Ferrari 312P Berlinetta 1969

By admin, November 30, 2011 15:27

What a nice streamline looking Ferrari from 1960s coming soon from CMC (M096)!



市場上家用HDD+SSD Caching的解決方案

By admin, November 30, 2011 14:23

After some research, looks like buing a pure SSD like Intel 320 SSD (160GB) is more cost effective. OCZ Synapse SSD is a good choice, but only 1/2 the size can be used, as the other half is used for 2nd level caching.



3.Intel Smart Respone Technology (need Z68)
4.Seagate Momentus XT

利用60GB SSD大約為HK$800和640GB HD為HK$400作計算

  直接SSD HybridDrive Intel SRT Momentus XT 軟件
價格(HKD) 800 1600 1200 900 1600
每GB價格 13.3 2.5 1.9 0.6 2.5

其實HybridDrive能夠適用於非Z68以及不同OS是對比起Intel SRT和軟件作Caching的好處,而且HybridDrive只佔用1個底板的SATA Port,對於一些已經沒有SATA Port又想upgrate的用家是十分適合的。

再者的是,用家可以自由選擇SSD的容量,雖然Momentus XT有每GB價格上的優勢,但是8GB SLC始終太少,還有的是,HybridDrive可以對整個HDD作加速,因為在一般SSD作OS+Program和HDD作Data的解決方案,所加速的Program會受SSD容量限制,因為不能把半個Program放到SSD,另半個放到HDD,而HybridDrive所加速的Program則只受HDD容量限制,所加速的Program可以大過SSD。

唯一不好的是只support SATA II,不能發揮出SSD的極速,當然,要雞蛋裏挑骨頭還是有的,就是不能在Notebook上用的,如果可以有高階Notebook的解決方案是很好的,畢竟相關技術已經開發,雖然要放到Notebook上是極難的,但如果能夠在Notebook上面使用,相信都會有一定市場的。


針對Hybrid Drive而生 OCZ Synapse SSD系列 


OCZ 針對 SSD Cache 加速應用推出全新 Synapse SSD 系列,能為傳統 HDD 用作讀寫緩衝,支援 SATA III 介面透過自家 Dataplex 智慧型加速軟件,令讀寫性能提升至最高 550MB/s ,達成高性能、高容量與高性價比兼備的 Hybrid Drive 解決方案。

雖然 SSD 在性能上完全壓倒傳統 HDD 產品,但售價高昂加上容量成本難與 HDD 相比較,因此 Intel 於 Z68 晶片組中引入了「 Intel Smart Responed 」技術,能結合 SSD 與 HDD 達成「 Hybrid Drive 」儲存方案,並且得到市場好評,只可惜「 Intel Smart Responed 」技術暫時只能應用於 Z68 平台上。

OCZ 因應市場對 Hybrid Drive 的需求推出全新「 Synapse SSD 」系列,其原理與早前推出的「 OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 」,但改用 SATA 介面並且不內建 HDD ,而是針對用家正使用的 HDD 進行 SSD Caching 加速,十分適合升級用家。

「Synapse SSD 」採用 2.5 吋 Form Factor ,採用 SandForce SF-2281 控制器並支援 SATA 6Gbps 規格,提供 64GB 與 128GB 容量,採用單顆高容量的 MLC NAND Flash 設計,並且採用了一半的容量用作 Over Provisioning 空間,以提升作 SSD Caching 的性能,達成最高 550MB/s 讀取性能, 64GB 寫入最高達 490MB/s 、 4K Random Write 約 75,000 IOPS , 128GB 入最高達 510MB/s 、 4K Random Write 約 80,000 IOPS 。

「 Synapse SSD 」搭載自家 Dataplex 智慧型快取加速軟體,支援 Windows 7 32Bit 及 64Bit 作業系統,安裝 Synasape SSD 及 Dataplex 智慧型快取加速軟體後,兩個簡單步驟即可組成 Hybrid Drive 配置。

「 Dataplex 」智慧型快取加速軟體能分辨常用的 Hot Data ,將同時寫入至 SSD Cache 及 HDD 中儲存,利用 SSD 改善儲存、讀取速度,非常用的 Cold Data 和大容量檔案會則會直接寫進 HDD 中,能減少寫入次數提升,在性能與 SSD 壽命取得平衡。

據代理商 Microworks 表示, OCZ Synapse SSD 64GB 、 128GB 建議零售價分別為 HK$1,399 、 HK$2,149 ,代理商提供 3 年保固服務。

My Early Xmas Gift: Dell Optiplex 990 SFF Desktop

By admin, November 29, 2011 16:32

Finally, I bought myself an early Xmas gift: Dell Optiplex 990 SFF Desktop!

