gigabit card. The downside is that I have to spend over $125 to get compatible hardware and I’m not willing to spend more money on this server. I already gave it more RAM and a Core 2 Quad Q9300.

From a software standpoint I could install Windows Server 2012 and just use Storage Spaces or FlexRaid. However, I’m weary about using Storage Spaces and FlexRaid costs $60 for a complete license.

I could also go down the Type 2 hypervisor path and use VMWare Player/Workstation or Oracle VirtualBox on top of Windows Server 2012. Then as I was reviewing virtualization solutions, I recalled Microsoft had its own: Hyper V which is apparently a Type 1 hypervisor like ESXi.

Windows Server 2012 supports Hyper V so there’s no additional cost on that front. It also supports UNIX guest operating systems running FreeBSD 9 or above which means NAS4Free should work just fine. I wish I could test it on my current homeserver but I cannot even install the role due to the lack of VT-d support. I will need to wait for the Q9300 processor and new home server before I could proceed.

There will be more waiting before this home server solution is realized.

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Rumor: Windows 8.1 will bring back the Start Button

posted in: Technology News 0

windows-8-logoWindows 8.1 or Windows Blue is a major Windows 8 coming later this year. Think of it as a service pack but with additional apps, functionality and spans multiple platforms.

Of course it will also include fixes addressing unintentional bugs and perhaps even some design snafus. The omission of the Start button to launch the Start screen was quite the blunder. That simple omission caused a lot of confusion for people but it’s good to hear that Microsoft is considering putting it back.

I am also pleased to hear that Microsoft isn’t abandoning the idea of the Start screen. I’m not a huge fan of it but there’s promise in its implementation and I’m glad Microsoft took the chance to try something new. Don’t regress!

If people don’t like the Start Screen and the Modern UI, then stick with Windows 7. It’s still viable. It may reach end of life before Windows 8 but Microsoft haven’t announced a date for that yet. I also want Microsoft to keep the Start Screen so that people who are fed up with it and modern Windows will consider other operating systems. Diversity and competition is a good thing.

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