Free SSL Certificates for Public Domains and Sub-Domains via StartSSL

I’ve been using internally generated SSL certificates for testing and publishing, as most developers, IT pros, and DIY people have, and though it works, it can be a little frustrating when dealing with CRLs and OCSP Responders if you don’t want to receive warnings from browsers and applications about them being untrusted.  For public facing sites, there’s a vendor that is now providing free certificates and an excellent toolbox for managing them.

StartSSL logo
Read on for more info or take the link: https://www.startssl.com.

Continue reading Free SSL Certificates for Public Domains and Sub-Domains via StartSSL

vSphere: Migrate Management Network from dvSwitch to vStandard Switch

I recently found a feature that allows you to quickly migrate the management network from a Distributed Virtual Switch (dvSwitch) to a vStandard Switch (vSwitch).  It’s really simple actually.  Just log on to a host physically or via iLO, not through the vSphere Client, and select “Restore Standard Switch”.

Continue reading vSphere: Migrate Management Network from dvSwitch to vStandard Switch

vSphere: Move Hosts to New vCenter Server

host migrationI recently set out to recreate my vCenter installation since I was still running on Windows Server 2003 R2 64-bit and wanted to the set it up on Windows Server 2008 R2.  The problem here was that my Management Network was attached to a dvSwitch (Distributed Virtual Switch).  I’ll briefly outline the process of how I removed each host (3 hosts in total) from vCenter, attaching the host to the brand new vCenter installation with only about 10 minutes total virtual machine (VM) downtime.  This can actually be done with no downtime if planned properly and aware of the possible hiccups.

The new environment is now up and running, and after refining the process (poking around a lot), it only takes about 10 minutes to move each host.  This was done on vSphere 5 (moving from vSphere 5 to Update 1).

Continue reading vSphere: Move Hosts to New vCenter Server

My Experience: The Synology DS1511+ NAS is Purely Rock Solid

12-26-10-synology-15tb-nasI’ve been running a vSphere lab of my since ESX 2.x.  Over the years, I’ve used both local and NAS based storage with varying degrees of satisfaction with the results.  In the case of NAS storage, which is required since I can’t afford a SAN, I looked at Synology devices over the last year trying to gain the motivation to make the investment.

Needless to say, I dove in with both feet, and maxed out a Synology DS1511+ with 3TB drives.  I purchased my Synology DS1511+ from SimplyNas with the drives included, including their burn-in testing, and I haven’t looked back.  The device has been up and running since October 2011.

Continue reading My Experience: The Synology DS1511+ NAS is Purely Rock Solid

Enable Web Server Certificate Requests On Windows Server 2008R2 CA Server

So I’ve run into this problem multiple times and ‘hacked’ my way around it various ways, but there is a better way that doesn’t require the use of certutil.exe or any other console utilities.  This scenario applies under the following conditions:

  • CA (Certificate Authority) Server is running on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Web Server is running on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Both servers are members of the same domain
  • You want to use the Certificates snap-in
  • You want to stay away from the console if you can

By default, you cannot generate a web server certificate request directly from your servers and you are presented with this screen based on the default Active Directory Enrollment Policy:

001 denied

As you can see from the screenshot, most of the certificate templates are unavailable with the exception of the computer certificate template.

Continue reading Enable Web Server Certificate Requests On Windows Server 2008R2 CA Server

Extending The Life of Your VMware vCloud Director Appliance and Changing Certificates

vCloudDirectorVMware is distributing a limited usage vCloud Director virtual appliance to facilitate and support evaluation of the product.  I wanted to stand it up in my lab as a test-bed and to get to know the product better, but after checking into it, it’s not just the eval licenses that will expire.  The http certificates will also expire within 60 days of the certificates being generated since it uses the Java ‘keytool’ utility and it’s configured to.  As a VMware partner and I have access to licenses to extend the life of the appliance but due to my environment, I cannot work with expired certificates.

Continue reading Extending The Life of Your VMware vCloud Director Appliance and Changing Certificates

My vSphere 5 Upgrade – Notes and Lessons

vSphere 5 box shot
vSphere 5 box shot
With the release of VMware vSphere 5, I decided to upgrade my lab from 4.1.  The process was pretty painless for the most part, but I thought I would right a few notes about the experience and a couple of things I did to help my scenario along.

I upgraded 3 vSphere 4 (ESXi) hosts and a virtual vCenter Server.

Microsoft Office Communicator for Mac 2011 Crashes in OSX Lion – PATCHED!

In the compatibility war, I’ve come across my first real casualty after my OSX Lion upgrade.  What’s strange is this didn’t appear until today, and I’ve been running Lion and Communicator for more than a few weeks now.

The symptom appears to be that when Microsoft Communicator, which is part of the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 package, attempts to reach out to one of your contacts, by any means from my basic testing (chat, audio, video), Communicator crashes even though it starts up and lets you get that far.

Continue reading Microsoft Office Communicator for Mac 2011 Crashes in OSX Lion – PATCHED!

Download OSX Lion Again After It Has Been Installed

This is just a quick note on how to redownload OSX Lion.  I had a hard time finding this, maybe it’s common knowledge for everyone else, but…

There are tons of articles out there on how to create a bootable disk, or USB stick, etc., but all of them require you to have the original installer downloaded from the Mac App Store, which dissappears after you install it.  Don’t even bother looking, I at least haven’t been able to find it.

Continue reading Download OSX Lion Again After It Has Been Installed

OSX Lion – Brief Review

I’ve been running OSX Lion for a few weeks now and wanted to do a quick review since I’m really enjoying it.

I’ve installed it on a 2010 iMac and a 1st Gen Macbook Air.  My experience with the latest rendition of the Mac OS has been 99% joy, which I honestly can’t say about any other OS that I’ve started off with right off the bat.  For starters, the OS has been solid on both of the machines that I’m using it on.  To be specific, I’ve had to force quit twice, between both machines, since the GM release, one time Safari was the application and the second time it was Steam, and in each case I was pushing the box hard at the time.  Lots of applications running and lots of processing.  Steam restarted no problem… it’s just Steam.  Safari, when I restarted it, remembered every last window I had open, including tabs, sites, and window positions… as is mentioned in the features.  Force quit cost me about 30 seconds of time, and I had it all back.  Hiccup… no problem.

So before ranting about what I like about the software, I’ll jump right to something that seems to be missing…

Continue reading OSX Lion – Brief Review

… since manuals just never quite cut it.