This is my one and only PC upgrade after almost 13 years. In fact, believe me or not, I am still using the old PIII system (Asus P2B-D, Dual PIII850Mhz, 1GB Ram, 120GB HD, Windows Server 2003 Ent) as I am typing this blog.

There have been probably over 10 PC generations before this upgrade (ie, P4, Core, Core2 now the Sandy Bridge).

The configuration is the latest Intel desktop CPU Core 2, 2nd generation Sandy Bridge i5-2400 with vPro, 3.1Ghz, 4GB (2GB x 2) Ram, 500GB 7200RPM HD, Extra Broadcom NetXtreme gigabit NIC, 8x DVD +/- RW, Windows 7 Professional 64 Bits, MS Office 2010 Home Edition, 5 Years NBD service.

There are several points that I would like to highlight during the selection of this PC: 990ssf

  • Buy Dell, I’ve compared other vendors like IBM/HP/Acer/Asus, nothing even comes close to this 990SFF, similar configuration will cost 20-30% more. Of course, I knew Dell’s inside sales and they have been serving me well over the last 10 years, that’s why I’ve got a good deal.
  • i5-2400 is more than enough, don’t spent money on upgrading to i5-2500 or i7-2600 (4 cores with HT).
  • Sandy Bridge i5-2400 comes with build-in GPU now, it’s 850Mhz HD2000 graphic processor, enough for watching 1080p HD MKV or BD-RMVB. Of course i5-2405S (2.5Ghz) is better as it comes with HD 3000, but Dell does’t sell any 2xx5 or 2xxxS i5 processor, those are for overclock amatures.
  • Ivy Bridge is around the corner, but still have to wait till Mar/Apr 2012 which is too far for me. Besides who knows if there will be any problems in the new chipset (H/P/Q/Z) like before. Remember Sandy Bridge had a serious SATA chipset  problem when they first release in Feb 2011, that most vendors needed to recall defected MBs, so I really don’t want to be that guinea pig.
  • vPro, yes, I definitely want to try this Desktop equivalent of DRAC, saw the demo on Youtube, seems interesting.
  • I want the Energy Efficient Option (90%) version of 990 SSF, but it’s not available locally, neither does Dell offer 16x DVD, also no low-power version of i5. If you are in US, you can order i5-2400S which is only 65W comparing with 95W of i5-2400.
  • Found out the only Intel desktop chipset supports VMware ESX5 VT-D is Q67 and Z68, and there are less than 3 SFF in the market offer Q67 chipset, Optiplex 990 is one of them.
  • People said default installation of ESX5 won’t work due to the on-board Intel 82579LM NIC is too new, probably ESX5 Update 1 will add this driver and solve the problem. For now just use a Boradcom NIC instead, or even a cheap Realtek will do.
  • I compared the cost of DIY PC with Dell Optiplex 990 SSF, almost same price but Dell has 5 years site visit full warranty, I really don’t want to carry each failure piece to it’s corresponding distributor for repair and wait for over 1 week, I really hated that, no more!
  • Dell’s Harddisk and Ram is still way expensive (100% more) than others even after huge discount, so I am going to buy from local computer shops, a 4GB 1333Mhz Ram is only USD20 or less, too cheap to be true! Just be reminded, bring the actual ram over to the computer shop as I heard the Optiplex ram is low profile type.
  • Optiplex 990 SSF includes with many great software such as PowerDVD, Roxio Creator, Dell Backup and Recovery Manger (I will use Acronis still) and best of all Microsoft Office Starter (with Word and Excel only and that’s all I need really). It also includes PowerPoint Viewer 2010, to view and print PowerPoint slides and shows. In case you don’t know, there is also also a version called Office Web Apps which include online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
  • Oh…I just read about the new coming desktop will have 8 ram slots (X79 MB with latest  Sandy Bride E processor, supports  Ivy Bridge and native USB 3.0 of course), so you can have 32GB ram for ESX for less than USD160, (still it’s only half price of a DDR3 1333MHz ECC Server Ram) which is DAMN cheap! With HA and DRS, who really care about the reliability? Well Google is a good example using cheap hardware for building their data center globally.
  • The reason I choose Small Form Factor (SFF) is because it’s size of course and normally SSF has higher PSU 80 Plus efficiency and offers quieter experience.
  • Remember I wrote about my USB 3.0 experience with Poweredge R610 previously? Now I can finally use all those “thought to be wasted “ goodies, such as HighPoint USB 3.0 HBA Dual Ports with 5Gb/s individual port, plus my Hitachi Touro 2.5” 7,200RPM 750GB USB 3.0 external harddisk (somehow it works really fast with USB 2.0 as well), also I will get one more Lacie 2TB Minimus 5,900RPM for backup purpose.
  • I will also purchase a USB 3.0 IDE+SATA docking to transfer all my existing data over to the new PC.
  • Finally I will install VMware workstation 8 and test all the great stuff on it, like nested ESX, MacOS, ESX 5.0 and more.
  • For daily use, I only need Word and Excel, not even Access, so MS Office 2010 Home Edition is the perfect low cost solution for me. Even MS Office Starter should do most of the work, no worried about  opening PowerPoint as Microsft has a free Powerpoint viewer.
  • Same applies to selecting Win7Pro, I don’t need any of those additional features included with Ultimate, I could install Windows 2008 R2 Standard on this PC, but since the core is the same for Windows 7 and W2K8 now and Windows 7 supports more multimedia  devices, so why bother.

