All posts by Douglas Haber


A local accounting firm whom we have consulted with on an on-going basis retained us to bring their infrastructure to the “next level” while keeping their existing hardware in use, rather than replacing all of it.

The original set up was 2 Dell R710’s (domain controller and Exchange server) and a PowerEdge 2900 (terminal server). We brought in a temporary server to convert the 2900 to a virtual machine on. After that, we upgraded the storage capacity in the 2900 and installed a Linux distribution to serve as an iSCSI appliance.

Once this was complete, we converted the two R710 servers to virtual machines on the temporary server as well. Once everything was running smoothly on the temporary server, we installed secondary processors in the R710’s and upgraded them to 96GB RAM each – enough to run the entire office on either one of the servers. XenServer 6.2 was installed onto these, and the VM’s were migrated back. We installed a rackmount 1U QNAP NAS to serve as storage for all of the VM backups as well.

After all of the original VM’s were running back on their original infrastructure, we provisioned an additional terminal server and domain controller for them.

Here is what the servers looked like after project completion:


We also took their patch panels and rewired them with the existing cabling. Unfortunately, I do not have a before picture, but here is an after:



I am writing this as a follow up to our first post in our portfolio – the first phase of our Weehawken deployment. As seen in the pictures, we had all of the cabling in place and ready to be connected, and one server sitting in the rack.

We performed the migration in the wee hours of Labor Day (September 1st, 2014). Everything went flawlessly and we are up and running.

Here are some pictures of the finished product:



Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like us to arrange a migration of your servers from your office(s) to a proper colocation facility.

Server Room Cleanup

We performed a server room clean up for one of our clients over the last two weeks. Their server room was very disorganized, with the current server stacked on top of the old one, the network equipment on a broken piece of furniture, and a very unclean wiring situation.


Phase 1 of the clean up took place during the week of August 18th, 2014.  We were not able to complete it on that day because the client stated they could not afford any downtime at all due to an imminent deadline. We installed a 25U Tripp Lite server rack and migrated everything into it, without unplugging any of the cabling.


On August 26th, 2014, we returned to their office to replace the network cabling and re-organize the power cabling. We also installed a Juniper EX2200 switch to upgrade their LAN to 1000Base-T instead of 100Base-TX. Here is the finished rack:


Physical to Virtual Conversion Project

A client approached us many months ago and said: “Our infrastructure is aging. Bring us up to speed”.

We love projects like this. They had a mix of different servers all dedicated to one purpose. At Garden State Computing, we believe that virtualization is the future. The project involved converting all of their physical machines to virtual machines and setting up a small cluster. Our virtualization platform of choice is XenServer.
Unfortunately, I do not have a before picture to show you, but I do have afters.

We installed a custom SuperMicro storage appliance filled with Western Digital RAID Edition drives and 3 Dell R710’s. Two of the R710’s have 48GB of RAM (labeled “slaves”), and one has 96GB (labeled “master”). This will allow us to easily juggle virtual machines around, and in case of major failure, migrate everything to a single hypervisor.


We connected these 4 devices together utilizing gigabit Ethernet. The storage appliance volumes are exported via iSCSI to the hypervisors. The cabling from these was again purchased from Monoprice.




Last but not least, we replaced their legacy Cisco PIX firewall with a custom-built pfSense appliance. This firewall is powered by an Intel E3 series Xeon and an Intel SSD. It is running the latest pfSense.


After completion of the project, we have received 100% positive feedback from the client that the network is running very well and they have noticed significant performance increases when working with various network services.



Weehawken Deployment – Phase 1

Welcome to our portfolio! This is new to us, so we’re going to attempt to keep the text to a minimum and stick to showing off cool things.

We have made the decision to relocate our corporate infrastructure from our office to a colocation facility in Weehawken, NJ. This will provide us access to more reliable connectivity, power, and security. Phase 1, the installation of network and power equipment, was completed on August 28th, 2014.

Phase 1 - 1

Phase 1 - 2

We ordered sized and color coded cabling from Monoprice for public (red), private (yellow), and out-of-band management (green). We also ordered sized power cables as well, to be installed at a later date.

Stay tuned for phase 2 – the actual server migration and installation.