Let’s get started!
On the 13th January 2015 Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 reached the end of mainstream support. The extended support phase of the product now begins and runs until January 2020.
So what does that mean for customers still running Exchange Server 2010 today, or those planning a new Exchange 2010 deployment?
Some of you may have come across some email delivery or internet access issues since ringing in the new year. What you may not be aware of is that the publisher of the Abusive Hosts Block List (AHBL) DNS block list announced that would be shutting down their lists back in April 2014. The publisher gave a warning stating that DNS block list will return positive as of 01 January 2015. Yep.. thats a few days ago.
So what does that mean? Every domain on the Internet will return positive for abuse by this DNS block list. Seriously – look!
Chef is a popular open source configuration management and automation tool. It’s one of the tools we use here at Idea 11 to manage servers.
After we upgraded Enterprise Chef Server from version 11 to 12, the management web interface didn’t function even though we followed the official upgrade instructions. When hitting the management interface URL, all we got was an unhelpful message about it being the API endpoint.
Now that we’ve looked at how to get started with the AWS PowerShell tools lets take a look at a simple scenario of launching an EC2 instance to run a basic web server.
The steps involved are:
- Create an Amazon EC2 key pair
- Create a Security Group (ie, a firewall rules)
- Find a suitable Amazon Machine Image (AMI)
- Launch the EC2 instance
- Configure the web server
After walking through those steps we’ll also take a look at how to shut down the EC2 instance at the end and clean up afterwards, so that nothing is left behind.
Installing the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell
The pre-requisites for the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell are minimal. Windows XP or later, with PowerShell 2.0 or later, is the requirement, so that is a pretty low bar.
Anything from Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 and up already meets these requirements, so there’s little to do but download the MSI from Amazon Web Services and install it.
If you’ll be doing the installation across multiple computers or want to automate it I’ve also published a PowerShell script to install the AWS Tools for PowerShell.
This PowerShell script has been written to streamline the process of downloading and installing the Amazon Web Services Tools for Windows PowerShell to a Windows computer.
The general workflow of the script is:
- Validate the download path exists, and create if necessary
- Download the file from AWS using Invoke-WebRequest
- Run the MSI using code sample from Jonathan Medd here
- Display errors when they occur
Here at Idea 11 we’re big fans of PowerShell. We use it every day to support our customers and develop scripts and tools to help with our services and support.
When you spend as much time in PowerShell as we do it is useful to create a PowerShell profile. A PowerShell profile is simply a PowerShell script that automatically runs when you open a new PowerShell window. PowerShell profiles are usually used to configure your PowerShell environment to fit your needs, or to load custom functions that you can then use during your PowerShell administration tasks.
The introduction of ‘pay for what you use’ and ‘pay as you go’ consumption models in cloud infrastructure are a dramatic departure from the traditional capital budgeting process that has underpinned decades of previous IT projects.
Many business and IT managers are currently evaluating a cloud project and in weighing up the benefits on offer are hitting a common stumbling block. Managers are finding that in the critical planning stages that collecting the right data from their existing environment, identifying an equivalent cloud solution then performing project costing is a complex and time consuming process.
The news that up to 7 million Dropbox usernames and passwords may have been compromised is a good opportunity for businesses to review their use of multi-factor authentication for the online services that they rely on.
At this stage the Dropbox leak appears to be a result of re-use of passwords on multiple sites, not a direct hack of Dropbox itself. It is unfortunately quite common for individuals to sign up to different online services using the same email address and password.