Tag: computing

New virtual server in DMZ not accessible

​I had created a new server as a test environment for a new client of the company and configured it to reside in the DMZ with an external IP address so that people at the client could test the system from their location.

I tested connectivity to this new IP address and the server was connectable and everything seemed fine.

However one of our implementation consultants reported that he wasn’t able to access the server from his location using the IP address that I had provided to him. I tested it again and again it all appeared fine.

I then tried connecting to it from a different network outside of the company and I hit the exact same problem as my colleague had ‘TTL Expired In Transit’. So I then tried a TraceRoute to see if this revealed where the issue might be.

At first glance it appeared okay, traffic was being bounced back correctly from each router along the way. Then I saw the problem, it was because of a configuration error in our ISP’s routers which meant that traffic coming from outside of their network that was destined for the IP address I had assigned to the server was getting routed to a particular couple of routers which were then just bouncing it back and forth between the two of them until the TTL expired.

Office 365: So it begins

So setting up and configuring Office 365 is my next major project at my new company following the installation and configuration of a WSUS server.

We’ve signed up for the E1 Enterprise Plan which will gives us Sharepoint and Exchange Online. This project has been a long time in the planning and pre-dates my employment by several months and I will be liaising with one of my colleagues Jeff who has been working on the project since the start. The underlying purpose of the project is document management but there is I believe great benefits to moving our archaic email system to Exchange and having it based in the cloud gives us resiliency for Disaster Recovery (which is another of my major projects here). Jeff’s expertise is in document management so he will be overseeing the Sharepoint side of things and I will be configuring Exchange and administering my company’s entire use of Office 365.

The first part of the project was ensuring that all staff had a sufficiently up to date version of Microsoft Office on their laptop or desktop PC so I upgraded everyone that had Office 2007 or didn’t have any version of Microsoft Office to Microsoft Office 2013.

Second part of the project was creating the user accounts which was straightforward as I was able to output user account details from our Active Directory as a CSV file and then with a bit of editing to remove service accounts and format the CSV according to the guidance supplied by Microsoft I was then able to upload the edited CSV file and automate the creation of the accounts for everyone in the company.

Thirdly was adding domains and then configuring the Office 365 services to use the added domain names. This was where I hit problems. It is simple to add a domain but in order to prove ownership and configure to use the Office 365 services then certain DNS fields needed to be created and our ISP didn’t allow creation or editing of any fields other than the basic A, MX and CNAME.

Finally ideally we’d wish to use Single Sign-On through Active Directory Federation Services, but having now delved into the pre-requisites and resources required for this functionality I have decided that DirSync will provide a level of integration with Active Directory that would suit our needs.

Microsoft sticks to its guns, …

Microsoft sticks to its guns, keeps Do Not Track on by default in IE10 | Ars Technica http://t.co/9Fcvk7cR

RT @KeithMayer: Get Certified …

RT @KeithMayer: Get Certified on MCSE Private Cloud with this FREE Step-by-Step Study Guide! #sysctr #hyperv http://t.co/bU3k34mr

Does Windows 8 succeed as a tr…

Does Windows 8 succeed as a true tablet operating system? | Ars Technica http://t.co/GEhm5gO6

Michael Bender talks about the 60 Day Challenge

TrainSignal have a series of videos in which 60 Day Challenge founder, Michael Bender, explains how he developed this idea starting with the MCSE and how he envisions a community-based training framework.

Unusual IT jobs

I feel like I’ve plateaued in my current job and amongst other job adverts I stumbled across the following interesting roles.

Systems Support Officer for the Royal Household Buckingham Palace

IT Engineer – British Antarctic Survey

The first unfortunately is at a lower level than I’m looking for and the latter I would have jumped at before I met my wife, but I’m not sure I want to be away from her for a 6 month stretch.

Microsoft Surface photos

Microsoft Surface

The rumours of Microsoft launching a tablet were not unfounded however the involvement of Barnes & Noble was completely wrong.

Ars Technica were at the launch event and have a good write up on the event and the tablet that Microsoft was showcasing.

The Earth-shattering Microsoft announcement we’ve been waiting for is finally here. As several pre-event rumors suggested, Microsoft is indeed building its own tablet.

Make that two tablets. One Windows RT tablet runs an NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM processor, and the other Windows 8 Pro tablet runs Intel’s Ivy Bridge Core i5 chips. One thing that looks really cool are new magnetic covers that are quite reminiscent of Apple’s “Smart Cover” for the iPad. But they’re a lot smarter—Microsoft’s covers actually include a multitouch trackpad and a keyboard. There are two, as we explain in this story: a Touch Cover with virtual keys and a Type Cover with a tactile keyboard and touchpad.

The two tablets are both under the brand name of Surface.

$299 “Xbox 720” for 2013 according to leak

Leaked document points to $299 “Xbox 720” for 2013

Following Microsoft’s presentation at E3 there was some disappointment that there was no announcement for a replacement to the Xbox 360 console, I personally felt that there was a lot of life left in the 7 year old console.

However a leaked document (assuming that it is authentic) indicates that Microsoft has plans for a replacement to hit the stores in the holiday season of 2013.

The improved hardware will allow for “true 1080p and full 3D” output, along with flexible resizing and compositing, according to the document. The new hardware will also allow for low-powered “always on” mode, which will enable features such as a “whole home DVR” that can record shows in the background and then stream them to other devices. For game storage, the “Xbox 720” will reportedly include a Blu-ray disc drive as well as both internal Flash storage and a hard disk drive, the document says. For internet connectivity, both WiMax and HSDPA (3G) coverage are included.

In addition it will come bundled with an improved version of their Kinect system and then additional features are to be rolled out over the following few years with a move towards cloud gaming in around 2015.