Archive for the ‘Pakistan’ Category

Microsoft’s Private Cloud

June 12, 2013

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Just attended a conference; Microsoft’s Private Cloud which was an extension in regards to the TechEd 2013 event; the  Microsoft’s Premiere Event for IT Professionals & Enterprise Developers held from 3- 6 June 2013 at LA USA based on the new developments in Microsoft’s Private Cloud. So whats new? Well these are the new developments.

– R2 releases for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 instead of going towards service packs.

– Azure comming to SQL as SQL Azure.

– SQL Server 2014 release.

– Concept of Hybrid Cloud was much emphasized. Utilization of services from a private cloud plus reservations in the Public Cloud as well. But then why would I let my datacenter invest in a 2-tier solution; didn’t understood that.

– Windows Intune now avaliable for Pakistan region.

– Full focus in integrating other virtualization platforms rather than sticking to Microsoft centric approach.

– Windows 8.1 release.

 

 

VMware Standalone Converter 5.1.0: Error: Unable to obtain hardware information for the selected machine.

May 29, 2013

converter

With updating of VMware Infrastructure to 5.1; I also installed the latest Standalone Converter 5.1.0. While doing P2V conversions with Windows Server 2008 R2; I faced a few problems.

With Converter 5.1 Build 1087880: Was constantly getting the error:

Unable to obtain hardware information for the selected machine.

I made sure to follow the checklist given on VMware KB 1016330 but to no avail. Hence reverted all the changes I did according to the given list.

With Converter 5.0 Build 470252 (as used that version previously with success but with vCenter 5.0): Surpassed the initial error but when pointed to my vCenter 5.1; the Converter would stop responding and get crashed.

I then finally resolved the issue by using Converter 5.0.1 Build 875114. Worked like a charm!

I still haven’t figured it out what could be the issue!  But for now the Converter 5.0.1 is working great with vCetner 5.1 Update 1. But I did figured out the following steps bears no fruit;

  • VSS Shadow Copy service on source machine does not need to be on.
  • Third Party antivirus or backup services on source machine need not to be stopped.
  • Simple file sharing on source machine need not to be disabled.

 

LDAPS Identity Source for VMware vCenter Single Sign On 5.1

May 21, 2013

ldap-logo

Once you are done with installation of VMware vCenter 5.1; you will notice that vSphere 5.1 client wont let you login into your vCenter Server. Either you will need to configure a local admin ID on your vCenter Server or if you have an active directory (AD) running in your environment; you will need to link that to your vCenter Server i.e. by configuring an identity source.

During installation of vCenter Single Sign On 5.1; it tries to add the identity source but in my case resulted in error (Error 29155.Identity source discovery error). I then found out its the case with other users as well and also was pointed out in VMware in their KB articles. The workaround for the issue given was to add the identity source manually. Doing so I got the following errors.

[LDAP: error code 8 – 00002028: LdapErr: DSID-0C0901FC, comment: The server requires binds to turn on integrity checking if SSL\TLS are not already active on the connection, data 0, v1db1]

and

simple bind failed:yourdomain:636

These errors are due to the fact that your AD is configured to communicate over LDAPS SSL connection. Hence to register your identity source; you will need the X.509 certificate of your AD domain controller (DC). For that export the certificate of your AD but make sure its the Base-64 X509 Certificate.

Cert 03

Once imported; again add the identity source as demonstrated below.

LDAPS

Once you chose the certificate from Choose Certificate tab; make sure you get the following confirmation. If not there must be something wrong with your certificate.

certsucc

You can click on Test Connection to verify your AD connectivity.

connecsucc

If you are still facing problems in adding the identity source; make sure of he following things:

  • Your vCenter, vSphere, vSphere Web Client, vCenter SSO etc must all be installed in the same default directories.
  • Do add the port 3269 with your FQDN.
  • There must a proper forward and reverse pointer entry on your DNS for your vCenter Server.
  • Enter the complete user name for authentication e.g. user@domain.com
  • If your domain controller is behind a firewall; make sure you have configured a policy to allow vCenter traffic.

