Nerd Polytechnic

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Lab Shortcuts! – Disable Windows Firewall via Group Policy

I hate firewalls in my lab. They just slow things down when you are experimenting in a NON-Production environment. So I normally set my Windows environment up so the firewalls are disabled automatically by Group Policy. So if you want to know how to Disable Windows Firewall via Group Policy check out this video tutorial. If you don’t have time for the video, its super simple. Open an Administrator command line shell and type gpmc.msc. Then open : Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative templates -> Network -> Network Connections -> Windows Firewall -> Domain Profile Set Windows Firewall: Protect all network...

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A System Engineers bag of magic tricks

This week I was in Silicon Valley at the Nutanix mid year kick off. Whilst we had our fair share of technical roadmap sessions and strategy briefings we also had a fun and simple presentation by one of my colleagues here in the US. He just touched on what is in his bag of tricks and I thought since I am obsessed with being prepared for anything I should make up a blog post on what I carry for work. Primarily my job is as a Pre-Sales Systems Engineer, so I spend my time working with customers on discovery and design...

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SCVMM Fail’s if hostname contains “SCVMM”

Here is a trick for new players. If you name your Windows 2012 System Centre Virtual Machine Manager anything with “SCVMM” in the hostname your going to have a bad time. The install will fail, or if your lucky it will install but you won’t be able to do much with it.

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An evening with Dick Smith

If your an Aussie Nerd like I am then you know who Dick Smith is. The Aussie business man, technologist and adventurer ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to being a hero of mine and I was honoured to meet and introduce him to the Manly Warringah Radio Society this week. This is a bit of a watch, but if you get the time its worth it as his story is fantastic and his sense of humour is iconically Australian. This is one of the rare times that I was actually nervous doing a introduction!

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VMware Virtual GPU – A beginners guide.

Currently  (November 2014) on VMware there is two ways to deliver GPU workloads to Virtual Desktops on VMware. If your new to GPU this post will give you an overview with both technologies (vSGA and vDGA) and give you some of each solutions strengths and weaknesses. vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics adaptor) uses a driver, installed within the Hyper-Visor (ESXi) that grabs requests for GPU from the virtual machine and directs it to a GPU. The benefit of this technology is multiple virtual machines can share a single GPU. The limiting factor here is your graphic cards video ram and the...

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Throw away the crystal ball and size with real data.

Over the years I have come to realise that every Solution Architect has their own technique for scoping and sizing a solution. It generally involved a finger in the air, a shake of the crystal ball and hopefully some current environment actuals. However, now that the Webscale / Hyper-Converged revolution is well and truly underway we don’t have to oversize environments or predict what an environment will need 5 years out. We can start to deploy just in time compute and storage, which means no more wasted money, power or cycles. So here I have put together some hints and...

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Security starts with education…

Why is it companies spend so much time and money implementing IT security systems, but to date I have never heard of a company putting their staff through basic IT security training. You have to admit that these days IT security has gotten pretty good. Audits, compliance, ethical hacking and pen testing keep systems and developers honest. Intrusion detection systems, firewalls and DDoS protection keep networks secure. I would hazard a guess and say the biggest threat is the one that hasn’t changed… the Users. As a fun experiment when you hear of a organisation getting “hacked”, see if you...

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Automated snapshots of your Amazon EC2 instances EBS volume

  So I am a big fan of automation, however the problem with automation is two fold. On one hand it reduces errors, but also makes failures spectacular. The other uhh.. fold (?) is how much time you spend trying to make a simple task automated. I wanted to come up with a simple way to backup my EBS instance, and got thinking about ssh tunnels, rsync and my MacMini home server. That is until I found this awesome script to do automated EBS Snapshots. https://github.com/colinbjohnson/aws-missing-tools/tree/master/ec2-automate-backup Here is a quick run-through for people new to AWS on how to set...

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Moving your blog to an Amazon EC2 Instance

AWS is the new hotness, and I am totally on the bandwagon.. so much so that I have been personally awarded this “cloud ninja” sticker from amazon.. A honour that I will tell my cat about. Amazon has a whole swag of services, of which I am interested in two for this hosting requirement. The first being EC2, which is their Virtual Server product and the second being EBS which is their block storage offering. The cool thing with EBS volumes is they are portable, so you can move them around and map them to different virtual servers. A quick...

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BYOD or Bust! Can we get rid of the corporate desktop

When I started in the IT industry computers had yet to reach default appliance status. Some family’s had a shared system but really most people would see their company issued desktop as their primary computing device. You might do a bit of web browsing at work, send that email to friends from your corporate address and that did the trick. Between those years and today people started to get personal computers, not shared home machines but their own system. This was a nightmare for Architects and Admins as we had the task of keeping these potentially disease infested computers off...