Go into any school these days and it will be hard to avoid any shiny ‘iDevices’ and in support of that I have recently deployed AirServer by App Dynamic.

The installer is provided as an MSI although our retailer suggested a command line option to deploy and activate the software for all users of the PC; a very nice idea there is a much simpler method which involves a quick modification of the downloaded MSI using Orca. For the full guide take a look at the screenshot sequence below-

One point to note is that upon installation the installer will reach out to the AirServer website to perform product activation; as in most schools a web proxy will get in the way of this however if you allow unfiltered access to 168.62.26.12 the authentication will go through without any issues.

Another point to note - make sure you have all the prerequisites installed on any machine targeted for AirServer installation. The deployment of these is outside the scope of this document however the easiest way I have found so far is to download the full iTunes installer, unzip it (with 7zip) and deploy the MSIs inside it separately.

A few days ago I went out and bought Fallout 3 having heard that its a good game to try if you like the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro series games.

However when trying to run the game or update it to the latest available patch version on my Windows 8.1 PC I kept getting the error message-

The ordinal 5359 could not be located in the dynamic link library C:\Program Files (x86)\Bethesda Softworks\Fallout 3\Fallout3.exe.

The simple and easy fix to this problem? Download, install and login to the latest Games for Windows Marketplace Client.

You can download the client from this link here – http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/Live/PC/DownloadClient.

So you now have your WebDAV server setup and its time to get this out to your users. To help you along you feel free to edit the guides below to your particular requirements.

  Using Cloud - iOS (225.4 KiB, 121 hits)

  Using Cloud - Windows Phone (196.8 KiB, 65 hits)

  Using Cloud - Windows XP (157.4 KiB, 71 hits)

  Using Cloud - OSX (193.4 KiB, 68 hits)

  Using Cloud - Windows 7 (149.3 KiB, 80 hits)

  Using Cloud - Windows Vista (166.2 KiB, 59 hits)

  Using Cloud - Windows 8 (327.6 KiB, 63 hits)

  Using Cloud with iWorks - iOS (5.1 MiB, 76 hits)

For further reading take a look at the links below-

In the previous article in this series we looked at the topology needed to setup a WebDAV infrastructure.

I’ll assume that

  • You have a public DNS record which points to a IP address on your firewall which is in turn port forwarding 443 (HTTPS) to your IIS server (this also works through Web Application Proxys like the ones built into Smoothwall firewalls)
  • You have a internal DNS record which points to the network adapter on your IIS server
  • Your IIS server has your paid (and signed) SSL certificate imported

You will also need a few server roles installed on your IIS server (you can do this through Server Manager), these are

  • Web Server (IIS)
  • WebDAV Publishing
  • Basic Authentication
  • Request Filtering
  • HTTP Logging and Logging Tools
  • IIS Management Console (unless you feel like doing everything remotely)
Server setup

So now to the fun bit! Which is all in the screen shot sequence below…

Testing

So you now have your server setup with the basics…so its time to do some testing. The screen shot sequence below shows how to connect to the WebDAV share on a Windows 8 PC.

Things you really need to test include
  • Users only have permissions to access the folders you want them to
  • You can upload/download files up to the maxium size you defined earlier
  • That you can access the share from both inside and outside your network
Next time

In the next part you can get some example user guides that I have made for my own implementation as well as some links to further reading.

Every once in a while a magical bit of software comes along that makes life so very good; today that software is WebDAV and its been around so long that some people might have forgotten how good it is.

The premise goes
  • You have one or more internal Windows Server(s) which hosts users personal documents and shared drives
  • You would like your users to access these files on any device ranging from their home PC (running say Windows 7) to their personal mobile devices (iPad)
  • You would like your users to access these files both inside and outside the firewall
  • You would like your users to access these files natively (like a mapped drive) so they don’t have to muck around with web based applications
  • You would like your users to be able to use this service with as little configuration on their part as possible
  • All while maintaining a secure and auditable system
To accomplish this you will need a few things
  • A valid paid for SSL certificate (don’t ever think you can get away with a self signed one) – personally I use a GoDaddy wildcard certificate
  • A spare Internet Information Services (IIS) Server to host the WebDAV service on
  • Depending on how things go 20 minutes
Topology

The basic topology is your clients point their WebDAV client at a DNS address which is mapped against a IP address which is port forwarded through your firewall to your IIS server which then serves requests to your file servers (clients don’t get to talk to the file servers direct). Don’t forget to setup your internal DNS to point to the internal network adapter of your IIS server as well.

Next time

In the next article I’ll run through the setup of a WebDAV server.

Thin Clients are typically used to connect to VDI/Session hosted environments using though Microsoft/Citrix/VMWare technologies but they do have their other uses…

In this post I am going to show you how to setup a 10ZiG thin client (in my case the 5872v) running their custom made Linux PeakOS that will

  • Display status maps from my PRTG network monitor server
  • Run two displays
  • Automatically display a different webpage on each display on boot up
  • Automatically power off at 5pm (after the end of the day)

So all of that is great but why would I want to use a thin client instead of a full PC to power such a display?

  • Upfront hardware cost is much cheaper and you get dual DVI as a standard (something you won’t find on most desktop PCs)
  • The software required to use the thin client in this manner is built right in – no fiddling around with scheduled tasks/group policies
  • Power consumption is lower – a thin client such as this one can draw little more than 12W when running such a display (a full desktop could be many times higher)

Want to go one step further? Higher end Windows powered thin clients like the 10ZiG 6818v and 6817v can be upgraded (at the factory) to run 4 displays off the same client, thus saving you from going with a power hungry graphics card in a full desktop PC.

sFlow - Top TalkersPRTG is by far my favoured tool for monitoring IT infrastructure. With its built in sensors you can check the PING time for a server, check that windows services are up and running or with a little tweaking monitor paper trays in a MFP (and so much more).

A recently discovered feature for me is the sFlow monitor. This tracks in near real time the flow of different types of data (e.g. SMTP/HTTP/FTP/DNS lookups) that flow through network infrastructure.

In my case the entire network is built on HP ProCurve layer 2/3 switches which makes for pretty easy setup.

To follow this guide you will need

  • The IP address of your PRTG server (in my case 172.16.8.27)
  • Admin access to your PRTG console and a ‘device’ setup for your switch
  • Admin access to your switches through Telnet/SSH (I use PuTTY to administer my switches through Telnet)
  • 5 minutes

So now that I have all of this extra info what am I to do with it? Well with the sFlow sensor setup you can…

  • See if your network infrastructure is experiencing bottlenecks…
  • …and if so where the bottleneck is and what kind of data is causing it (e.g. large file transfers)…
  • …and see what clients are causing it.

When trying to capture a Windows 8.1 (Enterprise 64bit for anyone that wants to keep track) using the System Centre Configuration Manager Capture Image ISO I kept getting the error message

Task Sequence: Image Capture Wizard has failed with the error code (0×00004005).
For more information, contact your system administrator or helpdesk operator.

The image was as normal as any other Windows 7 image that I had captured and included Office/some LOB applications. In addition I had used a powershell command to remove some of the built in Windows 8.1 apps.

As it turns out this error message was being generated by sysprep as I hadn’t removed the Windows 8 applications in the supported manner (as detailed here – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2769827).

As a work around I decided to capture the image with the apps included and then remove them as part of the SCCM task sequence.

To see how I did this take a look at the screen shot sequence below.

As some readers maybe aware I work in a Secondary School; part of working life at any school is the odd fire alarm/drill.

Looking up at my PRTG status monitor screens its quite easy to see at what time that drill happened.

Nothing more than a novelty but hey thought it was intresting to see :)

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