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Archive for December, 2013

Windows Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guides

Posted by Premkumar Yogeswaran on December 27, 2013


Microsoft has provided guides which we can be download from the site.
Below is the link for Windows Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guides

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=518d870c-fa3e-4f6a-97f5-acaf31de6dce

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Microsoft Webcasts

Posted by Premkumar Yogeswaran on December 27, 2013


Microsoft Webcasts are great resources freely available for people who have quest for learning. This is an honest attempt to share some Webcasts’ which helped me a lot to understand Active Directory Services. These webcasts can be downloaded using the Windows Live ID

Active Directory Fundamentals

http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032264002&EventCategory=5&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

Active Directory Logical Concepts

http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032316691

Active Directory Physical Concepts

http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032316700

Installing and Managing DNS

http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032259127&EventCategory=5&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

DNS Features and Configuration

http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032259129&CountryCode=US

Active Directory Replication and the Operations Masters Role

http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032259125&CountryCode=US

Group Policy Management Console and Software Restriction

http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032259135&CountryCode=US

Replication Features and Forest to Forest Trusts

http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032259135&CountryCode=US

Deployment and Interoperability with NT 4.0 and Windows 2000

http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032259135&CountryCode=US

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Create Delegation using dnscmd command

Posted by Premkumar Yogeswaran on December 19, 2013


The following illustrates creating a new delegation on command line using dnscmd command.
1. Assume the dns zone to which new delegation record need to be added is "myrootdns.com", childdomain for which the delegation is to be done is "subdomain.myrootdns.com", The new authoritative server for the new delegated zone "subdomain.myrootdns.com" isto be "dnsserver", and FQDN of the "dnsserver" is "dsnserver.myrootdns.com".
2.
Now run the following command to create new delegation.

dnscmd myrootdns.com subdomain NS dnsserver.myrootdns.com

Thus the "subdomain" node has been created in the "myrootdns.com" dns zone.

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Repadmin Examples

Posted by Premkumar Yogeswaran on December 19, 2013


Example 1: Display the replication partners of a server

The following example uses the showrepl operation of Repadmin to display the replication partners of Server1. This command is also used to find the objectGUID and InvocationID for a server for use with other operations.

No parameters are required for the showrepl operation. A remote connection is assumed; therefore, the server name (DC in the syntax) is included.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /showrepl server1.microsoft.com

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

repadmin /showrepl server1.microsoft.com
Building7a\server1
DC Options : IS_GC
Site OPtions: (none)
DC object GUID : 405db077-le28-4825-b225-c5bb9af6f50b
DC invocationID: 405db077-le28-4825-b225-c5bb9af6f50b
==== INBOUND NEIGHBORS ======================================
CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=microsoft,Dc=com
 Building7b\server2 via RPC
 objectGuid: e55c6c75-75bb-485a-a0d3-020a44c3afe7
 last attempt @ 2002-09-09 12:25.35 was successful.
CN=Configuration,DC=microsoft,Dc=com
 Building7b\server2 via RPC
 objectGuid: e55c6c75-75bb-485a-a0d3-020a44c3afe7
 last attempt @ 2002-09-09 12:25.10 was successful.
DC=microsoft,Dc=com
 Building7b\server2 via RPC
 objectGuid: e55c6c75-75bb-485a-a0d3-020a44c3afe7
 last attempt @ 2001-09-09 12:25.11 was successful.

Example 2: Initiate a replication event between two replication partners

The following example uses the replicate operation of Repadmin to make Server2 initiate replication of the domain directory partition for microsoft.com from Server1. In this example, Server1 is the source server and Server2 is the destination server.

The required parameters for the replicate operation are the name of the server that will receive changes (DestDC in the syntax), the name of the directory partition (NamingContext in the syntax), and the name of the server that will send the changes (SrcDC in the syntax).

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /replicate server2.microsoft.com server1.microsoft.com dc=microsoft,dc=com

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

server2.microsoft.com
Sync from server1.microsoft.com to server2.microsoft.com completed successfully.

