Geeks With Blogs
Robert's Sysadmin Blog Unraveling the datacenter one fibre at a time In The Trenches These posts are real-life tech issues I encounter, and if possible, solutions to them.
Unix sysadmin blog: Unixplaza
Unixplaza Blog Site

My friend and former collegue Mohamed recently launched a Unix blog: "Unixplaza". Looks like he is writing about his own Unix sysadmin adventures. He really knows his stuff, so that should be cool to watch.

Posted On Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:57 PM

When you touch that server you touch me
They turned off the HPSIM and general management and alerting server this morning, or at least, unplugged it, cause it was causing this huge network spike at a remote site I know for a fact that no one besides myself knows what it is exactly that machine does, as its only usefull to me and what I do. That doesnt mean it isnt explained in the server list in Sharepoint that I made and painstakingly try to keep up to date, that no one bothers to ever look at. And of course no one bothered to ask during ......

Posted On Friday, July 25, 2008 10:56 PM

Big Bang Servermove succesfull
This Saterday, we switched the subnet over, and moved all the remain criticle systems over to a new serverroom across the country. I didnt get to make as many pics as I liked, and no video, this was mainly cause I was so bussy of course. :D Half the pics below are curtesy of Arnold. Back of the Digital Alpha box, refernece sho for recabling. Packing up the servers in special locked crates. You could see these movers where the right stuff, big burly guys, but they handled the servers like feathers. ......

Posted On Monday, July 7, 2008 10:51 PM

TCR Move destination rack plan v2
Picture on Flickr High-res version This is version 2 of the rack plan, as it currently stands. To make sure we have enough room for everything that could (potentially) be moved in, I moved things about a bit from where we are now, means we need to re-rack 2 servers tomorrow, but other than that we are good. I am really hoping we get to re-use the HP Storageworks tape library, I am not sure at the moment what type it is specifically. I also dont know yet how much room the Advocent Switchviews have ......

Posted On Thursday, May 8, 2008 2:42 AM

Datacenter Move post 2
So it turns out, we are gonna move all the servers to 1 location. Expect a new rack diagram soonish ;) I hate politics. Moving it all to 1 place is both a blessing and a curse. Naturally, its logistically easier for us. But it also means we are facing potential power and airco issues at the single location. Moving to the 1 location was a political desicion, and not made with the best of technical considerations in mind. On top of that, the big Citrix migration project, that we are depending on being ......

Posted On Friday, April 25, 2008 12:57 AM

Meanwhile, back at the old location
A tour of the current state of the office, and one of the server rooms, where most racks are now empty or near-empty. An Epic moment. Gert-Jan uninstalls Citrix on the last 2 servers in the farm, effectively ending 6 years of the 2000-user, 60-server Metaframe XP Citrix farm that served our Netherlands users. I would have had Marcel do this, but he has gone on holiday. Various IBM servers and almost all the blades lie ready to be moved to the new location. We don't have a use for any of these currently, ......

Posted On Friday, July 4, 2008 9:15 PM

T-Minus 1 day to Big Bang serverroom move
Spent today going over some cabling details mostly. Its strange how stressed we all became over these little details, while we will have larger issues to worry about on the day. (high res) During the move, we will be moving the Voip servers, RF-Controllers (used by various sites to do handheld-scanning), an Authentication server, the Wyse-Terminal (thin client) management server, and 1 PDC. We are also moving 2 very criticle FTP/EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) servers, that handle lots of customer-related ......

Posted On Thursday, July 3, 2008 9:12 PM

Version 7.1 of the TCR rack diagram
This is more or less how its gonna be. All the bits are now in place, half the rack stuff has been put in place already, the last stuff goes in coming Vriday. One of the biggest oversights we made was with power requirements. If you want redundant power for a lot of servers, you need to make sure you have a LOT of plugs, enough PDU’s, and plenty of PSU to back it all up. We didnt, partly due to time contraints, budget, but also short-sightedness, and my reliance on people that I, to put it bluntly, ......

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 11:57 PM

Computer Room Cleanup and re-cabling Pics and Movies
So a few weeks ago, we spent our Saterday doing major recable work on the new Technical Computer room (TCR) in the new location, in preperation for our Big Bang services move coming up on the 5th of July (it was delayed from the 22nd)) So thise pics and videos are a few weeks old now, but who cares. PICTURES (scroll down for movies) Not enough room to neatly get all the fat KVM cables sorted, so later I actually extended the room for the cables to 2U, and used the cable guide rail only for ethernet ......

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 11:37 PM

Datacenter Move post 4
Youtube videos are worth a thousands words, so I will let them do the talking. Progress TCR Move May27 part 1 (the old location) Progress TCR Move May27 part 2 (the new location) What Mustafa thinks of IBM rackmount kits: And some pics from the last 3 days: (Click for larger versions) IBM xseries 336, bout 3 years old now ServeRAID 6M controller (in the PCI slot bay). Its IBM branded but its basically an Adaptec. This comes out of one of the 2 xseries 336 servers that, together with the EXP400 shelf, ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:28 PM

Desicionmaking on the new Proxy solution
For your enjoyment, here is a, slightly edited, email I just sent to the department head and various other decision makers. It goes over some of the options we need to consider to solve the current issues with our internet access. Names and places have been changed to protect the guilty ;) And please exuse the spelling. I was in a hurry and I really dont care about spelling as much as I do content. ---------------------------- Hi all, We are currently faced with some decisions that need to me made ......

