Intel NUC – Next Unit of Computing

Next Unit of Computing. A sweet, little device that packs a punch, uses minimal power and can fit it in the palm of your hand (note: requires pretty massive hands).

So what can you do with it? Thin client, test lab, HTPC, NAS, i.e. whatever you want to do with it.

What will I do with it? I have three uses: Day to day PC, HTPC and Steam Box.

Here are the specs for the little beast I bought:

  • Intel NUC Kit i5-4250U HD Graphics 5000 2.5in SATA PC
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth adapter (more on this here)
  • Kingston 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 CL11 SODIMM RAM KVR16LS118
  • Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 120GB SSD
NUC - Intel NUC Box

What will you make?

The guys and glory of the mighty NUC!

The guts and glory of the mighty NUC!

mSATA SSD for the win. It's as tiny as an SD card!

mSATA SSD for the win. It’s as tiny as an SD card!

NUC - Wireless and NUC

I’ll be preparing a guide on how to setup and configure the NUC and also give you an insight of how I’ll be using mine!

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Intel NUC – Install Wireless Card

Not sure if anyone else out there has had issues with the wireless card for the Intel NUC but I had some pretty frustrating moments with it. Bluetooth connectivity, wireless dropouts, minimal connectivity and so many other inkling bits and pieces.

There was a little hint in the product manual that made little to no sense to me. See below:

Why The Fuss?

Image 1

Here I am frantically looking for these two wires. Is it in the NUC, can’t find it. Was it in the wireless card packaging? Nope. Do I need to buy it??? Ok I may sound like a massive noob BUT I’m sure by posting this, one or two other people might find the following information useful.

It was in the NUC!!! The little ninja cables were there all along.

NUC - Wireless Wiring

Image 2

  1. Remove the lid of the NUC.
  2. On the side of where the wireless card slot is, there will be wires running underneath the board (Image 2).
  3. Pull out the wires, remove the sticky tape and plastic heads.
  4. NOW follow the instructions given to you in the manual (Image 1) and plug in the ends of the wiring to the wireless card.
  5. Download the latest drivers from the Intel site and enjoy wireless streaming from your little bundle of joy.

What do you plan on doing with yours?

 

WSUS – Throttle Bandwidth Utilisation

Just had an issue today where I approved WSUS updates for maintenance and came to the realisation that as soon as you approve new updates WSUS automatically begins to download them. Here I am trying to isolate why the browsing internet, reviewed the gateway, noted download traffic was massive from the WSUS server, logged on and noticed…. akamai.

WSUS - Akamai

 

Yep, I didn’t even realise (noob I know) but I’ve found a way to manage the downloads by WSUS (and other Microsoft services that are chucking a sneaky). BITS is a sneaky little service that most people may not even realise is affecting the performance of their internet use. Here’s an acrostic poem I prepared earlier:

Background
Intelligent
Transfer
Service

All we need to do is throttle the amount of bandwidth the service uses during a certain time frame.

  1. Open Group Policy Management
  2. Browse to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Network > Background Intelligent Transfer Serice
  3. Double click Limit the maximum network bandwidth for BITS background transfers
    WSUS - BITS GPO
  4. Enable the settings and configure as per your requirements
    WSUS - BITS GPO Details
  5. Hit OK, associate the GPO to your WSUS server.
  6. If you want it to take effect immediately, logon to the WSUS server and run a gpupdate /force
  7. You’ll notice the bandwidth utilisation drop within seconds.

 

TL;DR: Configure GPO to throttle BITS utilisation and force update on WSUS server.