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…
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:
Today was my son Addison’s 6th birthday party, where we had an incredible setup by my wife utilizing a Skylanders theme. It’s amazing to think he’s already six! I told my wife that she is getting old, but she just reminded me to look in the mirror at my bald head (Wife – 1 Gabe…
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.
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.”
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.
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
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):
I ran into an issue the other day while deploying a new VM in our Server 2012 development Hyper-V environment. I went through the new VM creation wizard, setting my folder paths, NIC, default memory at 512MB. I also specified that I wanted to install my OS via network installation in the wizard as I…
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.
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:
Thanks to a very helpful blog from Jessica over at Cytanium, I have setup FREE email accounts for my domain, gabrielbeaver.me over at Outlook.com. I can create up to 50 email accounts and each will have full email, EAS, and 7GB SkyDrive storage for each user. To see how to setup email for your custom…
Here is my quick Lumia 900 story. I walked into an ATT store in April this year to kill some time while waiting for some take out next door (Sticky Fingers, that place is awesome!). While walking around I noticed the Nokia Lumia 900 device, the first Windows Phone I had ever seen in person, seriously! I had heard some buzz about the device online, saw some advertisements, and decided to take a look at it. First impressions, the OS was much faster than my iPhone4, I thought the People Hub made sense, the Nokia Maps and Local Scout were nice features. It even had MS office integrated to work with SkyDrive (OneNote! iPhone app had corrupted some notes). I thought the email layout was much better. I did a little research on the net later that night, and decided to purchase next day and let my kids play games on my iPhone.
During the next several weeks buzz started to stir up about Windows Phone 8 (WP8). At first I didn’t pay much attention. I figured my Lumia 900 is only a few weeks old, shouldn’t be a problem. As more and more information started to funnel out through tech sites, blogs, and wpcentral, it started becoming more clear that I may have bought a phone that, while great in its own right, would be in a dead platform in six short months from release.
Eventually it came out that, no my Lumia would not be able to upgrade to WP8. There would be all new hardware for WP8, including a new Nokia Lumia 920 with wireless charging, a better camera, a new OS, and for the same price I paid 6 months ago. Oh and by the way, you aren’t eligible for a phone upgrade for another 14 months. If I just would have waited! But alas I didn’t know. I still enjoyed the Lumia 900, but it soured me a bit that I couldn’t upgrade and take advantage of the new features.