Feeds

Reasons to be cheerful

Doomsday Weekend 5: It's over, but that isn't the only good news

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Sysadmin blog It’s easy to complain about a tough weekend. It’s not so easy to remember the little things that made it easier.

Not everything during a huge network overhaul is negative. I was thoroughly impressed with Exchange 2010. Teamviewer 5 was simply rolled out to replace Teamviewer 4 with no negative effects.

I am always pleasantly surprised by the "little things": downloadable components, or incremental updates, for a minor product you’ve been using for years. Doomsday Weekend was my first real chance to get to know the Microsoft Print Management Console. I had poked at it in the lab and I may even have set up a home printer using it. I had not, however, deployed it in a production environment. It is refreshingly useful, with the ability to load up both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers for your printers onto whatever print servers you have - In our case, the domain controllers (Server 2003 R2 x64).

One quirk: it wouldn’t let me load 32-bit drivers from a 64-bit machine. That the print servers were 64-bit seemed not to be a problem, but the if the system running the Print Management Console was 64-bit it would just not allow us to load a 32-bit driver. The solution was to load the print drivers onto the 64-bit print server from a 32-bit system. Not a big deal, but the lesson I took away from it was to ensure that you join one system of each planned architecture and operating system to your domain early, rather than getting halfway through the rollout and having to ask “wait a minute, have we got any 32-bit systems joined to the new domain yet?”

I have posted many times on Group Policy, but sitting down to redo your entire network’s policies in a single night can renew your appreciation for how far they have come. There are a lot of things that, five years ago, I would have been coding into logon scripts that now simply disappear with the right group policies. I love that Group Policy Preferences can push down little bits of registry configuration to each new user or computer.

For example, I could disable JavaScript in FoxIt and remove the Accelerator selection button in IE. The administrator password on all joined systems, newly built or ported from the old domain, was reset to the new company standard. Mapping drives and futzing with default power settings was easier than I remember.

And so I have just built my first reasonably sized network that didn’t require any logon scripts. It feels much cleaner.

I had almost forgotten secondary DNS zones. Certainly not new, but also not something smaller organizations use on a regular basis. This weekend I was creating an entirely new domain in a new forest. I had to keep systems from both networks alive and talking to each other throughout the process. There were systems on the new domain with the same name as systems still alive on the old domain. Trying to use NetBIOS resolution would have resulted in naming conflicts.

The simple trick of having the DNS servers on each of the two networks publish a secondary DNS zone mirrored from their counterparts on the other network. As long as you have proper routing tables, someserver.oldnetwork.local can now find someserver.newnetwork.local by name. When transitioning to a new subnet with a completely different addressing scheme, the last thing you want to do is to have servers talking to each other by IP address. You have sleep deprivation. Some computers are changing subnets as part of the move. Which computer is which IP on which subnet?

But ultimately, the applications and tools that helped get me through Doomsday Weekend were systems management tools. All the mistakes, the mix-ups, the PR gaffes, and the long hours have led me to one decision: next year I’m not buying a single new server. I’m spending the budget on management tools. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.