Co-Host Wanted for a Technical Podcast

Thanks for taking the time to visit this page.

I am looking out for a Co-Host in Europe to be part of a new podcast venture.

I would like to start a new podcast that focuses on the life around servers and networking. I believe there is a gap in the market as I have yet to find one in the format I like.

It would be based on servers mainly Microsoft, Virtualization and networking (wan, lan and firewalls) being used in small to medium business and in the enterprise.

I am hoping to record a show every two week where we discuses a bit of theory, maybe some tutorials, stories from the trenches

This may suit someone who is  working on an IT helpdesk for a company and wants to move in to server admin or a fellow tech who works with Microsoft servers daily.

I have done one show so far which is part of Podnutz Network: http://www.podnutz.com/tss012 but would like to do more but the problem is I am based in the UK and it is hard to schedule with the guy in America. So this is why I am looking for some one base in Europe to make scheduling easier.

I am afraid you will not get paid. I am just doing to give  something back IT community and to help my presentation skills. But hope you will get something out of being part of the podcast

All you will need is a good mic. But we can discuss this more if you get in touch.

If you would  like to join me on this venture you can email me at alchristman @ googlemail.com or contact me on google plus  or fellow me if you would like to keep updated on the podcast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Processing order of Group policy

1:/Deafult (the original windows settings)

2:/ Local Group Policy object

3:/ Site

3:/ Domain

4:/OU (Highest in the Active Directory hierarchy are processed first)

The last group policy applied is the settings which are applied to the computer or user.

Enabling a Block Inherence on a OU stop any group policy above the this OU being applied. (Some Default Domain policy security settings are allowed to be applied)

Setting enforced on group policy overwrites any below group policy object and ignores Block inherence set on an OU.

Loop back policy,This can be applied on a OU via a group policy. Then this group policy is applied last,This is handy when you want to set user setting only to be applied to a user when then log on to a terminal server.

 

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Understanding HP Smart Array

HP Array cards which have no BBWC only support Raid 0 and 1.

If you add a BBWC(Battery-backed write cache) it add extra memory to the cache and provides battery backup so if you lose power to the server. The data is saved in the cache which had not been written to the disk at the time of the power failure . When the power is restored to the server the raid controller continues where it left off and writes the data to the disk.

Adding a BBWC improves the performance of the raid via Array Accelerator and also provides:

  • Online RAID level migration
  • Online stripe size migration
  • Online array expansion
  • Online logical drive extension
  • Online drive firmware upgrade

To Check if you have a BBWC installed  run the following comand:

ctrl slot=1 show

Smart Array P400 in Slot 1
Bus Interface: PCI
Slot: 1
Serial Number:
Cache Serial Number:
RAID 6 (ADG) Status: Enabled
Controller Status: OK
Hardware Revision: Rev D
Firmware Version: 7.08
Rebuild Priority: Medium
Expand Priority: Medium
Surface Scan Delay: 15 secs
Surface Scan Mode: Idle
Wait for Cache Room: Disabled
Surface Analysis Inconsistency Notification: Disabled
Post Prompt Timeout: 0 secs
Cache Board Present: True
Cache Status: OK
Accelerator Ratio: 25% Read / 75% Write
Drive Write Cache: Disabled
Total Cache Size: 512 MB
No-Battery Write Cache: Disabled
Cache Backup Power Source: Batteries
Battery/Capacitor Count: 1
Battery/Capacitor Status: OK
SATA NCQ Supported: True

You can see the text in red show it has a Battery and Cache module installed and the Accelerator Ratio.

Also to see the Array Accelerator is enable on the Logiacl drive run the following command:

ctrl slot=1 ld 1 show detail

Smart Array P400 in Slot 1

array A

Logical Drive: 1
Size: 136.7 GB
Fault Tolerance: RAID 1
Heads: 255
Sectors Per Track: 32
Cylinders: 35132
Strip Size: 128 KB
Status: OK
Array Accelerator: Enabled

To do any task which you require a BBWC, make sure you have a battery present and is fully charged if you not you can not perform any of these task.

You may also notice that two options are  Drive Write Cache: and No-Battery Write Cache which are disabled. The following describes them:

Drive Write Cache: If enable means the array will use the onboard cache on the hard drive. It will write the data here first and then to the disk. If the server is not procted via UPS and looses power. Data in the cache will be lost and cause data corruption on the hard drive.

