During configuration of a recently deployed vSphere Replication Appliance I encountered what seemed like a frequently discussed error throughout blogs and VMware forum posts:

Unable to obtain SSL certificate: Bad server response; is a LookupService listening on the given address?

Though many of the blog posts (http://www.davidhill.co/2015/03/vsphere-replication-unable-to-obtain-ssl-certificate/) and VMware KB article (http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2085155) – none resolved the issue until I came across a post from – http://charlesulrich.blogspot.nl/2015/10/vsphere-replication-unable-to-obtain.html – which suggested to use the Platform Service Controller as the lookup server!

I have compiled all the relevant steps which I followed should you face the same issue – one of the following steps is bound to fix it:

  • Check that DNS works correctly from both vCenter & Replication Appliance
  • Check that the correct SSO Administrator/Password credentials are used
  • Check that the correct FQDNs/IP addresses are used for the following fields:
    • LookupService Address
    • VRM
    • VRM Site Name
    • vCenter Server Address
  • Check the vCenter Server Name under vCenter Runtime Settings is set
  • Use the full LookupService address – https://[FQDN_vCenter_Server]:7444/lookupservice/sdk
  • Use the LookupService address of the Platform Service Controller – https:/[FQDN_vCenter_Platform_Services_Controller]
    • Use the full LookupService address of the Platform Service Controller – https:/[FQDN_vCenter_Platform_Services_Controller]:7444/lookupservice/sdk

For me the fix was to use the Platform Service Controller for the Lookupservice Address – though I am still baffled if this a design choice or a flaw for vCenter not redirecting any external SSO configured services.

Team Foundation Server

We recently had to migrate the Team Foundation Server 2013 data tier from a physical standalone Windows 2008 R2 server running SQL Server 2014 to a new virtualised clustered environment.

The DBA and I chose to use the detach, copy, attach and re-point (remap) approach due to its simplicity.

The only difference in this procedure was that we applied friendly DNS records for the data tier and warehouse environment as per – http://www.edsquared.com/2011/01/03/Using+Friendly+DNS+Names+In+Your+TFS+Environment.aspx – I don’t know how I didn’t think of that years ago!

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Raspberry Pi, Utility

MotionEyeOS (previously called MotionPi) is “A Video Surveillance OS For Single-board Computers”. This means that you can simply turn your RaspberryPi and a USB camera into a CCTV system in less than 10 minutes! Here is how to do it!

***Credit goes to Calin Crisan for creating such a simple and useful system!***

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Symantec, Windows

The following step-by-step guide will take you through upgrading an existing VIP gateway installation to the latest release.

In this guide I will show the steps I taken for upgrading a 9.4 installation to 9.7. VIP Enterprise Gateway 9.7 brings a few new features over 9.4 which can be found in more detail at – https://knowledge.symantec.com/support/mpki-for-ssl-support/index?page=content&id=INFO2772&actp=RSS&viewlocale=en_US

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Back2Basics, Windows

In this Back2Basics posts we look at Active Directory Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) Roles one has to be aware of when implementing new Active Directory installations:

Role Functions
Schema Master
  • Performs updates to the AD schema such as ADPREP /FORESTPREP, Microsoft Exchange and other applicaitons that must modify the AD schema
  • Must be online when schema updates are performed
  • Generally placed on the forest root PDC
Domain Naming Master
  • Adds and removes domains and application partitions from the Active Directory forest
  • Must be online when domains and application partitions in a forest are added or removed
  • Generally placed on the forest root PDC
PDC Emulator
  • Manages password changes for computers and user accounts on replica domain controllers
  • Consulted by replica DCs where service authentication requests have mismatched passwords
  • Target DC for Group Policy updates
  • Target DC for legacy applications that perform writeable operations and for some admin tools
  • Must be online and accessible at all times
  • Generally placed on high-performance redundant hardware alongside other DCs
RID Master
  • Allocates active and standby Relative IDs (RID) pools to replica DCs in the same domain
  • Must be online for newly-promoted DCs to obtain a local RID pool or when existing DCs must update their current or standby RID pool allocation
  • Generally placed on the forest root PDC
Infrastructure Master
  • Updates cross-domain references and phantoms/tombstones from the Global Catalog
  • A separate infrastructure master is created for each application partition including the default forest-wide and domain-wide application partitions
PowerShell, Windows

