Install OpenDNS Umbrella Virtual Appliances on Hyper-V 2012 R2

You’re probably already familiar with OpenDNS; the service has long been trusted with consumer-grade firewalls and Wi-Fi Access Points. OpenDNS is now owned by Cisco, and the service is relatively inexpensive at approximately $115 for a three-year, 250-license package on CDW. OpenDNS Umbrella extends that protection to your enterprise by categorizing your DNS traffic in the OpenDNS data centers, rather than relying on your own firewall’s DNS capabilities. This is especially useful if you are running pfSense firewalls, as the packaged domain blocking and reporting is minimal in several areas.

In addition to Umbrella, OpenDNS can protect your roaming devices by installing a remote client. For now, we’ll look at the default reporting and why it’s necessary to set up virtual appliances.

Read the rest of the article here:

Install OpenDNS Umbrella Virtual Appliances on Hyper-V 2012 R2

powershell – Find all computers in a domain or OU running a service

Sometimes you need to find all the computers on a domain that are running a certain particular service. By using Active Directory, supplying your canonical domain name, and define an output file, you can easily create a list of computers running a service.

First, start PowerShell as administrator, and import active-directory powershell components with the following command:

Import-Module ActiveDirectory

Then, open PowerShell ISE and copy in the following into a new .ps1 script:

$ou = "OU=Computers,OU=finance,DC=east,DC=contoso,DC=com"

$servers = Get-ADComputer -Filter * -SearchBase $ou | select-object 
-expandproperty name

Foreach ($server in $servers){
$Data = Get-Service -ServiceName *SAVService* -ComputerName $server | 
select machinename,name | sort machinename | format-table -AutoSize 

Write($Data) | Out-File .\machinesrunningSAVService.txt -Append
}

Run the script, and your output file will look similar to the following:

MachineName Name      
----------- ----      
hostname1   SAVService



MachineName Name      
----------- ----      
hostname2   SAVService



MachineName Name      
----------- ----      
hostname3   SAVService

 

 

Microsoft Bizspark – free business software for 3 years

If you’re thinking about which cloud service to use for a startup business, Microsoft just upped the ante with BizSpark.

Microsoft BizSpark https://www.microsoft.com/bizspark#start-two is really an amazing deal for business start-ups. If you wish you could get Microsoft software for free or for a huge discount check out their offer. BizSpark offers the following services and software for free for three years:

BizSpark gives startups 3 years of free stuff – software, services, tech support, and Azure cloud. Your startup qualifies if it is less than 5 years old, is privately held, and earns less than $1M annually. And at the end of your 3 years, you keep all the software you’ve downloaded – at no cost.

To expand on this service what you get with the Microsoft Bizspark details are the following:

Get up to $750 per month of FREE Azure cloud services for 3 years; that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers.

This potentially is a $27000 value!

Membership puts all Microsoft development and test software at your fingertips, including Azure, Windows, and Office 365 – for free. Plus, enjoy access to hundreds of free training classes, technical content, and 4 break-fix phone support incidents to help you on your journey.

It’s pretty amazing that BizSpark, in addition, also offers up to $120,000 worth of Azure credit.

Makes me want to go out and start a new business – hmm, maybe jasoncoltrin.com would qualify?

Adding users to Active Directory with a bulk import

 

One of the tasks a system administrator will probably have to tackle at one point in their careers, is to quickly add a large amount of users to Active Directory. Without too much difficulty or money, one can accomplish the feat using the following  powershell script: Active Directory User Creation Tool: http://community.spiceworks.com/scripts/show/1917-active-directory-user-creation-tool 

So a quick kudos to Gabriel.jensen@gmail.com and Jim Smith for making this tool available for free online.

By following the instructions on the download page, it’s a few hours work to get the xml file and the csv template to work together to bulk import the users into AD.

Download the script, change then name to a .ps1 file and then execute the script with powershell (right-click on the powershell icon and choose “Run as Administrator”.) Because this is an unsigned script, and in case you can’t recall, the command to run first is:

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

One thing to note is when building your csv file, all cells must be quoted.  An easier way to do this, rather than struggling with Excel functions, is to use Libre Office.

Open your csv file with Libre Office, do a Save As -> csv -> check ‘use filter’ -> check ‘Quote all text cells’ -> finish save to a new location with a new filename. Then open the file in a text editor to make sure all cells are quoted.

In the XML file, the most difficult part to configure is the canonical name used to populate the OU you want with the users. In our case we used:

Domain=
subdomain.domain.domain.com
Path=
OU=ImportedUsers,DC=subdomain,DC=domain,DC=domain,DC=com

This will make more sense once you are configuring your XML file. Before you do a big bulk import, generate a template with the script/tool, fill out the essential fields with test accounts (first, last, username, password, etc.), then re-import the template, configure your XML file, and then submit the import. Then test your imports with just a few users at a time.

If you can’t find your test user accounts  that you imported in Active Directory, you might need to right-click on the root in Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) and do a “Find…” then search for the test user accounts. They may have been added to the wrong OU. Again, this will take some tweaking, but at least if you can get the users into an OU, later you can select the users, right-click and choose Move… to put them in the correct OU container.

Once your test accounts are being imported correctly, go back, edit your bulk user lists according to the template specifications, and have at it.

Another issue that came up is that in our source file for our users, we only had the First Name, Last Name in the same cell. In order to split the names into two separte columns, we used the following tips:

Split full name to first and last name with Text to Column command – http://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/829-excel-split-first-last-name.html
For the First Name/Last name split, create a temporary column named General to the right of the Last name column

This project on spiceworks looks like it’s actively developed so it might be worth while to contact the developer if you run into any trouble or have a feature request.