Homebrew / Whitelist Hyper-V R2 home server NAS

For my home lab i was looking for a home server with NAS functionality. My current Iomega IX2 (2x500GB) NAS is replaced by this server.  For this server I had the following requirements:

  • Low power consumption (24×7)
  • Low noise
  • Flexibly and room to expand with extra hard drive(s), hardware RAID and a NIC
  • Home server functionality for sharing photos, music, documents and films
  • NAS functionality with iSCSI and NFS protocol
  • FTP server
  • Hypervisor enabled
  • Backup server
  • Print server 
  • Active Directory
  • DNS server
  • Download server
  • Wake-on-LAN functionality to start other virtualization hosts

I selected the following components:


Asus E35M1-M Pro. This motherboard contains  AMD Zacate E-350 1.60 GHz Dual-Core Processor.  It has TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 18W!



  • Dual-core 1.60 GHz processor that has passive cooling.
  • Onboard AMD Radeon graphic card
  • USB 3.0
  • 5 x SATA 6Gb/s
  • 2 x DIMM, Max 8GB RAM
  • Realtek Gigabit  8111E LAN
  • 1 x PCI Express 2.0, 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, 2 x PCI 3.0 slots
  • uATX Form Factor, 9.6 inch x 7.2 inch ( 24.4 cm x 18.3 cm )

This Motherboard has room to expand, it is possible to add extra extra hard drive(s), a RAID controller and an extra NIC. Virtualization is also supported with AMD-V feature in the CPU.


The motherboard supports two single channel DDR3 1066MHz DIMMS . The maximum memory is 8GB.


I picked 2 x 4 GB G.Skill Ripjaws (F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL ). More supported memory for this motherboard can be found in the Asus download section

Hard drives

In this set-up I used three hard-drives. As boot drive an old Samsung SP0411C 40GB SATA 150 is used.  For the data and backup storage I picked 2 Samsung EcoGreen F4EG 2TB  hard drives.


Some specifications:

  • 2TB unformatted capacity
    SATA 3Gb/s interface
  • Three platter design
  • 32MB cache
  • 5400RPM spin speed
  • Average Seek time – 8.9 ms

Great price, large space and low power consumption.

Power Supply

As Power Supply I choose the Seasonic S12II-330W ATX power supply.


Some specifications:

  • 80 PLUS
  • Efficiency up to  85%
  • Advanced ultra-low resistance, high temperature capacitors on critical 12V rail
  • Low Noise

Good quality, high efficiency (85%) and quiet power supply.


Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced


Some specifications:

  • Tower
  • Motherboard support Micro – ATX / ATX / Mini-ITX
  • 6 x 3,5” bays
  • 4 x 2,5”bays
  • Dimension (W / H / D)  214.5 x 496 x 528.8 mm / 8.4 x 19.5 x 20.8 inch
  • Cable management

Great case with a lot of room for expanding.

Software running so far

When installing VMware ESXi it gives an error because the NIC and disk controller aren’t  supported. The solution is to install a controller and NIC that are supported or add the drivers to the VMware ESXi ISO (more information can be found here).

An easier way is to use Microsoft Hyper-V R2 because all the drivers are supported. 

The following software is installed so far:

  • Windows 2008 R2 SP1 with the AD, DNS and Hyper-V role installed
  • Windows Home Server 2011 (Vail) RC as Virtual Machine (VM) for sharing photos, documents, music and videos. I use it also to backup my work laptop and other Windows pc’s at home.
  • Starwind iSCSI SAN
  • Services for Network File System for the NFS protocol
  • FileZilla server for FTP

Power consumption

Here are some power consumption tests I did:

  • Motherboard with 8GB RAM, started in the EFI BIOS without the hard drives attached. Power consumption around 31 Watt
  • Motherboard with 8GB RAM with three hard drives attached , Windows 2008 R2 with the MS Hyper-V R2 role and one VM active. Power consumption idle around 35 Watt
  • Motherboard with 8GB RAM with three hard drives attached, Windows 2008 R2 with the MS Hyper-V R2 role and one VM active and 2 CPU cores fully loaded in Windows 2008 R2. Power consumption around 45 Watt


Don’t except that this configuration is a performance monster. The performance is not bad for a home server with a lot of flexibility, low noise and power consumption and couple of VMs running. 

Screenshot Hyper-V manager with Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 running.



The following considerations (will increase the costs) can be made for better performance and/or lower consumption:

  • Use an SSD drive as boot hard drive for faster booting and lower power consumption.
  • Change the power supply for an higher efficiency power supply. For example a PicoPSU has an higher efficiency for lower power consumption.
  • Add an RAID card with cache on it for better disk performance. The power consumption will increase.



