Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

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.

 

 

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.

Recovering a stolen USB Drive

October 4, 2012

Am feeling all CSI at the moment! Yesterday; I got involved in an investigation of a USB mass storage device theft. The clue I had at start was the Windows 7 machine from which the device was stolen and a CCTV camera. The video from the CCTV wasn’t much helpful without any supporting evidence from the machine hence my only resort was to dig deep into the machine’s OS and get to some conclusion.

I did what anyone would have done; checking out the event viewer. Unfortunately no such logs about USB devices are recorded there. So I resorted to some Googling.  Once again I owe one to the immense help available out there online on forums and blogs; you can just find any solution these days!  What I did found was that a USB device when plugged into a machine; leaves all kind of traces. These traces includes time stamps, vendor & product ID’s, serial numbers, product make\model etc. Of all these what more internal to forensics is the time stamps! and getting them accurate is the key to get some productivity out of the homework.

I found two really great utilities that helped me in ending the case. USBDeview by Nirsoft and Windows USB Storage Parser by TZWorks LLC. Of these two USBDeview is simple and more efficient and I will tell you here why.

So getting to homework! First get to know your machines and devices well.

Get to know which USB devices are used on a machine

You can get to know by going into the Registry Editor and checking out  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\USBSTOR. This is what you will get.

As from the snap shot you can see; there are a total of three devices used on this machine with the serial numbers mentioned under the product names. Serial numbers are unique and will give you a head start.

USBDeview

So now I know the device, and mapped the serial number as well. I then used a simple utility USBDeview to get the information I required.  The great thing this utility is that It also shows you the details\time stamps etc from the previous dates.

This very efficiently shows the complete details in nicely sorted columns. The important entry that helped me a lot here is the  Last Plus\Unplug time stamp.

Windows USB Storage Parser

This is another great command line tool. This tool will tell you about the different USB devices used on a machine, their vendor\product ID’s along with serial numbers and time stamps. But most important of all this will also tell you the “account name” that mounted the USB device which can really help in forensics.

As you can see in the snap shot above, its pretty well self explanatory. What missing from there is the unmounts event time stamp. That why I mentioned earlier in this blog that the USBDeview holds its ground pretty well and gives us a combined plus\unplug time stamp. This is what helped me in nailing the case.

So to complete the investigating, and to further cement my findings; I used these tools on the suspect’s machine as well and bingo!!! It was all filled up with familiar traces! I rested my case 🙂 !!!

Downloading Configuration Manager 2012 Prerequisites

September 29, 2012

Recently I faced a problem while configuring my SCCM 2012 sever. During the initial steps of the installation; the setup requires to download some prerequisites in order to continue with the installation. As for my case the server was offline and not connected to the Internet hence I needed to download them on a separate machine. I searched a lot of forums and blogs but the solutions presented were not clear. I then tried to download the required files separately on my own but to no avail and the SCCM installer first verifies the prerequisites and then continues with the installation. Hence if you are downloading the prerequisites on a separate machine; make sure of the following points.

  • Make sure the machine connected to the internet on which you are downloading the prerequisites is a 64-bit machine.
  • Many forums suggested to copy the %\SMSSETUP\BIN\X64\setupdl.exe to the internet machine. Only downloading this file wont work. Hence make sure to download the complete folder %\SMSSETUP\BIN\X64\ to the Internet machine.
  • Once the folder is copied to the internet machine; simply double-click the setupdl.exe. This is what you will get:

  • When prompted; specify the path for the downloads.

  • Now just set back a relax! It will take a good 30 mins or so depending upon you Internet link. It will specify a total number of 41 files to be downloaded.

  • There would be a total of 406 files on granular level and a total of 394 MB. BTW am loving my Windows 8! 😉 Its light, its fast! And its very customizable! Just note the date in the above snap 😛 Ok jokes apart!
  • Just copy the folder to your SCCM server and continue with your installation.

  •  Now my SCCM server is all ready but still not mature yet! As I learn the basics and prop my server; I will make sure to share along! Till then Adios!


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