eRacks Open Source Systems Blog

Making the world safe for Open Source

pc-bsd-operating-system-gets-renamed-to-trueos-follows-a-rolling-release-modelThe former PC-BSD Desktop offering from ixSystems has now morphed into TrueOS Desktop –

It’s a rolling-release BSD Distro based on FreeBSD-CURRENT with many improvements, changes, and enhancements including security, LibreSSL, drivers, and more – Read about it, here: https://www.trueos.org/

We’re currently doing an eRacks/HUMBOLDT for a customer with it – Exciting!

j

November 1st, 2016

Posted In: Development, FreeBSD, New products, Operating Systems

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Introducing eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD 4D resolution, high power Ultrabook with Linux or BSD operating system

Introducing eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD 4D resolution, high power Ultrabook with Linux or BSD operating system

We wanted to start the month in style. So, we thought what better way there is than introducing a great looking Ultrabook with powerful specification?   Then the light bulb went on: “eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD”.

This really stylish and elegant eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD laptop that comes with a screen resolution of 3840 by 2160 — four times FHD (full high-definition) resolution – really started looking mighty good.

This Ultrabook by Asus can be delivered by eRacks with up to 24 Gigabytes of RAM and up to 1 or even 2 Terabytes of SSD hard disk space. With its 15.6 inch 4K Ultra High Definition IPS screen and a view angle of about 170 degrees, eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD is really a great looking and powerful Ultrabook.

As with all eRacks Systems products, this elegant looking Ultrabook will be delivered with your choice of Open Source operating system & software pre-installed and pre-configured. The operating system can be any flavor of Linux or BSD (We can even do other OSes like Haiku, etc on request). We will install and configure the OS fully before packaging your Ultrabook and sending it off your way.

In fact, you can be sure that with your Ultrabook ordered through us, you will receive a powerful open source system, configured to the highest specifications according to your requirements. And you can also be sure that no one else can or will offer anything close to the laptop you will get from us.

So, why not expand your laptop computing power to the next level with us. Contact us and ask about eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

info@eracks.com

October 8th, 2015

Posted In: FreeBSD, Laptop cookbooks, New products, News, Products, Upgrades, Zenbook

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eRacks/NAS50 Half Petabytes of Data Storage Server / Cloud Storage

eRacks/NAS50 Half Petabytes of Data Storage Server / Cloud Storage

We were extremely excited to announce the forthcoming release of 500 Terabyte (half Petabyte) storage space upgrade on our flagship product eRacks/NAS50 cloud data storage servers last week.  The new model, to be released shortly, will incorporate 50 HGST 10 Terabyte HelioSeal™ hard drives.  While the new model is not released yet, we are accepting pre-orders from customers.  The current capacity, now available, of the eRacks/NAS50 is 400Terabytes in total, with currently-available 8Terabyte drives.

The new unit is rackmount and holds 50 removable drive bays.  The 9U unit is suitable for any cloud storage application as well as NAS/Local LAN.  eRacks/NAS50™ is also a great solution for media libraries and other applications which require massive amounts of data storage capacity.

Our new servers are truly a remarkable Petascale solution.  The HGST 10 Terabyte HelioSeal™ drives that come with eRacks/NAS50 use two technologies that greatly add to the value that this server carries with it.

The first is referred to as the HelioSeal™ technology.   The HGST hard drives using this technology replace the air inside of the drive with helium.  This would make the drive much lighter as well as allowing the disks to be much thinner.   Due to the helium inside, the thinness of disks will not cause any disruptive turbulence effects.  This will allow us to have more disks inside each drive which in turn means more data space.  Additionally, helium drives have much lower power consumption, as much as 27%, making our NAS50 models truly a green product.

The new drives in the eRacks/NAS50 servers also make use of a technology called SMR.  That is short for Shingled Magnetic Recording.  This technology by itself adds another 25 to 100 percent storage capacity to HGST hard drives.

We are proud of our new eRacks/NAS50 and are ready to take pre-orders.  We are prepared to customize the unit per your instructions with all Open-Source software necessary so your order will reach you completely pre-installed.

Please contact us for pre-orders or any questions you may have.

eRacks Open Source Systems
Phone: (714) 758-5423
Fax: (631) 392-9842
http://www.eRacks.com
eMail: info@eracks.com

September 12th, 2015

Posted In: NAS50, New products, News, Open Source, servers, Upgrades

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eRacks Systems NAS36 8TB Seagate Archive Drive upgrade

eRacks Systems NAS36 8TB Seagate Archive Drive upgrade

We can’t help it with our innovations. Our NAS36 servers offered almost 200 Terabytes of data space already. That is considered quite high for a mid-range data storage server. But we just decided to jump even higher and exchange the standard 6-terabyte disks into 8-terabyte ones. That mean our NAS36 model storage servers are now able to hold 288 terabytes of data in total.

