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Sunday, January 31, 2010

tcping for Linux

tcping does a TCP connect to the given ip/port combination. The user can specify a timeout in seconds. This is useful in shell scripts running in firewalled environments. Often SYNs are just being dropped by firewalls, thus connection establishment will be retried several times (for minutes) until a TCP timeout is reached. With tcping it is possible to check first if the desired port is reachable and then start connection establishment.

Exit codes:

  • -1: an error occured.
  • 0: port is open
  • 1: port is closed
  • 2: user timeout
Syntax: tcping [-q] [-t timeout_sec] [-u timeout_usec]

  • -q : quiet mode, do not output anything (except error messages)
  • -t : timeout in seconds
  • -u : timeout in microseconds
Download tcping for Linux:

tcping runs under Linux, OpenBSD, Solaris 7/8/9, Solaris 2.6, AIX, and maybe others. Just try.

See also:

Ping Over TCP with tcping.exe in Windows

tcping.exe (tcp ping) is a small console application that operates similarly to 'ping', however it works over a tcp port. Works with all versions of Windows - Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2008, Windows 2003.

Download tcping.exe.

tcping example:
C:\>tcping powercram.com

Probing 216.239.36.21:80/tcp - Port is open - time=26.241ms
Probing 216.239.36.21:80/tcp - Port is open - time=20.022ms
Probing 216.239.36.21:80/tcp - Port is open - time=23.272ms
Probing 216.239.36.21:80/tcp - Port is open - time=24.594ms

Ping statistics for 216.239.36.21:80
     4 probes sent.
     4 successful, 0 failed.
Approximate trip times in milli-seconds:
     Minimum = 20.022ms, Maximum = 26.241ms, Average = 23.532ms

tcping options
C:\>tcping
--------------------------------------------------------------
tcping.exe by Eli Fulkerson
Please see http://www.elifulkerson.com/projects/ for updates.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Usage: tcping [-t] [-d] [-i interval] [-n times] server-address [server-port]

         -t   : ping continuously until stopped via control-c
         -n 5 : for instance, send 5 pings
         -i 5 : for instance, ping every 5 seconds
         -d   : include date and time on each line
         -b 1 : enable beeps (1 for on-down, 2 for on-up,
                              3 for on-change, 4 for always)

        If you don't pass server-port, it defaults to 80.


Platform:
  • Win32 Console. Runs on XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2008, etc.
Language:
  • C++ - Makefile included for Visual Studio.
License:
See also:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TIGER SHARK SEEN OFF AUSTRALIAN COAST


Capture Screenshot Image on BlackBerry (Curve, Storm, Tour, etc.)

Capture It is a FREE application designed to help Blackberry users and developers share a picture of their screen with ease. Many bloggers use screenshots to review applications, people showing off their new home screens, and developers wanting to show their application to consumers online. Capture It allows you to take a screen shot, and save a jpeg to your device. If your BlackBerry has a memory card inserted, the capture will be saved there. If no memory card is available it will be saved to the device memory. You can download Capture It OTA (http://m.thetechmogul.com) or load it via Desktop Manager (Desktop (alx) 1.3).  The application runs on all Blackberry devices with OS 4.3 or higher.

Capture It examples:


See also Capture Screenshot Image on iPhone (3G) and iPod Touch 2.0 Without Screen Shot Utility - HowTo

Capture Screenshot Image on iPhone (3G) and iPod Touch 2.0 Without Screen Shot Utility - HowTo

To  take a screenshot or capture the screen image in iPhone 2.0, iPhone 3G, and iPod Touch (2.0 and later), just press the Home button and Sleep/Wake button (On/Off button at the top of the mobile device) simultaneously.

The Apple device screen will flash and an image will be automatically saved and stored in the iPhone or iPod Touch Camera Roll or photo album.  Just click Photos to see the screenshot.  From there you could email to yourself of someone you love (or hate).


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Multi-CPU Utilization Graphing in Cacti

The past couple days I've been installing and configuring a new version of Cacti (0.8.7c) from a CactiEZ v0.6 installation. I've been using Cacti for years now and love what it does, however I've found that tweaking it is sometimes problematic.  Since I may go several months or a year or more between tweaking my install I have to rely heavily on the community.  While the Cacti forums are great they often have an overload of information and even out-dated information.

One aspect I've tried to get working before in Cacti is multi-CPU graphing, but I've never had great success.  Today though I found a great post by Peter at goldfisch.at on the subject - along with some other pretty good gems as well, such as extending Cacti by adding a 5-year graph, configuring Cacti to gather disk I/O and using advanced ping.  He had a great, concise set of steps to download the correct templates (which I've done before) and get them working correctly (this is where I've had trouble).  I'm going to list those steps with a little tweaking of my own mainly so I have them as a ready reference so somewhere down the road I can do this again, but the credit is all his.  Thanks Peter.

This originates from the Cacti forums post "Multi CPU Utilization Graph" which has links to the templates referenced here.  In fact, you may want to go there to find the latest and greatest on this topic.

Begin by downloading the template(s) you need (these links are all from the thread above which were the most current at the time of this post):
Next, import the template(s) in Cacti (Import Templates under Import/Export on the Console tab).  Before creating graphs for devices using any of these new templates they need to be modified a bit, otherwise they may report incorrect data.  To correct this issue click on Graph Management / CDEFs. You should see Average All data sources - X sources (X depending on your setup and the template(s) you imported).  If for some reason you don't see these listed type average in the search field and click Go.



In turn click on each of the Average All data sources - X sources and perform the following:
  • Delete the current CDEF items, such as, "Item #1 Custom String: a,b,+,2,/"
  • Add the following three items:
    • Item #1 - Special Data Source: ALL_DATA_SOURCES_NODUPS (AKA "All Data Sources (Don't Include Duplicates))
    • Item #2 - Custom String: 2/4/8 (depending on X above)
    • Item #3 - Operator: /
Each should like something like this:



Now you can create the graphs for each device.  Click Devices / <Host Name> / create graphs for this host.  Under Graph Templates for the selected host click the drop-down box next to create and select "Host MIB - Multi CPU Utilization on X Processor Box" then click Create. On the next screen you will be asked the Index Type, Index Value and Output Type ID - you don't need to enter any values, just click Create.  You aren't done yet - one more important step.