No-Battery Write Cache:If you have no battery installed or it is failed you can enable this feature to use the on-board cache of the raid controller.But if  the server is not protected via UPS and looses power. Data in the cache will be lost and cause data corruption on the hard drive.

There is a good article which describe this better:http://www.tricksguide.com/how-to-expand-array-extend-logical-drive-raid-hp-acu.html

 

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Useful ACU CLi Commands

Show the phyiscal and logical drives:

ctrl slot=1 show config

Output:

Smart Array P400 in Slot 1 (sn:n/A)

array A (SAS, Unused Space: 0 MB)
logicaldrive 1 (136.7 GB, RAID 1, OK)

physicaldrive 2I:1:1 (port 2I:box 1:bay 1, SAS, 146 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 2I:1:2 (port 2I:box 1:bay 2, SAS, 146 GB, OK)

unassigned

physicaldrive 2I:1:3 (port 2I:box 1:bay 3, SAS, 146 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 2I:1:4 (port 2I:box 1:bay 4, SAS, 146 GB, OK)

Show the details about the controller

ctrl slot=1 show

Smart Array P400 in Slot 1
Bus Interface: PCI
Slot: 1
Serial Number:
Cache Serial Number:
RAID 6 (ADG) Status: Enabled
Controller Status: OK
Hardware Revision: Rev D
Firmware Version: 7.08
Rebuild Priority: Medium
Expand Priority: Medium
Surface Scan Delay: 15 secs
Surface Scan Mode: Idle
Wait for Cache Room: Disabled
Surface Analysis Inconsistency Notification: Disabled
Post Prompt Timeout: 0 secs
Cache Board Present: True
Cache Status: OK
Accelerator Ratio: 25% Read / 75% Write
Drive Write Cache: Disabled
Total Cache Size: 512 MB
No-Battery Write Cache: Disabled
Cache Backup Power Source: Batteries
Battery/Capacitor Count: 1
Battery/Capacitor Status: OK
SATA NCQ Supported: True

Show the details about the Logical Disks

ctrl slot=1 ld 1 show detail

Smart Array P400 in Slot 1

array A

Logical Drive: 1
Size: 136.7 GB
Fault Tolerance: RAID 1
Heads: 255
Sectors Per Track: 32
Cylinders: 35132
Strip Size: 128 KB
Status: OK
Array Accelerator: Enabled
Unique Identifier: 600508B1001046395656433041330009
Mount Points: None
Logical Drive Label: A0003B20P61620F9VVC0A313FC
Mirror Group 0:
physicaldrive 2I:1:2 (port 2I:box 1:bay 2, SAS, 146 GB, OK)
Mirror Group 1:
physicaldrive 2I:1:1 (port 2I:box 1:bay 1, SAS, 146 GB, OK)

Show a Detailed config of the Array, Logical Drives and Physical Drives

controller all show config detail

Smart Array P400 in Slot 1
Bus Interface: PCI
Slot: 1
Serial Number:
Cache Serial Number:
RAID 6 (ADG) Status: Enabled
Controller Status: OK
Hardware Revision: Rev D
Firmware Version: 7.08
Rebuild Priority: Medium
Expand Priority: Medium
Surface Scan Delay: 15 secs
Surface Scan Mode: Idle
Wait for Cache Room: Disabled
Surface Analysis Inconsistency Notification: Disabled
Post Prompt Timeout: 0 secs
Cache Board Present: True
Cache Status: OK
Accelerator Ratio: 25% Read / 75% Write
Drive Write Cache: Disabled
Total Cache Size: 512 MB
No-Battery Write Cache: Disabled
Cache Backup Power Source: Batteries
Battery/Capacitor Count: 1
Battery/Capacitor Status: OK
SATA NCQ Supported: True

Array: A
Interface Type: SAS
Unused Space: 0 MB
Status: OK

 

