How to upgrade your 4-bay Dell PowerEdge R620 to an 8-bay backplane

There are many cheap Dell R620s floating around on ebay, and if you can catch one at the right price, it might only have a 4-bay backplane. This is a quick fix, though, unless you have no need for the local storage space. Personally I just upgraded mine to an 8-bay and decided I would document the steps of what it took. Parts: You will need a few parts. Actually just two. Dell 8-bay Backplane –  KVGG1 Dell wide-SAS to dual mini-SAS cable – TK2VY   Installation: I originally took photos…

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How to crossflash PERC H310 to IT mode LSI 9211-8i firmware (HBA for FreeNAS, UnRAID)

Flash PERC H310 to IT mode for use with FreeNAS, UnRAID, etc. The PERC H310 is a pretty standard and widely available PCI express RAID controller. A few of my servers have come with them, and I never really ended up using them. It would appear as though this piece-of-crap RAID controller might actually be of some use after all! For those who stumbled upon this article by some mythical way with no knowledge of why you would want to do this to your PERC H310, well, the goal here…

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Monitor Synology NAS DSM 6.1 with SNMP polling

SNMP Monitoring your Synology device You can gain valuable information from your Synology device with SNMP and a system such as OpenNMS or LibreNMS. I use NMS to monitor my switches, servers, and other critical infrastucture to keep an eye on everything in one place.   Here is how I enabled SNMP polling of my Synology DS416play:   Go To Control Panel > Terminal & SNMP Click “SNMP” tab at the top of the window: Check “Enable SNMP Service” And populate your desired community string/device information. For example I am…

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netdata: A remarkable server monitoring utility.

I wanted to write a short introduction to a tool that I’ve been using a lot on my newest servers and development projects. This tool seriously provides the most amazing way of monitoring and comprehending your server’s performance and other metrics that I’ve seen in such a simple, lightweight installation. Here’s the current RAM utilization of my server, thanks to netdata: From the readme: netdata is a system for distributed real-time performance and health monitoring. It provides unparalleled insights, in real-time, of everything happening on the system it runs (including…

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FreeNAS Corral: Control Fan Speed for your Lenovo SA120 JBOD Enclosure

Earlier this year, I wrote an article on how to control the fan speed of your Lenovo SA120 JBOD from within FreeNAS. It turns out this doesn’t work on the newest FreeNAS 10 ( FreeNAS Corral ), but the reason is simple. When I went to run the Fan Speed control script, I got an error returned:  

  I pondered this a bit, but the first thing I thought of was to execute python2 and see if I got a shell…  

OK! So, I thought that…

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Detach volume and mark all disks as new in FreeNAS (erase everything)

This might seem like a no-brainer… I guess the UI is just a bit misleading, I don’t know. I wanted to erase my freenas disks, but I guess “detach volume” didn’t sound convincing enough? Anyways, this is new for me because usually I’m worried about losing my data and avoid wiping out volumes like the plague. Today, I’m wiping out a FreeNAS 9.10 server to re-purpose. I wanted to rebuild the array for better performance. It’s very simple to (willfully) destroy a volume in FreeNAS: Log In to FreeNAS Navigate…

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Get more apps – enable the SynoCommunity 3rd Party Package Repository for Synology

The package selection Synology offers is pretty extensive. You can add-on anything from Plex Media Server to Apache Web Server or McAfee Anti-Virus for your NAS. But there are some apps we all know and love and Synology simply does not offer. Some of these are not offered because they are unstable, in development, or Synology doesn’t acknowledge some of them as popular enough or ethical, maybe? (Downloading copyrighted media, for instance) Anyways, There’s a great list of packages to install. Opening up your Synology to a whole new world of…

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Defragment your Synology BTRFS Volume and improve performance!

In the process of optimizing a Synology DS1815+ for iSCSI, I opted to defragment the volume containing the LUN. This Synology had 2x Samsung 850 Pro SSDs in RAID-0 serving a cache, but the cache will be skipped for sequential I/O. In this scenario, with the sequential I/O turned off, the SSDs would be utilized only for random I/O and therefore the disks would be more available for serving data directly and sequentially. That being said, if the disks are heavily fragmented, they will perform poorly by attempting to piece together…

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Secure your Dropbox – store files and data in an encrypted container [Windows + BitLocker]

We let our Documents sync to the cloud, download themselves on all of our PCs, and trust that no single person besides ourselves can ever see those files, unless otherwise intended. This may be true that “only you” can see what’s in your Dropbox and other cloud storage, but in reality, your cloud storage has so many gateways that it’s easy to accidentally leave one open, such as a shared home computer. Not only that, but your cloud storage provider could see your files if they wanted to. But isn’t…

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Synology DS416play has an (unused) eSATA port hiding inside!

Not that I use eSATA for any of my peripherals, but I noticed that some Synology models have eSATA ports where other models don’t. Get this: During a tear down of my DS416play, I discovered there’s an eSATA port on the USB 3 module. I haven’t tested it and don’t have any expansion units to try this with. I would imagine the software has this port disabled, but maybe not. I wonder about using any expansion units with the DS416play now.  

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