Thursday, November 27, 2008

SBS 2008 provides Out Look Anywhere

Out Look is connecting via SSL tunnel, Microsoft Exchange 2007 feature called Autodiscover service. For this you need to have Out Look 2003 or 2007 “Outlook Anywhere” (formerly known as RPC over HTTP clients)

This will provide you a fully functional Outlook client without initiating any other connections to the SBS server. And this will automatically enabled by default with a fresh Small Business Server 2008 deployment.



The Autodiscover service process for internal access













The Autodiscover service process for external access


IAnd it would be highly recommended to use a valid SSL certificate for the server.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cisco VPN Client is not supported for Vista 64bit

Recently I have installed Vista Ultimate 64bit on my note book because I wanted to get the peak performance utilizing the existing hardware resources. Also my target is to run VMware ESX infrastructure on my note book for the R&D purposes. What I have is a HP DV series Core 2 Duo T9300 @ 2.5GHz, 6MB L2 Cash, Bus Speed 800Mhz and 4GB RAM.

(You can get a very basic idea about 64bit http://www.windows-vista-update.com/Windows_Vista_64_bit.html )

I found everything work perfectly with Vista 64bit but Cisco VPN client installation has failed . And then I found Cisco has clearly stated that they don’t have a plan to support VPN client for Vista 64bit.

“There are no current plans to provide 64-bit support for the Cisco VPN Client but 64-bit support is available for the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client” link: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/secursw/ps2308/products_qanda_item09186a00801c2dbe.shtml

And in the other end Microsoft provides VPN clients compatibility summary http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929490

Luckily Cisco AnyConnect VPN client came to picture and I have configured SSL VPN in Cisco ASA 5510 and now my Anyconnect VPN client works perfectly. It’s a SSL tunneling based connectivity and performance improves with DTLS tunneling and also it has many options of performance tuning. Still I didn’t evaluate the performance Vs Cisco VPN client.

Cisco any connect configuration can be found in http://www.ciscosystems.com/en/US/docs/security/vpn_client/anyconnect/anyconnect22/administration/guide/22admin4.html
And Cisco ASDM latest versions provides SSL VPN Wizard and it will make your life easier.

Monday, November 17, 2008

VMware Convertor: Convert Microsoft SBS 2008 in to a ESX virtual host in minimum down time

I had a terrible headache to convert my SBS 2008 physical server in to an ESX virtual host. I was performing some experiments on this and also planning to minimize the down time as much as possible. Thank God, VMware has released new version of Convertor and it’s fully supports for the Windows 2008 versions as well.
Link: http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/
My SBS 2008 was running on IBM Systems X 3650 and it’s has 10GB RAM and runs over RAID 10.

In my case I have installed VMware Convertor in to the VMware VC (virtual center) installed Windows XP 32bit BOX which is not very powerful one. Ok we’ll start the work.
Open Vmware Convertor 4.0.2 or above and click on the “Import a Machine” Wizard.
1. Click “Next” to start the wizard
2. Again click “Next” (Source)
3. There you can select the Source from the drop down list






4. And enter the authentication user name passwords to the target machine (SBS 2008)







5. After that below menu will show you the current hard disk and there you can change the capacity as needed and click “Next” after you done






6. Click on “Next” (Destination)
7. In this menu you can select the Destination and in this case I used “VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine”






8. Now you have to provide the ESX root credentials to authenticate the VMware SEX host you wish to create the virtual host and then click “Next”
9. And provide a name for the Virtual Host
10. In this menu you need to provide the Resource Pool you need to place the imported VM and click on it and again click “Next”
11. Select the storage from the given Data stores
12. In the Networks menu you need to set the interface information and click “Next”
13. And in the Customization menu you can customize the VM host before you process and also you can scheduled to install the VMware tools as well
14. Click “Finish" to beging the process

I had about 64GB footprint in the SBS 2008 physical server and the VMware Convertor spent only about 40 minutes to finish the tasks. (please note this network has connected via HP procurve 1Gbps switch)



I have started the SBS virtual machine which is just migrated and installed VMware Tools and restarted again. I happened reset the IP settings for the both network interfaces and after that switched the users to the SBS 2008 Virtual host. I have swithced the traffic withing 3 seconds down time but there was a 1 to 2 minutes down time in the network. (just password prompts)
No headaches at all ! Good Luck for your migration !
BUT BE CAREFULL WHEN YOU PERFORMING THIS WITH A PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT ! YOU NEED TO PLAN WELL !