WP_20151112_10_34_28_RawAs part of an ongoing project to improve the room today we’ve been installing a set of rails for a pair of Dell PowerEdge T430 servers. You may have noticed the ‘T’ in the T430 to indicate they are tower servers but Dell provides a 5U rack conversion kit which is pretty easy to install.

One small question came up while putting the rails in – ‘Where do I mount the rails in relation to the 5U of space in the rack?’ to answer that question the bottom of the rails go at the bottom of the 5Us of space. Hopefully the image to the right illustrates this better!

This is how your folder should look once updated

This is how your folder should look once updated

Following from Automated backup for your network switches with WinSCP and PowerShell you can take things one step further and with a little more PowerShell its possible to get email reports on any changes between switch configs.

This kind of setup would be useful for any sized organisation who have a need to ensure changes are logged or want to ensure that no one has maliciously changed a configuration.

Make sure you edit lines 6-8 with your SMTP details

Make sure you edit lines 6-8 with your SMTP details

The setup is simple, just as with the automated backup these will need to be extracted to your C:\Network Switch Backup folder which should look something like the screenshot to the right once done.

I’ve also included an updated .cmd file which calls the Backup Network Switches.ps1 script and then the Compare Configs.ps1 script in turn.

  Network Switch Change Log (1.6 KiB, 28 hits)

There is plenty of description within the PowerShell file; even a little error handling as well! Be sure to edit lines 6-8 with your SMTP settings.

Procurve 5406R zl2Although it may not be the most glamorous side of IT every sysadmin will appreciate the value of a rock solid backup system. All too often though these systems do not extend down to the ’embedded’ systems like network switches and firewalls.

However with a little WinSCP (and its fantastic .NET assembly automation package) and PowerShell combined its pretty easy to cook up something that is 100% less of the cost of any management solution.

This guide shows how to setup the backup of a HP ProCurve switch (I’ve tested it with the ProCurve 8200 series, 5400 series the 2920s, a 2626 and a 2530 all of which were running the most recent firmware) although it should be a simple matter of changing the relevant paths to make it work with other manufacturers kit (e.g. Cisco).

1Download Source Files

First up grab the source files from the link below and extract the contents to C:\Network Switch Backup (you can use any other path but will just need to update the paths inside the PowerShell) you should then have a folder which contains a .cmd file, a .ps1, a sample .csv and a sub folder called Backups.

  Network Switch Backup (1.7 KiB, 63 hits)

Getting your Switch ready and filling out the CSV

Each switch will now need ip ssh and ip ssh filetransfer running on it through the CLI (if its not already setup); be sure to set a manager password (if you haven’t done so already!) as well. In addition you will need to find the Server host key fingerprint for each switch; the screen shots below show one way of doing this.

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Have been having a bit of an interesting issue over the past few weeks whereby our Hyper-V Hosts (Dell T430 Tower Servers) would loose network connectivity at seemingly random intervals; the only resolution was to restart the server or to remove and replace the network cable.

After much investigation looking at the servers and associated network switch we discovered that only the Virtual Switches attached to the on board Broadcom NetXtreme adapters were having issues and that the Intel PCI card NICs were not.

That soon lead onto Microsoft KB 2986895 which relieved a known bug in the drivers for the Broadcom adapters that messed up the Virtual Machine Queues (VMQ) feature of Hyper-V causing a loss in network connectivity. The fix is either to update the driver to a version that does not have the issue or to disable VMQ.

More details can be found in this Microsoft KB… https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2986895

Having recently jumped into the world of Windows 10 IoT the first stumbling point seems to be Installing an app (which has multiple dependencies) onto my Rasberry Pi 2 Model B using the AppX Manager.

In particular after selecting the AppX file, the Certificate and listing out the Dependencies I get the error:

Commit deployment

Error source: <appx file>.appx

Error code: 0x80004005

The solution quite luckily is rather simple in that you should install the Dependencies using the AppX part of the Install app section first and then just install the .appx file and the certificate. See the screen shots below for more details…

A typical issue for administrators of small server rooms (perhaps only one or two racks) is keeping cables tidy between servers (which have their network ports on the back) and network switches (which have their network ports on the front).

One way of reducing this problem is to have a patch panel at the front of the cabinet and a patch panel at the rear; this way your patch leads can be significantly shorter as well as making it easier to trace cables. In my implementation of this design the final 6 ports of the rear patch panel are dedicated to the KVM (which uses a USB/VGA to network cable adapter) to further simplify the cabling.

The photos and Visio drawing below show how things are organised now and how they will be in the not so distant future with up to 4Us of space allowed for a network switch directly above the front server patch panel.

In this post we’ll cover the Configuration of Network Settings and setup of Remote Management for a Hyper-V 2012 R2 Server which will be managed from a Windows 10 Enterprise PC.

There are quite a few steps to go through for this part of the configuration of the Hyper-V deployment however a number of these steps can be applied to the servers through Group Policy and thus removing the need to repeat them again.

First up we will configure the management network adapter and domain join the Hyper-V host…

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Credit to PACKT publishing

After a fair few months of work and with support from the team at PACKT my new book (Microsoft Application Virtualization Cookbook) is out on sale.

With over 60 recipes for the practical application of Microsoft Application Virtualization (Version 5) from every angle including…

  • Setting up your first App-V infrastructure
  • Deploying the software clients and prerequisites
  • Sequencing applications into packages
  • Publishing applications and connection groups to your clients
  • Integrating with XenDesktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services and System Centre Configuration Manager
  • and lots more!
 The book is available in both Print and eBook form and can be ordered from PACKT publishing at this link – https://www.packtpub.com/virtualization-and-cloud/microsoft-application-virtualization-cookbook.

RDP or SSHEver wanted to jump right into a SSH session from an item that you’ve seen in the PRTG Enterprise Console? By setting up a Device Tool its all too easy to do by just clicking on the device and pressing a function key on your keyboard.

Note that the Device Tool feature of the Enterprise Console can be used for a lot more than just setting up SSH sessions; for example I have modified the out of the box RDP connection to have a set height and width of the window or you could configure another new Device Tool to start a remote PowerShell session from a key press.

Either way here’s how to set it up for SSH…


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