The new NAS36 model with higher data capacity brings even more value to our customers not just because of the storage space it provides but also for its price. Yes, we have decided to slash the prices down below $25,000. That is going to bring considerable saving to our customers. [UPDATE Sep 2015:  current price for maxed-out 288TB config with Seagate Archive 8TB drives is just under $22,000]

We are proud to announce this latest upgrade as we continue to provide petascale data storage servers at affordable prices.

We remain dedicated to open-source systems. We also remain committed to delivering pre-installed, pre-configured systems to our customers.

The NAS36 servers are rack-mount servers. We designed the 4U unit specially to hold large number of drives in a very limited space. That leaves ample amount of space for other necessary accessories inside your data center rack.

The 36 drives in the unit are all Seagate Archive Drives, mounted on a single backplane and controlled by a RAID controller. The unit holds 24 drives in front and 12 in the back making the unit case quite compact.

eRacks Systems is a leading provider of high-capacity, petascale data storage server solutions to companies and enterprises requiring massive amounts of storage data.
Our servers are suitable for Cloud Storage application as well as Near-Line Storage. They are also configurable for NAS (Network Attached Storage) applications.

For a great storage solution at a considerable low price, contact us. We are available through email, phone and our website.

August 19th, 2015

Posted In: NAS36, New products, Open Source, servers, Upgrades

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Zenbook with beverage - IMG_20131019_231446531Minty Zenbook

I am typing this on a nifty new eRacks/ZENBOOK13, with Linux Mint15 installed.

This is a slightly newer rev of the very pretty Asus Zenbook line, with twin 128GB SSD modules installed in a small carrier which screws into the standard 2.5″ HD space (it could also be replaced or upgraded with one of our standard HD/SSD choices, here: http://eracks.com/products/laptops/ZENBOOK13/)

This post will walk you through what we had to do for the installation, with the details.

Installation Cookbook

  1. Boot to an Ubuntu 13.04 install disk. (13.10 should work, or Ubuntustudio works too, that’s what I used).  For some reason, the Mint installer doesn’t install the default EFI boot choice properly, so you have to start with Ubuntu, then replace it with Mint. Read on.
  2. Using gparted (fdisk could work, too), delete the partition tables on /dev/sda and /dev/sdb, and replace the GPT-based partition tables with with msdos-type partition tables.
  3. Install Ubuntu on the 1st of the two SSDs. Don’t worry about the 2nd disk (_yet_).  Be sure to check the “Install with LVM” box after you select the default “Erase and install…”.
  4. Reboot into Ubuntu, and note the partitions cerated.
  5. Boot into a Mint 15 Install disk.
  6. Install Mint15 into the same partition structure – in other words, do NOT select the default “erase and install…” , but rather the “Something else” choice, and tell it to put the root partition on the same partition you noted in step 4.
  7. Install rEFInd (http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/) from a rEFInd install disk, that you downloaded and burned from there. (I used v0.74). Be sure to install it in the /boot/efi partition (typically /dev/sda2) created earlier. The reason to install rEFInd, is it’s an invaluable tool to use to boot from any EFI-capable location on your computer, and will be used later on.  I put mine in EFI\refind\refind_x64.efi
  8. Be sure to also copy shell64.efi into /boot/efi/EFI/tools/, so rEFInd can find it, and show you the EFI Shell choice & icon.
  9. Boot from rEFInd.
  10. Choose the EFI shell.
  11. Using the bcfg command, (help -v bcfg is your friend!), list the boot choices, and verify that “ubuntu” is there.
  12. Add “mint” as a boot choice, pointing to EFI\linuxmint\grub64.efi – mimic the way the “ubuntu” boot choice is done.
  13. Reboot into the boot menu (hold Esc down during the Asus logo) and verify that “mint” and “rEFInd” are there.
  14. Test them both out – rEFInd should also give other interesting choices you can try out.
  15. You should be able to launch Mint from either the “Mint” choice in the Asus boot (holding Esc), or from the Mint choice in rEFInd.
  16. Optionally, you can add the 2nd SSD (mentioned in step 3) to the main volume using LVM, to use the full 256GB.

That’s it!

Wrap and Beverage

I must say, this is a BEAUTIFUL machine – I want one myself!

Between the FullHD display, and being roughly the same thickness and sizeas the magazines I often carry into any given bar / restaurant here in Los Gatos, this is a joy compared to my regular 1920×1080 Asus laptop..

…And it beats the heck out of a tablet..

…And the battery life seems great, it barely made a dent in the hour or so I spent surfing with it while drinking my beverage of choice at one of the local establishments here.

…And did I mention it’s screaming fast, with the i7 CPU and 10GB RAM?!

