Monthly Archives: June 2007

Kerio Mac OS X Microsoft Exchange Server

Entourage Migrations

I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

For years, we’ve had issues with the fact that there is no good built-in auto-archive feature for Entourage. This has led to many an Exchange environment getting out of control with a lot of Mac clients. To get around this issue, check out Entourage Email Archive X 3.4.0. It’s a utility for archiving emails and/or attachments for Entourage in Mac OS X. EEAX 3.x works on OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) with Microsoft Entourage 2004. You can Download latest EEAX 3.4.0 from:

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/14011

If you need an evaluation copy drop an email to: info@softhing.com.

Mac OS X Server

Mac OS X Server: AppleFileService Crashing When Searching

So you just installed that new Xserve and you are starting to notice that the AppleFileServer is spiking when your users are searching the AFP volume for some media.  To fix, first, backup /etc/rc.server (just in case).  

Then change this line:

sysctl -w kern.maxnbuf=90000

Replace the 9 with a 2 and then save the file and then reboot.
 

Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment

Managing SMB Using Defaults

One of the biggest issues that a number of large environments have is controlling what client systems are able to see on a network.  In these types of environments, limiting the number of Windows file servers that show up can be a show stopper.  So Apple has given us an option in the com.apple.smb.server.plist file for RegisterWINSName.  By default it isn’t there, but when you use the following command and then restart smb it will suppress your system from the list of servers:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.smb.server RegisterWINSName -bool false

You can also use com.apple.smb.server to change the NetBIOS name and server description.
Network Infrastructure

The Changing Mac Switching Infrastructure

No one ever got fired for buying Cisco.  But, I recently saw a shop where they went from Cisco to Enterasys (thanks for showing off your backbone Todd).  I must say that I really liked the Enterasys switches. I looked them up and they are about 1/2 the cost of Cisco.  They have great tech support and are very easy to configure, even though it’s a command line interface.  The only complaint I have about them is the web interface is good for reviewing your setup but inadequate  for configuration – but is good for looking at the switch configs. Maybe in time this will mature…  I don’t know if they can go to the 10,000+ environments though…  Oh, and it required zero config to do link aggregation, which was weird – but cool…

Now, I have really been liking what Foundry is doing with their switches.

And Juniper.  If you play your cards right you can even get free training with Juniper, which is pretty cool – and sometimes they give hard core sweetheart deals to larger shops that are switching over to their platform from Cisco.

Of course there are hundreds of other switch manufacturers.  The only other ones I’ve seen in really large install bases are HP (which I hear mixed reviews on from Mac guys) and Extreme Networks (again mixed reviews for Mac) and some Allied Telesys Switch Blades (great review but only seen them once - 4000 series blades – with fiber to ring and ethernet to classrooms in the same chassis – it stuck out to me ’cause we used to sell a lot of allied switches and I didn’t know they made blades yet).

On the Road

On The Road: Ways to Avoid Flight Delays

Let’s face it: all the airlines suck now.  When my grandfather was with the airlines things were different (I think).  But, the worst thing that an airline can do isn’t to carve out an inch of your space every year (some day we’ll be rack mounted in the plane – are you a 1U, 2U or 4U box?).  The worst thing they do is being late.  Which in turn makes us late for jobs, or more painful to the ‘ole heartstrings late to get home to the family.  Not that airline execs have heartstrings – look at how they treat their own unionized employees…  Anyway, some of my own tips (whether I choose to follow them or not) at keeping out of the delayed column on flights… 

Fly early.  I know, I know, it turns out you would probably rather fly later in the day, but when have you had delayed flights in the morning that weren’t mechanical? This is the single biggest thing you can do though to keep with on-time flights

Connections.  Well, just don’t it when you can avoid it (non-stop when possible), and when you can’t avoid it, one hour is the rule between.  A wasted hour indeed though, if you could have gotten the non-stop flight for $20 more…  But if you try and squeeze out an extra 20 minutes and only give yourself 40 minutes it’s just a matter of time before you find yourself on standby for a later flight ’cause you missed your lay-over.

