Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Delayed Replication DCs and Authoritative Restores

The idea behind an Active Directory “delayed replication DC” (also referred to as a “slow DC” or a “lag DC”) is that organizations can more quickly recover portions of their Active Directory structure by performing an authoritative restore from this delayed replication DC instead of having to go back to tape. Keep in mind that many organizations use off-site storage of backup tapes, and recalling backup tapes from the off-site storage facility can take some time, as can the tape operations themselves. Let’s face it: when it comes to speed, tape isn’t exactly king of the hill.

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Killing Ads in RSS Feeds in NetNewsWire

I don’t like advertisements in my RSS feeds. I just don’t. It’s not that I begrudge the authors the ability to monetize their content; that’s their choice, and I can certainly understand the need to pay for hosting and bandwidth costs. The day might even come one day when I am faced with the same issues here on this site. Even so, I don’t like ads in the feeds. After all, if it’s a good site, I am very likely to visit the site anyway, even with full feeds, so that I can comment, view others’ comments, or see related posts.

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Assorted VMware Tools

Over the past few weeks, a number of VMware-related tools have been released. All of these tools are third-party tools written by avid VMware fans or ISVs, and as far as I am aware all of these tools are available at no cost.

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Hanging Around #vmware

I’m not really sure why, but for some reason I got on a kick to start using IRC. So, for the last week or so, I’ve been regularly logging in to irc.freenode.net using Colloquy (a really great Mac OS X IRC client, by the way) and hanging around in the #vmware channel, helping people with their VMware-related problems and questions—and learning a little bit in the process.

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ESX Server-AD Integration

Although much of the administration of servers running VMware ESX Server 3.0 will occur in the Windows-based Virtual Infrastructure client connected to a VirtualCenter server, there are times when it is quicker or easier to perform an administrative task directly on the ESX Server itself—either via the command-line interface (CLI) or via the VI client authenticating directly against the ESX Server. The problem with this is that, by default, administrators will have to use different credentials when connecting the VI client to ESX Server directly. In addition, these credentials must be managed separately from Active Directory, and separately on each individual ESX Server. As the number of ESX Servers in a farm grows, this can quickly become an administrative nightmare.

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UAC and ktpass.exe

User Account Control (UAC) is a feature new to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 that is designed to help protect Windows-based systems against processes running with administrative permissions. It’s a great idea, but the implementation is, in my humble opinion, a bit flawed.

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Linux-AD Integration with Windows Server 2008

In the event that your organization is considering a migration later this year (or next?) to Windows Server 2008 (formerly “Longhorn”), here are some instructions for integrating Linux login requests against Active Directory on Windows Server 2008. These instructions are based on Linux-AD Integration, Version 4 and utilize Kerberos, LDAP, and Samba.

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Samba and Windows Server 2008 Interoperability

Samba, as I’m sure you already know, is an open source implementation of SMB/CIFS for UNIX, Linux, and similar operating systems. I’ve found Samba to be extremely helpful in providing some assistance for integration into Active Directory, as evidenced by these articles:

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NIS on Windows Server 2008

Even though NIS is installed as part of the “Identity Management for UNIX” role service (part of the Active Directory Domain Services role) in Windows Server 2008, it appears that some additional steps are required in order to make it work as expected. If anyone has any additional information they’d like to share on this particular issue, please speak up in the comments.

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Mac Usenet Applications

I’m a multi-protocol kind of guy. What does that mean? Basically, it means that I use more than just a web browser. Typically, I have multiple Internet clients running at any given time—a browser (typically Camino, but sometimes Safari), an RSS reader (NetNewsWire), an IM client (Adium), Cocoalicious (for managing del.icio.us bookmarks), an IRC client (Colloquy), and an e-mail client. In each of these areas, there are high-quality applications available to choose from. For example, if I didn’t like Camino or Safari, I could always switch to Opera or Firefox; if I didn’t like NetNewsWire, I could switch to NewsFire, Shrook, or Vienna. I have options.

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