Example 3: Initiate a replication event for a specified directory partition with all of its replication partners

The following example uses the syncall operation of Repadmin to make Server1 initiate replication of the domain directory partition for microsoft.com from all of its source replication partners in the same site and to make all of the source replication partners initiate replication for microsoft.com from all of their source replication partners in the same site, and so on.

The required parameter for the syncall operation is the server name (DC in the syntax). The name of the directory partition (NamingContext in the syntax) that will be synchronized is also included in this example. If this name is not included, only the configuration partition is synchronized.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /syncall server1.microsoft.com dc=microsoft,dc=com

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

repadmin /syncall server1 dc=microsoft,dc=com
Syncing partition: dc=microsoft,dc=com
CALLBACK MESSAGE: The following replication is in progress:
 From: fea22f1d-a456-4f70-aa06-bedbda29e7eb._msdcs.microsoft.com
 To : 5c02bcaf-86d9-4bed-811e-d17a5cebf8bb._msdcs.microsoft.com
CALLBACK MESSAGE: The following replication completed successfully:
 From: fea22f1d-a456-4f70-aa06-bedbda29e7eb._msdcs.microsoft.com
 To : 5c02bcaf-86d9-4bed-811e-d17a5cebf8bb._msdcs.microsoft.com
CALLBACK MESSAGE: SyncAll Finished.
SyncAll terminated with no errors.

Example 4: Display the highest Update Sequence Number on a server

The following example uses the showutdvec operation of Repadmin to show the highest USNs for a specified directory partition on each replication partner. In this example, there are only two replication partners and the directory partition is the domain directory partition for the microsoft.com domain.

The only required parameter for the showutdvec operation is the distinguished name of the directory partition (NamingContext in the syntax). A remote connection is assumed so a server name (DC_LIST in the syntax) is also included.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /showutdvec . dc=microsoft,dc=com server2.microsoft.com

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

repadmin running command /showutdvec against server localhost
Caching GUIDs.
..
Building7b\Server1 @ USN 295458 @ Time 2002-09-09 19:33:42
Building7b\Server2 @ USN 338194 @ Time 2002-09-09 19:38:16

Example 5: View unreplicated changes between two servers

The following example uses the showchanges operation of Repadmin to view changes that have not yet replicated between Server1 and Server2. In this example Server1 is the source server and is sending the changes while Server2 is the destination server and is receiving the changes.

This is one implementation of the showchanges operation. For another implementation of this operation see Example 6: Create a file to determine what changes have occurred over a period of time.

The required parameters for this version of the showchanges operation are the objectGuid of the directory partition on the source server (referred to as SourceDCObjectGUID in the syntax line) and the name of the directory partition (referred to in the syntax line as NamingContext). A remote connection is assumed so the destination server name (referred to in the syntax line as DestDC) is also included.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /showchanges server2.microsoft.com 5c02bcaf-86d9-4bed-811e-d17a5cebf8bb dc=microsoft,dc=com

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

server2.microsoft.com
Building starting position from destination server rktlabdc2.rktlabdom.com
Source Neighbor:
dc=microsoft,dc=com
==== INBOUND NEIGHBORS ======================================
dc=microsoft,dc=com
 Building7b\Server1 via RPC
 DC object GUID: 5c02bcaf-86d9-4bed-811e-d17a5cebf8bb
 Address: 5c02bcaf-86d9-4bed-811e-d17a5cebf8bb._msdcs.microsoft.com
 DC invocationID: 064152bc-f8e8-404f-bd64-cdd9bb3958cb
 SYNC_ON_STARTUP DO_SCHEDULED_SYNCS WRITEABLE
 USNs: 296048/OU, 296048/PU
 Last attempt @ 2002-09-09 20:03:53 was successful.
Destination's up-to-date vector:
064152bc-f8e8-404f-bd64-cdd9bb3958cb @ USN 296163
fea22f1d-a456-4f70-aa06-bedbda29e7eb @ USN 338287
==== SOURCE DC: 5c02bcaf-86d9-4bed-811e-d17a5cebf8bb._msdcs.microsoft.com ====
No Changes

Example 6: Create a file to determine what changes have occurred over a period of time

The following example uses the showchanges operation of Repadmin to create a file that records replication changes. By running the showchanges operation later you can compare the file created earlier to the current replication state.

