I’ve been running on a Nutanix CE install for about a month now.  With the November release they added some much needed GUI controls for the image service.  You can now import ISOs for install images, without having to fiddle with CLI stuff.

I’ve had virtually no problems, and the VMs are performing well.  If there’s one complaint I have with this solution it’s that the baseline memory utilization is high.  I couldn’t reduce the CVM’s to less than 8GB each without running into serious problems with the cluster.  Plus, there seems to be a missing 3GB per host.  I’m assuming this is what the actual CE and KVM host requires, but that seems high.  I know I can run VMWare ESXi in less than 1GB per host.  So, 11GB per host is used up right from the start.  Since I’m running this on a shoestring budget with 16GB per host, I really only have 5GB available for VMs.  That kinda sucks.

On the upside, the CVM’s at 8GB work fine and the IO performance is pretty amazing.  I’ve seen upwards of 1600 IOPS at times.  This is basically a single consumer grade 240GB SSD in each host for the primary tier and 640GB HDD for the secondary tier.  I don’t think I’m even using the secondary yet.  3 hosts at varying levels of i5 CPU’s, but none of them current gen.

I’m pretty happy with this and I’m looking forward to seeing what Nutanix does next.

The Nutanix install has been moving along.  I would not say it’s ready for more than lab use, but it’s getting there.  I’m setting up a 3 node cluster, and one of the nodes, which has an Intel motherboard, kept throwing a generic error about not being able to find the sysinfo.  Thanks to the help from the forum, I was able to hard code a product name in order to get past the install.  I don’t think it will have an impact on operation, only install, but it’s one of those little things that crops up with new software.

The link is here, if you’re able to access it:  http://next.nutanix.com/t5/Discussion-Forum/Install-failing-with-quot-unable-to-gather-basic-hardware/td-p/5034/page/2

 

About 2 months ago Nutanix.com released a free software only version of their magic, called Community Edition.  I got on the list for this as quickly as I could, but I haven’t been able to install it until now.  See, I wanted to have an actually cluster, what the call RF2 (Redundancy Factor), which would require me to blow away my existing XenServer install to get to enough compatible hardware.  I also needed to purchase SSD’s for each of the nodes in the cluster.

Well, I’ve done that now.  At the moment, I’m exporting my VM’s out of XenServer to OVA’s, in the hope I can restore them from that.  If I can’t, well….I’m not sure then.  I may just rebuild everything from scratch.  I’d really like to figure out how to import them, though.

What I’ll have when I’m done is a 3 node RF2 cluster, with the minimum a 240GB SSD, and at least a 500GB HDD in each node.   All 3 nodes are i5’s, of different vintages. Not a lot of space, once you run the Nutanix overhead, but it’ll be enough for my needs.  I’ll post some screenshots and pics once I’m up and running.

In the interest of completeness I’m posting my pictures here to show what the inside of the GXV3610 looks like. I couldn’t find this anywhere else, so here it is:

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My goal was to remove the cable from the backside of the ball and run it through the small hole I had already drilled through the exterior wall for a Cat5 cable. The two sides of the ball unscrew easily enough, but you can see from the pictures that getting the cable out would have been a challenge. The wires coming out of the jacketed cable go to three different plugs. I could have made that work, although the weatherproof grommet at the back would have been a problem. The bigger issue is what the red arrow is pointing at in the second pic. That’s the mic at the front bottom of the camera. Or rather, that pair of wires goes to the back side of the mic, which is thoroughly coated with a white paste of some sort, no doubt for weather proofing. My only real option would have been to snip those wires and resolder them. Nah, that’s ok.

Instead, I went to Home Depot with the mounting ring in hand and found something like this:

Round PVC junction box

The ring does not line up with standard 4″ round electric boxes. However, it’s a perfect match with this junction box. I had to add some caulk and foam backing material to seal the gap, but it’s closed tight now. I’ll snap a picture of the mounted box and post it.

The camera is working great. Good FOV and sharp picture. I have the 720p model, not the full HD.

My 700e security camera failed after a couple years of use.  I got a Grandstream replacement, which I’ll also post about, so I figured it would be good to take the 700e apart and see if I could figure out what went wrong.  Figure it out I did.  And since there’s a lack of documentation and photos for taking the thing apart I thought I’d put it up here:

First, pop the top silver cover off by slotting a screw driver down the side to pop out the tabs:

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Once the silver cover is off you need to remove the 6 screws across the top and gently insert a small flat head screwdriver here:

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All you’re trying to do with that one is break the seal. After the seal is broken the darker color cover comes right off and you have this:

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Bonus points if you can guess what my problem was:

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Remove the screw from the metal plate at the ethernet jack end. Carefully pry up the circuit board from that end. There’s also a slot on the plastic end plate that you can use to help it up. Once it’s out you can carefully raise the board up on the angle, although the cables going to the camera board are still attached. Here’s what I found under there:

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Yep, that’s white corrosion all of the top of the Ethernet jack, the lower right corner of the board, and all around the edge. Just below the (I think) transformer on the right there’s a bright white spot. That’s actually a pile of corrosion on top of several resistors.

