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Posted by Mike Preston on March 29, 2018
Using the Microsoft Certificate Authority to get rid of those self-signed certs

Most every application we run in our datacenters today provides some sort of web-based interface.  The push to move to HTML5, API driven GUIs is a good one – we can access things from anywhere, using any device or browser.  The problem being we are also seeing a push for security, more specifically ensuring that all our web accessible interfaces are running through SSL and only accessed through https. To get around this administrators can go out and purchase a certificate from a trusted authority, however this could get pretty expensive if you start adding up all of the self-signed certificates within your environment.  Another answer – the Microsoft Certificate Server.

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Posted by Vladan Seget on March 1, 2018
How to enable Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server 2016

Before we dive into how to enable Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server 2016, we will first explain what it is and when Microsoft introduced this feature. Active Directory Recycle Bin simply allows you to restore deleted objects from Active Directory. It can be a user account, computer account or a whole Organizational Unit (OU). Who did not accidentally delete an AD object in his career?
Without this feature enabled, you had only a few choices. Either you could restore if you used a backup solution allowing you to restore individual AD objects (many virtualization backup vendors do that nowadays). Or you have had less chance and your AD server wasn’t configured to be backed up and you have to recreate the user and reinstall his profile on his computer.

 

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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 Karim Buzdar on November 22, 2017
Managing User Mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 with PowerShell

Managing user mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 is a day-to-day task of system engineers. This article focuses on managing user mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 including very common features like creating, removing and disabling the mailboxes with the help of PowerShell.

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Posted by Edwin M Sarmiento on October 31, 2017
Deploying SQL Server 2016 Basic Availability Groups Without Active Directory. Part 1: Building the Platform

When Availability Groups were introduced in SQL Server 2012, they were only available in Enterprise Edition. This made it challenging to move from Database Mirroring to Availability Groups, especially if you’re running Standard Edition.  To upgrade and migrate from Database Mirroring in Standard Edition, you either choose to upgrade to a more expensive Enterprise Edition license and implement Availability Groups or stick with Database Mirroring and hope that everything works despite being deprecated.

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Posted by Karim Buzdar on September 5, 2017
Installing Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 with GUI

Probably most of the enterprise businesses have heard of Microsoft Exchange Server. It’s Microsoft platform delivering email, scheduling, and tools for custom collaboration and messaging service applications and is installed on Windows Server operating systems. Its main aim is not just to let workers inside an organization communicate but to collaborate. So, you can install Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 using two ways:

  • PowerShell
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI)

However, in this article, I’ll focus on installation with the help of GUI.

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Posted by Vladan Seget on May 1, 2017
How to install VPN access on Windows Server 2016

I did previously setup during a few occasions, VPN access on Windows Server 2012 R2, but haven’t tested that on the newly released Windows Server 2016. Remote access role is a VPN which protects the network connection or your remote connection from one side to another and protecting both sides from attacks or data sniffing as VPN protocol uses a tunnel inside of a standard data connection.

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Posted by Nicolas Prigent on March 16, 2017
Installing System Center Configuration Manager 1610 (Current Branch) on Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2016. PART 2

Thanks to the previous part, we have SQL Server 2016 installed and configured. Before running the SCCM installation process, let’s remember the architecture we are implementing.

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Posted by Romain Serre on March 8, 2017
Backup and restore your first VMware VM with Veeam

In the previous topics, we have installed and updated Veeam B&R 9.5. Then we have connected Veeam to vCenter 6.5 to get visibility on VMware VM and backup them. To finish, we have added a backup repository to store backup files. Now we can backup a virtual machine. Once we have some restore points, we can also recover the VM.

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Posted by Romain Serre on February 6, 2017
Specialize Windows Server Hyper-V guest OS automatically

Last year I have written a topic on Starwind to create VMs from PowerShell. That enables to automate the creation process without using a GUI, either from Virtual Machine Manager or Hyper-V Manager. But a VM deployment is not finished when the VM is created but when the application is deployed. Before deploying the application, the OS must also be installed and specialized. This topic shows you the method I use to deploy and specialize a VM without a single click.

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