If you are like me and not a developer but starting out with PowerShell, seeing everyone mention Visual Studio 2015 with the awesome PowerShell Tools extension and wondering how you could get your existing scripts into a more structured way of development and debugging while still utilising GitHub then you are not alone. Thanks to Trevor Sullivan video answer to my tweet and as a compliment to it, I take you step-by-step through the process:


Extensions mentioned above can be downloaded via the Tools > Extensions and Updates portal in Visual Studio 2015 if you search for them there. Continue Reading

PowerShell, Windows

If you find that the sizes of the titlebar text is too large or that the padding cannot be adjusted – this can easily accomplished with PowerShell.
***Before modifying any registry settings backup the settings by exporting the “WindowMetrics” folder:***

Simply fireup PowerShell ISE and paste the following in and execute:

$regpath = "HKCU:\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics\"
$CaptionHeight = "CaptionHeight"
$CaptionHeightValue = "-285"
$CaptionWidth = "CaptionWidth"
$CaptionWidthValue = "-285"
$CaptionFont = "CaptionFont"
$CaptionFontValue = "hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
$ScrollWidth = "ScrollWidth"
$ScrollWidthValue = "-240"
$ScrollHeight = "ScrollHeight"
$ScrollHeightValue = "-240"
$PaddedBorderWidth = "PaddedBorderWidth"
$PaddedBorderWidthValue = "0"

New-ItemProperty -Path $regpath -Name $CaptionHeight -Value $CaptionHeightValue -PropertyType String -Force
New-ItemProperty -Path $regpath -Name $CaptionWidth -Value $CaptionWidthValue -PropertyType String -Force
New-ItemProperty -Path $regpath -Name $CaptionFont -Value $CaptionFontValue -PropertyType Binary -Force
New-ItemProperty -Path $regpath -Name $ScrollWidth -Value $ScrollWidthValue -PropertyType String -Force
New-ItemProperty -Path $regpath -Name $ScrollHeight -Value $ScrollHeightValue -PropertyType String -Force
New-ItemProperty -Path $regpath -Name $PaddedBorderWidth -Value $PaddedBorderWidthValue -PropertyType String -Force

The end result should look like this:

Before: After:

Credit goes out to paradroid from superuser.com.

SQL, Windows

We were faced with a deleted computer object/cluster name object/cluster resource for one our SQL clusters.

The lovely error message confirmed why the cluster was in an offline state:

Cluster network name resource ‘SQL Network Name (XXXXXSQLCLUS01)’ cannot be brought online. The computer object associated with the resource could not be updated in domain ‘XXXXXXX.com’ for the following reason:
Unable to get Computer Object using GUID.

The text for the associated error code is: There is no such object on the server.
The cluster identity ‘XXXXXXXXXXCLUS01$’ may lack permissions required to update the object. Please work with your domain administrator to ensure that the cluster identity can update computer objects in the domain.

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SQL, Team Foundation Server, Windows

We got around to finally upgrading our TFS 2012 Update 4 & SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 environments to TFS 2013 Update 4 & SQL Server 2014 CU6 Enterprise.

Step 0. Background

The environment consisted of 3 project collections:

  • CollectionA – 450GB – 30 projects
  • CollectionB – 10GB – 1300 projects
  • CollectionC – 1.9TB – 10 projects

All the collections BUT CollectionB upgraded (eventually) without a problem on a dedicated hardware platform consisting of 4 CPUs (HT), 32GB RAM & 15K RAID10 disk configurations. Continue Reading