Click Graph Management and locate the graph you just created.  Under Supplemental Graph Template Data select the CPUs you wish to graph in your multi-CPU graph. This is most likely HOSTNAME - CPU Utilization - CPU0 (cpu), HOSTNAME - CPU Utilization - CPU1 (cpu) and so on ...



Now that that's done you should have nice multi-CPU graphs.  You could even delete any previously created CPU utilization graphs, but be careful not to delete the data-sources because the multi-cpu-graph needs these sources.  The multi-CPU graphs will even read data from existing sources.

Cacti multi-CPU utilization graph showing device with two CPUs graphed over the past 24 hours and 7 days:



Cacti multi-CPU utilization graph showing device with eight CPUs graphed over the past month and year:


Upgrade Cacti on CactiEZ Installation

After installing CactiEZ v0.6 (as a VM on Windows 2008 Hyper-V) which includes Cacti 0.8.7c I wanted to upgrade to the latest version of Cacti (0.8.7e as of this post). However I was not able to locate any good directions. Jimmy Conner who put together CactiEZ said to follow the directions for upgrading Cacti in the Cacti manual, but they weren't exactly easy to follow. So, after mucking through the upgrade I thought I'd put down my notes.  Here they are.
  • Backup the existing Cacti database (I wasn't too worried about this as I upgraded a new installation):
mysqldump -l --add-drop-table cacti > mysql.cacti
Note: You will probably have to specify the -u and -p flags for the MySQL username and password. This user must have permission to read from Cacti's database or you will end up with an empty backup.
  • Backup the existing Cacti directory (again, since I have a new installation I wasn't too worried about this).  The root for Cacti in CactiEZ is /var/www/html so I executed all the following commands from the /var/www directory:
mv html cacti_backup
  • Download the latest Cacti tarball (0.8.7e as of this writing):

    wget http://www.cacti.net/downloads/cacti-0.8.7e.tar.gz

  • Extract the Cacti tarball.
tar xzvf cacti-0.8.7e.tar.gz
  • Rename the new Cacti directory to match the old one.
mv cacti-0.8.7e html
  • Edit include/config.php and specify the MySQL user, password and database for your Cacti configuration.

    vi html/include/config.php

    Default CactiEZ include/config.php configuration (vi cacti_backup/include/config.php to view your current config if necessary):
$database_type = "mysql";
$database_default = "cacti";
$database_hostname = "localhost";
$database_username = "cactiuser";
$database_password = "CactiMadeEZ";

/* Default session name - Session name must contain alpha characters */
$cacti_session_name = "CactiEZ";
  • Copy the *.rrd files from the old Cacti directory.
cp cacti_backup/rra/* html/rra/
  • Copy any relevant custom scripts from the old Cacti directory. Some script are updated between versions. Therefore, make sure you only over write if the scripts either don't exist or are newer than the distribution's.
cp -u cacti_backup/scripts/* html/scripts/
  • Copy any relevant custom resource XML files from the old Cacti directory. Some resource XML files are updated between versions. Therefore, make sure you only over write if the XML files either don't exist or are newer than the distribution's.
cp -u -R cacti_backup/resource/* html/resource/
  • Set the appropriate permissions on Cacti's directories for graph/log generation. You should execute these commands from inside Cacti's directory to change the permissions.
chown -R cactiuser rra/ log/
(Enter a valid username for cactiuser, this user will also be used in the next step for data gathering.)
  • Finally, point your web browser to:

    http://your-server/

    Follow the on-screen instructions so your database can be updated to the new version.
Wait, there's more. . .

Now we need to download and install the Cacti Official Patches [0.8.7e].  You may want to check the previous link for the latest. NOTE: download and execute these from /var/www/html which is the default root directory for Cacti on CactiEZ.
wget http://www.cacti.net/downloads/patches/0.8.7e/cli_add_graph.patch
wget http://www.cacti.net/downloads/patches/0.8.7e/snmp_invalid_response.patch
wget http://www.cacti.net/downloads/patches/0.8.7e/template_duplication.patch
wget http://www.cacti.net/downloads/patches/0.8.7e/fix_icmp_on_windows_iis_servers.patch
wget http://www.cacti.net/downloads/patches/0.8.7e/cross_site_fix.patch
patch -p1 -N < cli_add_graph.patch
patch -p1 -N < snmp_invalid_response.patch
patch -p1 -N < template_duplication.patch
patch -p1 -N < fix_icmp_on_windows_iis_servers.patch
patch -p1 -N < cross_site_fix.patch
NOTE: While this upgrade works fine to upgrade Cacti itself you will have to upgrade other CactiEZ components for them to work properly, such as THold, Monitor, Discover, WeatherMap, MACTrack and the Plugin Architecture.  For now you are on your own for those. . .

See Also

Monday, January 25, 2010

Install CactiEZ on Windows 2008 Hyper-V

CactiEZ (Cacti Made Easy) is a self installing Linux Distribution based off CentOS that sets up and configures a customized Cacti install. Everything is designed to be completely automated and working directly out of the box. This compact distro is loaded with extra features such as Syslog and Netflow data collection, Weathermaps, Reports, Auto Discovery, Router Config backup, Nagios, and much more!

This guide provides instructions for installing CactiEZ as a VM on Windows 2008 Hyper-V.

This contains some fairly detailed instructions so someone new to this setup should have enough info to get completely running.  However, since I know some of you out there are in a hurry here's the Cliff Notes version:
  1. Don't use the default network adapter - DELETE it!
  2. Add a legacy network adapter.
  3. Install CactiEZ.
Full Instructions for Installing CactiEZ on Windows 2008 Hyper-V

Download the CactiEZ ISO - get this started now so it will be done by the time your're ready for it.  By default the CactiEZ ISO is a tarred file so you will have to untar (unzip) it before you can use it.  If you don't already have a Windows-based program that can handle tarred files 7-zip is a great, FREE, utility.  NOTE: in Windows you may have to unzip twice; CactiEZ-v0.6.tar.gz will unzip to CactiEZ-v0.6.tar from which you can extract CactiEZ-v0.6.iso.