Bon Appetit,

j

 

 

October 20th, 2013

Posted In: How-To, Laptop cookbooks, New products, News, Open Source, Products, ubuntu

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We’ve had a long and arduous search for a usable resolution (at least 1366×768) portable netbook, that will run Ubuntu smoothly,  and we’re pleased to report our findings! The MSI U230-040US netbook fulfills all our requirements without so much as a hiccup.

eRacks/CUMULUS: MSI U230-040US

Most netbooks have a 1024 x 600 pixel display. This fails miserably with some applications that are designed for higher resolution, like Eclipse, for example. Working with Eclipse can be annoying enough, but in a lower resolution display, important fields in certain windows are unusable and almost completely hidden.

Portability is important and this system weighs in at 3.3 pounds. It’s got a good solid feel to it, and the display bends back to an angle of about 135 degrees. The keys are next to each other, not spaced out like the Sony Vaio. The netbook’s measurements are 11.71″(L) x 7.49″(D) x 0.55~1.22″(H).

This system passed all our tests and is available, as a complete dual boot system from eRacks, called the eRacks/CUMULUS. We’ve got Ubuntu and Windows 7 on this one.

The built-in Webcam is 1.3MP and works with Cheese Webcam Booth, both photo and video. There is a 4-in-1 Card Reader (XD/SD/MMC/MS), and three USB2.0 connections. Bluetooth is working without any special configurations.

I’ve set the processor for 800MHz at OnDemand. The other settings are Conservative, Performance, and Powersave with a higher 1.6GHz is available.

All-in-all this system gets top marks for usability and portability.

October 5th, 2010

Posted In: Laptop cookbooks, New products, ubuntu

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Here are 10 really useful reasons to justify why you need a new Linux Netbook from eRacks.


Besides, a contributing member of this technological society is required to stay well-connected at all times. And in this economy, cost-effectiveness is imperative.

Top Ten Reasons why you need a Linux Netbook

  1. Lighten your load without compromise. The average laptop weighs 7 lbs. The average netbook weighs 2.5 lbs. How’s your back lately?
  2. Save money. The average laptop costs $1500+ while netbooks range from $300 to 500$.
  3. Take it with you and don’t get lost. Connect and find your destination. Google maps is a lifesaver.
  4. Keep in touch, even when you’re out. Connect with Facebook, Twitter, and Meebo.
  5. Finish your document/spreadsheet/presentation/homework at the cafe – eRacks Netbooks come with OpenOffice and many other useful applications.
  6. Waste time more effectively. Catch up on LolCats and then watch all the cat videos on YouTube. After all, isn’t that the underlying purpose of the Internet?
  7. Keep your job (or find a new job.) Manage your servers remotely anytime.
  8. Watch a film or video clip through your home network or from Hulu, in your favorite chair.
  9. Save a little more money. Find that book cheaper than in the store and order it.
  10. Portable Webcam possibilities are endless. Update your blog in real time.
  11. Bonus reason: eRacks is having a sale on rackmount servers that could likely save you the cost of a Netbook anyway.

January 6th, 2009

Posted In: multimedia, New products, Products

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We at eRacks are designing a new model geared specifically toward the developer, and want to hear from you, the customer, about what you would like to see in the system (please leave detailed comments for this blog post!)

We’ve been batting around a few ideas, both software and hardware related, and would like to share them here for your consideration.

1. IDE, Revision Control System and your Operating System of Choice

Our development model would (of course!) come pre-installed with the best in open source development-related software. Do you have a favorite IDE, or do you prefer to simply invoke your text editor, compiler and makefiles directly? Would you like us to install a revision control system such as CVS, Subversion, Mercurial or Git? What’s your operating system of choice? Are you a fan of Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, OpenSolaris, etc.?

2. What Kind of Developer are you?

While there are usually at least some applications common to most developers, a great deal of the software you’d like to be installed will probably depend significantly on the kind of development you do. Are you a kernel developer? If so, we’ll install the kernel source and headers for you. Are you an applications developer? If so, are there any open source libraries you’d like us to pre-install for you? What about you web developers out there? We could, at your option, install a local web and database server for testing purposes, as well as your scripting engine of choice (PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl, etc.) Do you not fit exactly into any of these categories? Have we missed something? Let us know!

3. Hardware

Do you prefer to develop on a laptop, or do you like to do your programming on a desktop machine? What would you think about having the option of two or more monitors to help you spread out your work, configured to your unique specifications (would you like 2 or more individual displays, or 2 or more monitors tied together into a single virtual display?)

Anything we haven’t mentioned that you’d love to see in a development-specific model? Again, just let us know! Be sure to leave us a comment sharing your thoughts.

September 18th, 2008

Posted In: Development, New products

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Hello everyone out in the blogosphere (Look my vocabulary improved!) Allow me to introduce myself. I am Max, the Op Manager here at eRacks. Now that that’s out of the way, lets dig in!