This is one implementation of the showchanges operation. For another implementation of this operation see Example 5: View unreplicated changes between two servers.

The only required parameter for this version of the showchanges operation is the name of the directory partition (NamingContext in the syntax) on which the check should be performed. In this example, the check is performed remotely so the server name (SourceDC in the syntax) is included as well as the /cookie: parameter, along with the name of the file to be created.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /showchanges dc=microsoft,dc=com server2.microsoft.com /cookie:microsoft.txt

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

pDcList->szSp.. server2
Using cookie from file test.txt (132 bytes)
==== SOURCE DC: server2 ====
Objects returned: 2
(0) modify CN=00000000000000000000000000000000,CN=VolumeTable,CN=FileLinks,CN=Sy
stem,DC=rktlabdom,DC=com
 1> objectGUID: c4955e2f-ab7c-4f96-bdb6-bf29b97ce3df
 1> instanceType: 0x4 = ( IT_WRITE )
 1> seqNotification: 130
(1) modify DC=..SerialNo-server1.microsoft.com,DC=microsoft.com,CN=MicrosoftDN
S,CN=System,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 1> objectGUID: 0422b130-bf39-4549-aeea-64ed264d10c2
 1> instanceType: 0x4 = ( IT_WRITE )
 1> dnsRecord: <32 byte blob>
New cookie written to file microsoft.txt (132 bytes)

Example 7: Display the connection objects for a server

The following example uses the showconn operation of Repadmin to show connection objects for a server.

No parameters are required for showconn operation. In this example, a remote connection is assumed so the server name (DC_LIST in the syntax) is specified. All connection objects for Server2 are shown.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /showconn server2.microsoft.com

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

repadmin running command /showconn against server server2.microsoft.com
Show Connection Objects
Base DN: CN=Building7b,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=microsoftDc=com
==== KCC CONNECTION OBJECTS ============================================
Connection --
 Connection name : b415ba00-8d8d-429b-8a3d-21fd06a99a6c
 Server DNS name : server2.microsoft.com
 Server DN name : CN=NTDS Settings,CN=SERVER2,CN=Servers,CN=Building7b,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Source: Building7b\Server2
 No Failures.
 TransportType: intrasite RPC
 options: isGenerated
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
 ReplicatesNC: DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
 ReplicatesNC: CN=Configuration,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
 ReplicatesNC: DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
 ReplicatesNC: CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
Connection --
 Connection name : 2357ff7a-4e54-46e2-a387-2e35b0560ab7
 Server DNS name : server2.microsoft.com
 Server DN name : CN=NTDS Settings,CN=RKTLABDC2,CN=Servers,CN=Building7b,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Source: Building7b\Server2
 No Failures.
 TransportType: intrasite RPC
 options: isGenerated
 ReplicatesNC: DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
 ReplicatesNC: DC=ForestDnsZones,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
 ReplicatesNC: CN=Configuration,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
 ReplicatesNC: DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
 ReplicatesNC: CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=microsoft,DC=com
 Reason: RingTopology
 Replica link has been added.
2 connections found. 
 

Example 8: Display the replication signature for a server

The following example uses the showsig operation of Repadmin to show the replication signature for a server.

No parameters are required for the showsig operation. In this example, a remote connection is assumed so the server name (DC_LIST in the syntax) is specified.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /showsig server1.microsoft.com

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

server1.microsoft.com
Building7a\server1
Current DC invocationID: 415db077-1e28-4588-b255-c5bb9af6f50b (current)
No retired signatures.

Example 9: Display the context handles for the replication process

The following example uses the showctx operation of Repadmin to show the open connections to the server that are established by remote servers.

No parameters are required for the showctx operation. This example specifies the server name (DC_LIST in the syntax) on which the check should be performed.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /showctx server2.microsoft.com

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

server1.microsoft.com
Caching GUIDs.
..
3 open context handles.
NTDSAPI client @ 10.193.36.209 (PID 1528) (Handle 0x20b8a38)
 bound, refs=1, last used 2002-09-09 14:21:41
Building7a\Server1 @ 10.193.36.210 (PID 460) (Handle 0x20b8c40)
 bound, refs=1, last used 2002-09-09 14:23:22
NTDSAPI client @ 10.193.36.210 (PID 2976) (Handle 0x20bb960)
 bound, refs=2, last used 2002-09-09 14:23:28

Example 10: Showing the replication status of a forest using replsummary and wildcard characters.