Update Dec 13, 2011

Btw, I’ve got my Optiplex 990 for almost a week now, I love the compactness and it’s really quiet even I placed it near my bed. Somehow, the internal 7200RPM 500GB boots up Windows 7 Pro in less than 15 seconds, this really makes me wonder if I still need to add the SSD caching (e.g., OCZ Synapse SSD). Anyway, I still ordered the special 2.5″ hard disk bracket for future upgrade which can fit 2 x 2.5″ SSD or  HD+SSD.

The other things is the default 4GB is enough for now, may add more later when I run VMWare Workstation 8 on top. Don’t have time to play this especially Xmas coming. :)

My 2.5″ USB 3.0 external 7200RPM Hitachi Touro is lightning fast around 116MB/s when testing with HDTune, even faster than the internal 3.5″ Western Digital Blue 500GB (about 105MB/s), comparing to my existing PIII 33MB/s ATA  (actually 12MB/s tested), this is almost 10 times more). Again the nice thing is I choosed that cheap Syba USB 3.0 card instead of Highpoint again because it doesn’t require external power, and 990SSF only has two SATA power cables which I will use for the above two 2.5″  disks later. Of course there is SATA split cables, as I don’t want to complicate the cables and reliability is another reason.


Last but not least, the integrated Intel HD 2000 Display Port to DVI works perfectly with my old Dell Ultrasharp 2007FP (somehow Dell still sells it even now), it can output 1600×1200dpi sharper than ever, I can finally enjoy 1080p HD MKV movie and I noticed the CPU usage is only 2%, crazy low!

Update Dec 28, 2011

Finally received my 2.5″ HD Kit from Dell after the holiday. I have to say it’s a very hard to find item, took me a few days to google and talked to my sales in order to locate this Kit set. My advice is to order the complete Kit Set, not invididual parts, as it includes many extra items such as SATA split cable, SATA  cable, 4 screws (why 4 instead of 8? well, Dell expects you to use the 4 screws from original HD, that’s why this kit is called Extra Parts not Replacement Parts) and one more blue plastic HD holder, so R494D alone is not enough.


Update Jan 19, 2012

There has been a very strange problem with my Optiplex 990 SSF recently, it will simply power on itself automatically. I’ve searched around and found nothing, not even local Dell support was able to solve this myth.

Finally, I was able to locate the root of the problem, it’s related to Intel vPro or AMT (Active Management Technology) and the auto power on problem has nothing to do with BIOS setting or particular the WOL  setting.

By default Intel vPro has it’s own WOL and my PC is connected to an always-on fiber modem, so probably it received a WOL packet from the Internet. You can refer to AMT mannual for more information.

The solution is simply disable AMT for the time being (btw, the default password is “admin”) and I shall study more regarding vPro and how to use it and how to avoid such thing happen later.

Update Jan 30, 2012

The PC turns itself on problem continues and I tried one more thing to disable NIC with PXE and hope this will solve the problem completely.