Logical Drive: 1
Size: 136.7 GB
Fault Tolerance: RAID 1
Heads: 255
Sectors Per Track: 32
Cylinders: 35132
Strip Size: 128 KB
Status: OK
Array Accelerator: Enabled
Unique Identifier:
Mount Points: None
Logical Drive Label:
Mirror Group 0:
physicaldrive 2I:1:2 (port 2I:box 1:bay 2, SAS, 146 GB, OK)
Mirror Group 1:
physicaldrive 2I:1:1 (port 2I:box 1:bay 1, SAS, 146 GB, OK)

physicaldrive 2I:1:1
Port: 2I
Box: 1
Bay: 1
Status: OK
Drive Type: Data Drive
Interface Type: SAS
Size: 146 GB
Rotational Speed: 10000
Firmware Revision: HPDD
Serial Number: 3
Model: HP EG0146FAWHU
Current Temperature (C): 30
Maximum Temperature (C): 36
PHY Count: 2
PHY Transfer Rate: Unknown, Unknown

physicaldrive 2I:1:2
Port: 2I
Box: 1
Bay: 2
Status: OK
Drive Type: Data Drive
Interface Type: SAS
Size: 146 GB
Rotational Speed: 10000
Firmware Revision: HPDD
Serial Number:
Model: HP EG0146FAWHU
Current Temperature (C): 30
Maximum Temperature (C): 36
PHY Count: 2
PHY Transfer Rate: Unknown, Unknown
Array: B
Interface Type: SAS
Unused Space: 0 MB
Status: OK

 

Logical Drive: 2
Size: 136.7 GB
Fault Tolerance: RAID 1
Heads: 255
Sectors Per Track: 32
Cylinders: 35132
Strip Size: 128 KB
Status: OK
Array Accelerator: Enabled
Unique Identifier:
Mount Points: None
Logical Drive Label:
Mirror Group 0:
physicaldrive 2I:1:4 (port 2I:box 1:bay 4, SAS, 146 GB, OK)
Mirror Group 1:
physicaldrive 2I:1:3 (port 2I:box 1:bay 3, SAS, 146 GB, OK)

physicaldrive 2I:1:3
Port: 2I
Box: 1
Bay: 3
Status: OK
Drive Type: Data Drive
Interface Type: SAS
Size: 146 GB
Rotational Speed: 10000
Firmware Revision: HPDD
Serial Number:
Model: HP
Current Temperature (C): 30
Maximum Temperature (C): 37
PHY Count: 2
PHY Transfer Rate: Unknown, Unknown

physicaldrive 2I:1:4
Port: 2I
Box: 1
Bay: 4
Status: OK
Drive Type: Data Drive
Interface Type: SAS
Size: 146 GB
Rotational Speed: 10000
Firmware Revision: HPD6
Serial Number:
Model: HP DG0146FARVU
Current Temperature (C): 29
Maximum Temperature (C): 36
PHY Count: 2
PHY Transfer Rate: Unknown, Unknown

Remove Spare from Array A Logical Disk 1

ctrl slot=1 array A ld 1 remove spares=all

Create Logical Disk with all unassigned disks

ctrl slot=1 create type=ld

For more detail guide visit:

http://people.freebsd.org/~jcagle/hpacucli-readme

 

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Running ACU CLI on ESXi 4.1

See this Great link

http://v-front.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-run-hp-online-acu-cli-for-linux.html

My quick Tip

Copy the ACU folder to ESXi via Datastore Browsers. SSH on to device, and Change to the directory in the VMFS store where you upload the ACU folder.

Run the following command to fix the permission issue:

. ./fix4esxi.sh (Remember the space between the two full stop)

To start ACU CLI run the following command:

./hpacucli

 

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List running processes VMware ESXi 4.1 – hpacucli

On Esxi 4.1 and you are running hpacucli command line to manage array on a HP smart raid card.

If you session get discounted while you run  hpacucli. When you reconnect to host and try run the command again it will saying the process is already running. Run the following command to find the Process ID (PID):

ps | grep hpacucli

Once you have the PID run the ‘Kill’ command followed by the PID. To kill the process, you should then be able to run the  hpacucli command.

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vSphere 5.1 single sign on SQL named instance error

I have been testing upgrading vSphere 5.0 to 5.1, The first prerequisite is that you need to install VMware Single Sign On.

When you install this you can either use the built in SOL express or use full blown sql and then create your own database as describe in the user guide.

If you are using the SQL default instance  the install works fine. But if you are using a  SQL named instance like I was(testvc01\testsql) I could not get the setup to get past the database information screen, I could not get it talk to my  SQL named instance using  JDBC. Single Sign On uses JDBC and not DSN like vSphere and Update Manager to speak to SQL

I could not find any documentation from vmmare if the single sign on supports  SQL named instances. I found something that  it does not support SQL cluster database.

