Tech Notes

  • Graylog is a quick and reliable tool for basic, centralized log collection and review. It does have some limitations and lacks deep tools needed to fill more challenging usage scenarios - but for what it was intended to do it is a great solution. Any IT team can easily have Graylogs up and running quickly as a solid platform for centralized log searches, amalgamation, parsing and even some basic analysis.

  • After updating vCenter 6.0, 6.5 or 6.7 you may be able to reach the logon page butget an 'unable to logon' error message even though the upgrade was successful.

    The vCenter upgrade can often take a very long time. You first should just wait and see if you can logon after 20-30min. If you still cannot logon, the problem is likely all the services have not restarted on reboot.

    To solve this issue, simply logon to the vCenter server via SSH or virtual console and enter the command:
    service-control --start --all

  • Graylog is one of the tools we often use for basic, centralized logging. It has limitations and without deep analysis or review tools it is not well suited to high-security scenarios - but for what it is meant for, its a great solution.

    Graylog is a JAVA based web application which uses Elasticsearch for the heavy data storage and Mongo DB for parameters and operational elements.

  • For most desktop machines harddisk space is not a critical issue due to the low cost per Gigabyte of current consumer drives. Unfortunately server disks are a lot more expensive and keeping disk space small for virtual machine implementations is critical, making the ballooning system drive for Windows server an ever increasing problem.

    To safely reclaim some of that space you clear out a lot (sometimes up to several Gigabytes) of disk space by clearing up Windows updates.

  • In order to use a tape autoloader library with a virtual machine guest OS, both the autoloader and tape drive need to be passed-through to the guest OS by the ESXi operating system. Enabling pass-through access to a SCSI or SAS device can easily be setup within the Virtual Machine settings.

  • Once space runs out in a LINUX based virtual machine you can easily increase the disk size in VSphere client settings, however to utilize the free space within the LINUX OS requires extending the disk file system.

  • With constantly growing email content, users need to carefully handle the amount of storage used by their mailbox. For Microsoft Exchange/Outlook users, this normally involves routine archiving of email. However some users experience problems after archiving emails where Outlook still shows the mailbox is full. The user will eventually reach their storage limit and are no longer able to send/receive further email due to the administrative limits.

  • If you don't use 'hibernation' mode for you computer, you can free up a large amount of system disk space by completely disabling hibernation. This will remove the very large, hidden system file hiberfil.sys from your system partition.

    The only sure fire method of disabling Hibernatation in Windows 7 and removing the hiberfil.sys is through the command prompt:
    1) Open a command prompt with administrative privileges
    2) Enter “powercfg.exe -h off”
    3) Exit the command prompt
    4) Reboot the machine

  • When setting up active directory with clearly organized group policies it is critical that all users and computers be saved in appropriate 'Organizational Units' (OU) within Active Directory. Instead of manually moving all new computers and users to the appropriate OU - you should consider changing the default locations for new AD computer and user objects.

    New Active Directory users are automatically created in the special AD location "Users" and new computers are automatically placed in "Computers".

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