Step One: Create the VM on Hyper-V
  • Launch the Windows Hyper-V Manager (Start, All Programs, Administrative Tools, Hyper-V Manager).
  • Select NewVirtual Machine.  Give it a name.  Click Next.
  • Specify memory (RAM).  In this example I'm using 1024 MB.
  • On the "Configure Networking" screen just click Next - we will delete this later anyway.
  • Create a new virtual hard disk using the name, location and size of your choosing.  I created a 10GB virtual HD which should be more than enough for CactiEZ.
  • On the "Installation Options" screen make sure to choose "Install and operating system later."
  • Click Next, uncheck "Start the virtual machine after it is created" and verify your settings, then click Finish.
    At this point if your VM started you will receive a boot failure message.  Don't worry, you can safely ignore this and Turn Off the VM.

    Step Two: Customize VM Settings
    • From Hyper-V Manager right-click your new VM, then select Settings.
    • Remove the current Network Adapter.
    • Click Add Hardware and select Legacy Network Adapter, then Add.
    • On the Legacy Network Adapter select the correct adapter from the Network drop-down list
    • Click OK to save settings.
    Step Three: Install CactiEZ
    • Double-click your VM to open the Virtual Machine Connection window.
    • Click Media, DVD Drive, Insert Disk and browse to your (extracted/unzipped) CactiEZ ISO.
    • Start (Power On) the VM & it will begin the CactiEZ server installation.
    • Select whether to install the 32 or 64-bit version and let her rip.  The CactiEZ installation is almost completely automated so just let it run.  When prompted reboot the VM.
    After the system reboots its IP address will be displayed (assuming you have a DHCP server available on the network).  You can certainly change the IP address to a static one if you'd like (instructions below).


    Step Four: Logon to Your CactiEZ Server
    Now that your server is installed logon through the Virtual Machine Connection window.  The default username and password are root, CactiEZ.

    Once logged on the first thing I did was set a static IP address using:
    netconfig
    With the IP address and related settings set appropriately restart the network using:
    service network restart
    You may also want to synchronize your time using:
    ntpdate -u 0.pool.ntp.org
    And set your timezone with:
    yum install system-config-date
    system-config-date
    See more CactiEZ tips and hints here.

    NOTE: By default CactiEZ installs SSH so you can connect remotely with something like PuTTY.

    Step Five: Connect to and Configure Cacti
    Using a browser connect to your new installation of Cacti using http://<IP Address>.  The default user is 'admin' and the default password is 'admin' as well.  You will be prompted to change the password.

    Now you can knock yourself out configuring and using Cacti.  Here's more logon information from CactiEZ.

    See also

    Ubuntu VM on Windows 2008 Hyper-V

    How the Hell do I get networking to work on a Ubuntu VM on Hyper-V in Windows 2008?

    This is a question I have personally grappled with a few times.  Although I was able to successfully install a Ubuntu 8.10 server on Hyper-V with networking over a year ago I forgot how it was done and pulled my hair out trying to figure it out again the other day.  So I thought I'd jot down a few notes to help me remember.  If this  helps anyone else, that will be great too.

    These instructions are for Ubuntu 9.10 server on Windows 2008 Hyper-V.  As mentioned above this works for Ubuntu 8.10 server as well; and presumably other versions although I haven't verified.

    This contains some fairly detailed instructions so someone new to this setup should have enough info to get completely running.  However, since I know some of you out there are in a hurry here's the Cliff Notes version:
    1. Don't use the default network adapter - DELETE it!
    2. Add a legacy network adapter.
    3. Install Ubuntu.
    Full Instructions for Installing Ubuntu 9.10 Server on Windows 2008 Hyper-V

    Download the Ubuntu 9.10 server ISO - get this started now so it will be done by the time your're ready for it.

    Step One: Create the VM on Hyper-V
    • Launch the Windows Hyper-V Manager (Start, All Programs, Administrative Tools, Hyper-V Manager).
    • Select New, Virtual Machine.  Give it a name.  Click Next.
    • Specify memory (RAM).  In this example I'm using 1024 MB.
    • On the "Configure Networking" screen just click Next - we will delete this later anyway.
    • Create a new virtual hard disk using the name, location and size of your choosing.
    • On the "Installation Options" screen make sure to choose "Install and operating system later."
    • Click Next, verify your settings, then click Finish.
      At this point if your VM started you will receive a boot failure message.  Don't worry, you can safely ignore this and Turn Off the VM.

      Step Two: Customize VM Settings
      • From the VM Window click File, Settings.
      • Remove the current Network Adapter.

      • Click Add Hardware and select Legacy Network Adapter, then Add.
      • On the Legacy Network Adapter select the correct adapter from the Network drop-down list

      • Click OK to save settings.
      Step Three: Install Ubuntu
      • Click Media, DVD Drive, Insert Disk and browse to your Ubuntu ISO.

      • Start (Power On) the VM & it will begin the Ubuntu Server installation.
      • Select your Language, then "Install Ubuntu Server."
      • Select your desired Country and keyboard layout.
      • Enter your desired hostname, then continue.
      • Select your timezone.
      • Partition your disk using the default, "Guided - use entire disk and set up LVM."
        • Select your disk to partition - if you followed these instructions you will only have one.
        • Select YES to write the changes to disks and configure LVM.
      • Follow the prompts to setup users and passwords, creating at lease one user.
      • Select whether or not to encrypt your home directory.
      • If you have a DHCP server on your network your adapter should retrieve and IP address and associated info from that server.  If not, you will be prompted for IP address settings.
      • Choose how to manage upgrades on your system.
      • Choose which software to install (note, depending on which option(s) you select additional questions will be asked during install which aren't covered in this tutorial):
        • Cloud computing cluster
        • Cloud computing node
        • DNS server
        • LAMP server
        • Mail server
        • OpenSSH server - You may want to install this to connect via SSH later.
        • PostgreSQL database
        • Print server
        • Samba file server
        • Tomcat Java server
        • Virtual Machine host
        • Manual package selection
      • At the "Finishing Installation" screen select Continue.
      Step Four: Logon to Your Ubuntu Server
      Now that your server is installed logon through the Virtual Machine Connection window to verify network settings and connectivity.  Type ifconfig to view your network settings.  You should have an interface, eth0, with either a DHCP-assigned address or the one you manually entered during installation.