Windows Domain Controller and their Roles

December 10, 2011

I really favour Linux/Unix working environmental but sadly commercialism has engulfed our societies as the likes of Windows platforms while the former one doesn’t matter how much is rated high still lives in the shadows. And now I have to grasp the Windows lingo all along to fit in an organization. So lets learn something about Windows Domain Controller and their roles.

Before going into any details first its important to understand the differences between the following terms.

  • Active Directory: is a directory service that serves as a central location for network administration and security which is responsible for authenticating and authorizing all users and computers within a network of windows domain.
  • Forest: is the top-level container of Active Directory (AD) infrastructure. Can contain one or more domains. These domains are interconnected trough a transitive trust. A forest shares a single schema database.
  • Domain: is one level below AD forest. Can consist of one or more Organizational Units (OU). A domain shares a single administrator group and same set of objects.
  • Domain Controller: A domain can consists one or more domain controllers (DC). A DC holds a directory DB of its perspective domain. The directory DB consists of user, objects, computer objects or more.
  • Organizational Unit: is a container within a domain and is used to organize set of users and computers. It is helpful in implementing set of policies to a group, user or computer within a domain.
  • Windows DC: A server running the version of Windows Server OS and has AD installed on it and is responsible for allowing host access to Windows Domain resources.

Now coming to the roles; there are specialized DC roles that perform specific roles in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) environment. The specialized roles are:

  • Global Catalog Servers: A DC designated as a global catalog server stores the objects from all domains in a forest. This is usually the first DC in a forest. Later on other DC can be specified as global catalog servers.
  • Operations Master: This is a DC that is designated to perform specific tasks to ensure consistency and to eliminate the potential for conflicting entries in the AD DB.

AD DS defines five operation master roles called:

  1. Schema Master: Responsible for propagating changes to all DCs within a forest. Changes regarding schemas required throughout forest should be made on DC serving as schema master. There can be only one schema master in a forest at any time.
  2. Domain Naming Master: It is required to keep track of all the domains within an AD forest. The DC with domain naming master is accessed whenever domains are address/removed from a tree or forest. There can be only one domain naming master per forest. It ensures that no two domains have the same name existing in the same tree.
  3. Relative Identifier (RID): Allocates blocks of RIDs to each DC in a domain. When a DC creates a new security principal (user, group etc.) it assigns the object a unique security identifier SID. The SID contains a domain SID which us same for all the security principals created in the domain and a RID which uniquely identifies each security principal created in the domain.
  4. Primary Domain Controller (PDC) Emulator: PDC receives prefential replication of password changes that are performed by other DCs in the domain and is the source for latest password information. It’s also the default time source.
  5. Infrastructure Master: is responsible for updating object references in the domain that point to object in another domain. It updates object references locally and uses replication to being all other replicas of domain up to date. Object reference contains GUID global unique identifier, distinguished name and possible a SID. The distinguished name and SID on object reference are periodically updated to reflect changes made to actual object.

– Schema Master and Domain Naming Master performs operations that must occur on only one DC in the forest.

– PDC, RID, Infrastructure Master perform operations that must occur on only one DC in a domain.

HEC Dissolution to Provincial Level.

April 5, 2011

The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) in now dissolved to provincial level. Former chairman of  HEC and the pioneer of lucrative educational policies Dr. Atta Ur Rehman is terming this as a “National Disaster.” In an interview on a private news television channel he mentioned some the most obvious reasons for this dissolution which are:

1. To avoid degree scrutiny by our political leaders as member of the parliament needs to hold a graduate degree. The verification of these degrees was given to the HEC and as a result created a rift between the commission and the political circles.

2. To get illegal access to huge lands owned by different universities around Pakistan.

3. To further practice corruption within the education sector and to nurture respective political ideologies. As after this, it will be the provincial regulatory committees responsible for the provision of scholarships, grants and to oversee state and private universities. As a result, it would be soon that one would be able to find two-room universities in different corners of the country nurturing different political ideologies.

Now as a graduate myself in Pakistan and hoping to pursue my doctorate studies here; What do students like me fear? To start with, HEC now working as cells around Pakistan would lose its centralized transparent structure as we already have seen how incompetent our provincial structure is. Thanks to the 18th amendment of Pakistan constitution; which is dubbed to be the best thing happened to Pakistan since the 1973 constitution but only if we had a reliable strong political structure. Given the present scenario everyone is aware how dire this step is and what consequences we would be visible in few years time.

I also fear the the different grants and scholarships available to the Pakistani students from different governments and organizations around the would would be stopped. Its has been only few hours since the news of HEC dissolution is announced and already we had a statement from the present HEC chairman Dr. Javaid Laghari that the USAID and World Bank has stopped their aid which sums up to about $550 billion that was to be used by HEC for the coming 5 years to carry out different projects. Apart from these future promises, the present structure of the commission in question is also uncertain of its future like the HEC Digital Library and HEC e-learning.

Now the interesting thing would be to see how the nation responds to this. Dr. Atta-Ur-Rehman and Dr. Javed Leghari are already appearing on different news channels to sum up these mentioned facts to the nation. What matters now is would there be someone to carry out any action on this unfolding situation. I hope and I pray that there would be some patriotic Pakistanis among us that would stand up to this matter and do justice with it.

Mobile Communication Technologies for Dummies.

April 3, 2011

Different communication technologies and then the different standards between countries and upon it the non-stop introduction of wireless gadgets often makes me confused and eventually I mix up the concepts. Now I decided to make myself a simple/easy to understand table for a quick review of these technologies.

Generation Name Year Frequency Data Rate
1G AMPS – Advanced Mobile Phone System (using FDMA) 1980’s 800 – 900 MHz
1G D-AMPS – Digital AMPS (adding TDMA to AMPS) 800 – 900 MHz
2G IS-95 (using CDMA) 1990’s 800 MHz
2G GSM – Global System for Mobile Communication (using TDMA) 1990’s 900 – 1800 MHz
2G GSM GPRS – General Packer Radio Services (by 3GPP*) 2000 144 Kbps
2.5G 1xRTT – One Time Radio Transmission Technology (by 3GPP2**) 2002 144 Kbps
2.5G EDGE – Enhanced Data GSM Environment (by 3GPP) 2003 384 Kbps
3G UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunication System 2002 1885 – 2025 MHz 1.92 Mbps
3G UMTS HSDPA – High Speed Downlink Packet Access 2002 14.4 Mbps
3G EV-DO – 1x-Evolution-Data Optimized (using CDMA) (by 3GPP2) 2.4 Mbps
3G EV-DO Rev. A (by 3GPP2) 3.1 Mbps
3G EV-DO Rev. B (by 3GPP2) 4.9 Mbps
4G UMB *** – Ultra Mobile Broadband (by 3GPP2) 288 Mbps downstream
4G LTE – Long Term Evolution (by 3GPP) 2009 1920 Mhz – 3600 Mhz 100 Mbps downstream 30 Mbps upstream

* – 3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership Project. Body responsible of up-gradation of GSM networks in Europe, Japan, North America, South Korea.

** – 3GPP2 3rd Generation Partnership Project. Body responsible for up-gradation of CDMA networks in US   (also South Korea and Japan.)

*** – Instead of adopting UMB, it has now been decided favoring LTE instead by the service providers.

4G is currently implemented in Sweden and South Korea. UK has recently declared licenses for 4G service provision. While in Pakistan 2.5G EDGE is currently implemented but not a single provider has upgraded to 3G. Huawei did implemented a couple of experimental 3G sites but its not sure where some operator would adopt it in near future.

P.S: Stuff here has been collected from various online resources and there might be some errors. So please do point them out so I can correct them.


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