One of most difficult things to find (imho) is information about API and Service URL’s for just about any and all applications. Microsoft is better than some (Dell, I am looking at you…) but it can still require some metaphorical google search back flips to get to the right information.

That said… I wanted to quickly document the right mix of URL’s that must be allowed in order for Windows OS license activation to work: (more…)

The Event Viewer is a very useful tool however, like any log management solution, the biggest hurdle can be filtering out the noise and returning only the meaningful log data that you care about.

This is a follow-up on a previous article which can be viewed here: Finding Human Logins in the Windows Event Viewer – Suppressing Everything Else

One of the most common requests is seeing who has been in and out of a box. To that end, I want to expand a bit more and talk about how to filter on the following three things… Username, Event ID, and Logon Type.
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This is a quick snippet for all of you working with RDS in Server 2012+… and bemoaning the fact that Microsoft took something relatively simple and made it horribly convoluted…

In Powershell you can manually set a Session Host Server to use a specific licensing server and mode. To do so you run the following on the session host server.

$obj = gwmi -namespace "Root/CIMV2/TerminalServices" Win32_TerminalServiceSetting
$obj.SetSpecifiedLicenseServerList("servername.contoso.local")

$obj = gwmi -namespace "Root/CIMV2/TerminalServices" Win32_TerminalServiceSetting
$obj.ChangeMode(VALUE)

First two commands specify the licensing server you want. Hence change servername.contoso.local to your environment. That’s only the first half though. You then need to set the licensing mode and that is what the second two commands do. Where it says VALUE you can enter in either a “2” or a “4” depending on the type of licensing you have.

2 = Per Device
4 = Per User

Hope this saves someone else some headache… I think the MS approved way to do this is probably to use group policy but this is a quick and dirty method if you just need to get a machine working quickly.

For this tutorial I will be walking through how to use a tool called Realmd to connect an Ubuntu Server or Ubuntu Desktop system to a Windows Active Directory Domain.

In the past I wrote an article talking about how to use Powerbroker Identity Services to do the same thing, but the scope of the article was limited to the server version of Ubuntu only. Furthermore, it has since been my experience that PBIS is an unreliable solution at best.

Part of the confusion I have had on this issue in the last two years has been in thinking that there are only one or maybe two ways to make an Ubuntu Desktop/Server OS connect to a Microsoft Active Directory domain and they both used the same underlying stuff. In fact there are more like 10 different ways to do it all using a mix and match of different technologies.

Finally, I don’t like proprietary stuff. PBIS, while having a free version, was still proprietary. Today we will be using a suite of tools called SSSD. SSSD was created by Redhat and it’s opensource. Furthermore we will be using RealmD, which is a “wrapper” of sorts for SSSD that makes it easier to setup and configure. That’s the short of it. Let’s get started. (more…)

I think I have put together a pretty good solution for load balancing websites across multiple instances of IIS 8.5. I am sure my ideas aren’t novel but I am documenting them here for future reference. This isn’t meant to be a full walkthrough but rather it is me keeping notes for personal use and may be a useful springboard for admins with similar needs.

A Quick Introduction to DFSR
DFSR (Distributed File System Replication) is a Role/Feature built into Windows Server – it can be used to keep folders in-sync across multiple servers. Caveats such as replication latency mean that it might not be ideal for all use cases. DFSR is based more or less on the same technology that replicates active directory information between domain controllers. DFSR does “block level replication” which means changes made to files on one end don’t require the entire file to be re-replicated but rather just the changes. This is extremely useful if you are dealing with large “non-static” files. DFSR, I think, was introduce circa Server 2003 so it has been around for quite a while, it just wasn’t something that had really been on my radar until very recently.
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