Connect to L2TP VPN on Mac OSX

This weekend while setting up RRAS as part of a blog post I am working on a blog posting for Cloudservers.com, I had an issue where an L2TP VPN worked from my Windows 8 PC, but not from my Mac. The GUI error was saying that the VPN was inaccessible, and after looking further in…

Reflection on 2013 Simply Thankful

Today, I’m taking the road less traveled (actually, never been traveled) on this blog, from the usual technical articles, to get a little personal. Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in the US. For many people it’s a day filled with football and beer, family (love ’em or hate ‘em, YMMV) and entirely too much food….

SCCM 2012 SP1 CU3

Are you’re running System Center Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 and you need to now support Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 clients? Or, do you want to utilize new Server 2012 R2 machines as Configuration Manager site systems? You’ll need to download and install SCCM 2012 SP1 Cumulative Update 3. Here is an example of…

Mac RDC Error

For the past few months, my MacBook Pro has been my daily driver. As a Systems Administrator, I work with both Linux and Windows Server systems on a daily basis. I usually have multiple tabbed RDP windows open for Windows Server in a Windows VM running on my Mac, with Remote Desktop Manager (highly recommend…

Windows 8.1 RTM Installation Guide

It’s official, Windows 8.1 RTM is available. Microsoft’s original intention was to hold the RTM of Windows 8.1 until October General Release; however, the development and overall technical community outcry has somewhat forced them to relent and release the RTM build early, almost in a business-as-usual fashion. Using virtualization client software, I setup a test Windows 8.1 ENT edition VM. I have some suggestions about Windows Update settings, and I also join my HomeGroup and setup File History (think Time Machine for Windows). Below is a step-by-step guide and a look at the installation process. This guide utilizes the Microsoft Account login and not a traditional local account. Pro-Tip – If you are using a VM, make sure to not use NAT (share IP with host) and to use a Bridged connection. Otherwise features like HomeGroup and other network settings can be problematic in my experience. Here we go:

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RDS 2012 Session Host Licensing and you

This past week, our managed services team at OrcsWeb ran into an issue with Remote Desktop Services 2012. We had a client setup request for RDS on their Windows Server 2012 machine. We were to install the Session Host, Web, and Service Broker roles. This server was to point to our existing 2008 R2 RDS Licensed server. This 2008 R2 server’s only job is to provide central point of management for RDS CALs.

A Windows Server 2012 box cannot point to anything but another Windows Server 2012 box for licensing. This was not an issue, we just stood up a Server 2012 box to replace our 2008 R2 RDS box, where its only role would be a license server.

Once the new server was up and running, RDS licensing role installed, configured and validated with CALs for our server versions, including Server 2012 RDS, we attempted to point our RDS session host installation to the new licensing server.

To do this, I launched Server Manager, selected Remote Deaktop Services from the left panel, in the Role section I selected Overview, then selected the tasks drop down in Deployment Overview and selected Edit Deployment Properties.

RDS screenshot

I then went to the RD Licensing section to add my license server. I added my licensing server via FQDN, and was promptly greeted with an error message.

“The license server specified is not valid. Verify the server name and specify a valid server name before saving the settings.”

RDS Lic Error Msg

MS TechEd 2013

This year I was given the opportunity to attend and experience TechEd North America in New Orleans June 2-6. This was my first time attending and I was not quite sure what to expect. Could the assembling of so many nerds in one city be a good idea? As it turns out, this is an awesome idea.

 

The trip didn’t get off to the smoothest start. On Sunday I was set to take a flight from Charlotte > Houston > New Orleans. Unfortunately the flight departing Charlotte was delayed for 30 minutes and ended up being about two hours delayed in total. When you’ve got a connecting flight, the last thing you want is a delay of your first flight; however, during this time I started making conversation with the only other person headed to New Orleans, who was also heading to TechEd. I was chatting with Brien Posey. I didn’t know it at the time, but he is a 10-time MVP and freelance technical writer. We had a nice conversation, he’s a great guy, and after looking around a bit I’ve read some of his articles I just didn’t place the name with the articles when we were talking.

 

The flight from Houston > New Orleans was also delayed, but when we landed I only had 20 minutes to catch the flight, no time for lunch! Once aboard I jumped in on a conversation between Brien and a Duke Energy employee, turns out the Duke Employee knows a good friend of mine who also works at Duke in Charlotte on the Active Directory team. It’s a small world. Before I knew it I was in New Orleans and getting dropped off at the Renaissance Pere Marquette.

Adding or Replacing NICs in CentOS 6.x

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During a project I am working on, I had to replace the NICs in my Dell blade servers running CentOS 6.4 minimal installation.

 

Here was my scenario:

Dell M600/610 blade servers. 2x onboard Broadcom NICs, 4x Broadcom NICs via mezz slot.

I replaced the Broadcom mezzanine quad-port card with an Intel quad-port card , due to a problem with Broadcom drivers and my application.

 

Most of my sysadm experience is working with Windows server and Windows to its credit handles this change very well; however with CentOS, especially the minimal installation server I have, it is not as intuitive. After some quick searching I found some information on how to do this. I did not find a guide per se and I have some iSCSI configuration as well which needed attention. Here is how I did this, hopefully someone will find my experience helpful.

 

I assume that you have replaced your NIC and are trying to set it up in CentOS.

 

The first thing you should do is take a look at all of your current ifcfg files and make backup notes on the interfaces before doing anything else.

 

# cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts
# ls

 

Take a look at all of the ifcfg-xxx files in the directory. The quickest way to get a backup of your text files would be to display the file and copy and paste the contents (listing the full path just in case):

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