VMware, Microsoft and Starwind software updates

Last weeks a lots of software updates and new releases  are published. Here’s an overview of some of them:


VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 1

A new update for vSphere 4.1 is released. Here are the ESX(i) and vCenter improvements:

VMware ESX(i) 4.1  Update 1 improvements:

  • Enablement of Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) — ESXi 4.1 Update 1 can be configured to boot with Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT). This boot option can protect ESXi in some cases where system binaries are corrupted or have been tampered with. TXT is currently available on Intel Xeon processor 5600 series servers. For more information, see KB 1033811.
  • Improvement in scalability — ESXi 4.1 Update 1 supports up to 160 logical processors.
  • Support for additional guest operating systems — ESXi 4.1 Update 1 provides support for RHEL 6, RHEL 5.6, SLES 11 SP1 for VMware, Ubuntu 10.10, and Solaris 10 Update 9 guest operating systems. For a complete list of guest operating systems supported in this release, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.
  • Inclusion of additional drivers — ESXi 4.1 Update 1 includes the 3ware SCSI and Neterion vxge drivers. For earlier releases, these drivers are only available as separate downloads

The release notes can be found here.

VMware vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1 improvements:

  • Additional Guest Operating System Customization Support: vCenter Server now supports customization of the following guest operating systems:
    • Windows 7 SP1 (x32 and x64)
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (x32 and x64)
    • RHEL 6.0 (x32 and x64)
    • RHEL5.5 (x32 and x64)
  • Additional vCenter Server Database Support: vCenter Server now supports the following databases:
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP3
    • Oracle 11g Standard/Enterprise Release 2, or later,  (x32 and x64)
    • IBM DB2 9.7.2 Express C (x32 and x64)
    • IBM DB2 9.7.2 Enterprise (x32 and x64)
      For more information about using IBM DB2 – 9.7.2 database with vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1, see
      KB 1033201.

The release notes can be found here.

vSphere 4.1 Update 1 can be downloaded here.

VMware Data Recovery (vDR)

There is NO new version of vDR but it is now included  in the standard edition of vSphere since vSphere 4.1 Update 1. You can compare the vSphere versions here. For people who have who already bought vSphere standard and have a current subscription are able to download the vDR.

VMware ESX 3.0.3 patches

A new VMware ESX 3.0.3 patches are released . More information on these patches can be found in the following links:

The ESX 3.0.3 patches can be downloaded here.

VMware vCloud Director 1.0.1

New features are support for vSphere 4.1 Update 1, complies with Internationalization I18N Level 1 and IP Translation for Organization Networks support. The release notes can be found here.

vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3 Update 1

The following enhancements  (Note: The features available depend on the version of vCenter Server installed) are available in this release:

  • Enhanced passive server management capabilities — A new deployment option allows the passive server to be managed and monitored remotely, this includes receiving file level antivirus updates. This option is only available for:
    • vCenter 4.0 U1 and its updates, 4.1 and its updates
    • Remote SQL Server 2005, 2008 onl

Please refer to install documentation for detailed requirements and install procedure specifically around DNS and changes required to Active Directory during installation.

  • Secure Client Server Communications — vCenter Server Heartbeat now provides secure client server communications with SSL Encryption using a 2048-bit key.
  • Support for View Composer — This release of VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat now provides support for View Composer v2.5

The vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3 Update 1 release notes can be found here and downloaded  here.

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 4.1.1 

VMware SRM 4.1.1 in a maintenance release. It has bugfixes and supports VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 1. Before installing VMware SRM 4.1.1 you need to update the vCenter server to 4.1 Update 1.  The release notes can be found here an be downloaded here. 


System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 (SCVMM)

Microsoft has published a KB with the recommend hotfixes when performing P2V conversions by using SCVMM R2.

Windows Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7 SP1

On Technet and MSDN SP1 for Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 is released. SP1 has a lot of patches and bug fixes. Two new features are memory compression (Hyper-V) and Remote FX (Remote Desktop Services).


Starwind iSCSI SAN 5.6

A new version  of the  Starwind iSCSI SAN 5.6 is released. The Starwind iSCSI SAN  software converts a Windows bases server into a fail-safe, highly available iSCSI SAN. This release has the following improvements:

  • Event Log – Improve your storage management and tracking of system state with new event viewer 
  • Event notifications – Be aware of every single event by e-mail, records to Windows Event Log, records to text files 
  • Experimental version of inline block level Deduplication plugin 
  • Management Console multilevel improvements

Starwind offers a free NFR license valid for 6 months for MCP, MVP and VCP certified people. Request the  NFR here. The installation and configuration is very simple. Within a couple of minutes you have an working iSCSI SAN. it support Microsoft Hyper-V R2 Live migration (SCP-3 persistent reservations) and VMware vSphere clustering with DRS, HA and VMotion.