Posted On Monday, May 26, 2008 7:34 PM

Scheduled reboot batch job, unexpected "access denied" and how to handle security
So here is something silly I was running up against. In the end its super simple, but its not obvious, and not easy to google for. I want to equip the new servers are are installing with a standard weekly reboot schedule. I created a batch file that launched shutdown.exe with some fancy parameters, and set this up as a scheduled task for each server. I created a special domain account called sa-scheduledreboot with normal user rights, and rights to access the share, and of course the famous "log ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 14, 2008 7:26 PM

Books on Systems Administration and Datacenters
Ars Techninca recently opened a new forum called “The Server Room” The first thread I started there was about sysadmin and datacenter books, and I already have some real jewels that I will be ordering soon, I suspect. From Cisco Press: ( ) and this one was recommended to me too: ( ......

Posted On Thursday, April 17, 2008 3:52 PM

New IBM xSeries 346 servers
As part of a new global Active directory roleout, we recieved 4 xSeries 346 servers today, which will function as domain controllers. Here are some pictures I made (also on my Flickr! work page) IBM xSeries 346 server, with a 5 disks in the front. Mark is placing the controller. The Blower-array of the IBM xSeries 346 server. Each fan can be taken out seperately, or you can take the entire rack of fans out in one go. This little module that looks much like a memory stick, is in fact the Adaptec/IBM ......

Posted On Friday, December 30, 2005 6:58 PM

New IBM xSeries 346 servers
As part of a new global Active directory roleout, we recieved 4 xSeries 346 servers today, which will function as domain controllers. Here are some pictures I made (also on my Flickr! work page) IBM xSeries 346 server, with a 5 disks in the front. Mark is placing the controller. The Blower-array of the IBM xSeries 346 server. Each fan can be taken out seperately, or you can take the entire rack of fans out in one go. This little module that looks much like a memory stick, is in fact the Adaptec/IBM ......

Posted On Friday, December 30, 2005 6:58 PM

Timewasting Courseware
Update: Post edited after reflecting on some much deservered critisim on my tact So it seems now that every monday evening I am stuck in training.I was doing 70–299 self-paced training and getting closer to that exam point,but apparently my employer thinks its more usefull to know Exchange. Dont mind Exchange at all, but the guys instructing us, though knowledgable, are not the most skilled at bringing across that knowledge, or reading the kind of audience they have, and how their information ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 21, 2005 11:13 PM

First Datacenter move post
Ok, so this is the first post in a long while on this blog. The reason I have started blogging again, is cause I finally have something interesting Techie to blog about – namely our datacenter move. I hope this will become a series of posts, over the next few months, relating to our move. Our datacenter: – 100+ Citrix servers– Buch’O infrastructure server– About 20 application servers– About 8 web/FTP servers– About 6 IIS/Web servers– 2 IBM Blade Centers– Bunch’O Unix servers– About 6 SQL servers– ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 15, 2008 12:52 AM

WSUS fubar - Microsoft Desktop Search
Thank you Microsoft, for once again bypassing my Windows update policies. I can now go explain to my managers why 500 workstations and 12 servers have ended up with Microsoft Desktop Search, without anyones explicit approval. To illustrate how totally stupid this is, check out these screenshots out of our WSUS box: As you can see above, our current update policy only allows Security updates, Critical Updates and Security Roleup Packs to be automaticly installed ("Approve for Installation") on select ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 3:49 PM

Finding Downloads on the IBM Site
Finding and Downloading anything from the IBM site is still a confounding process. This post, attempts to illustrate some of the issues I encounter, and has also been my mental notepad in this process. This post is also a rant. We purchased two IBM xSeries 366 servers, with the ServeRAID 8i SAS controller included. We installed these servers using the latest ServerGuide CD, version 7.3.6, dates 11/25/2005 The OS is Windows Server 2003 SP1 However, once we installed the IBM director Agent, the servers ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 18, 2006 7:14 PM

Building IBM Bladecenters - A foto journal
2 x xSeries 366 Servers, unpacked, and ready to recieve options So much stuff to build, so much to unpack!! Over 100.000 dollar worth of components on the table here. Extra CPU's, Harddisks, Option cards, even Acoustic Attenuation Modules .. all to be built into our Blades, Bladecenters, and xSeries 366's 21 HS20 Blade Servers, still in Box. One of the 2 IBM 366 servers, they will be running Windows 2003 and SQL 2000. The 2 Bladecenter Chassis waiting to be unpacked. Way way waaaaaay to many boxes ......