But after trial and error found out that from looking at the logs, it was get a connection refused error on port 1433. Doing  a

netstat -an |find /i "listening"

there was nothing listing on that port. Only the default instances of the SQL uses that port. All SQL named instance uses a dynamic port. If you use “SQL Server Configuration Manager”  look under Protocols  for that instance, Doube click on the TCP/IP, Then click on IP address tab and scroll down to the bottom it shown you the dymanitc port the name instance is using dynamic port in my case 49325.

On the datebase information screen, change the port from to 1433 to 49325. Making sure you have entered the FQDN of the sqlserver,Database name,Username and Password. You will be able to click next and get to the next page.

Obviously this a dynamic port which mean that it may change on the server when it get rebooted or when then the service is restarted. You can set a static port manually. Go back to the same place in “SQL Server Configuration Manager”  as before and scroll down to the bottom and you can enter a static port under used port into  the “TCP Port”. I chose 1435. Just stop and start the sql service to make the change happen.

 

 

 

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Rename Folder VMware Datastore Browser

If you need to rename a folder in vmware via Datastore Browser. In my case I copy a Virtual Machine folder to a new VMFS volume and wanted to rename the original folder for the rollback plan encase anything went wrong.

If you try and right click the folder on the left hand side pane to rename it. There  no option to rename it.

Dont worry you can select the top level folder (/) on the left hand pane so that you can see the folder on the right hand pane. Right click the folder and the option is there to rename it.

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Update rollup 2 for Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 (KB2661854) ended prematurely

When you are trying to install Update rollup 2 for Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2. The setup will stop and display the above image.

This is due to UAC and you will need to run the update as administrator. You normally do this by right click the exe and select “run as administrator”

But this can be as this update is not a exe but a msp file.

To fix:

I have download the update rollup to c:\installs

1)Run a command prompt as a administrator (Find the command prompt in the start menu and right click it and select “Run as administrator”)

2) Change to the installs directory and execute “Exchange2010KB2661854-x64-en.msp”

The update rollup should install successfully. It make take a long to complete as is has to generate a lot of .net code and images

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HP Insight Deployment (RDP) and Sysprep not using the Correct servername when deploying Windows 2008 R2

If you are using HP Insight control 6.3/7 to deploy server via the Deployment console (Symantec Altiris) and deploying a windows 2008 R2 sysprep image with a image you have already capture. Once the job has completed it has not deployed any of the information from the sysprep xml file.The main thing you will notice is that the server has keep the server name of the original server which was imaged and the computer object in  Deployment console will change from the name you have chose to name of the original imaged server.Also you will get prompted to set the password for the Administrator.

There seem to be a bug in Version 6.9 SP5 MR1. The standard sysprep image job does not copy the sysprep.xml to the correct locations. The Job renames the sysprep.xml to a unattend.xml file and places it in %WINDIR%\System32\Sysprep directory. The problem is that when the sysprep job get to stage where it looks for the answer file for the windows setup, it looks for the unattend.xml file in the %WINDIR%\Panther directory.

When you run a capture image job to be use with a sysprep job. The system which is to be imaged is put in a sysprep mode so that it is ready to be imaged and then can deployed using sysprep. Before it is imaged the job inject a system built  unattend.xml in %WINDIR%\Panther director. So once the system has been imaged and has been rebooted it can turn the machine back to it pre sysprep state. The one thing it can’t do it guess the password and that why you are required to change the password for the administrator account.

To Fix this you first need to add a task and to the job after the system has deployed imaged so that it copy the file to the right location.

1)Using a Image explorer tool to browse the system iamge file to delete the unattend.xml file in the follow location:

%WINDIR%\Panther

%WINDIR%\System32\Sysprep

2)Create a batch file in C:\Program Files\HP\RDP\Deployment Server called copyunattend.bat. Enter the following information assuming you c:\ drive is you system drive.

copy C:\windows\system32\sysprep\unattend.xml C:\windows\panther

3)Edit the sysprep job and add a new “run script” task

4)Select “Run the script from a file” and select the copyunattend.bat and make sure “windows” selected in the bottom box and click next

5)Select “Automation pre-book environment” and chose “WinPE Managed (64 Bit)” and click next.

6) Click next and click finish on the last windows.

7)The Task will be placed at the bottom of list you will need to move the task so it run after the “Distribute Disk Image”

This is also you should have to do.

There is seem to be no fix from HP or Symantec yet.

I found out about this issue form here:

 http://www.symantec.com/connect/forums/ds69-sp5-sysprep-deploy-jobs-not-taking-altiris-agent-names

 

 

 

 

 

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