I recently had the chance to lay my grubby mits on the latest ASUS eeePC, and am here to give my initial impressions. Now mind you, I am a very busy man (Darn starbucks being so far away!), so I only had a couple hours to play with this little PC, and I must say, I am impressed.

Now, Asus keeps a tight grip on the distribution of their eeePCs, and makes sure they get there asking price, so shopping around won’t net more than about a dollar in savings. I will chalk that up on the bad side of things. However, while a little on the high end of the price scale, for its functionality, let me tell you something that makes up for that 100x: it works flawlessly, it’s quick, and it gets a lot of looks (ladies, forget the new hairstyle. Pick up one of these bad boys and prepare for the geek onslaught!) The fact that I had no issues with it speaks volumes, because I always break something and have to have Tony, our Head Tech, come and save me.

It also comes with all the software you would need: open source applications, games, and media playing programs preinstalled and ready to go. You do have to sit through a quick registration screen at first to get to this, but hey, you have to do that with everything. When I started this mini-beast up, I was pleased to see that everything displayed quite nicely on the 7″ 800×480 res. screen. It even comes with a pretty nice Intel graphics chipset to boot. So, as far as visuals go, while you wont be seeing HD style graphics, you will get a clear, precise picture that makes working on it pretty easy. Not bad ASUS, not bad… But you could, ya know, boost the res up to maybe 1200? Maybe…please? C’mon…

Anyway, this is not by any means a replacement for a full fledged laptop, but it is a nice miniPC that will come in handy for a quick write up at a trade show, a place to store a few pictures, a checking of websites or emails from the airport or any number of road-warrior-like activities. The other thing it’s good for is KIDS! Kids love it; it comes in multiple colors, it plays games, it’s small, it’s neat, it makes noise on its 5.1 realtek HD sound card, it plays music AND it’s cool looking. The only problem I see with kids and this is that on the models we got, the keyboard is white (wash your hands, children, before touching it), so beware of dirty fingers! We actually had a customer call us and let us know that their children were hammering away on these things and that they stood the test of time (at that point, 1 week. But hey, it’s a miniPC and a child. Thats like platinum record status!) Another good feature is the card reader. This allows you to store plenty of files on the SD cards. Neat!

The few bad things I have to say are as follows: it only has 2 hours of battery life (I know, I know; laptops and such do not have amazing battery lives, but 2 hours?! I’ve had layovers longer then that on flights from OC to SF); it has no DVD or CD player, which is a bummer, even though I do understand that it’s a different category of PC — I still want to be able to throw a DVD in or listen to a CD I just bought (ok, that may be a lie; who really buys CD’s anymore, anyone? I admit it. I do. MP3’s be damned!); the graphics could be a bit better and the white keyboard is a parents nightmare, although at least the keys are stuck close enough together that food can’t hide in them. Overall, there weren’t enough bad things to warrant a bad review, or to take away from the coolness factor. pretty asus pc

In closing, I know this isn’t as in-depth or as technical as some people would like. But hey, I’m Max, and Max is allowed to write what he wants (you love the 3rd person, I know it!) Overall, I give this 4/5 stars for a mini pc on coolness factor, and 3.5/5 on tech factor. Take my opinion with a grain of salt though, for I am just an Op Manager doing my thing.

For the techies, here’s a rundown of the specs:

  • Processor: Intel Celeron M Processor 353 (800MHz, 512KB L2 Cache, FSB 400MHz)
  • Chipset: Mobile Intel 910 GML Exp ress
  • Memory: 512MB DDR2-400 Memory
  • Display: 7″ WVGA (800×4 80) TFT LCD
  • Graphics Module: Intel GMA 900 Graphics Controller
  • Hard Drive: 2GB Solid-State Disk
  • Optical Storage Device: None
  • Audio: Realtek ALC662 5.1-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC; Built-in Stereo Speak ers and Microphone
  • Connectivity: 10Base-T/100Base -TX Fast Ethernet; 802.11b/g Wireless LAN
  • Interface: 3x USB 2.0 Ports; 1x RJ45 LAN Port; 1x Headphone-out; 1x Microphone-in
  • Card Reader: SD Card Reader, Support SD/MMC
  • Camera: None
  • Battery Pack & Life: 4-cell 4400mAh Li-ion Battery, Upto 2.8 Hours Life Time
  • AC Adapter: Output – 9.5V, 22W; Input – 100~240V AC, 50/60Hz Universal
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 8.86 x 6.46 x 0.846~1.4 inch / 22.5 x 16.4 x 2.15~3.5 cm
  • Color: Blush Pink, Blue, Green, White, Black
  • Weight: 2 lbs / 0.92 kg
  • Operating System: Linux

Visit www.eRacks.com for more info.

May 2nd, 2008

Posted In: New products

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