So, there you have it. A disassembled Logitech 700e security camera. I’m going to try an eraser on the corroded bits and see if it wants to come back to life. I’m not optimistic, but I’ll post back if it works.

Today I sent a note to Daring Fireball saying ythe following.  I think the backing for the Apple Watch will be easily removable and will support swaps at the Genius bar.  What I mean is that the casing, which will be the expensive part,will be static and the engine, currently the S1,will be replaceable at the Apple store.  Apple currently has the mechanism to replace screens for iPhones at the stores.  It seems to be a small stretch to support removing the backing on the Watch and replacing the smarts inside quickly. I’m even thinking that the recent changes to triaging Genius requests has something to do with this.  Of course, we’ll see what happens over the next year.

I decided to not heed any warnings about replacement lenses for the GXV3672 and I looked around for a 2.8mm lens that was only 15mm deep.  I found one on Ebay and got it in within a few days.  The below pictures are before and after.  You can see the field of view is much larger now, but I’m still having a focus problem on the new one.  I doubt I’ll be able to improve it much since I was concerned about tightening it down so far that I would crack the sensor.  You can also see how the external case is vignetting the image.  I could live with that if I could get it more in focus.

So, short answer is, get the right lens to start.  I’m going to see about getting a 3610 which comes with the 3.6mm lens.  And also, I guess we need to clean the banister.  Oops.

I’ve had a Logitech 700e outside the house for a while.  For some reason it died recently, first working intermittently, and now not working at all.

I’ve been looking at the Grandstream GXV series cameras, but I’ve been able to find little information about the mechanics of how they work.  I found a cheap used one on Ebay and took the plunge.  What I found right away was that it had been setup with a password.  Unfortunately the factory reset button on the GXV3672 is buried inside the camera.  I had to go hunting for it since I couldn’t find any info on it anywhere.  So, with that in mind I present the inside of the GXV3672:

Opening the front of the can is simply a matter of unscrewing it.  The rest is also pretty simple, but you have to be careful to not pull apart the cables as they are “glued” together with a little bit of colored gel.  In the picture, the bottom ring is the IR LED board.  It’s held in place with the two long posts sticking out of the can.  Beneath that is the camera board (square) which has a foamy ring that has to be carefully removed.  Underneath that is the round board in the center of the picture.  The 4 brass posts you can see at the top of the pic standoff the camera board from that control board.  Again, it’s quite easy to take all of that apart, but be careful of the cables.  Looking at the picture, the factory reset button is at the top of the control board.  However, when installed, it’s on the underside.  If you knew it was there you might be able to use some sort of hook to push in the button without having to disassemble the other boards.  For me, I held it down for a few seconds with power connected and it cleared the config.

I also wanted to see if it would be possible to unplug the cables from the back.  The cables feed out the mounting post and have rather large plugs for the RJ45 and audio.  If I wanted to run this through an exterior wall it would mean drilling a really big hole.  I was hoping to be able to remove the cable at the other end, but that seems like too much of an effort, especially if I’m up on a ladder for putting it back together.  Incidentally, the orange colored thing inside the can is a heating pad.

So, there you go.  Because of the dearth of  information on these cameras I’ll be trying to put up more info as I work on them and use them.  I might be getting a GXV3610 as well.

No matter what I did I could not get a stable NFS connection to Unraid.  The stale file handles problem was a continuing source of issues with Plex running on Ubuntu.  I just switched to SMB and it seems to be working ok.  I’m having some pausing on high bandwidth content, but that might be the wireless network.  I’m not sure yet.  Regardless, here’s my fstab now:

//192.168.169.8/DVDs /mnt/DVDs cifs guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8  0  0
//192.168.169.8/KidDVDs /mnt/KidDVDs cifs guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8  0  0
//192.168.169.8/Movies /mnt/Movies cifs guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8  0  0
//192.168.169.8/TVShows /mnt/TVShows cifs guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8  0  0

And yet some things stay the same.  I’m returning to IT consulting next week and I’m very excited to be doing this!  I gave the corporate job 3.5 years and while I thought it was good for getting that type of experience, it never really fit well for me.  I can’t wait to get going!