      You could verify correct network operation by pinging a know good host on your local network and/or a host on the Internet.  In my case I pinged my default gateway and powercram.com.  Both responded with replies.



      Finally, now that my Ubuntu Server is setup and networking is configured properly I will probably never (hopefully) use the Virtual Machine Connection window again, rather I will use my favorite remote connection client, PuTTY.

      Since I neglected to install Open-SSH Server during the Ubuntu installation I had to install it before I could use PuTTY using:
      sudo apt-get install openssh-server



      Recover Root Password In Ubuntu - HowTo

      You can recover/reset/change your root password on Ubuntu if you have physical access to the machine following these simple steps.
      1. Reboot Ubuntu.
      2. At the GRUB menu press ‘e’ (with quotes), which will let you edit GRUB.
      3. Edit the line with your boot command.
      4. Add this command to the very end of the line with the boot command:
        rw init=/bin/bash
      5. Press enter and boot your system, the command, "rw init=/bin/bash" will make your Ubuntu boot with passwordless root shell.
      6. Once you're logged on just change your password with the passwd <username> command. If it is root just type: passswd root.
      7. Reboot your system.

      Change Ubuntu IP Address from DHCP to Static or Vice Versa - HowTo

      The default network setting in Ubuntu (or Debian) is to use DHCP.  Often, however, it is desirable to use a static IP address and settings.  To change your network configuration from DHCP to static follow these steps.

      Open a terminal session and enter:
      sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces
      Two network interfaces should be listed, lo and eth0:
      # This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
      # and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

      # The loopback network interface
      auto lo
      iface lo inet loopback

      # The primary network interface
      auto eth0
      iface eth0 inet dhcp

      Change eth0 to your desired settings, such as:
      auto eth0
      iface eth0 inet static
      address 192.168.1.10
      netmask 255.255.255.0
      network 192.168.1.0
      broadcast 192.168.1.255
      gateway 192.168.1.1

      Save the file and close using Ctl+X, Y, Enter.

      Restart the network to apply the new setting, with this command:
      sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
      Verify your network settings with:
      ifconfig
      See also

      Sunday, January 24, 2010

      Windows 7 Mortgage Calculator

      In Windows 7 Microsoft has added new capabilities:  Mortgage Calculator, Fuel economy and Vehicle lease.  To access these features open the Windows calculator then click View, Worksheets, then click the worksheet for the calculation you want.



      Under Select the value you want to calculate, click the variable that you want to calculate, then enter the known values in the text boxes and then click Calculate.  In the following example we are trying to determine the monthly payment so we enter the purchase price, down payment, term and interest rate.



      Don't forget the result will be the monthly payment amount for the actual loan and doesn't include insurance or taxes.

      See also Unit Conversion with the Windows 7 Calculator.

      Unit Conversion with the Windows 7 Calculator

      Besides adding a mortgage calculator, Microsoft has added a number of conversion functions to the new and improved calculator in Windows 7.  You can easily perform conversions between units of power, time, volume, and mass.  Start by opening the Windows 7 Calculator - Start / All Programs / Accessories / Calculator.

      Within Calculator select View, then Unit Conversion. Or, press Ctrl + U.  A unit conversion pane appears to the right of the calculator. Underneath "Select the type of unit you want to convert", click the pull-down and select your unit type, then in the From field enter the desired value.  Select what you want it converted to and the converted value will be displayed in the To field.

      Windows 7 Calculator Supported Unit Types

      Angle
      • Degree
      • Gradian
      • Radian
      Area
      • Acres
      • Hectares
      • Square centimeter
      • Square feet
      • Square inch
      • Square kilometer
      • Square meters
      • Square mile
      • Square millimeter
      • Square yard
      Energy
      • British Thermal Unit
      • Calorie
      • Electron-volts
      • Foot-pound
      • Joule
      • Kilocalorie
      • Kilojoule
      Length
      • Angstrom
      • Centimeters
      • Chain
      • Fathom
      • Feet
      • Hand
      • Inch
      • Kilometers
      • Link
      • Meter
      • Microns
      • Mile
      • Millimeters
      • Nanometers
      • Nautical miles
      • PICA
      • Rods
      • Span
      • Yard
      Power
      • BTU/minute
      • Foot-pound/minute
      • Horsepower
      • Kilowatt
      • Watt
      Pressure
      • Atmosphere
      • Bar
      • Kilo Pascal
      • Millimeter of mercury
      • Pascal
      • Pound per square inch (PSI)
      Temperature
      • Degrees Celsius
      • Degrees Fahrenheit
      • Kelvin
      Time
      • Day
      • Hour
      • Microsecond
      • Millisecond
      • Minute
      • Second
      • Week
      Velocity
      • Centimeter per second
      • Feet per second
      • Kilometer per hour
      • Knots
      • Mach (at std. atm)
      • Meter per second
      • Miles per hour
      Volume
      • Cubic centimeter
      • Cubic feet
      • Cubic inch
      • Cubic meter
      • Cubic yard
      • Fluid ounce (UK)
      • Fluid ounce (US)
      • Gallon (UK)
      • Gallon (US)
      • Liter
      • Pint (UK)
      • Pint (US)
      • Quart (UK)
      • Quart (US)
      Weight / Mass
      • Carat
      • Centigram
      • Decigram
      • Dekagram
      • Gram
      • Hectogram
      • Kilogram
      • Long ton
      • Milligram
      • Ounce
      • Pound
      • Short ton
      • Stone
      • Tonne

      Friday, January 22, 2010

      Use Iperf to Measure Network Throughput (Bandwidth) on Windows or Linux

      Iperf was developed by NLANR/DAST as a modern alternative for measuring maximum TCP and UDP bandwidth performance. Iperf allows the tuning of various parameters and UDP characteristics. Iperf reports bandwidth, delay jitter, datagram loss.
      • Install iperf on Windows - just download, unzip and run iperf.exe.
      • Install iperf on Ubuntu:
          sudo apt-get install iperf
      Iperf supports several options, but generally you would run it on one device as a "server" and another as a "client."

      To launch iperf in server mode just enter iperf -s at the terminal.  It will report, "Server listening on TCP port 5001. . ."


