Click an Ad

If you find this blog helpful, please support me by clicking an ad!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So busy with the new job!

So I've been at the new job almost a month now. I'm a "Technical Analyst" now as opposed to a "Network Administrator", and before I took the job I was concerned with how my resume would look in a few years time (petty, I know), but I really couldn't care less at this point; I'm glad I took the plunge. I'm in a much bigger environment, which is intimidating, but I'm not really in charge of the network, so that's ok. I'm in charge of a few pretty neat projects right now:

  • Implementing a patching procedure - these guys have been short staffed for a while, and we need to get caught up, the work needs to get spread evenly, and dependencies need to be better identified.
  • Learning all about our SAN. I haven't ever really worked with a SAN, so this is kind of a biggie.
  • Reworking the backups. They're failing too often and taking too long. I hate Backup Exec..... I'm going to implement Veeam for the virtual servers. Love Veeam!!! Long term, that'll enable us to easily replicate production servers into a lab environment, which is going to be necessary because.....
  • Moving the domain controllers to Windows Server 2008 R2 from 2003. Most of my mad AD Powershell skillz are languishing because our DC's are so old and I can't talk to AD with Powershell. I know, I know, I could install some things and make it work, but my time is stretched so thin that if I'm going to spend any amount of time on it then I might as well kill two birds with one stone.
  • That said, I did make a very nice Powershell script the other day that backs up a SQL database, moves it to another SQL server, restores it to the SQL instance there, and then runs a database consistency check on it (emailing the results of course). I might write out what I did in a subsequent blog post, but the script's a doozy. I'm also working on consolidating our SQL servers. They've bred like rabbits here - every app needs it own SQL box. Not on my watch!
  • I'm in charge of our VMware infrastructure now. The first thing I did was to run vCheck, which is an automating powershell script (a ton of them actually) that I picked up here to check for common misconfigurations and looming problems. Then, I got a 30-day trial for Veeam ONE (Veeam's monitoring and alerting software) to get a handle on performance and other issues. I'm finally getting a handle on the enormity of the stuff I need to clean up. Here's a tip: when you create a new VM, don't give it a ton of CPUs. I have a server with 8 vCPUs that isn't doing jack, except slowing everything else down. From what I've read, if your VM has X vCPUs assigned to it, it needs to wait until that many physical CPUs are free before it can get seom CPU time.
  • I'm working on moving from our current helpdesk software, TrackIT, to Spiceworks, which just RTM'd version 6.0. We want to use Spiceworks for inventory tracking, helpdesk, and monitoring (although I admit to having my doubts on that use). I haven't dealt too deeply into this project yet.
So, I'll post again soon, and maybe I'll do a write up of that SQL script I mentioned above....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trouble Syncing Samsung Galaxy S2 with Exchange ActiveSync

Trouble Syncing Samsung Galaxy S2 with Exchange ActiveSync

I had no amount of trouble syncing my phone (Samsung Galaxy S2 from Sprint) with my new employer's Exchange ActiveSync. I would put in all of the info, and it would seem to take it, but my email never showed up in the email client. After much unsuccessful googling, I found out about an online tool that Microsoft offers called Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer. You tell it what you want to test, plug in your credentials, and it tests the path all of the way in to your actual mailbox and tells you where the connection messes up. In my case, it even linked to a handy Technet article that told me step-by-step how to remedy the problem. The problem was one little checkbox in Active Directory on my user account. Apparently, the problem takes root when a user account is a member of a protected group, such as "Domain Admins". This causes some ACLs to be set up differently and makes trouble for ActiveSync. You can find the Technet article here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mounting VMDK Files as a Drive Letter

Mounting VMDK Files as a Drive Letter

Wow, no posts in 14 days. I started this blog hoping to post every day, but it's just not going to happen with the new job and everything. So one of our application servers blew up, due to running out of space when doing updates. I needed some files off of the server, because the backups are all screwed up (well, they work, but they aren't friendly to access at all and I had all kinds of problems getting the .NET framework in place to, in turn, get the Backup Exec agent installed so that I could fail multiple times to run restore jobs). Today I learned that you can take a vmdk file and mount it under Windows! I installed the VMware Virtual Disk SDK, and then used vmware-mount.exe to mount it and explore as a normal file system. Worked like a charm!