Installing Docker and Portainer on PhotonOS

It recently occurred to me that simple tasks such as setting up an internal web server or database were taking too long. Each time I needed to setup a website I was manually provisioning a VM, installing Debian, configuring the system by hand, installing Nginx, etc. There has to be a better way.

Enter docker. I’ve know about containers for awhile now but have yet to take a look. In this post I’m going to be installing Docker within my HomeLab on top of VMware’s new Photon OS, and showing how to manage the system with Portainer.

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Updating Cisco Nexus switch firmware

My HomeLab network was recently treated to a networking upgrade in the form of a Cisco Nexus 5010 switch. Whilst it’s been working absolutely fine, it occurred to me the version of NX-OS (Cisco’s operating system for Nexus devices) installed was from 2009 and could probably do with an update.

Nexus devices run NX-OS, not Cisco iOS, as is typically seen on other Cisco products such as the Catalyst switch range. As such the upgrade process is a little different for this operating system.

In this post I’ll be showing how I sourced the firmware for my device and the steps required to update it to the latest NX-OS version as of September 2018.

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Intel Optane 900P SSD – My HomeLab Review

The recently launched Optane 900P solid state drive is Intel’s first consumer storage product to depart from the use of conventional NAND flash and instead utilise Intel’s much newer 3D XPoint technology.

3D XPoint promises higher random I/O performance (up to 550K read IOPS), lower latencies and far better endurance.

In this post I’ll be installing an Intel Optane 900P SSD in my HomeLab and taking a look at its real world performance within a VMware ESXi environment. Most importantly, we’ll see how the added performance translates into real-world improvements with Windows virtual machines.

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