Rich’s Random Podcast Generator: RAID Benchmarks, WHS 2011, Ivy Bridge, Power Factor Correction, W7 Backup & Restore – RRPG010

RRPG4_thumbMichael Martis of BYOB joins us for the first time along with regulars John Stutsman and Mike Howard of jpeg2RAW. Michael M. works with servers, RAID and virtualization so we hit him up with a bunch of questions. The guys analyze some RAID 5 benchmarks and talk about RAID setups. Most any drives will work in a RAID, but some have better firmware, a better controller so they have better performance.

Do you rely on Windows Update to keep your hardware drivers up to date? Rich recently ran into a network problem which could only be solved by grabbing the latest driver direct from the manufacturer, Realtek.

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Although some of us are fans, WHS 2011 hasn’t been quite what we hoped it would be. Remote Web Access, for instance, is a common problem though this really should be a straightforward thing. And pulling a large amount of files from a backup is painfully slow, as Mike Howards found out first-hand when he tried to recover a partition’s worth of files. The transfer speed is markedly different from the 1st version of WHS.

Michael Martis is into virtualization and he talks a lot about it. Hyper-V is his thing, and he’s had as many as 22 virtual machines running on a server at the same time, which is just plain ridiculous! Seriously though, Hyper-V is more robust than other virtualization software such as VirtualBox. For example, Hyper-V can gracefully shut down its virtual machines as its system is rebooting or shutting down but VirtualBox never sees it coming. It splatters it bits all over the place, as John Stutsman says. Michael also talks quite a bit about hardware pass-through.

p_Planar_vs_Tri-GateIntel’s next gen processor, Ivy Bridge, is coming sometime in the 1st quarter of 2012. Hopefully. And with it comes tri-gate transistor technology which translates into a more powerful yet cooler chip. We have been rapidly approaching the end of the line for Moore’s law but tri-gate technology extends it by a couple decades.

John explains PFC – Power Factor Correction. PF, measured on a scale of 0 – 1, is a complicated subject having to do with inefficiencies when delivering electrical power to certain load types. In resistive AC circuits (filament lamps, strip heaters, cooking stoves, etc.), voltage and current remain in phase so all power is consumed by the load in Watts (to get 1W of useful work only 1VA of apparent power needs to be transmitted) . The problem arises from non-resistive loads, i.e., reactive loads which use capacitors and inductors. Because of the electrical characteristics of these components, voltage and current run up to 90 degrees out of phase. When that happens, then in order to get 1W of useful work we need more than 1VA of apparent power which increases the loading (and costs) on utility equipment (ultimately leading to higher rates to pay for more and bigger equipment and more generation). Read more here: http://en.wikipedia….ki/Power_factor  That’s why we are seeing more and more APFC (Active Power Factor Correction) in more and more appliances such as computer power supplies. And in the case of computer power supplies, good Active PFC circuitry adds to the cost of manufacturing. But in the end, as in most cases, you get what you pay for.

Windows 7’s Backup and Restore is a very solid solution that most folks don’t know about. Check it out on your W7 system here: Control Panel\System and Security\Backup and Restore. If you’re running W7 Professional or above, you have the additional option of saving backups to a network drive.

Jim talks about AI – Artificial Intelligence – running on off-the-shelf PC hardware. At his university, IT is developing collaborative robots which network together when they come in proximity of each other. The idea is to have these robots work together to search out land mines and help keep soldiers safe.

In the show this week: Jim Collison, Rich O’Neil, Mike Howard, John Stutsman, Michael Martis

Rich’s RPG is a weekly show hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. They talk tech with like-minded folks, covering whatever’s interesting – hot or not, current or historical. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. Got a headset? Free time? Join them on the podcast by contacting the show: or

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