      From another system launch iperf in client mode with iperf -c <server IP>. By default Iperf will run a 10 second test and report amount of data transferred and bandwidth speed.


      Note: Iperf can be used to test LAN speeds as well as over the Internet.

      Download Iperf and get more information from SourceForge.

      Open a Website from the Windows Command Line

      Here are three ways to open a web page from the command prompt from Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, etc. All of the following examples will open the designated web page in Internet Explorer or other default browser.
      • start <website>
        Example:
        start www.powercram.com
        OR start http://powercram.com
      • \progra~1\intern~1\iexplore <website>
        Example:
        \progra~1\intern~1\iexplore www.powercram.com
        OR \progra~1\intern~1\iexplore http://powercram.com
      • "\program files\internet explorer\iexplore" <website>
        Example (must include quotes):
        "\program files\internet explorer\iexplore" www.powercram.com
        OR "\program files\internet explorer\iexplore" http://powercram.com
      NOTES
      • The first example will open the designated site/page in a new tab of Internet Explorer.  The other two will launch a new instance of the browser.
      • In the examples above <website> must either be preceded by "http://" or "www."

      Thursday, January 21, 2010

      Wednesday, January 20, 2010

      Bandwidth Monitoring Tools for Ubuntu

      • bmon - Bandwidth monitor and rate estimator
      • bwm-ng - Bandwidth Monitor NG (Next Generation), a live bandwidth
        monitor for network and disk IO
      • cbm - displays the current traffic on all network devices
      • iftop - Real-time bandwidth usage information on a specified interface
      • iperf - Tool for measuring maximum TCP and UDP bandwidth performance
      • ibmonitor - interactive bandwidth monitor
      • pktstat - shows the bandwidth being consumed by packets of various kinds in realtime
      • tcptrack - sniffer which displays information about TCP connections
      • MRTG - see traffic load on a network over time in graphical form
      • Cacti - network graphing solution
      Details on each tool.

      bmon
      bmon is a portable bandwidth monitor and rate estimator. It supports various input methods for different architectures. Various output modes exist, including an interactive curses interface, lightweight HTML output, and simple ASCII output. Statistics may be distributed over a network using multicast or unicast and collected at some point to generate a summary of statistics for a set of nodes.

      Install bmon on Ubuntu:
      sudo apt-get install bmon
      To launch bmon just enter bmon at the terminal.



      You can select a specific interface to view traffic details. In the screen shot below I selected eth0, 'g' for graphical statistics and 'd' for detailed statistics.



      bwm-ng
      bwm-ng can be used to monitor the current bandwidth of all or some specific network interfaces or disks (or partitions). It shows total of in and out as well as total of all interfaces/devices.

      Install bwm-ng on Ubuntu:
      sudo apt-get install bwm-ng
      To launch bwm-ng just enter bwm-ng at the terminal.



      cbm
      cbm (Color Bandwidth Meter) displays the current traffic on all network devices.

      Install cbm on Ubuntu:
      sudo apt-get install cbm
      To launch cbm just enter sudo cbm at the terminal.



      iftop
      iftop provides real-time bandwidth usage information on a specified interface, listed by host pairs.

      Install iftop on Ubuntu:
      sudo apt-get install iftop
      To launch iftop just enter iftop at the terminal.

      Iperf
      Iperf was developed by NLANR/DAST as a modern alternative for measuring maximum TCP and UDP bandwidth performance. Iperf allows the tuning of various parameters and UDP characteristics. Iperf reports bandwidth, delay jitter, datagram loss.

      Install iperf on Ubuntu:
      sudo apt-get install iperf
      Iperf supports several options, but generally you would run it on one device as a "server" and another as a "client."

      To launch iperf in server mode just enter iperf -s at the terminal.  It will report, "Server listening on TCP port 5001. . ."



      From another system launch iperf in client mode with iperf -c <server IP>. By default Iperf will run a 10 second test and report amount of data transferred and bandwidth speed.



      Note: Iperf can be used to test LAN speeds as well as over the Internet.

      ibmonitor
      ibmonitor is an interactive linux console application which shows bandwidth consumed and total data transferred on all interfaces.

      Its main features are:
      • Shows received, transmitted and total bandwidth of each interface
      • Calculates and displays the combined value of all interfaces
      • Displays total data transferred per interface in KB/MB/GB
      • Values can be displayed in Kbits/sec(Kbps) and/or KBytes/sec(KBps)
      • Can show maximum bandwidth consumed on each interface since start of utility
      • Can show average bandwidth consumption on each interface since start of utility
      • The output with all features (max, avg and display in Kbps and KBps) easily fits on a 80x24 console or xterm
      • Can interactively change its output display format depending on key pressed by user.
      Install ibmonitor on Ubuntu"

      First you need to download the latest version:
      wget http://ovh.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/ibmonitor/ibmonitor-1.4.tar.gz
      Extract this file using the following commands
      tar xvfz ibmonitor-1.4.tar.gz
      cd ibmonitor
      If you want to run the application use the following command

      Once you are in ibmonitor folder use
      ./ibmonitor


      pktstat
      pktstat listens to the network and shows the bandwidth being consumed by packets of various kinds in realtime. It understands some protocols (including FTP, HTTP, and X11) and adds a descriptive name next to the entry (e.g., ‘RETR cd8.iso’, ‘GET http://slashdot.org/’ or ‘xclock -fg blue’).

      Install pktstat on Ubuntu:
      sudo apt-get install pktstat
      To launch pktstat just enter pktstat at the terminal.



      tcptrack
      tcptrack is a sniffer which displays information about TCP connections it sees on a network interface. It passively watches for connections on the network interface, keeps track of their state and displays a list of connections in a manner similar to the unix ‘top’ command. It displays source and destination addresses and ports, connection state, idle time, and bandwidth usage.

      Install tcptrack on Ubuntu:
      sudo apt-get install tcptrack
      To launch tcptrack just enter sudo tcptrack -i eth0 at the terminal.

      tcptrack can also take a pcap filter expression as an argument. The format of this filter expression is the same as that of tcpdump and other libpcap-based sniffers. The following example will only show connections from host 10.1.1.2
      tcptrack -i eth0 src or dst 10.1.1.2
      The next example will only show web traffic (ie, traffic on port 80)
      tcptrack -i eth0 port 80
      MRTG
      MRTG (Multi Router Traffic Grapher) is free software for monitoring the traffic load on network links. It allows the user to see traffic load on a network over time in graphical form.  MRTG is used by programs like Cacti to gather and graph stats over time.