Update Mar 14, 2012

The previous mysterious PC automatically turn on issue has been solved for sure, now it’s time to due with overall noise reduction.

After some research, I’ve figured out the most possible noise emission is from the main system fan (8cm fan), although the 1500RPM fan itself is already a better than normal quality, it still produces a noticeable amount of noise pollution.

So what you may have already guessed, yeah! Pull it OFF! Dangerous to do? Not really! It’s because the CPU has it’s own passive heat sink with fan, power supply never really pushing to 100% as my PC is mainly used for browsing the net, daily word processing as well as watching some HD movies.  The part needs the most cooling is RAM, after running for 1 hour with all sorts of activities, HWiNFO shows RAM merely went over 30C and hard disk also stays below 35C, that’s why I conclude and convinced it’s safe to do so.

If I want to reduce the noise further, the default 3.5″ 7200RPM hard disk will be my next target, simply by replacing it with a 2.5″ 5400RPM or SSD will make my Optiplex 990 SSF almost completely silent, but since my Dell carries 5 years warranty, I will probably let go on that option.

Finally, another big advantage by disconnecting the main 8cm system fan is reduction in dust pollution,  my 990 SSF was like a dust sucking machine before, and it’s no longer the case, um…I wonder how come main stream Optiplex 390/990 doesn’t come with a dust filter like Optiplex XE?

Update Mar 20, 2012

I’ve decided to put back the fan as it’s not a good idea after all, as the hard disk went over 40+ degrees after running for a few hours.

Update Jun 10, 2015

The biggest problem with Optiplex SFF is dust! Searching for that official dust filter for Optiplex for years in vain, ending up doing my own, simply cut a piece of water filter material for fish tank (9.5cm x 7.5cm) and put in front of SFF’s main fan. That’s it, it does the job beautifully as I’ve been running this configuration for the past 2 months, bulletproof, it works!

ASP Upload Hacking and PHP Spam Mailer

By admin, November 27, 2011 13:47

I noticed the outgoing traffic of my email gateway has almost doubled over the past two days. There were thousands of spam mails using the default PHP email account ( was the default email account configured in PHP.ini, this helps a lot in tracking back which server is sending the spam) connecting from the Relayed dedicated server.

s285 is the relay dedicated server that’s been sending spam though our gateway and there are more than 50 sub sites on it, so to find out which sub site got infected spam mailer seemed impossible at first.

By searching thought which php file was modified in the past week, I was lucky to locate only a few, and by examining the file name (normally those hacking robot or mailer has blizzard names), I found one strange php script named 9024.php, tried to run it from the web page shows nothing, opened it with notepad, found it’s a PHPMailer using URL string as the parameter.

Then I simply removed it, but wait, how did it get uploaded in the first place? Well, client is running ASP and I asked if they have any upload function, but it turns out they have no idea at all  and I have no time to search through 200+ ASP scripts.

So the quick solution is to disable PHP function for this site.

Case closed. MAMAMIA!

p.s., Btw, I have a feeling that PHP hacking scripts are gaining a lot of ground in the past 2-3 years. One of the most interesting case I’ve came across that I’ve seen DDOS PHP script utilizing UDP and use URL string as the attacking parameter, I must admit this is simply genius indeed!

Hotwheel Elite Ferrari F355 Berlinetta

By admin, November 23, 2011 23:47

Finally, Hotwheels will release its Elite version of F355 soon. For those who missed UT’s full series of F355, now it’s the chance. Somehow, I still think UT’s F355 shape is the most accurate one, especially the tail.

There will be three most popular colors for the Elite version: X5477 (Red), X5478 (Black), X5479 (Yellow).



By admin, November 22, 2011 23:44












Veeam’s Magical Ultility Extract.exe, Restore without the Original SQL DB

By admin, November 21, 2011 15:11

Yes the VBK file created by transform process at the end of the week/month is enough to recover the latest VM state.

You can even extract that VBK without Veeam server present. We ship a tiny extract.exe tool (look for it in the product installation folder). No matter which media you use to backup your VBK files, just remember to put this tool there as well, and you will be able to restore data from the backup file even in 10 years from now – provided that media is still functional.

You can restore whatever restore point with the VBK. There should be some more information, such as syntax, if you do a find for “extract” in our B&R Users Guide. (Page 97 & 98)

Even if you lost the SQL backup, you could fire a new Veeam installation up (which takes less than 5 minutes) and do “Import Backup” and import your vbk/vrb/vib files and restore from those if you need other restore points.

