Category: Windows 2008 R2

Poor man's iSCSI

If you want to implement iSCSI it’s best to keep the normal network traffic and the iSCSI traffic apart from each other. And that usually means buying a 2nd switch capable of reaching high speeds and jumbo frames. Off course for production systems I recommend spending a few bucks.. however if you only want iSCSI in you lab, there are easier ways of creating a switch!.

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Windows 2008 SystemStateBackup

With the release of Windows 2008, the backup mechanism of Windows has also changed. No more NTBackup, but Windows backup, available to your 2008 system as a feature. Also part of that feature is the systemstate backup, you know the one that is utterly Important to restore Domain Controllers. Now the GUI will not let you perform a single systemstate backup (only full backups including everything) and backups can be stored on a network share. But let’s say we want a systemstate backup only?!

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Windows 2008R2 features part V: DHCP Split-scope

DHCP is the mechanism that gives most client these days the tools (ip address) for connectivity. Most companies however do not realize the importance of the DHCP service and do not cluster nor have another server as standby when the DHCP server fails. If the DHCP server fails, most clients will not receive a new ip address and will seize to work on the network. While clustering is improved in Windows 2008 and sort of made easy for administrators, most of them are reluctant to implement a failover cluster for DHCP. In Windows 2008 R2 we have Split-Scopes, remember the 80-20 rule for DHCP servers, it kinda the same, but then made easy. For this article we have a single domain controller and two Windows 2008R2 servers.

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Windows 2008R2 features part IV: Managed Service Accounts & Password Reset's

So we have deployed the Managed Service Accounts, and now we want a password policy set on them.. usually the service accounts have a different password policy set, so most of you will probably use PSO’s (Password Setting Object). In my demo I’ve set a new policy stating that the max age of a password is only 10 minutes ( msDS-MaximumPasswordAge: 0:00:10:00). I’ve set the PSO’s msDS-PSOAppliesTo attribute to be the Active Directory Group “Service Accounts” so that all managed service accounts that are member of this group MUST change their password every 10 minutes. For the sanity check, I’ve also created a simple useraccount and added that to the group also. Now we only needed to wait 10 minutes.. When logging in as the user onto the SQL box, I indeed got the message that I needed to change my password. My demo users’ pwdLastSet attribute indeed jumped from : 2/4/2009 4:58:20 PM W. Europe Standard Time;  to pwdLastSet: 2/4/2009 5:28:05 PM W. Europe Standard Time; 

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Windows 2008R2 features part III: Managed Service Accounts

Password policies can help administrators secure their environment, letting users change their passwords on regular basis makes it harder for hackers to get in to a system by guessing a password. There is one group of accounts though that usually do not have the password policy applied to.. they almost never change their password and when they do.. it is a load of work for the admin, there is service downtime involved.. and after the password has been changed.. it will be not be changed for a long time.. Yes, I’m talking about Service Account.. the accounts administrators usually apply the “Password Never Expires” option to. These accounts usually have more rights to systems, perhaps even local Administrator access to machines (like SQL or mail) or even worse (Don’t tell me you have these in place) Domain Admin rights. Changing passwords for these accounts is crucial to the security of your environment. To make life easier Windows 2008 R2 introduces the Managed Service Accounts, with these, you can easily change the password of an account, and the client computers where these service accounts are operational will change the password in the service configuration.

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Windows 2008R2 features part II: Recycle Bin

Windows 2008 R2 Active Directory introduces the Recycle Bin option. If you deployed Windows 2008 R2 or upgraded your domain to the Windows 2008 R2 schema and you think the recycle bin is active, you are wrong. You have to specifically enable the recycle bin feature.

So upgrade your forestlevel and run the following command within a poweshell console:

Enable-ADOptionalFeature -Identity ‘CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=DirectoryService,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=rootdomain,dc=local’

 -Scope Forest -Target ‘rootdomain.local’

 

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Windows 2008R2 features part I: Offline domain join

Since Windows NT4, clients who wanted to join a domain always needed a direct connection to the domain, either via VPN, dial-in or direct connection. New in Windows 2008R2 is the option for an offline domain join.. how does this work.. ? read on!

A new program is introduced called djoin.exe. We can use this to join a computer to the domain which is not directly connected. What does it do? It creates a text file that can be used by a Windows 7 or Windows 2008R2 client to join the domain.

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