      Cacti
      Cacti is a complete network graphing solution designed to harness the power of RRDTool’s data storage and graphing functionality. Cacti provides a fast poller, advanced graph templating, multiple data acquisition methods, and user management features out of the box. All of this is wrapped in an intuitive,easy to use interface that makes sense for LAN-sized installations up to complex networks with hundreds of devices.

      Cacti is great for gathering stats over time (using both MRTG and RRDTool) and creating hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly graphs.  These graphs can be invaluable in identifying trends and potential problems.  In fact, just today I used the following graphs to identify a problem on my corporate network:



      Here's another one showing network utilization over time.



      Tuesday, January 19, 2010

      DIVORCE AGREEMENT - United States Conservatives vs. Liberals

      Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

      We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

      Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

      Here is a model separation agreement:
      Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

      We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

      We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

      You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

      We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

      We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

      You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right. We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem." I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".

      We'll practice trickledown economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.
      Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

      Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

      Sincerely,
      John J. Wall
      Law Student and an American

      P.. S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.

      P. S. S. And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call our country.

      Keyboard shortcuts that are available in Windows 7 (and XP, 2008, 2003, etc.)

      General keyboard shortcuts

      • CTRL+C (Copy)
      • CTRL+X (Cut)
      • CTRL+V (Paste)
      • CTRL+Z (Undo)
      • DELETE (Delete)
      • SHIFT+DELETE (Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin)
      • CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
      • CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
      • F2 key (Rename the selected item)
      • CTRL+RIGHT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word)
      • CTRL+LEFT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word)
      • CTRL+DOWN ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph)
      • CTRL+UP ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph)
      • CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Highlight a block of text)
      • SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document)
      • CTRL+A (Select all)
      • F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)
      • ALT+ENTER (View the properties for the selected item)
      • ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)
      • ALT+ENTER (Display the properties of the selected object)
      • ALT+SPACEBAR (Open the shortcut menu for the active window)
      • CTRL+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
      • ALT+TAB (Switch between the open items)
      • ALT+ESC (Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened)
      • F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)
      • F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
      • SHIFT+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)
      • ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the System menu for the active window)
      • CTRL+ESC (Display the Start menu)
      • ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)
      • Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)
      • F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)
      • RIGHT ARROW (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)
      • LEFT ARROW (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)
      • F5 key (Update the active window)
      • BACKSPACE (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
      • ESC (Cancel the current task)
      • SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive (Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing)
      • CTRL+SHIFT+ESC (Open Task Manager)

      Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

      If you press SHIFT+F8 in extended selection list boxes, you enable extended selection mode. In this mode, you can use an arrow key to move a cursor without changing the selection. You can press CTRL+SPACEBAR or SHIFT+SPACEBAR to adjust the selection. To cancel extended selection mode, press SHIFT+F8 again. Extended selection mode cancels itself when you move the focus to another control.
      • CTRL+TAB (Move forward through the tabs)
      • CTRL+SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the tabs)
      • TAB (Move forward through the options)
      • SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the options)
      • ALT+Underlined letter (Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option)
      • ENTER (Perform the command for the active option or button)
      • SPACEBAR (Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box)
      • Arrow keys (Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons)
      • F1 key (Display Help)
      • F4 key (Display the items in the active list)
      • BACKSPACE (Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box)

      Microsoft natural keyboard shortcuts


      • Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
      • Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)
      • Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
      • Windows Logo+M (Minimize all of the windows)
      • Windows Logo+SHIFT+M (Restore the minimized windows)
      • Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)
      • Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
      • CTRL+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
      • Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
      • Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)
      • Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)
      • Windows Logo+U (Open Utility Manager)

      Accessibility keyboard shortcuts


      • Right SHIFT for eight seconds (Switch FilterKeys either on or off)
      • Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN (Switch High Contrast either on or off)
      • Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK (Switch the MouseKeys either on or off)
      • SHIFT five times (Switch the StickyKeys either on or off)
      • NUM LOCK for five seconds (Switch the ToggleKeys either on or off)
      • Windows Logo +U (Open Utility Manager)

      Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts


      • END (Display the bottom of the active window)
      • HOME (Display the top of the active window)
      • NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign (*) (Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder)
      • NUM LOCK+Plus sign (+) (Display the contents of the selected folder)
      • NUM LOCK+Minus sign (-) (Collapse the selected folder)
      • LEFT ARROW (Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder)
      • RIGHT ARROW (Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder)

      Shortcut keys for Character Map

      After you double-click a character on the grid of characters, you can move through the grid by using the keyboard shortcuts:
      • RIGHT ARROW (Move to the right or to the beginning of the next line)
      • LEFT ARROW (Move to the left or to the end of the previous line)
      • UP ARROW (Move up one row)
      • DOWN ARROW (Move down one row)
      • PAGE UP (Move up one screen at a time)
      • PAGE DOWN (Move down one screen at a time)
      • HOME (Move to the beginning of the line)
      • END (Move to the end of the line)
      • CTRL+HOME (Move to the first character)
      • CTRL+END (Move to the last character)
      • SPACEBAR (Switch between Enlarged and Normal mode when a character is selected)

      Microsoft Management Console (MMC) main window keyboard shortcuts


      • CTRL+O (Open a saved console)
      • CTRL+N (Open a new console)
      • CTRL+S (Save the open console)
      • CTRL+M (Add or remove a console item)
      • CTRL+W (Open a new window)
      • F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
      • ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the MMC window menu)
      • ALT+F4 (Close the console)
      • ALT+A (Display the Action menu)
      • ALT+V (Display the View menu)
      • ALT+F (Display the File menu)
      • ALT+O (Display the Favorites menu)