The DB information is more about holding your job information and making sure your jobs run, you can import the data needed for restores from the files themselves. :)

So in other words, we  really don’t need to backup Veeam SQL data and send to DR site as this extract.exe tool will be enough even we lose the whole production site. All we need is the latest VBK file.

An Alternative Way for Low Cost Veeam Backup Solution

By admin, November 21, 2011 01:52

Sorry, it’s really long, but I do think many will find it very interesting as it involved many things (USB 3.0 HBA, 2.5” 7200RPM external disk, Poweredge R610 PCI-e x8 slot and of course low cost Veeam Backup Solution)

I found myself running out of Veeam backup space recently. Instead of ordering an expensive DAS, I started to explore other alternative solutions that focus on low cost storage.

My Veeam Backup server is a 1U Poweredge R610 server which has 900MB internal storage (10K RPM SAS 300GB x 4 in Raid5) and it has only one PCI-e slot (Gen 2 x8) left.

The original option is to purchase a Powervault MD1200 with 12 2TB 7200RPM near-line SAS disks in Raid50 + 2 hot-spare configurations. PERC H800 raid card (with multi-path load balancing SAS Cables) is going to be used in that extra PCI-e slot. The expected performance should be around 500-600MB/s. One thing keeps delaying the client’s purchase is the cost as it is quite expensive considering there are only 16TB left (Raid50 with 10 2TB disks).

USB 3.0 really comes into play this year, giving its 10x improvement in transfer speed comparing to the old USB 2.0, it quickly captured main stream desktop and laptop market, but not in server at all.

So all I need is to find a USB 3.0 HBA with 2 or more ports, but the problem is which one?

After studied for a few days, I found out I need a latest USB 3.0 PCI-e HBA (ie, add-on card) with PCI-e GEN2 standard and each USB port has individual 5Gb/s bandwidth, so I can copy data must faster between the two USB 3.0 disks without saturating the internal bandwidth.

* Note: Bandwidth for PCI-e Gen1 is 2.5Gb/s or 250MB/s and PCI-e Gen2 is 5Gb/s or 500MB/s.

The other thing is selection of USB 3.0 disks, there are two choices: 1st one is the latest 2.5” external USB 3.0 disk that doesn’t require external power and produce very little heat. 2nd choice is to use the traditional 3.5” disk with external power supply.

In additional, you also have the choice of building your own (using USB 3.0 disk docking) or buy an existing external hard disk box either in 3.5” or 2.5”, and my preference is to go for a 7200RPM 2.5” external hard disk box that is solely powered up using standard USB 3.0 cable.

Obviously, the advantage of DIY is that you can have a higher rotation disk like 7200RPM to be placed in the disk docking because most of the pre-build external disk box are 5900RPM for 3.5” and 5400RPM for 2.5”. Of course the BIG Disadvantage is you may encounter unlimited possibilities that the disk may not work with your DIY docking or USB 3.0 box.

So I selected to play safe and I bought two disks, one is the 2.5” 7200RPM Hitachi TOURO, I wished there is a 1TB or higher 7200RPM 2.5” version, but only 750GB are available in the market currently and 1.5TB is the maximum size for normal 5400RPM 2.5” disks.


Comparing to 3.5”, disk is much bigger in size, there is even a 4TB from Seagate.

However hard disk price is really becoming more and more expensive than 2 months ago (1.5x higher in Hong Kong now than before the flooding in Thailand), so I decided to buy Lacie Minimus 2TB USB 3.0 mainly due to its price per GB and the nice looking aluminum case, actually this is important as it’s better for heat dissipation in a 24×7 data center environment.

Later I found out it’s actually a Seagate Barracuda Green Disk, Seagate ST2000DL001 (9VT156) 2TB 5900 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/ s 3.5″, it’s only slightly expensive than other 2TB external disks and has 2 years warranty, but who cares.

Besides Lacie Mimimus 2TB is still the smallest in size among all external USB 3.0 disks even after 1 year of its launch back in Nov. 2010.

Oh one more thing I noticed that after the flooding in Thailand, internal 2TB harddisk is even more expensive than those external ones with box and USB2/3, e-SATA connector, Ridiculous Really! Lucily I also ready enterprise hard disks were not affected as most of those FC/SAS/SSD were made in China or Philippines.


