AntiVirus Blocking Woes for Infrastructure Changes

I’m not sure if I’m the only one out there that doesn’t know this, especially since I’m an app dev guy and not an infrastructure guy (though you may not be able to tell by my posts so far), but AntiVirus engines can really ruin your day when you’re attempting to troubleshoot things, or install enterprise software.

Recently, I installed Microsoft Exchange 2007 and had all kinds of trouble.  Needless to say that the antivirus client that was running on the domain controller was preventing remote updates to the sysvol folder.  Now you’d figure that I could manually correct the issues after disabling the blocking rule on the DC, but no… I had to uninstall Exchange and reinstall it.  By the way, when you uninstall exchange, while planning to reinstall it, make sure that it cleans up Active Directory properly or the installer will never get started.

To add insult to injury, I couldn’t figure out why my Exchange install could receive emails, but was failing to send them out.  Again, turns out that they AntiVirus client was blocking all outbound port 25 traffic.  Again after adjusting the policy of the AV client, yes… success.

Within the next 24 hours I began troubleshooting why my SharePoint boxes could not send out smtp mail via the Exchange server.  I had already created a new receive connector and configured it properly.  After a short time of chasing my tail, I remembered that all of these servers were built from the same sysprep image.  All running the same AV client, and yes, the port blocking rule was still engaged on the SharePoint box.

Just as a reminder to anyone that reads this, and myself especially… Make sure to check all traffic failures first with your various AntiVirus engines.  They are very thorough and a thoroughly locked down server is going to likely need some reconfiguring prior to retasking or deployment.

VMware VI Toolkit For Windows

Ok, I’m a little excited… well a lot excited!

PowerShell, imho, is one of the best and most powerful tools that Microsoft has released in quite some time.  Now toward proving that statement, VMware has created a PowerShell snap-in for VI (Virtual Infrastructure).  If you’re not sure what PowerShell is, a little research would help you greatly, but suffice it to say that it is a scripting engine that will not only allow you to manage Microsoft infrastructure, but also can also script against the .NET framework.  That’s right, no Visual Studio needed for quick tasks.  Some scripting background will help you out with this, but it’s not difficult to pick up if you’ve never scripted before.  If you don’t know what VI is, you probably shouldn’t be reading this entry. ;)  But alas, I digress…

Continue reading VMware VI Toolkit For Windows

Windows Live Writer + CKS EBE

I was reading a post on Gav’s Blog by the same title as this one and noticed that he wrote a section about having categories set.

It appears that within Live Writer, you can blog until your heart’s content, but when you set multiple categories, you can’t publish, and when you set 1 category, it doesn’t stick.  I’ve done a little digging, and I can elaborate a little on the behavior.

When setting multiple categories within Live Writer, yes the publishing fails.

When setting a single category, publishing succeeds, but the category doesn’t show up in any of your public views.  However, if you go to the SharePoint list, you will see that the category IS indeed associated with the blog post, however when the page renders, it is failing to show up.  See the screenshots below.  Another odd part of this behavior is that from this list view, the categories that I have set up for the other posts aren’t showing up.  Odd behavior!

Continue reading Windows Live Writer + CKS EBE

VMware did it! ESXi is now free!

If you’ve been looking for a robust virtualization solution, ie. ESX, but haven’t had the budget, willpower, whatever else needed, to get on board.  VMware just made it a LOT easier.
 
You can now download ESXi for free!
 
Don’t miss it.  It really is a great product, and for geeks like me, that may have some extra hardware sitting around, or will shell out a few thousand for a server (coff… Dell… coff… 19xx… inexpensive), it’s a great way to play with the technology, or bump your infrastructure.  For businesses, you can look forward to lower costs (power, AC, etc) using this platform to begin a server consolidation initiative.
 
Worse case scenario… there is none, it’s free… play away! 😉
 
 
EDIT: You can download a VI3 reference card from http://www.vmreference.com/vi3-card/.  It’s an excellent cheatsheet on settings to use and frequent commands.
 

… since manuals just never quite cut it.