Cisco ASA to Redundant Amazon Virtual Gateways

As part of my day to day duties as a “Systems Administrator”, I configure site-to-site VPN tunnels from my company’s hosted devices, to remote endpoints of all types. The most common scenario being IPSec VPN tunnels, with the endpoints on my side being a Fortigate and Cisco ASA devices. Our team has done well over…

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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CentOS 6.x and Dell md3000i Setup Guide

UPDATE 06/20/2013 – Included steps to update Dell Firmware and BIOS. I also updated when to setup the /etc/mulitpath.conf file, updated the order of some software install steps and fixed some formatting and mistakes to make the process more smooth.

UPDATE 03/30/2013 – The original post used older tools to try and make this work. I had issues with multipath and decided to call Dell as my MD3000i was still in warranty. While they would NOT support this or my OS, they did offer me the latest Resource CD and answered a few questions along the way. Thanks to their help, and various blogs on the interwebs, I can confidently setup CentOS 6.4 to a Dell MD3000i utilizing MPIO. I’ve also submitted this blog to my technician, along with my /etc/multipath.conf file to share with the Dell ESS team should any other Dell customers inquire on this setup, they would have a reference. I’ve successfully setup three different Dell servers using this procedure.

Recently I worked on a project to stand up a CentOS based XEN environment using Dell hardware. I’ve used Linux in the past, mostly on test machines and for specific software vendor builds. My experience and day-to-day in my career has been in Windows Server administration, so I decided to extensively document my configuration and experience during the setup over a series of posts.

The hardware involved (minus switching, Cisco) in this project is all Dell, specifically, Dell PE servers (M600’s) and a Dell MD3000i. The XEN servers will be utilizing the iSCSI space for 3.8TB of R10 storage.We are using some specialty software that requires the use of CentOS, so the base OS for these boxes will be CentOS 6.4. By choosing CentOS 6, this will allow us to use XEN v4.

Dell supports RHEL6, so they inadvertently support CentOS 6 as well; however, the md3000i product is EOL, no further firmware updates have been released, and the resources will not officially support RHEL6. I documented my setup and configuration of the host components as I went and turned it into this guide so that anyone searching for help with this particular setup may be helped.

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/os-applications/w/wiki/red-hat.aspx

 

Before beginning this guide, I assume that you have your server built fresh and are ready to begin configuration. Need help installing CentOS 6? You can find the ISO here:

http://isoredirect.centos.org/centos/6/isos/x86_64/

Protect Your PC and Block Ads with HOSTS file

These days annoying advertisements, popups, and spyware are still alive and quite well. Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer have some good built-in Pop-up blockers and available plug-ins, but they don’t always catch everything, especially advertisements. There are many software products and plug-ins out there that promise to help keep you safe and block known bad…

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