Antsle One - Unboxing/Ramble

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One of the things that's advertised about the Antsle is it's ease of use. They're not kidding when they said it takes three minutes to setup, in fact it probably took me less time.

The server comes fully configured and ready to go, all that needs to be done is an Ethernet cable and power be plugged in, and then press the power button. Currently they only have one Ethernet port enabled, so pay attention on their setup documents to use the correct one.

First thing I need to mention, is to find the IPMI control page and SECURE IT!. IPMI is a management interface that allows you to access the console of the server and remotely start it up, restart it, etc. It ships with the default password, and nowhere on their docs do they even mention that it is enabled. To find it, either do an IP scan on your network or look at the connected clients in your router.


Here's what the entry looks like in my router. Go to that IP address on port 80, the default port, and login with the credentials "ADMIN" : "ADMIN".

Once you're in, just client cancel on the Java warning, then head to "Configuration" -> "Users".

Click on the row with the username "ADMIN" to highlight it, then click "modify user".

Antsle IPMI UserList

Then check the box "Change Password", and type in a new password for the admin account. Make sure it is something secure, and ensure you do not lose the password as there is no way to reset it.

Once that's done, go ahead and close the page. If you want to learn more about the page, use Google or wait for me to post about it.

Now that we've got that security hole patched up, let's move onto the actual review of the device.

After I plugged it in and powered it on, I went to it's web address and was brought to it's main, and only, webpage. The first thing it tells me is that a new version of it is credentials, which is interesting as I got the email from Antsle saying that an update was available while they were assembling it? 

Antsle Needs Update

Updating to the newest version took a little time, make sure you read their release announcement to install the right prerequisites. 

Now that it's updated, let's jump right in.

First thing I did was go to "Manage Templates", to see what I could play with. It turns out that only "CentOS", "FreeBSD", and "Debian" come with the box, and all others need to be downloaded.

Antsle Template Download

I went ahead and downloaded them all. I'm getting this box ready for overseas work, so I want everything local. Tip: You can't just press download on them all and let it do it's thing. Antman will freeze up as they'll all download and extract simultaneously.

Antsle Mass Template Download Freeze

If that does happen to you, just wait it out, it'll process all of them and start working eventually.

Now, here's what I planned on using my Antsle for:

  • Microservice Host
  • Ubuntu Repo Mirror
  • Debian Repo Mirror
  • NPM Mirror
  • Active Directory Server

First I'm going to start with the NPM mirror, for the mirror I'm going to be using "Sinopia". Let's go create a(n) Antlet!

Click that green button, fill out the information, and add it! Wait... Why is it stopped? Trying to start it just fails?

In the release notes for the newest version, it says there's a chance that starting antlets won't work, and you need to run given commands to fix it. Okay, let's reboot it.

Yay! It works and my new Antlet is running! Okay, now we need to add a virtual drive to store all the packages. Click on the name of the Antlet, then go to "Virtual Drives" -> "New virtual drive". I'm going to give it a space of 50GB, and store it on my HDD pool. Interestingly, "gnu dd" is run while creating the virtual drive. Must be zeroing out the data.

Now that we've got our virtual drive created, let's go ahead and connect to our server over SSH, and configure!

Antsle also supports Windows guests via KVM. It also includes some hidden debug features that aren't mentioned in the docs.

All KVM hosts have VNC enabled on them, just on the loopback adapter. In order to access the VNC console for an Antlet, you'll need to forward the port over SSH. The VNC port is ordered by KVM order. The first guest will have port 5900, and so on. It's likely that Antsle will soon have HTML5 VNC support, allowing you to access the console from the web interface.

The Windows Server templates install and configure themselves on first launch. I recommend giving them all available cores for first run, then be scaled down.

Currently, port forwarding and all of that still needs to be done on the command line, however Antsle says that their web interface will soon support doing all of that.

I'm very happy with the Antsle One. 

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Antsle One - Review

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After playing around with the Antsle, here's what I think about it.

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