Bhargav's IT Playground

Installing VMWARE vCenter Server Appliance 6.0

Posted by in VMware

As I finally got around to installing first VMware 6.0 host in my lab environment, I decided to follow-up the installation of vCenter server appliance. This would allow me to manage the hosts I install later as well as the first host I installed moments ago. Not only that, I wanted to put in the infrastructure configuration in place before installing all the other hosts so I can achieve a level of consistency across the board. Installing vCenter server right after installing the first host would allow me to do…read more

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Free Load Balancer, wait what?

Posted by in KEMP, Load Balancing

Yes, you heard it right! KEMP Technologies provides a great load balancer for all workloads that can benefit from high availability. Today, it is making the Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) appliance available at no cost, even for production use! The free load balancer is a great offering for Development, Testing and Pre-Production environments. The free version is also supported for use in production! One of the use cases that strikes a chord with me is when I used to deliver trainings that needed use of load balancing. The training environment consists…read more

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Taking steps backwards – update BIOS on SuperMicro servers with DOS bootable

Posted by in Technology

Preface In todays’ age, you would think that when you have to update BIOS on your servers, you will be downloading an exe file and simply run it from your machine, ofcourse assuming you are running Windows on the machine. I was in for an unpleasant surprise of finding out that SuperMicro’s MicroCloud systems can only be updated using one of the two methods: Download BIOS zip file, which contains DOS executable and BIOS update bin file (which isn’t named .bin either!) Use IPMI and apply BIOS update OOB (out-of-band),…read more

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What does Heartbleed vulnerability mean to you

Posted by in Security, Technology

A lot has been said lately of Heartbleed since its announcement few days ago. However, as it goes with overload of information at times, media attention has managed to create mass confusion and hysteria on this topic. Hopefully this post will help answer some of your questions. Let’s try to break it down The Vulnerability The issue stems from a bug in OpenSSL’s implementation of TLS heartbeat extensions. While trying to optimize use of resources when decrypting/encrypting SSL traffic, programming mistake is claimed to have created this vulnerability. Such is…read more

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How to protect your KEMP LoadMaster and applications from Heartbleed bug

Posted by in KEMP, Load Balancing

If you haven’t read about heartbleed bug, it’s pretty serious one you should know about. In a nutshell it exploits OpenSSL vulnerability to read system memory of computers/machines/applicances protedted by affected versions of OpenSSL. This means a hacker can steal your encryption keys as well as see unencrypted form of traffic that was encrypted. Talk about passwords, credit cards, any information you deemed secure and trusted only to an SSL connection! You can read whole lot of gory details here: http://heartbleed.com/ If you are users of KEMP LoadMaster, you should…read more

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Gigabyte Brix – Ultra Compact PC for IT Pro’s Hyper-V lab!

Posted by in Technology

Disclaimer: I wasn’t approached by Gigabyte, neither have anyone provided me any units for review. I am just writing my experience with the unit I purchased recently. As I am getting ready for MEC 2014, I was faced with a question of how should I provide demo environment that I  need for my 3 sessions (RBAC, Exchange integration with Lync and SharePoint, and Load Balancing Exchange and Lync 2013), as well as demos out staff will be doing at our booth on exhibit floor. In the past, I have used…read more

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Mystery certification on your transcript? A freebee?

Posted by in Certification, Hyper-V, Microsoft

I received a congratulatory email from Microsoft MCP program today informing me that I was now an MCSE: Communication. Coincidentally, I had taken and passed 74-409 yesterday, but that was virtualization and system center exam which had nothing to do with Microsoft Lync! Over matter of few hours, I noticed other fellow MCMs started asking on email and it became evident I wasn’t the only one getting this surprising email! What was happening? Was Microsoft giving away certification accidentally that we did not earn? Fear not! Microsoft is not in…read more

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Routing for Hyper-V Lab – Part 2

Posted by in Hyper-V, Windows Server

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed how you can route between VMs on same host using networks connected to “Internal” virtual switch. Now let’s look at how to route between VMs when your lab consists of more than one hosts. Obviously, what I am going to cover isn’t the only way to do this but is one of many. I can certainly go on an on about all other options but I am trying to show the simplest possible one. Lab Setup For this lab, we are going…read more

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Routing for Hyper-V Lab – Part 1

Posted by in Hyper-V, Windows Server

Most of us IT Pros usually have a lab of some kind. Mostly running some form of virtualization and if you are Microsoft savvy, chances are you are running Hyper-V either on Windows 7/8 pro edition so you can carry your lab around with you or have a Windows Server with Hyper-V. When we try to mimic real world complexities in these labs, routing becomes one essential component of these labs. Most of the times we are squeezed for resources and if you are like me, you would like to…read more

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Book Review – PowerShell 3.0 Advanced Administration Handbook

Posted by in Book Review, PowerShell, Technology

Automation of mundane daily chores of any IT establishment is essential in today’s world. I would rather spend a day to automate a task that takes only 5 minutes to complete because when automated, it now can be completed in fraction of that time, repeatedly, all while removing possibility of human errors. My first automation attempts can be traced back to DOS 6.22 batch files. Albeit nothing compared to what you can achieve today with PowerShell, it was still achieving basic premise of automation. When I first got my hands…read more

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