Archive Page 2

ISA Server 2006 Web Reverse Proxy – challenges

I’ve been having a difficult time trying to set up my virtual machines to be accessible from the interweb. Although I have 5 IP addresses, I’d like to set up my sites as http://www.domain.com/sharepoint, http://www.domain.com/crm etc rather than sharepoint.domain.com, crm.domain.com.

I looked at Microsoft TMG (Threat Management Gateway) and balked at the complexity, as I remembered ISA Server being quite simple (wrong…). After an abortive attempt with ISA, I tried Squid, but although I could get the s.domain.com and c.domain.com I couldn’t get paths working

Today, I went back to ISA. I set up the site and rules fine, but kept getting an authetication error “isa server is configured to block http requests that require authentication”. It turns out the problem is that I don’t have a security certificate assigned. After some hunting, there is a Microsoft KB to fix it at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924374

I still couldn’t get to my sites from the LAN (192.168.x.x) though; in this case, I had assigned 192.168.0.0-192.168.255.255 as the internal network range. However, this doesn’t define a default route for internal-internal, only internal-external. Simply selecting both the external and internal adaptors as valid adapters for the internal network fixed this.

Finally, I couldn’t get to my site from the outside world (tested on my iPad over 3G). It turns out that my BT external IP addresses were not showing up on the device list on the BT HGV2700 hub, so there was no external route to them. I had to enable DHCP on my external adaptor, and then assign the external IP to the device on the BT router.

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Bob Diamond Upset at Missing Forbes Billionaire List

Bob Diamond ‘expects to achieve billionaire status within two years’. Following the publication of the Forbes billionaire list, Mr Diamond, Barclays CEO said ‘I think my non-appearance in the billionaires list will silence the critics who think that ¬£24m is an excessive bonus payment. I’m certain that Barclays shareholders and remuneration committee will recognise that being a billionaire is a reasonable expectation for taking on such a demanding role, and in line with compensation for similarly qualified roles. I look forward to a bonus in excess of ¬£250m next year to ensure that I can sustain my commitment to the company.’ Sources close to Diamond say he is ‘gutted’ to miss out on the billionaires list and that morale in the exec team is so low that they are all having a duvet day.

Multi-Platform Video – is m4v the answer?

I’ve been working with home media for a very long time, and have a range of recording and playback devices, and settling on a common format to playback on all my devices has been a bugbear.

My recent conclusion has been that H264 mp4 (m4v on Apple) is the best compromise, as it plays nice with iPhone, iPad, PS3, Xbox360 and Media Center. Setting a default for iPad playback (704×576) is also a reasonable compromise of size and quality.

My primary recorded is a Windows7 Media Center machine with 2 x USB and 2 network tuners (HD HomeRun), which records wtv format (a bloated version of MPEG-2), and is automatically set up to compress to wmv and copy Recorded TV to my HP Windows Home Server.

To convert to m4v I have tried many apps, but settled on Handbrake because it

  • is cross platform, Windows, Mac and Linux
  • has a wide range of output presets
  • is free

The first trick is that Handbrake doesn’t accept wtv files, but Windows7 can convert the wtv to dvr-ms (the original media center format) with a right click, which Handbrake *does* accept.

Then drag the file into Handbrake, select the preset (iPad) and go. It’s not as quick as I’d like, I get around 40-50fps on my quad core 4Gb machine, with CPU at 97%, which means a file takes around 1/2 of its running time

I’d like to find out how to batch convert to dvr-ms and run Handbrake, but that’s for next time

Factime Mac and iPhone 4

Trying out Facetime on the Mac and foud it pretty frustrating. Start up, where are my contacts? How do I add a contact? Turns out that it only uses the educationally subnormal app that is Address Book, so add some contacts¬† (and set up MobileMe sync) and try again. Nope, can’t connect to an account. Turns out that the iPhone needs to be at iOS 4.1 to support email address calling. So far, so rubbish.

VMware crazy…

Having been a committed Hyper-V & VirtualPC user, I have crossed the rubicon to go back to my VMware roots over the last week. I’ve been building a SharePoint Server 2010 farm (domain controller, SQL, SharePoint app server and 2 x web front end servers) and started on VMware Server, but now have an ESXi 4.1 server running (10GB memory, Q6600 quad core processor) and am very happy with performance and management tools, without the overhead of Server 2008. I could have installed the Hyper-V server, but my client’s commitment to VMware and the demands of the market encouraged me to get up and running with ESXi.

I also pushed the boat out to buy a copy of VMware Workstation, to save the need to have a different pc virtualisation tool (though VMware Player does allow the creation of VMs it doesn’t allow a virtual ESXi server).

Next step, an OpenFiler VM providing iSCSI storage

SQL Install – No Mapping Between Account Names and Security IDs

Working on a test virtual install of SharePoint 2010, an interesting error on installing SQL 2008 R2, “No Mapping Between Account Names and Security IDs”. Turns out I was dumb in re-using a server image which hadn’t been sysprep’d with the generalise option. See http://macraem.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/no-mapping-between-account-names-and-security-ids-sql-server-install-and-sysprep-generalize/

Installing Windows Server 2008 in a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD)

One of the most useful features of Windows7/2008 is the ability to create a virtual hard disk as a bootable disk; in this way you can have multiple bootable operating systems (or configurations) without partitioning – this means that installations can be copied or backed up quickly and easily, and the virtual disks can be mounted and accessible on the other installs as required. This useful feature makes managing a multi-boot machine very easy.

The only downside that I have identified so far is that VHD installs can’t be hibernated, but that’s not an issue for a server o/s as far as I’m concerned.

See Windows IT Pro for instructions on how to create a VHD installation.

I’m installing VMware Server 2.0 on Server2008 for now, so that I can migrate my SharePoint 2010 VM’s to ESXi 4.1 when I get my new network card.


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