USB3, eSATA and old CPUs

Posted on July 13, 2010

Last night I took the plunge: finally purchased a machine for use as a virtual machine host and file server at home. What pushed me over the edge? Windows Storage Server 2008: iSCSI Software Target aside, the file deduplication service will save me tons of space with all the duplicate importing of photos I manage to accomplish. For more background, take a look at this MVP’s blog. So as of tonight, there will be a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V host humming away in the corner, hosting several guests: Windows Storage Server 2008, Windows Home Server, ISA, DC, TFS, … let the learning begin!

The catch? I was not about to spend a ton of money on a server that would be mostly idle, so though I wanted a lot of RAM, there was to be no “i” in my new CPU’s name. Turns out if you go for a “Q” series CPU, the motherboard is enough cheaper to make it worth the trade in speed (for me, YMMV) and the difference helps me afford my RAM appetite. And as an added bonus, Gigabyte has a motherboard for the older CPU that already has USB3 support, so something new with the old.

And thanks to the magic of an MSDN subscription, I can play with both Windows Storage Server 2008 and Windows Home Server; I still have a lot more work to do on the Hyper-V library but I am also tempted to code for WHS. Take a look at this Windows Home Server add-in: a download manager!

Posted in: Lab Management