      MMC console window keyboard shortcuts


      • CTRL+P (Print the current page or active pane)
      • ALT+Minus sign (-) (Display the window menu for the active console window)
      • SHIFT+F10 (Display the Action shortcut menu for the selected item)
      • F1 key (Open the Help topic, if any, for the selected item)
      • F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
      • CTRL+F10 (Maximize the active console window)
      • CTRL+F5 (Restore the active console window)
      • ALT+ENTER (Display the Properties dialog box, if any, for the selected item)
      • F2 key (Rename the selected item)
      • CTRL+F4 (Close the active console window. When a console has only one console window, this shortcut closes the console)

      Remote desktop connection navigation


      • CTRL+ALT+END (Open the Microsoft Windows NT Security dialog box)
      • ALT+PAGE UP (Switch between programs from left to right)
      • ALT+PAGE DOWN (Switch between programs from right to left)
      • ALT+INSERT (Cycle through the programs in most recently used order)
      • ALT+HOME (Display the Start menu)
      • CTRL+ALT+BREAK (Switch the client computer between a window and a full screen)
      • ALT+DELETE (Display the Windows menu)
      • CTRL+ALT+Minus sign (-) (Place a snapshot of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing ALT+PRINT SCREEN on a local computer.)
      • CTRL+ALT+Plus sign (+) (Place a snapshot of the active window in the client on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing PRINT SCREEN on a local computer.)

      Microsoft Internet Explorer navigation


      • CTRL+B (Open the Organize Favorites dialog box)
      • CTRL+E (Open the Search bar)
      • CTRL+F (Start the Find utility)
      • CTRL+H (Open the History bar)
      • CTRL+I (Open the Favorites bar)
      • CTRL+L (Open the Open dialog box)
      • CTRL+N (Start another instance of the browser with the same Web address)
      • CTRL+O (Open the Open dialog box, the same as CTRL+L)
      • CTRL+P (Open the Print dialog box)
      • CTRL+R (Update the current Web page)
      • CTRL+W (Close the current window)

      Monday, January 18, 2010

      How To Find DNS Server Addresses in Windows

      On Windows systems you can run the following command to view the current DNS server(s) from a command prompt:
      ipconfig /all
      And look for the "DNS Servers . . ." section.



      See also: How To Find DNS Server Addresses in Linux

      How To Find DNS Server Addresses in Linux

      The resolver is a set of routines in the C library that provide access to the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). The resolver configuration file contains information that is read by the resolver routines the first time they are invoked by a process.

      In Linux/BSD/Unix systems you can run the following command to view the current DNS seerver(s) from a shell prompt:
      cat /etc/resolv.conf
      See also:

      Sunday, January 17, 2010

      How To Use grep Command In Linux

      The grep command searches the given file for lines containing a match to the given strings or words. By default, grep prints the matching lines. grep can be used to search for lines of text that match one or many regular expressions, and outputs only the matching lines.

      grep Syntax
      grep 'word' filename
      grep 'string1 string2' filename
      cat otherfile | grep 'something'
      command | grep 'something'
      grep Examples
      • Use grep to search a file
        Search /etc/passwd for user admin:
      grep admin /etc/passwd
      You can force grep to ignore word case i.e. match admin, Admin, ADMIN or any other combination with the -i option:
      grep -i "admin" /etc/passwd
      • Use grep recursively
        You can search recursively with grep, i.e. read all files under each directory for a string "10.10.1.25"
      grep -r "10.10.1.25" /etc
      • Use grep to search two different words
      grep -w 'word1|word2' /path
      • Count number of lines where word(s) is/are matched
        grep can report the number of times that the pattern has been matched for each file using -c (count) option:
      grep -c 'word' /path
      Also note that you can use -n option, which causes grep to precede each line of output with the number of the line in the text file from which it was obtained:
      grep -n 'word' /path
      • Grep invert match
        The -v option can be used to print inverts of the match; that is, it matches only those lines that do not contain the given word. For example print all lines that do not contain the word invert:
      grep -v invert /path
      • Display CPU Model Name With grep
      grep -i 'model' /proc/cpuinfo
      • Use grep to just list the names of matching files
      grep -l 'word' *.c*
      • Set grep to display output in colors
      grep --color admin /etc/passwd

      How To Edit Linux DNS Configuration Files

      Edit /etc/resolv.conf using a text editor such as nano, vi or gedit:
      nano /etc/resolv.conf
      Or, for Ubuntu:
      sudo nano /etc/resolv.conf
      Add namesevers as necessary:
      nameserver <ip address>
      nameserver <ip address>
      nameserver <ip address>

      Save and close the config file.

      See also Change Ubuntu IP Address from DHCP to Static

      Find the top 10 largest files and directories on Ubuntu

      Unfortunately there is not a simple command in Linux to find the largest files and/or directories. However, combining the following three commands (using pipes) can help you locate the largest files/directories on your file system:
      • du - Estimate file space usage
      • sort - Sort lines of text files or given input data
      • head - Output the first part of files i.e. to display the n largest files/directories
      In Terminal (command prompt) enter the following to list the top 10 largest files/directories:
      sudo du -a / | sort -n -r | head -n 10
      Of course this can be used on various directories as well, like usr or var:
      sudo du -a /usr | sort -n -r | head -n 10
      sudo du -a /var | sort -n -r | head -n 10

      NOTE: This works on all flavors or Linux, UNIX and BSD as well - just drop sudo.

      Saturday, January 16, 2010

      Upgrade Ubuntu Server From 8.10 to 9.10 - How To

      You can use the following steps to easily upgrade Ubuntu Linux server (or workstation) 8.x to 9.10 (latest version as of this posting), either locally or remotely over ssh from a terminal command line.

      Note: Backup important data and configuration files first.

      First, apply latest updates to Ubuntu 8.x using:
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get upgrade

      Next, install update-manager-core (if it is not already installed):
      sudo apt-get install update-manager-core
      Finally, start the upgrade:
      sudo do-release-upgrade
      And just follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Ubuntu 9.10 upgrade.

      How to update software on Ubuntu / Debian Linux

      Ubuntu (and Debian) software can easily be updated using the apt-get command line tool.

      apt-get can be used from a terminal window as follows:
      • apt-get update: Update is used to resynchronize the package index files from their sources over the Internet.
        To retrieve updated software list, enter:
        sudo apt-get update
      • apt-get upgrade: Upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system.
        Update software, i.e. apply updates:
        sudo apt-get upgrade
      • apt-get install <package-name>: apt-get install can be followed by one or more packages desired for installation. If package is already installed it will try to update to the latest version.
        To upgrade individual software enter apt-get install followed by the software name, as follows:
        sudo apt-get install <package-name>
      apt-get update, apt-get upgrade and apt-get install will all retrieve files over the Internet. The location of update pages is specified in /etc/apt/sources.list (repositories). Unless you need extra repositories for your setup there is no need to modify this file.