Side topic: I didn’t know until yesterday a 3.5” SATA 2TB 7200RPM is actually faster than a 3.5” SAS 73GB 15K RPM. Mainly due to the hard disk mechanical head only requires shifting a tiny bit to read a total 73GB data comparing to a 73GB 15K RPM disk. The same theory applies to a 2.5” 5900RPM may be equivalent to a 3.5” 7200RPM disk due to the physical size and hard disk mechanical head doesn’t need to move that much in a 2.5” disk.

Back to the topic, after searching for many USB 3.0 PCI-e add-on cards, I was only able to locate one that fits all my requirements (ie, PCI-e GEN2, USB port with individual 5Gb/s bandwidth per port).

It is the latest release of RocketU series (September 2011) from HighPoint Tech (a Taiwanese storage company). Because I only need 2 USB 3.0 ports to start with, so I selected RocketU 1022A: Low-Cost 5Gb/s Dual-Port USB 3.0 HBA with PCI-e GEN 2 x1. Later I found out it uses ASMedia as the chipset which was reported better than the original NEC chipset in performance.

Highpoint claimed its RocketU product lines is the first and only one (so far) that has Dedicated 5Gb/s PER PORT performance, so I can easily get 10Gb/s with just two ports. (Only SSD may be able to saturate such high bandwidth)

I also noticed there is a white power supply connector (Molex) on top right corner which later proved I got the wrong USB 3.0 card. In additional, I have to order it on-line from Taiwan directly because none of the shops locally carry such product.

The fun part begun, I plugged in the Highpoint RocketU USB 3.0 HBA into Poweredge R610 x8 PCI-e GEN2 slot, installed the W2K8 R2 driver, OS recognized it without any problem, then connected the 2.5” 7200RPM Hitachi TOURO, there was no blue light at all, actually nothing at all. (ie, compare to USB 2.0 port, blue light will come up if I plug it into a USB 2.0 port), probably the HBA doesn’t have enough power if I did not connect the HBA to the external power, Damn!


No problem I told myself as I still got that 3.5” Lacie 2TB with external power (ha…glad I prepared ahead and had plan B), connected Lacie to USB 3.0 port, turn on the power, and guess what? Nothing happened!

Then I email Highpoint support that night and it turned out RocketU 1022A does require the external power to operate normally, OH NO!!!

So my next search is to find a way to split the power from within R610 chassis, bad luck again, there is no way at all!

I did a deep search in this area and found others actually faced the same/similar issue with no extra power connector (Molex connector) in R610/R710 for their FusionIO SSD PCI-e card which is sold by Dell as well.

For those who has R710, they are lucky and a workable solution is available for them to use this Dell Part (GP700 ASSY,CBL,PWR,BKPLN-CD-TB,R710), the split power connector, but for R610 owners, it’s just the end of the world, PERIOD!

I’ve called Dell Pro-Support several times and confirmed the above, they suggested not worth DIY myself the power splitter as it will definitely jeopardize the stability of the server and stick to USB 2.0 instead, then I gave up and used USB 2.0 for two days, but the sustained 29.8MB/s really pissed me off!

I won’t give up, ah…there is another way, there must be a USB 3.0 HBA doesn’t need any external power supply in this world, so I Googled again and located Asus U3S6 (it’s a PCI-e GEN2 x4 product as well, but no individual port with 5Gb/s) and Western Digital (it’s a PCI-e GEN1 x1 product) has such thing, bad thing is neither can be found in Hong Kong any more as they are out of stock as the products are more than 2 years old.

I visited almost all major computer malls in Hong Kong (probably more than 200 shops), 99.9% told me all USB 3.0 HBA requires an external power connector and even I found one that without, it must be a bad design that won’t work.

I almost gave up but I still have the last drop of hope that I will find one in-time!

and I DID! I found one shop finally carries one of these rare than gold card.

It’s a re-branded Syba OEM USB 3.0 HBA (SY-PEX20081, EtronTech is the chipset, proved faster than the original old NEC one as well) without the requirement of external power supply, the most amazing part is the cost, it’s only USD12.8!!!


Inside it also indicate it does support Windows Server 2008, many other USB 3.0 HBA driver only supports Windows 7, I understand they are very similar, but I dare to take the risk.

Traveling between computer malls, so many shops, data center and finding the correct one is really tiring even Hong Kong is a tiny place. If I remember correctly, I spent at least 20 hours in searching for the right products (HBAs and external disks) and testing them.

