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Gary Williams
Gary Williams
Gary is a virtualisation, storage and Windows systems administrator who also occasionally ventures into Linux and networking and cloud areas. Container user, Windows tech, Veeam Vanguard, Spiceworks moderator. A very firm believer that the best way to solve a problem is to start with a hot cup of tea.

All posts by Gary Williams

Posted by Gary Williams on June 27, 2019
Exploring Windows 10 Sandbox mode

In not so good old times of internet security being only at preliminary stages, the only protection measures available were wild viral applications all over the internet, such as Sandboxie. It is an app, designed to instantly close and delete all the suspicious content after finishing operations. Naturally, it was only a matter of time until someone has utilized it, which came to be Microsoft.

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Posted by Gary Williams on March 28, 2019
IAM, why it matters and why you should use it

In public could hosting, whether it is Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, you deal with security credentials. For every business, securing data, protecting information, or delegating access are vital. Identity Access Management (IAM) is a framework that helps to distribute access policies and account protection, and it can serve your needs specifically. Learn what exactly it is and why you should care!

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Posted by Gary Williams on February 26, 2019
First steps with AWS Fargate containers

Have you ever heard of the possibility to run containers without a need to manage servers or clusters? Containers allow packing application code, configurations, and dependencies into a single object. Standardly for their run, it’s necessary to select, configure, and scale clusters of VMs. Now imagine that you don’t need to do all this. You don’t have to choose server types and optimize cluster packing. AWS Fargate is a computer engine for Amazon ECS that makes your work with containers as easy as possible. With AWS Fargate, you don’t interact with servers or clusters, but simply concentrate on designing and building your applications, and not on managing the infrastructure that supports them. Not bad, right?

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Posted by Gary Williams on December 11, 2018
SPF, DKIM and DMARC

There are many anti-spam tools. And they are pretty good. For example, better-known and reliable domains can be added to your whitelist. However, spoofed emails will always be redone because they represent legitimate business emails. SPF, DKIM, and DMARC is a mechanism that will protect your email box and will allow you to get rid of annoying spam, ensuring verification of the sender’s domain. Stop spam emails right now!

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Posted by Gary Williams on July 31, 2018
Using the AWS cli to backup to AWS from a remote server

I run a few small non-AWS hosted VM’s for things like my blog and email. These VM’s are typically run on LAMP stack style environments with a few customizations for monitoring and reporting that I like to run on the servers. Because of the hosted nature of the servers, I will admit that I did not always back up the content as often as I should.

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Posted by Gary Williams on May 22, 2018
Install Gitlab, HTTPS and the container registry

Many of us view Gitlab as something that only developers may use. Indeed, these guys love it, but are they the only ones who may find it handy? That’s time to dispel that myth! Gitlab is more than the cool repository for scripts of any size and shape. It is a feature-rich solution, so that won’t be fair to leave that thing on the table.

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Posted by Gary Williams on March 15, 2018
Demystifying HTTPS

This blog is going to be all about the secure certificate side of things, by setting these headers you reduce the chances of certain types of probes and attacks from being successful. The server itself and whatever applications you are running on it still need to be upgraded and configured to reduce the chances of someone gaining unauthorised access to your systems.

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Posted by Gary Williams on December 7, 2017
Deploying Microsoft LAPS

As a summary, LAPS is the Local Administration Password solution from Microsoft. This software changes the local administrator password on a selection of machines on a schedule and stores that password in plain text in Active Directory. The first time I came across LAPS was when I hear about project Honolulu and I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard about it before which is something of a shame because LAPS is one of those very handy little add-ins that Microsoft should be offering as part of the core AD experience. For those who haven’t come across LAPS before, LAPS is a handy tool for scenarios where you need to change or set the local admin password to something random because you need to give out that password.

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Posted by Gary Williams on November 1, 2017
Looking at the human factors in security breaches

There have been a lot of high profile security breaches this year, the highest profile has to be that of Equifax as that is a breach which has the potential to run and run for some time to come. Deloitte also got breached and alongside those large companies which should have known better, there have been various others impacting systems such as Disqus. Of course, once it was made clear how the breach occurred, a lot was said about how bad it is that the breaches accorded and how it should never have happened and this is quite valid from a technical standpoint but, the reasons that these security issues were allowed to exist go far beyond the technical and into the realm of human factors.

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Posted by Gary Williams on August 10, 2017
Disaster Recovery and why hypervisor HA may not be best

A lot of the time I see and speak to people asking about DR solutions when what they really want is HA with a few backups so I wanted to use a blog article to go through some of the technical terms used in conjunction with DR. When people say “I want DR”, I’ll ask them about the sort of disasters they are looking to protect against and most of the time the response is “I want to keep working if my hypervisor crashes”.

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