How to install and configure VMware PowerCLI version 10

VMware PowerCLI is a collection of Windows Powershell modules which are used to manage and maintain a VMware virtual environment. PowerCLI is a great tool for system administrators and can be used to gather detailed information and/or execute bulk commands against multiple VMs, Hosts, Network or Storage devices.

It is typically installed on Microsoft Windows based operating systems. A desktop or server must have network access to the VMware vCenter server(s) and be capable of running a minimum of Windows PowerShell 2.0 with .NET 3.5 SP1 pre-installed. However, it is highly recommended to install the very lastest official releases of Powershell and PowerCLI modules.

This step by step procedure is to prepare your system to run VMware PowerCLI Version 10 (released February 2018), configure shortcuts to your infrastructure and make the first connection to your vCenter server(s). (more…)

How to set up a Hyper-V failover cluster

Hyper-V can enable high-availability using Windows Server Failover Cluster Manager. This allows you to create a virtual infrastructure which is resilient to server failures.

A typical Hyper-V failover cluster setup consists of 2 or more servers, which share clustered network and clustered storage resources. In the event of a server failure, the clustered resources are seemlessly failed over to the next available server. To the end user, there is generally no impact on services running on the server.

Failover is an automated process which is managed by the Operating System. Hyper-V enables you to create clustered storage and clustered networking which are an infrastructure requirement for cluster failover manager. (more…)

When and How to use Sysprep

Sysprep is the Microsoft system preparation tool used by system administrators often during the automated deployment of Windows Server based operating systems. Sysprep is most frequently used in virtualized environments to prepare a system image which will be cloned multiple times.

Typically, a system administrator creates a template for a system build and customizes the operating system to their requirements. During the build process, the Operating System allocates the server with a unique SID (System Identifier). Each time you clone the system image/template, you will also clone the SID.

In a Microsoft Windows Server network, duplicate SIDs can cause problems. Issues such as WSUS incompatability, Volume Licence key activation problems as well errors in Microsoft Office products. Other non Microsoft products such as Citrix do not work correctly on environments with duplidated SID. (more…)

Mouse and keyboard suddenly not working? How to fix the KB4074588 update bug

Microsoft has recently issued a Windows 10 update, code KB4074588, that is causing many headaches to system admins and IT staff.

It’s not clear what triggers the problem, but in the affected systems the update compromises the USB ports causing input devices such as mouse and keyboard to stop working.

The user is left without the possibility to interact in any way with his PC.

How to fix this mess?
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Configure a Radius server on Windows Server to authenticate Cisco VPN users

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows to connect to a private network through the Internet, from anywhere in the world.

It may be very helpful to business users willing to access from outside the internal resources of their company.

In this post we’ll see how you can allow Active Directory users to perform the login to a VPN, configured on a Cisco router.

The setup includes a Cisco 1801 router, configured with a Road Warrior VPN, and a server with Windows Server 2012 R2 where we installed and activated the domain controller and Radius server role.
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How to create a VM Template with Hyper-V

Microsoft Hyper-V lacks the capability to create and manage templates and this can be troublesome for IT specialists requiring to deploy a large number of identical virtual machines. A time-consuming task that could be much more efficient and simple.

To save your time, we suggest the following methodology that is more similar to a work-around. You will be able to deploy several virtual machines without much effort but it will still be difficult to deploy hundreds (or worst thousands) of them.
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How to balance the network traffic with Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP)

We’ve already wrote about the Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) in our previous article. HSRP is a proprietary protocol developed by Cisco, that allows to decouple the IP addresses from the physical interfaces and to associate them to groups of interfaces, providing hardware redundancy.

In this article we’ll see how to balance the network load with the 2 HSRP groups, allowing to assign 2 virtual gateways to every group of PCs. The result will be a network scheme with load balancing that allows the 2 hosts to connect to the Internet even in case of failure of a gateway.
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