Finally, I plug it into R610 slot, reboot, installed the driver, everything went well.

Then I cross my figures and plug in that 2.5” Hitachi TOURO 750GB 7200RPM, the blue light turned on, then dimmed again and then turned off! OH NO, this means the USB 3.0 port doesn’t have enough power to support USB 3.0 2.5” disks.

Now I only have one last chance which is to test the 3.5” Lacie 2TB with external power supply.

I plug the Lacie, turn the power on, nothing coming up as USB device!!!

Does this mean GAME OVER? OF COURSE NO, I remember Veeam 5 automatically turns off disk automount to prevent accidentally erase the SAN disk when using Direct SAN backup. All I need to do is to go to Disk Management and manually give the attached USB 3.0 disk a drive name.

BINGO, 1.87TB was right there and right in front of my eyes! YEAH! I couldn’t be happier for the rest of the day!

Then I started the fun part, testing the USB 3.0 performance using IOmeter, HDTune and ATTO Express and hoping I would get the same magically 130-140MB/s like many others did.

Disappointing is the only word when I see 35MB/s in sequential read, unplug the card, re-plug again, still the same result. I suspected it’s the driver version (Jan 2011) being too old, but I couldn’t find any newer ones on Syba product page, so I googled again (Just love google more each day), found the latest one from Gigabyte web site. Search for Etron chipset USB 3.0, found it, now the latest installed driver version is Aug 2011.

After reboot, it’s still 35MB/s, only 17% faster than USB 2.0, definitely not worth upgrading and all the trouble I went through.

So I started to email Syba support, the guy suggest it may be a defective card, so I went out to the same shop again and bought a new one the next day, tested it, amazingly, this time it shots to 138MB/s from 35MB/s, almost 4 times gain in performance, I am a happy man finally!

OK, I admit this Syba HBA is a PCI-e GEN1 x1 product and my Lacie is a 5900RPM SATA 3.0Gb, not even a 6G/b product, probably the HBA is one of the lowest bandwidth one, but still it can provide maximum 250MB/s, so it will take at least two USB 3.0 ports with two USB 3.0 disks to saturate the total bandwidth. Most important it’s more than enough for Veeam backup now.

Finally, I went back to the original shop and explained the whole story AND exchanged the defect one, I kept the swapped part as a spare just in case.

So who needs a Powervault 1200 with 2TB/2TB x 12 disks now? Probably nobody will from now on, ops sorry Dell.

If I need more bandwidth or storage in the future, I will only order a HighPoint RocketU 1144A which comes with 4 ports also doesn’t require external power supply!


The most finding of the whole adventure is HOW could I miss this perfect product in the first place! It’s a PCI-e GEN2 and 4 ports with individual bandwidth of 5Gb/s and most importantly no need for external power.

With HighPoint RocketU 1144A, I will have 4 Ports x 4 TB disks= 16TB usable, comparing to Powervault MD1200 with 12 2TB disks in Raid50 + 2 hot-spare, same 16TB usable storage, but only 1/5 the cost with 13xMB/s in read and write, well, it really doesn’t take a genius to figure out the ultimate solution.

Finally, I also came across some USB 3.0 drive bays up to 8 disks in the same case with build-in Raid5/6, and guess that will complete the low cost backup target solution.


By admin, November 20, 2011 23:58




Poweredge R610 Versa Rail is Too Long for the Rack

By admin, November 19, 2011 23:58

After almost a whole full year of scratching my head, blaming data center for not changing to the latest rack standard. I finally figured out today how to fit the longer than usual Dell Poweredge Versa Rail into the old rack.

The solution always lies in details and only if you look carefully.

I was working on something else in the data center today and suddenly I saw that disgusting Poweredge R610 rail again. It’s been sitting there for almost 1 year and I really hate to see it’s being wasted and not in line with the rest of 11th generation Powerdge/Powervault series. I used a rail angle instead as the original R610 versa rail was too long for the rack and I couldn’t close the back door.

As I was staring at the LONG TAIL, suddenly inspiration spiked again! Yeah! How come I didn’t think of this by removing the extra long bit from the end before?

It’s really simple as that and only if you look carefully, I think this method will work for most of the 1U longer than usual versa rail.

Finally, if you know the purpose for that extra part, please do drop me a line.


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