      Using Ubuntu Update Manager Tool (GUI)
      The Ubuntu Update Manager Tools works like the Microsoft and Red Hat update manager tools.  In the Ubuntu GUI you will see a little icon in the task bar when updates are available. Just click on it and follow the online instructions.

      You can also start the Update Manager GUI tool by clicking System | Administration | Update Manager.

      Friday, January 15, 2010

      BackTrack 4 Final Released

      The much anticipated BackTrack 4 Final has been released - FINALLY!
      BackTrack 4 is the highest rated and acclaimed Linux security distribution to date. BackTrack is a Linux-based penetration testing arsenal that aids security professionals in the ability to perform assessments in a purely native environment dedicated to hacking. Regardless if you’re making BackTrack your primary operating system, booting from a LiveDVD, or using your favorite thumbdrive, BackTrack has been customized down to every package, kernel configuration, script and patch solely for the purpose of the penetration tester.
      Download BackTrack 4 Final.

      The guys at BackTrack also have a new and improved website.  They moved BackTrack from remote-exploit.org to backtrack-linux.org.  The new site is well designed and has a lot of content.

      See Installing BackTrack 4 Final

      Wednesday, January 13, 2010

      Configure Network Level Authentication for Remote Desktop Services Connections

      Network Level Authentication is an authentication method that can be used to enhance RD Session Host server security by requiring that the user be authenticated to the RD Session Host server before a session is created.

      Network Level Authentication completes user authentication before you establish a remote desktop connection and the logon screen appears. This is a more secure authentication method that can help protect the remote computer from malicious users and malicious software. The advantages of Network Level Authentication are:
      • It requires fewer remote computer resources initially. The remote computer uses a limited number of resources before authenticating the user, rather than starting a full remote desktop connection as in previous versions.

      • It can help provide better security by reducing the risk of denial-of-service attacks.
      To use Network Level Authentication, you must meet the following requirements:
      • The client computer must be using at least Remote Desktop Connection 6.0.

      • The client computer must be using an operating system, such as Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP with Service Pack 3, that supports the Credential Security Support Provider (CredSSP) protocol.

      • The RD Session Host server must be running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008.
      Use the following procedure to configure Network Level Authentication for a connection.

      Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83477.

      To configure Network Level Authentication for a connection
      1. On the RD Session Host server, open Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration. To open Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, point to Remote Desktop Services, and then click Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration.
      2. Under Connections, right-click the name of the connection, and then click Properties.
      3. On the General tab, select the Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication check box.
        If the Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication check box is selected and is not enabled, the Require user authentication for remote connections by using Network Level Authentication Group Policy setting has been enabled and has been applied to the RD Session Host server.
      4. Click OK.
      The Network Level Authentication setting for an RD Session Host server can also be set in the following ways:
      • During the installation of the RD Session Host role service in Server Manager, on the Specify Authentication Method for Remote Desktop Session Host page in the Add Roles Wizard.

      • On the Remote tab in the System Properties dialog box on an RD Session Host server.

        If the Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure) is not selected and is not enabled, the Require user authentication for remote connections by using Network Level Authentication Group Policy setting has been enabled and has been applied to the RD Session Host server.

        To configure the Network Level Authentication setting by using the Remote tab in the System Properties dialog box on an RD Session Host server, see Change Remote Connection Settings.

      • By applying the Require user authentication for remote connections by using Network Level Authentication Group Policy setting.

        This Group Policy setting is located in Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Security and can be configured by using either the Local Group Policy Editor or the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). Note that the Group Policy setting will take precedence over the setting configured in Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration or on the Remote tab.
      To determine whether a computer is running a version of Remote Desktop Connection that supports Network Level Authentication, start Remote Desktop Connection, click the icon in the upper-left corner of the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box, and then click About. Look for the phrase Network Level Authentication supported in the About Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.

      Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

      See MS TechNet for more info.

      Friday, January 8, 2010

      Amazon EC2 Instance Types

      Available Instance Types

      Standard Instances
      Instances of this family are well suited for most applications.

      Small Instance (AKA m1.small)
      1.7 GB memory
      1 EC2 Compute Unit (1 virtual core with 1 EC2 Compute Unit)
      160 GB instance storage (150 GB plus 10 GB root partition)
      32-bit platform
      I/O Performance: Moderate
      Large Instance (AKA m1.large)
      7.5 GB memory
      4 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each)
      850 GB instance storage (2×420 GB plus 10 GB root partition)
      64-bit platform
      I/O Performance: High
      Extra Large Instance (AKA m1.xlarge)
      15 GB memory
      8 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each)
      1,690 GB instance storage (4×420 GB plus 10 GB root partition)
      64-bit platform
      I/O Performance: High

      High-Memory Instances
      Instances of this family offer large memory sizes for high throughput applications, including database and memory caching applications.

      High-Memory Double Extra Large Instance (AKA m2.2xlarge)
      34.2 GB of memory
      13 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 3.25 EC2 Compute Units each)
      850 GB of instance storage
      64-bit platform
      I/O Performance: High
      High-Memory Quadruple Extra Large Instance (AKA m2.4xlarge)
      68.4 GB of memory
      26 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores with 3.25 EC2 Compute Units each)
      1690 GB of instance storage
      64-bit platform
      I/O Performance: High

      High-CPU Instances
      Instances of this family have proportionally more CPU resources than memory (RAM) and are well suited for compute-intensive applications.

      High-CPU Medium Instance (AKA c1.medium)
      1.7 GB of memory
      5 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 2.5 EC2 Compute Units each)
      350 GB of instance storage
      32-bit platform
      I/O Performance: Moderate
      High-CPU Extra Large Instance (AKA c1.xlarge)
      7 GB of memory
      20 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores with 2.5 EC2 Compute Units each)
      1690 GB of instance storage
      64-bit platform
      I/O Performance: High

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