Bulk Licensing Office 365 Users with PowerShell

Licensing Office 365 users manually can be a tedious task; especially if you are tasked with licensing hundreds or even thousands (think educational institutes that need to license user’s every semester or academic year).

I created a fairly basic script that will take a .CSV input and license your users according to your Office 365 environment and the licenses you have available.

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Converting iSCSI Targets in Windows to VMDK

Recently I was tasked with converting iSCSI connected disks on Windows Servers to a new SAN. With this migration it was decided that we should convert the disks to native ESXi VMDK format.

It is not possible to storage-vMotion the iSCSI disks without doing some work first (see below) as the hypervisor does not see the iSCSI disks as they are essentially remote disks.
In this article are some ideas you could potentially use to convert the iSCSI disks to VMDK.

Option A: Some downtime – easy

You could use the VMware vCenter Converter tool to migrate the disks to VMDK. This will involve some down time.

Option B: No down time necessary – requires some work

 

Another option which you could potentially do without any down time is to:

  • Attach a new HDD to the VM with the same size (or bigger) as the iSCSI disk
  • In disk management (diskmgmt.msc), right click the iSCSI volume and select mirror. Select the new HDD we just attached to the VM
  • Wait for the volumes to mirror – no down time required during the mirroring process. Depending on the volume size, the mirroring process could take a while.
  • When the mirroring process is complete, right click the iSCSI disk and select Remove Mirror. Select the iSSCI disk in the next window and confirm that you want to remove the mirror.
  • All your data that was previously on the iSCSI disk is now on the VMDK. You can safely disconnect the iSCSI volume.
  • Use vMotion to move the disks to a new server/storage appliance

Atheros WLAN Driver for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

This was a difficult driver to find so I have made it available on my blog so others in the future don’t have to go through the same hassle of finding it (it’s not even possible to download it from the Atheros website).

The driver is designed for Windows 8.1 32/64bit but I am using it just fine on Windows 10.

Driver version: 10.0.0.308

Driver date: 11/12/2014

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Flashing Nexus 5 with the Cataclysm 5.1.1 ROM

I’ve had my Nexus 5 for almost a year now and as always with technology, I’m starting to get bored of the stock Android feel. After doing a bit of research in to the many different Android ROMs available for the Nexus 5, I thought I would go ahead and give the Cataclysm 5.1 ROM a try. It has a lot of positive reviews and is very close (in terms of UI) to the stock Android experience which is always a plus.

In this short article I will go through a step-by-step approach as to how I went about replacing my stock Nexus 5 Lollipop with the Cataclysm 5.1.1 ROM.

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Can You Snapshot a Virtual Cisco IronPort?

The Cisco IronPort virtual edition has been out for about a year now. It’s still not quite as mature as we would like for it to be; for example, it lacks support for Hyper-V, modifying the CPU core allocation to meet peak performance demands, etc.

One of the unsupported ‘configurations’ is virtual machine snapshots.

This is what I was advised by a TAC engineer:

“The software was written for physical hardware, and operations such as snapping an image and reloading it at a later point in time, is not supported.

Our appliances often have files open, and taking a snapshot while a file is being written, can leave you with a worthless snapshot, that can’t be executed.  And thats only one of the problems you may encounter

I can confirm it is not supported, but nevertheless it will probably work when the machine is completely shut down. It will probably fail when the machine was ‘powered on’. There are no power states like pause or standby which would take the filesystem into a state that would be safe for a snapshot.

I can confirm, no problem if version mismatch due to a revert. A “revert” of the machine (CLI> revert)  also results in such a mismatch, but this is automatically resolved.”

So as you can see, snapshotting your ESA isn’t technically supported HOWEVER if you follow the basic steps below you shouldn’t have any issues.

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Cisco IronPort ESA Finally Supports TLS 1.2

ASyncOS 9.5 is in Limited Deployment at the moment but you don’t have to wait long before it hits an ESA near you as Cisco seem to be pushing out ASyncOS releases pretty quickly these days.

9.5 comes with a bunch of new features including one many people have been waiting for – support for TLS 1.2.

See the release notes @ http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/security/esa/esa9-5/ESA_9-5_Release_Notes.pdf

If you don’t want to wait for it to hit the General Deployment phase then you can raise a TAC support request with the serial number of your appliance and a request to be put on the LD list for release 9.5.

I’ll probably be doing this my self in the next few days. I also have a virtual appliance so can always snapshot the VM before the upgrade and roll back in case anything goes awry.