Go online.  Check the flight status on the airline’s website or using the Flight Status Dashboard widget.  I kinda’ like this one: http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/travel/flightontime.html

Avoid Bad airports.  When possible, I’d rather fly into Burbank than LAX.  Or Oakland over SFO.  Bad airports mean delays.  But in a lot of cities, you might have a choice.  Pick one in DC and you’re likely to get delayed (in the top 10 for delays), pick the other and you’re in the top ten for on-time.  Go figure.  Of course, in New York you’re just screwed, sorry…

Carry on when possible.  This helps save a little money too, but even though I know I should – I never do.  I just want to check my bag and not deal with it until I get to my destination.  Having said that I find myself kicking myself in the butt a little for checking my bag when I’m waiting for a half an hour at the carousel for it to spit out my poor, further tattered Victorinix (or I think it was at some point) bag with the little UGA football helmet on it to make it easily identifiable.

Know the airline.  Some will just always be late.  But it’s different per airport.  NorthWest is almost always on time in Minneapolis, but almost always late in Los Angeles.  Delta is typically on time in Atlanta but always late in Minneapolis.  Not sure what else to say here.  I haven’t flown much on Jet Blue but I hear that while they’re pretty bad these days, they give you free vouchers to say sorry.  

Know the weather.  Aw shucks, it probably doesn’t matter much.  But if you’ve got 1 inch of snow in Atlanta I can bet that flight is gonna’ get delayed whereas 10 inches of snow in Minneapolis and not only is school still gonna’ happen, but that flight is still taking off.  Not that it’s just about snow.  If it’s a little bit foggy at LAX you might get delayed whereas if the fog’s thicker than Pea Soup Anderson’s pea soup the pilots at SFO are still getting out out of there (albeit maybe not on time, but you’re still in the air at some point).

So, you’ve done everything you can do but now you find yourself waiting for an hour for a flight, just to sit on the tarmac for another hour and then get back off the plane, switch to another plane (where you have to sit between someone with serious BO and someone with wayyyy too much body hair) then get home about 8 hours late.  Well, at this point you absolutely have to either call or write.  If you’re in the mileage program for the airline then your worst case is a bucket of miles – but you might get a free ticket out of it or at least a voucher you can use towards a future ticket.  But very few (er, Sun Country) will basically tell you to give it up and leave you with nothin’ for your troubles (did I mention Sun Country).

On the Road

On the Road: Los Angeles

Having lived in LA for a decade every time I go back I try and hit at least one of a few different restaurants.  The first is BOA, for the best steaks in LA.  The second is the Pig on La Brea.  The third is right up the road, a little hot dog stand called Pink’s (yes, I said hot dog).  And finally, of course, In-n-Out, where you have to order up a “four by four animal style” at least once in your life…

Unix Windows Server

Oracle Commands

Listing of Oracle commands:

http://www.ss64.com/ora/index.html

Kerio

Kerio: Spam Options

Kerio has a variety of features available for mitigating the evil spam gremlins.  These include:

1 – SpamAssassin – Open Source spam filter

2 – Directory Harvest Attack Protection – track email coming in for non-existent users and limit the number allowed per host

3 – Policies – tag emails with X-Spam headers, then use local policies, etc.  Also write custom filters that identify certain keywords as spam

4 – RBL – A standard with mail servers, Realtime BlackList servers mark common spammers or hosts that do not meet a minimum criteria for being acceptable mail servers

5 – SPF – Rely on srv reccords from domains to specify what IPs are allowed to send mail as a domain

6 – Domain Name Verification – Seems simple enough, don’t accept mail if the domain doesn’t exist

7 – Connection throttling – Don’t allow more than a certain number of sockets to be opened from a given host

8 – SMTP whitelist and blacklist – always accept or always deny mail from a given host that can be defined in the Kerio Admin

9 – Microsoft Caller ID: http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/e/2/2e2850b8-2747-4394-a5a9-d06b5b9b1a4c/callerid_email.pdf

10 – Spam Repellent – delay the SMTP handshake process to deter spammers

Windows Server Windows XP

Windows: Kill a PID

You can use the pslist command to view a detailed listing of all ProcessIDs in Windows.  You can then use pskill to kill a PID, or pssuspend to suspend it or psservice to list PIDs that are services.  No killall tho, like in Mac OS X…

Network Infrastructure

Extreme BlackDiamond 8800 – BAM!

Extreme core switch

http://www.extremenetworks.com/products/blackdiamond-8800.aspx