Thursday, 26 April 2012

DHCP: Easy as 123

This post is more for my own reference, but someone out there may find it useful.

Ok, so we had an old IP range at one our or site's networks, and we needed to change it to the new range, to keep it in line with the rest of the company's sites. Here's how we went about it (combined with things I'd do differently given the power of hindsight).

Step 1:
Get the MAC (or Hardware) addresses of network printers and multifunction copiers. I did this by browsing to the old IP address of each device and finding the MAC address in the web interface. Also make sure IP Configuration Method is set to DHCP.
Log onto to the site's server and set DHCP reservations for each device.
Step 2:
Send out at email to the site, advising of the change over and that they will need to turn their PCs and printing devices off and back on again if they experience any network related issues.
Now the next step assumes we have already configured the switches on site with 2 VLANs. VLAN 1 is the new IP range, while VLAN 2 is the old range. At this site we are using Cisco SFE2000P 24-port 10/100 Ethernet Switches.
Step 3:
This next step should be done after hours. Browse to the IP address of the switch and login. For each interface (port) change to PVID from 2 to 1. This then untagged each Port against PVID 1. In PVID 2 I then had to manually exclude each Port from VLAN 2.

Step 4:
Now the next business day all network devices should have an IP address on the new range, as long as they have turned their devices off then back on.
This was not the case for our printers and multifunction devices. As I forgot to check that the printers were set to DHCP. It turned most of them were set to a manual IP address on the old range. So I had to call users and step them through setting their printers and multi functions to DHCP IP configuration method. Before calling them, I also manually changed the DNS entries for each device to their new IP addresses on the site server. Once the devices were rebooted, they then got their new IP addresses. Hind site is a wonderful thing indeed.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Little fluffy clouds or one really big one?

"To the Cloud!" was the catch phrase of the actors on that Windows 7 advert. But what does that actually mean? What is "the cloud"?
Well the cloud itself has been around as the long internet, or arguably, even longer, and it is the internet, kind of. When the buzz word Cloud is thrown around they are really talking about Cloud Computing. Again to quote Wikipedia:
"Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet)."
Here in the Australia for home and small business users, Cloud Computing will probably have more of an impact once the NBN (National Broadband Network) gets rolled out. But in reality people have been using these kind of services ever since the internet started to gain popularity in the late 90s. One example being Hotmail.

Something the Cloud (and the NBN in Australia) will trigger the return of, is the dumb or thin terminal. One example of this is the Chromebook which Google launched last year, which in IMO was a bit premature. My company has been phasing our thin terminals out, which in all possibly, could eventually be phased back some time in the future.
From our companies point of view, we are maybe looking at an email filtering solution that will sit in the cloud. But I can't see us moving too many more services into the cloud in the near future. We've already got most of our infrastructure in place, and at this stage, there would be no real gain in moving our major services "to the cloud".

And for partially inspiring the title of this post (and the fact it has the word cloud(s) in it) here is "Little Fluffy Clouds" by the Orb. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Virtualization: Virtually the future of IT

According to Wikipedia the definition of Virtualization is:
Virtualization (or virtualisation), in computing, is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as a hardware platform, operating system, storage device, or network resources. 

Is virtualization the future of IT? Well I think from a server management point of view, it is. Apart from a few physical severs, where I work, the majority of servers are virtualized at our head office. This has many advantages.

Once such scenario I faced yesterday was when a hard drive on our file server reached capacity. This was brought to my attention when users were no longer able save data to the shared drive.
This was caused by a data share, which was a replication from another remote site, that had dramatically increased in size in the last few days. Which was a flow on effect from data being transferred over from an old never, to a new server on that remote site. Once that data had been replicated back to our head office, the hard drive that held both the replicated data share and the local data share, had reached capacity.
Now if this had of been a physical hard drive, we would of had to replace and upgrade it, or move the offending data share to another hard drive or server. But because this was a virtual sever (running MS Windows Sever 2008 R2) connected to a SAN (Storage Area Network), we (ie: myself with the assistance of my boss / mentor) were able to increase the capacity of the (virtual) hard drive. We did this by logging into the command view of our SAN  and increasing the capacity of the LUN (Logical Unit Number) that corresponded to the hard drive on the server. Once this was done, we were then able to increase the capacity on the server itself (via Disk Management in Sever Management).

The above example is probably more of an advantage of a SAN, than just purely virtualization. For example if the above sever was physical, rather than virtual, you could overcome this issue if that too was connected to the SAN.

There are many more examples and advantages of Virtualization. I will attempt to document these as I continue on my journey as the Bureaucrat Of Linkage....

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

And so it begins...

Hi my name is Ben. I have been obsessed with Computers ever since I was a little kid. My parents finally caved in during the (Australian) summer of 1987 and bought the family an Amiga 500. 

And I've been mucking around with computers ever since.

Over the last few years I have found myself working in the IT (Information Technology) industry. I currently work as an IT Support Officer for an internal company IT Helpdesk, and am studying and working towards becoming a Network Administrator.

This Blog is dedicated to that journey. A place for me to post, blog, rant and link content relative to that journey and for my own personal reference (and hopefully for others as well).
So Bureaucrat meaning Administrator and Linkage meaning Network.

So here I am, the self proclaimed Bureaucrat of Linkage....