Posted On Thursday, November 24, 2005 6:53 PM

ITT: Inclusion list for low (security) file types (unsolved)
Oke.. so when our heavily managed users (heavily managed though group policy) on Windows XPSP2 try to open an .sgimb extention (Kasenna StreamPlayer) from a webpage, they get the standard explorer security dialog-box asking them if they want to open or save the file. After they click though, the file opens properly in the Kasenna player. This is undesireable, we want to get rid of the dialog box popping up.We tried adding the extention in the "inclusion list for low file types" in group policy, under ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 7, 2004 4:45 PM

A VB Script that checks registry for installed hotfix
You may find this usefull! I am quite new to scripting, so I am sure that I could have done things much better than I did in this script. So I would very much appreciate any feedback, tips and comments! The next version of this script should allow command line input aswell, so you dont have to supply a list of servernames. Also next version will check with WMI directly, instead of checking the registry. ————... ......

Posted On Friday, October 21, 2005 9:00 AM

Originally uploaded by Jemimus. Update fun at work today, trying desperately to get 50 windows 2000 servers up to some kinds of descent patch level ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 17, 2005 3:28 PM

ITT: Using Security Templates and the SCW in Windows Server 2003
I finally got my nerve together and recorded an Admin-to-Admin segment for the In The Trenches podcast Article here: to the episode here: Here are the notes for my segment: Using Security Templates Uses Enforcing security policy onto a Workstation or Server Setting software restriction policy (name, hash, path) Setting secured groups Enforcing NTFS permissions Enforcing Registry Permissions Enforcing the status ......

Posted On Friday, August 12, 2005 9:22 AM

ITT: SUS server Sync error caused by Surfcontrol and ISA (Solved)
First week on the new job, problem nr1 solved. (hostnames changed to generic names) We where getting continuous Sync errors like follows:Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB898792): Failed to download from URL 'http://download.windowsupd... (Error 0x80072F78: Invalid server response.) - WindowsServer2003-KB898792-... is a copy paste of ......

Posted On Monday, July 11, 2005 8:18 AM

ITT: The clocks on the client and server machines are skewed (solved)
Update 18 march:Short awnser: Time Zone settingsScroll down for more info! ---------------------------... the sentence "The clocks on the client and server machines are skewed" produces a mere 2 pages in google. For something that seems to be relatively easy to have happen, there is a sad mount of data available on the problem. I hope this post helps. So I was setting up 2 Windows Server 2003 images. I had copied an already working configuration of mine, renamed it, and ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 16, 2005 11:18 PM

ITT: Resultant Set of Policy, Services view or Remote Disk Management - "RPC Server is Unavailable" (Solved)
Update June 17, 2005: Progress at least getting the remote disk management to work thought the SP2 firewall. I am chaning the status to this issue to SOLVEDI can confirm that the solution suggested by Tori in the comments works. the following program exeptions must be added to your firewall policy in order for the Logical Disk Management Service to be accesable through the firewall, dispite having already turned on the options Allow Remote Administration Exception and Allow File and Printer Sharing ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 19, 2005 5:13 PM

ITT: Restoring Outlook Web Access (OWA) (Solved)
Ever had one of those days .. where you accidentily delete your Default Website in ISS, and all the exchange stuff along with it? :DHave no fear, MS KB is here! Download and install the IIS 6.0 Resource Kit Tools. To obtain the IIS 6.0 Resource Kit Tools, visit the following Microsoft Web site: 629C89499&displaylang=enIf you do not want to install all the IIS 6.0 Resource ......

Posted On Thursday, December 9, 2004 12:34 AM

ITT: Hung on "applying computer settings" - Exchange System Attendant was the culprit (Solved, kinda)
Isn't it wierd how, when you wanna get something done, you end up spending time fixing other problems that are stopping you from doing what you wanted to do originally. For some reason Group Policy was not being applied to my Laptop, causing all kinds of settings to fail.. eventlog told me: “windows cannot query for the list of Group Policy object”Could not find the cause, so rebooted the Server. Then the server wouln’t log in anymore.. it kept hanging on “applying computer ......

Posted On Sunday, December 5, 2004 11:15 PM

ITT: ProxyDHCP service did not reply to request on port 4011 (Solved)

You may receive an error message when a PXE client computer contacts a Windows Server 2003-based computer that is running RIS and DHCP with two IP addresses for one network adaptor

Funny the things one runs into. new Laptop wouln’t boot from RIS, and this was why.


Posted On Saturday, December 4, 2004 2:21 PM

ITT: Fresh Windows installation -ATI Catalist cli.exe, Client Side Caching issues (Solved)
Now Half Life 2 has come out, it was time to prepare the game computer. I hadn't touched it for weeks, as I do most of my stuff on the laptop now. The installation on it was over a year old and full of all kinds of junk that I dont need on there anymore. So I decided to stick a new installation on there. Because I use folder redirection and a bunch of other tricks to keep all essential data on the server, I had no problems simply formatting C and reinstalling Windows XP + SP2 from the CD. After all ......

Posted On Friday, November 19, 2004 8:14 AM

Copyright © Robert Kloosterhuis | Powered by: