Building HomeServer BattleStar VirtualisticA

This article has been sitting iny my drafts for almost a year. I wanted to delete it but Paul from Tinktertry talked me into publishing it any way even for historic purposes.

My homeserver had been passed its prime for some time now. So it was time to build something new. This is not a lab machine but something that will be running 24×7.
I didn’t want to spend money on an expensive NAS like a Synology, Thecus or QNAP so a plan was hatched to build an allround all-in-one virtualization beast.

Read more

How to flash A IBM ServeRaid BR10i RAID Controller to LSI SAS 1068E firmware (IT)

01-br10i-ports Just a small how to on I how I flashed my IBM BR10i to a LSI SAS 1068E(B3) making it a simple HBA card running in IT mode.
IT Firmware = Straight pass through with no RAID options
IR Firmware= Pass through as in IT mode, but you also have RAID options.
I’m using IT firmware so that the disks can be controlled by the OS instead of the RAID features of the card which is what I wanted.

I flashed the firmware from inside a Windows 2008 R2 machine.

1) Download the firmware file from here (source I got it from is here)

2) Extract the archive and then proceed with a command prompt which you should run as an administrator.

3) Go to the directory and start the 1_ListAllAdaptors_x64.bat
This command will show us what LSI cards we have available:

.
.     List information about all adapters found

Press any key to continue . . .

.     Proceeding to find LSI Controllers
.     Log Adaptors.txt in the current directory

****************************************************************************
    LSI Corporation SAS FLASH Utility.

    SASFlash Version 1.30.00.00 (2011.08.24)

    Copyright (c) 2006-2011 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.
****************************************************************************

        Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS 1068E(B3):

Num   Ctlr      FW Ver     NVDATA   x86-BIOS     EFI-BSD    PCI Addr
———————————————————————–

1   1068E(B3)  01.30.10.00  2d.28  06.30.00.00  03.16.00.06  00:01:00:00

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
        Exiting SASFlash.

4) Start 2_Backup_Current_Firmware_&_Bios_x64.bat to create a backup of the current firmware:

.     Your existing firmware will be saved as 1068E-FW-Backup.fw
.     Your existing BIOS will be saved as     1068E-Backup-BIOS.rom
.     in the current directory

Press any key to continue . . .

.     Saving old firmware and BIOS

****************************************************************************
    LSI Corporation SAS FLASH Utility.

    SASFlash Version 1.30.00.00 (2011.08.24)

    Copyright (c) 2006-2011 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.
****************************************************************************

        Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS 1068E(B3):

        Executing Operation: Upload Firmware

        Upload Succesful!

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
        Exiting SASFlash.

5) Now that the firmware is backed-up safely we can continue with flashing the BR10i to LSI IT Firmware by running 3_Flash_to_IT_mode_x64.bat

.     Using 3081E Board, PCIe HBA, Initator-Target (IT) firmware with chip B3

.  COMMANDLINE THAT WILL BE USED:
   sasflash -l Flashlog.txt -o -f 3081ETB3.fw -b MPTSAS.ROM

Press any key to continue . . .

.     Proceeding to Flash and Log too Flashlog.txt
.     in the current directory

****************************************************************************
    LSI Corporation SAS FLASH Utility.

    SASFlash Version 1.30.00.00 (2011.08.24)

    Copyright (c) 2006-2011 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.
****************************************************************************

        Advanced Mode Set

        Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS 1068E(B3):

        Executing Operation: Flash Firmware Image

                Checksum Passed: 00000000

                Verifying NVDATA Compatibility. . .
                NVDATA Versions Compatible

                Product ID and Vendor ID do not match.
                Would you like to flash anyway [y/n]? y

                Valid BootLoader Image verified.

                Flashing IT Firmware over IR Firmware!
                Would you like to flash anyway [y/n]? y

                Beginning Firmware Download

                Firmware Download: SUCCESSFUL!

                Verifying the image flashed correctly. . .

                Firmware Flash: SUCCESSFUL!

                Resetting Adapter:
                Adapter Successfully reset.

        Executing Operation: Flash BIOS Image

                Validating BIOS Image. . .

                BIOS Header Signature Valid.

                Checksum Passed: 00000000

                BIOS Image compatible with the SAS Controller.

                Attempting to Flash BIOS Image. . .

                BIOS Flash: SUCCESSFUL!

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
        Exiting SASFlash.

6) Just to be sure that everything has gone according to plan we do a verify of the process by running 4_ListAllAdaptorsAfterFlash_x64.bat:

.     List information about all adapters found

Press any key to continue . . .

.     Proceeding to find LSI Controllers
.     Log Adaptors.txt in the current directory

***********************************************************************
    LSI Corporation SAS FLASH Utility.

    SASFlash Version 1.30.00.00 (2011.08.24)

    Copyright (c) 2006-2011 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.
***********************************************************************

        Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS 1068E(B3):

Num   Ctlr      FW Ver     NVDATA   x86-BIOS     EFI-BSD    PCI Addr
———————————————————————–

1   1068E(B3)  01.33.00.00  2d.03  06.36.00.00  03.16.00.06  00:01:00:00

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
        Exiting SASFlash.

We have success…! Now we can reboot the machine and start using the BR10i as a LSI Card in IT Mode.

If this post helped you out, help me out keeping this site alive and visit some of my sponsors on the left or right.. Thanks..!
Tags:how to, flash IBM BR10i to LSI firmware

Personal Speedtouch 716v5 Review

Since joining the biggest ISP of the Netherlands (XS4All), I also received the Alcatel Speedtouch 716v5 WLAN.

With pain in my heart I had to say “sayonara” to my trustworthy Draytek Vigor 2005 because the Speedtouch has VOIP on board. This year VOIP took a huge step in the Dutch households. It will only be a matter of time before we can all enjoy global cheap phone conversations. 
With the SpeedTouch 716WL it is possible to share a single broadband connection between multiple home networking devices and to make telephone calls over the Internet and PSTN using standard telephone handsets. (2 ports for analog Telephones are available) 

The looks:
716-2

 

 

 

 

The connect options:

716-1

The features (in short):
– 4 port 10/100 ethernet
– 802.11b/g wireless access point
– Firewall with the ultimate level in network security
– 2 x VoIP ports
– Auto PSTN failover
– Pre-configuration available
I installed the latest firmware available: 6.1.7.2 and went on another IT-Journey…

Connecting the 716v5 was a breeze, setting it up was a whole other ballgame.
Because a large part of my network is virtual, I would have liked to redirect everything to my IPCop box but I ended up loosing the VOIP part.
There are some rumors that this config can work if you run Asteriks on IPCop but I didn’t want to go that deep.

The DMZ-option was also a no-go (same effect as with IPCop, you lose the VOIP part)
So I had already made my peace with the fact that the Speedtouch was going to act as my firewall from now on. Not really my choice but the cost reduction I can achieve with using VOIP made the choice easy.

After a lot of reading and configuring I now have the modem in place. My hostserver has multiple nics, I connected one of them to the Speedtouch. My other devices use the host pc as gateway to connect to the internet. The portforwarding did not respond as I hoped. If I connected the device to the Speedtouch, everything is ok, forwarding to an IP-Address further in my network did not work properly.

What I liked:
– The configsoftware is excellent
– The webinterface is neat

What I did not like:
– I have to put the NIC of my Gateway pc on DHCP when I connect it to the Speedtouch. Can you believe it..?
As soon as I give it a static address in the correct range, I can no longer reach the Internet. The speedtouch wants to hand out the addresses for the NIC. As soon as I have a DHCP address, I have to stop the DHCP server on the Speedtouch because it interferes with my existing DHCP server.
– You can only use 1 (read ONE!) voip account. Which is a BIG turnoff. There are multiple VOIP providers,each has it own pros and cons.
I want to be able to easily switch between VOIP providers without having to setup the whole bloody modem!
– For some odd reason at 2:30 in the morning my phone rang only once…I suspect it came from my modem. No proof however but I have CSI working the case as we speak.

Conclusion:
After resetting your host machine and having to put your NIC in DHCP mode to able to reach the Internet(each and every time).
The incorrect handling of portforwarding to IP addresses when not directly connected to the Speedtouch.
And the lack of being able to switch easily between VOIP providers makes me rate this product at a skinny 6/10

When you are an advanced user who want control of what goes where: then this modem is not for you..!