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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Veeam 6.5 - Using It and Loving It

I've been using Veeam Backup and Replication 6.5 for a couple of weeks now with no issues, having upgrade (again, with no issues) from version 6.1. I'm not doing replication or anything fancy, just backing up some VMs, but I like it. The two biggest new features for me are the additional job scheduling choice of "Start after this other job" (which is LONG overdue - and every application that can schedule more than one task should take a page from Veeam and do it like this - just beautiful!). The other great addition is that Veeam ONE (Veeam's monitoring product, which you should totally rush out and buy) now can give you some really interesting metrics from the Veeam Backup and Replication infrastructure, such as how much data your backing up (so you can track growth!) and when you're going to run out of space, given the current backup trend in your organization. I am seeing slight improved performance, but honestly the product is so amazing to begin with (compared to something like.... uh.. Backup Exec), that I don't even care.

Another cool thing I ran across is that Veeam offers individuals certified by Microsoft or VMware a free license for "lab" use of Veeam. You can check that out here. I didn't see where they actually checked for your cert, so, uh, there's that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Organizing My Projects and Tasks

I've been struggling lately trying to find a good way to keep track of my projects. I want the ability to look back and see what I've accomplished, for resume purposes or just to remind myself of how I went about implementing something, but also as a to-do list to stay on track. Microsoft Project was a much steeper learning curve than I wanted - I am not a project manager. At my last job, the IT department shared a spreadsheet that we would pour over every week in an IT meeting. Every row would have a certain project, who was assigned to it, when it was due, and what had been done thus far towards completion. When the project was completed, there was a field to mark completion, and a macro would move it to the bottom of the list. This worked fine, but it was unwieldy to quickly find out what I needed to be working on. Prioritization. Recently, I went to an online service called This seems to be working ok, but when I complete a project there's no way to save the list for posterity. I've resorted to keeping a separate text file with projects I've completed, but it's not nearly as in-depth as I would like it to be, because I don't take the time to flesh out all of the nitty-gritty details of the sub-tasks, just the overall view. I guess I'm just sticking with until I find something better.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Purging deleted users from Public Folder ACLs (Delete NT User: Generic SIDs)

We are on Exchange 2010 and still have a ton of public folders (yes yes, we'd love them to die off, probably more than Microsoft, but what are you going to do?). We've been combing through all of our event logs, which had previously not bee done, and are resolving various error messages. One we ran across in our Exchange server's application log is:

Event ID: 2028
Transport Delivery MSExchange Public Store
The delivery of a message sent by public folder AFEFE2D3A4AAE242A27C26178911274C-000005387E74 has failed
To: Someuser

While investigating this, we found that a lot of our public folders had hanging SIDs, which are the "NT USER:S-1-5-93859384-1394871948 like entries you see on an ACL when that user has been deleted from Active Directory. 

Fixing all of these hanging SIDs from each public folder would be a nightmare if done manually (we have several hundred public folders). Powershell should be able to handle this! And did it ever. In one line:

get-publicfolder "\" -recurse -resultsize unlimited | get-publicfolderclientpermission | where {$_.user -like "NT User:S-1-*"} | % {remove-publicfolderclientpermission -identity $_.identity -user $_.user -access $_.accessrights -confirm:$true}

Monday, November 5, 2012

RIP Windows Media Center

If you've been keeping up with the new Windows 8 features, you might have read that Windows Media Center has been ripped out of the new OS. It is now available as a $39.99 add-in. Here is the Microsoft  site with instructions on how to add it, but you'll need a key. Also on this page, you can request a key, which will be free until January 31. You might scoff now, but I use Media Center to stream stuff to my XBox 360. Who know what it might do in the future? My advice: Get a key for free while you can. You probably won't use it, but who knows?