The following example uses the replsummary operation and a wildcard character to show a summary of the replication status for all the domain controllers in the forest with a name beginning with ‘FOURTH’.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /replsummary FOURTH*

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

repadmin /replsummary FOURTH*
Replication Summary Start Time: 2002-09-18 14:54:49
Beginning data collection for replication summary, this may take awhile:
Source DC largest delta fails/total %% error
 FOURTH-CLT-DC-01 54m:57s 0 / 9 0
 FOURTH-DC-05 41m:23s 0 / 175 0
 FOURTH-DC-06 55m:08s 0 / 66 0
 FOURTH-DC-07 09m:29s 0 / 97 0
 FOURTH-DC-08 18h:05m:02s 56 / 56 100 (1722) The RPC server is unavailable.
 FOURTH-DC-09 56m:47s 0 / 12 0
 FOURTH-DC-10 55m:10s 0 / 13 0
 FOURTH-DC-11 56m:48s 0 / 46 0
 FOURTH-DC-12 57m:09s 0 / 34 0
 FOURTH-DC-13 55m:52s 0 / 64 0
 FOURTH-DC-14 55m:52s 0 / 85 0
 FOURTH-DC-15 09m:21s 0 / 50 0
 FOURTH-DC-16 58m:02s 0 / 37 0
 FOURTH-DC-17 57m:00s 0 / 48 0
 FOURTH-DC-18 57m:00s 0 / 22 0
 FOURTH-DC-19 58m:02s 0 / 22 0
 FOURTH-DC-20 08m:05s 0 / 22 0
 FOURTH-DC-21 05m:43s 0 / 22 0
 FOURTH-DC-22 09h:06m:29s 0 / 199 0
 FOURTH-DC-23 09m:29s 0 / 34 0
 FOURTH-DC-24 56m:48s 0 / 184 0
 FOURTH-DC-25 41m:22s 0 / 71 0
 FOURTH-DC-26 08m:16s 0 / 108 0
 FOURTH-DC-30 55m:13s 0 / 47 0
 FOURTH-DC-31 41m:23s 0 / 56 0
 FOURTH-SVC-DC-40 57m:02s 0 / 9 0
 FOURTH-TK-DC-27 07m:02s 0 / 54 0
 FOURTH-TK-DC-28 08m:01s 1 / 161 0 (8461) The replication operation was preempted.
 FOURTH-TK-DC-29 55m:10s 0 / 115 0
 
Experienced the following operational errors trying to retrieve replication information:
 58 - fourth-dc-08.fourthcoffee.com

Example 11: Showing the attributes of a specific object.

The following example uses the showattr operation to show the attributes of a specific object in the Active Directory.

Type the following at the command prompt:

repadmin /showattr fsmo_dnm: ncobj:config: /subtree /filter:(objectClass=crossRef) /atts:nCName,dnsRoot,net,dnsRoot,net,biosname,systemFlags /homeserver:FOURTH-DC-26

Press Enter and the following output is displayed:

Copy

repadmin running command /showattr against server aseanl-test2.fourthcoffee.com
DN: CN=Enterprise Configuration,CN=Partitions,CN=Configuration,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> nCName: CN=Configuration,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> dnsRoot: fourthcoffee.com
 1> systemFlags: 0x1 = ( FLAG_CR_NTDS_NC )
DN: CN=fourthcoffee,CN=Partitions,CN=Configuration,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> nCName: DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> dnsRoot: fourthcoffee.com
 1> systemFlags: 0x3 = ( FLAG_CR_NTDS_NC | FLAG_CR_NTDS_DOMAIN )
DN: CN=Enterprise Schema,CN=Partitions,CN=Configuration,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> nCName: CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> dnsRoot: fourthcoffee.com
 1> systemFlags: 0x1 = ( FLAG_CR_NTDS_NC )
DN: CN=866c366e-7877-49e5-8121-67eefd488551,CN=Partitions,CN=Configuration,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> nCName: DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> dnsRoot: DomainDnsZones.fourthcoffee.com
 1> systemFlags: 0x5 = ( FLAG_CR_NTDS_NC | FLAG_CR_NTDS_NOT_GC_REPLICATED )
DN: CN=a07b7cea-1754-478c-84a5-c7b127ba5024,CN=Partitions,CN=Configuration,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> nCName: DC=ForestDnsZones,DC=fourthcoffee,DC=com
 1> dnsRoot: ForestDnsZones.fourthcoffee.com
 1> systemFlags: 0x5 = ( FLAG_CR_NTDS_NC | FLAG_CR_NTDS_NOT_GC_REPLICATED )

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The Case of the Two IT Pros: the Magician and the Fireman

Posted by Premkumar Yogeswaran on December 9, 2013


There are two types of IT professionals. Magicians and firemen. When I first started in IT, I was fireman. I enjoyed the never ending problems and that superman like feeling when I saved the day with just seconds to spare. After a few years, I realized that I wasn’t making any progress. I was still fixing the same problems every day. I felt chained to the helpdesk. I realized that my work style was completely wrong!

Are you a Magician or a Fireman?

The easiest way to define yourself is to look at how you spend the majority of your day. Day in and day out, the fireman will run from one problem to the next. Always fixing problems but rarely really solving them. This barrage of issues dictate a reactive work style. If you were to clump most of their daily tasks together, the tasks would be urgent but not important.

The magician will spend most of the day working remotely, automating processes, and introducing efficiency. As problems are automated (and forever fixed), more time is made available to automate. This rather pleasant cycle lends itself to a proactive and flexible work style. If you were to clump most of their daily tasks together, the tasks would be important but not urgent.

Both types have overlap. Unanticipated problems will ruin any magician’s day. And a fireman will have that all too rare day where nothing breaks. If you are a fireman, you might be wondering how to be a magician. The secret is compounding time. The more problems you automate, the more time you will have to automate!

Funny Effects with Slight of Hand

For a practical example, let’s see the power of compounding time. You help dozens of users every day. On average, it takes you three minutes to get a computer name from a user and you have to ask six users a day for their computer name. That is 18 minutes a day spent on finding this single piece of information. If you work 260 days a year, you will spend two work weeks on just finding computer names! Imagine how much could get done if it only took you 10 seconds to find a computer name?

By making small changes like this, you slowly start to see your day getting easier. You suddenly start to feel like you are getting ahead of issues and actually making progress! But here is the crucial step in this whole process. Any time saved must be used to save more time. If you script a process that saves you an hour a week, that hour must be used to script another process or to learn a new tool. Otherwise, your up front effort is is wasted!

When you compound time for a few months, you will notice a few funny effects. First, your day will be a lot less stressful! Second, you will enjoy your work quite a bit more. Finally, you might start to worry about your job.


Can I Work Myself Out of a Job?

This is a topic often debated within our profession. My firm belief is that it is possible to work yourself out of a job if two conditions exist. First, you continue to automate but never show what you are doing. As with any job, you must show results to remain relevant.

An easy way to show results is to focus your projects on end user problems. Figure out a way to save a department time and show that department what you’ve done. By doing this, you will quickly gain staff members that sing your praises every day!

The second condition is to have idiotic management. It is possible to have a manager that thinks, “Well – no huge problems have popped up lately and our budget has been cut. Guess I will have to let someone go.” If that person was you, consider yourself lucky! You have spent time learning incredibly valuable skills like scripting, Group Policy, deployments, etc. Where you co-workers might have spent the day goofing off, you developed some serious talent! With this toolset, you have the ability to work anywhere (and probably get a raise in the process)!

So Where Do You Fall?

The times, they are a changing. The world of IT is becoming more and more automated. Because of this, I believe that the magician style of work is the easiest way to stay ahead of changes and trends. So where do you fall on this spectrum? Do you think I am right or wrong about this breakdown? Are there other roles or work styles that I completely missed?

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