Monthly Archives: September 2013

Quick Hyper-V Windows Server 2012 R2 Build

When I upgraded to Windows 8 I decided to go with the Pro version for one reason, Hyper-V. Since it’s not installed by default, I had to use the control panel to install Hyper-V and it’s Management Tools.


After a couple reboots I found the “Hyper-V Manager” and started laying down the communications infrastructure. Hyper-V allows one virtual switch per NIC. I chose an external network switch so my VMs can talk to the outside world. They will receive an IP from my router’s built in DHCP server.


Now we can start building virtual machines. Choose New->New virtual machine to start the wizard. About the only options we have are Name, Memory, what vSwitch to use, where to store the virtual disk files and how to install the OS. I have already downloaded Win 2012 R2 and SQL 2012 ISOs to setup on the virtual machine so I will choose that option.


Power this VM on and the OS will start to install.


When installing Server 2012 CTP1 make sure to check your email for your product key. With a few more clicks and a few minutes of waiting for the install my new virtual server is ready!


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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in Virtual


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Dell Inspiron 15R i15RM-6366sLV Review

I’ve added a new laptop to the fleet.



Here is the basic specs:

15.6″ Screen
Intel Core I5-4200U
6GB Memory
500GB Hard Disk
Windows Home
DVD RW Drive
6-Cell Battery

I ordered directly from Dell and with free shipping the total cost was $589.52.

The Bait (4th Gen i5 processor)

Besides the price, getting some tech that was released in June was attractive. It is a duel core hyper threaded turbo boosting proc which gives Windows 4 available logical processors. The new “Haswell” generation makes several architectures improvements which are detailed here:

A quick search on Tom’s Hardware has a couple people putting the 4th gen performance boost only around 5-7% over the 3rd gen. This processors runs in the range of .75Ghz to 2.5GHz depending on what the demand for CPU cycles is. Dell has it’s own power plan which is on by default. The balancing act of horsepower vs. battery life is key in laptops. I’ve noticed some very small slowdowns which can be easily avoided by turning the power plan to high performance.



Hard Drive

I didn’t think I would buy another computer without a solid state drive. But, I have gone an done it again to save a few hundred dollars up front. I do not like what manufacturers are doing with hybrid drives. The technology has advanced but the laptop manufactures are trying to squeeze every last penny out of the old HDD by mixing in a tiny amount of solid state storage. I decided not to pay a premium for the hybrid drive or a super premium for a full SSD out of the box. I can buy a nice 128GB SSD for $100 later when I want to upgrade. I opened a support chat and told them I wanted a fresh Windows install. They made an exception and are sending me a Windows installation DVD so I can use that later when I get the SSD.

The classic HHD performs poorly as expected.

C:\Program Files (x86)\SQLIO>sqlio -kW -t24 -o10 -frandom -b4 -BH -LS
IOs/sec: 674.15
MBs/sec: 2.63
Min_Latency(ms): 3
Avg_Latency(ms): 354
Max_Latency(ms): 679

HDDs are not designed for random activity so that is why the latency is so high. I chose a larger IO size and file and was able to peak out at 95MB/sec in another test. The Windows Experience Index rates this HDD as a 5.9 out of 9.9.



It’s got a nice solid frame and is under 1″ thick. The power adapter is tiny compared to any I have had in the past which was a nice bonus. The keyboard is solid and has a number pad, but it is not back lit. The touchpad works nicely but is lacking the ability scroll. Overall it feels much more sturdy than my HP in the same price range.

To stay in my price range I sacrificed HDD performance and some RAM for the latest processor and durable design.

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Hardware