Site Consolidations

So after careful examination and assessment and hiring a mega consultancy firm, it has been decided that both the SailingHemispheres and LukenIO wordpress sites will be consolidated into Luken.Org leveraging categories. You’er not going to believe what you’re about to read but life is more than just sailing and I want my blog to reflect all the important things in my life from sailing, technology, music, work, travels and the typical and patented Tony Rants. Merging wordpress sites with varying posts and the associted media is not as simple as export>>import as I’ve learned. Duplicate media filenames are a pain and until I can get it all cleaned up, you’ll see some posts with images that don’t match the posts. Actually humourous in it’s own right.

I m experimenting with page cateories to click on the top level of interest and see only those posts. If anyone knows how to redirect the default URL to a category page, that would be awesome. Can’t seem to figure that one out as of yet.

tech transformation

Well, it’s been a long time coming but the IT transformation and datacenter modernization initiative is almost complete. Decommisioning the half-rack of gear, three EMC AX series storage arrays, three PowerEdge servers and two Powervault tape libraries. Must say, it’s a lot quieter in the server room, not to mention definitely cooler and a major reduction in power usage.

Replacing it all, it seems amazing how far technology has come. Everything is running on an Intel NUC with more memory than everything combined in the server cabinet. That along with an NVMe SSD and an Intel Core i7 processor. The old MacMini is running as a standby and all storage is now migrated to a Synology 1515+ NAS with the older Drobo as a replication target. Tape has been dumped in favor of cloud based backups, basically Amazon CloudDrive, easty to do when you have gigibit fiber now.

Best of all, everything is now virtualized running ESXi. 6.7 on the NUC and 6.7 on the MacMini as a backup. The old test box being the legacy Dell Precision Workstation 690 can only support ESXi 5.5 but that’s just for dorking around with. The NUC runs Plex and Roon, media and audio applications, along with a two-factor authenticated SSH server and a graphical remote desktop.

After some storage cleanup, I’m now using about ~6+TB of storage on the Synology and has been consistently holding there. While I use Roon for audio at home in the media room, I’m been using the Synology audio server and the DS audio client to stream MP3’s to the phone when on the go. Got a Docker container running AirVideo, a WebDav server that I start manually when needed. Also running the CloudSync app to Amazon CloudDrive.

Last but not least which is on the wishlist, an external graphics processor (eGPU) connected to the NUC for Plex transcoding. Doing multiple streams in 4K while ripping is gonna need that. Been following some threads of sucessful eGPU/NUC configs out there.

Giving RoonLabs a run

Doing the trial of Roon by RoonLabs. A very fine audio media controller. A wonderful interface and well thought out on the display and designed specifically for audiophiles and music lovers. I’ve got a few days left on the trial but I think I’m going to subscribe in spite of the severe network limitations on configuration.

Ugh, everything must reside on the same subnet. The server, the audio output devices, the controller. You don’t get an option to manually enter addresses, it just does a discovery on the local subnet. That’s actually a problem for people multiple subnets like myself. Everything that’s wired is static with the 192.168.1.0 network. All wireless devices are on the Google Mesh network which is 192.168.86.1 such as the Sonos Connect, the Oppo and AppleTV. Oh, the Synology NAS is wired too.

I wanted to run the server on a Centos7 VM on ESXi like I do with Plex and my other systems but I then couldn’t discover the Sonos or Oppo well because, ESXi doesn’t support wireless devices. (Which leads to a whole other question for VMware’s edge strategy but that’s for another post) Next up, I had to put the Roon server on an old MacMini and enable wifi, there have been pauses, not optimal. My thought is to purchase another Intel NUC, and using it for Plex and Roon, enabling wired and wireless and not virtualizing. That’s a weird feeling.

It’s alomst time

When I first got my Bowers and Wilkins P5, I knew that one day I would be the proud owner of an 800 Diamond series. So I created my virtal slush fund, on average about two bucks a day, more or less. Well the time has come and with the completely redesigned 800 series to include the new 803 D3, this is the year.

My current config is the P5 fronts, HTM3 center and two media rears. They have served me well these many years. The rears and the HTM3 center is staying, but it’s time to retire the P5’s.

Introducing the 803 D3, a mixture of sound and art with the heritage of the Nautilus line. Hopefully to soon be in Castle Nelson. Of course, it’ll be in the Rosewood.

theater updates

A friend tiped me off to some really good afforadble theater seating from Havertys. Saved about ~20% for their Memorial Day sale, each seat reclines fully and the separators have power for the electronics. Really nice layout. Also, got new storage cabinets for the media (vinyl and CDs) from….wait for it….Walmart. Better Homes and Gardens brand has some good stuff for the price. The old vinly storage was old, like almost 30 years old and was definitely aged.

Love the new look and its defintely been a while since I’ve spent significant time in here.