Your basic ITPro blog... What's going on at work, what I'm interested in.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Network Configured To Automate Cisco APs

We had a couple Cisco APs go bad on us recently. I bought a couple replacements and soon realized that my laptop doesn’t have a COM port… No consoling in to set IP config on the APs. After a little research, I decided to set up out network (DHCP, DNS) to auto-config new APs. Short version below:

Configured network infrastructure to support Cisco Aironet c1300 series APs.

  • Created DNS entry in domain: –> <IP of WLC>
  • In DHCP Scope
  • Added Scope Option: 43 = <calculated HEX value>
    • See:
    • See:
  • Reset APs to factory defaults: held down reset button while plugging power in.
  • Plugged AP into network.
  • Once WLC sees and updates the AP:
    • Rename AP
    • Enable HREAP (as needed)
    • Change AP Group as needed
    • Verify all settings

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We Have A Test Lab Environment!

It have been a long time in coming, but we have a small test lab environment. We were able to get a single Dell 2950 server with some memory (32GB) and some disk (6x2TB drives).

I put Win08R2 on running the Hyper-V role. I used the Microsoft Test Lab Guide Base Configuration to set up an initial lab environment. To speed things up, my VMs all use differencing disks pointing to a sysprepped ‘base disk’ for each OS (Windows Server 08 R2 and Windows 7 64bit Professional). This let’s me turn up new machines in just a few minutes.

Some of the first things I am going to be testing in this lab are a few possible backup solutions. Specifically, I am going to be looking at Data Protection Manager and AppAssure.

I am very excited to be able to test before implementing now.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh, by the way… We migrated to Exchange 2010

So, yeah… We did that last week.

First things first, sorry for being such a horrible blogger.

We were running an Exchange 2003 environment in our old domain and have been running two AD domains side-by-side to way too long. Our new domain (Win2008) did not have email and we were managing multiple domains. A total pain.

So, we finally put Exchange 2010 in our new domain and migrated everyone and everything. Overall, it went pretty well. There were no show-stoppers. We are not using public folders in the new environment, so we are sharing “public” calendars from a resource user. It is functioning, I think. We are not a SharePoint shop (and aren’t likely to become one), so this is how I think we need to do it.

We upgraded all of our clients to Outlook 2010 before the migration, so profiles moved over automagically… for the most part. There were a few issues to mitigate, but creating a new Outlook profile usually did the trick.

Thank you to BriComp for their help and hand-holding, especially in setting up the new Exchange 2010 server… yes, a single server running all essential roles. We have a pretty simple environment.

Another shout-out to DigiCert. They provided us with our SSL cert for the new environment. Super easy and super fast to work with. Couldn’t be happier!

Last steps now… Make sure we don’t need our old domain/Exchange any more and decommission it. Then, any lingering clean-up.

It will be nice to have just the one domain to deal with again.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Long time, no blog…

So, it has been quite a while since I have posted anything here. Did you miss me? Heh… as if anyone is here.

Anyway, here’s a quick synopsis of the current goings-on around here:

1) Moving forward on our Exchange migration project. This is a biggie. We are currently running to forests/domain side by side. One domain (Win08) hosts everything EXCEPT email. The second domain (Win03) hosts our email. This has not be ideal, to say the least, from a usability and management point. But, we are going to be rectifying that shortly. We are going to be putting in an Exchange 2010 infrastructure in our new domain and migrating everything to that. So, we will finally be able to decommission our old domain and be rid of this multi-domain structure. Looking forward to that!

2) Continuing my ‘developing development’. I finished version 1.0 of my Friendly URL Management App. It is an Arena module and works pretty well, though it is a bit slow form a performance standpoint. I haven’t done any work on trying to optimize it yet. But, it is functioning. Users can visit the page to see which Friendly URLs (fURLs! Just thought of this… and like it!) exists, check their destinations, create requests to add new or edit fURLs, etc. Users can also get a QR Code for the fURL, even choosing the size of the QR Code. The app also has a management component so I can add/edit/remove fURLs from the web interface. All in all, it is a great app and I learned a ton writing it! As always, I have to give huge shout-outs to Nick and Jason for their guidance, input, and mentoring. Thanks guys!!

3) Along the lines of Point 2 above, I have been working on a new Arena App recently. This app is for our Prayer Ministry and is intended to replace an existing app with the same functionality. The existing app is hosted off-site (at a cost to us) and does not leverage any of the functionality/data available to us in Arena. So, I have been working on creating an Arena’ed version of the app. Basically, this is an app to collect prayer requests for various contributors and then create a book/compilation that is distributed to prayer team members. This has been a fun project to work on and, again, I have learned so much. I am excited by the prospect of actually rolling this out for use by our Prayer Ministry.

4) In addition to all of this, I still have my day-to-day work on network management, Windows server admin, backups, etc. etc. etc.

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