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That Was the Week That Was…

This has been one of those weeks that I love as an IT Professional.  I have succeeded in keeping meetings to a minimum, and got to play with a lot of cool technology.

If I look back on the week, and this is without reviewing my notes, I have built:

  • Storage Pools
  • iSCSI Targets
  • Failover Clusters
  • Scale-Out File Servers
  • AlwaysOn SQL Instances
  • Secure Windows To Go (WTG) keys
  • Azure RemoteApp
  • Azure Virtual Machines
  • Azure Active Directory

… that is to say nothing of the Cluster-Aware Updates that I got to play with, the PowerShell scripts I got to figure out, the tunneled VPN I got to test and start using for my company, Designated Names, Hyper-V, Windows 10, Server 2016, Group Policy Objects, and so much more.

I expect that most of my readers are IT Professionals, and most of us got into the business because we were passionate about the technologies.  I am equally sure that many of us spend a lot of time doing the type of monotonous minutiae that can make us forget that we get to come to work and play with toys most of the time.  Well, it’s weeks like this one that serve to remind us, and reinvigorate the joy in what we do.

The next few weeks will be interesting, leading right up to the days I will be taking off working at the PanAm Games.  Until then, it looks like an exciting time.

Have a great week-end folks!

My New Word…?

I was driving with a friend over the week-end, and describing the behaviour of someone with whom I recently cut all ties.  Part of the reason I did is because she is a master manipulator.  “She is a Manipulatrix.”

Brad said he loved that word, even though he had never heard it before.  I admit, I hadn’t either… we thought that I had coined a new word.

When I looked it up on-line before claiming the credit for it, unfortunately there was not only a definition on Urban Dictionary- Manipulatrix, there is even a site www.manipulatrix.com (which claims on the first screen to be “NOT FOR THE MEEK!”  So obviously, there is, within the world of alternative sexual lifestyles, previous uses and claims to the word.

With that being said, there is nothing sexual or alternative to the family member to whom I was referring, so I am coining the term thusly:

Manipulatrix: A woman who will manipulate every situation to her advantage, often using detrimental or derogatory actions to belittle the target of her manipulation.

A woman who, using her own wiles, causes others to do her bidding and/or to change situations to her favour.

Let me be clear, before anyone gets any silly ideas: I am not referring to any woman to whom I have dated or been married.  While my marriage to Theresa has ended, we are on very good terms, and I do not consider her in any negative terms.  My first wife may have been a lot of things, but she was not a manipulatrix.

Let’s Spread the Action Around… With NLB! (Part 1)

**AUTHOR’S NOTE: I have written hundreds of articles on this blog over the past decade.  Until recently I spent a lot of time taking screen shots of GUI consoles for my how-to articles.  For the time being, as I try to force myself into the habit, I will be using Windows PowerShell as much as possible, and thus will not be taking screen shots, but instead giving you the cmdlets that I use.  I hope this helps you as much as it is helping me! –MDG

I have written at length about Failover Clusters for Active-Passive services.  Let’s move away from that for a moment to discuss Network Load Balancing (NLB) – the tool that we can use to create Active-Active clusters for web sites (and other static-information services).

While NLB does, after a fact, cluster services, it is not a failover service… and is in fact a completely different service.  For my use case, it is usually installed on a server running IIS.  Start by installing it:

PS C:\> Install-WindowsFeature NLB –ComputerName Server1

Of course, having a single server NLB cluster is like juggling one ball… not very impressive at all.  So we are going to perform the same function for at least a couple of hosts…

PS C:\> Install-WindowsFeature NLB –ComputerName Server1,Server2,Server3

By the way, notice that I am referring to the servers as hosts, and not nodes.  Even the terminology is different from Failover Clusters.  This is going to get confusing at a certain point, because some of the PowerShell cmdlets and switches will refer to nodes.

Now that the feature is installed on all of our servers, we are almost ready to create our NLB Cluster.  Before we do, we have to determine the following:

  • Ethernet Adapter name
  • Static IP Address to be assigned to the Cluster

You are on your own for the IP address… it is up to you to pick one and to make sure it doesn’t conflict with another server or DHCP Server.

However with regard to the Ethernet Adapter name, there’s a cmdlet for that:

PS C:\> Invoke-Command –ComputerName Server1 –ScriptBlock {Get-NlbClusterNodeNetworkInterface}

Notice that I am only doing this, for the time being, against one server.  That is because I am going to create the cluster on a single server, then add my hosts to it afterward.

So now that we have the information we need, let’s go ahead and create an NLB Cluster named WebCluster, on Server1, with the Interface named Ethernet 2, and with an IP Address of

PS C:\> New-NlbCluster –HostName Server1 –InterfaceName “Ethernet 2” –ClusterName WebCluster –ClusterPrimaryIP –OperationMode Multicast

It will only take a minute, and you will get a response table listing the name, IP Address, Subnet Mask, and Mode of your cluster.

Now that we’ve done that, we can add another host to the NLB Cluster.  We’ll start by checking the NIC name on the second server, then we will add that server to the NLB Cluster:

PS C:\> Invoke-Command –ComputerName Server2 –ScriptBlock {Get-NlbClusterNodeNetworkInterface}

PS C:\> Get-NlbCluster –HostName Server1 | Add-NlbClusterNode –NewNodeName Server2 –NewNodeInterface “Ethernet”

Notice that in the first part of the script we are getting the NLB Cluster Name from the Host Name, and not the Cluster Name.

This part may take a few minutes… Don’t worry, it will work.  When it is done you will get a response table listing the name, State, and Interface name of the second host.

You can repeat this across as many hosts as you like… For the sake of this series, I will stick to two.

In the next article of the series, we will figure out how to publish our web sites to the NLB Cluster.

Follow-up to a comment.

Per my comment reply to Peter, this is from the My Certifications > MCSE: Private Cloud page.


Trying to Get Back On Track

Mitch Garvis:

Originally posted on Losing A Part of Me.

Originally posted on Losing a part of me:

The last couple of months have been a disaster with regard to the weight loss and all.  I am trying to get back on track… and there are days of brief success.  However I am trying to integrate little things into my routine that will work for me.

Four days a week I take the GO Train into Toronto to work, which of course means that those same four days I take the train back home to Burlington.  Aside from the walk to and from the train station (on the work side… I have to drive to the station in Burlington) is a good walk (and especially invigorating when it is Holy Crap Degrees Below Zero, as it was all last week), but I decided to add a bit to that.

I am not sure why I started… it could have been the bitter cold and trying to keep my…

View original 427 more words

New Interior…

I nearly panicked when I boarded the Air Canada Boeing 777-300 that will take me to Vancouver, for the connecting flight to Seattle.  The First Class cabin did not have the pods that I was used to… just regular seats…

…or so it seemed.  In truth they have revamped the cabin and while the pods are gone, the seats are great.  There is a true lie-flat bed seat, and instead of the normal 3″x2″ pillow you used to find on your seat, there was a proper full-size pillow and a blanket that looks like a comforter.  Once we are in the air I look forward to testing it out.

The new in-flight entertainment system is a huge improvement… the screen looks to be a 15.6″ wide screen, and it does not have to fold out (which means it does not have to be stowed for taxi and take-off).

The pod looks and feels similar to the one on the Singapore Airlines 777 that I flew one leg on last year.  Make no mistake – it is nowhere near as nice as the Airbus A380 Business Class on that airline (see article) but it is certainly an improvement over the old Air Canada pods… which I rather liked.

The first time I ever flew in those pods was my flight to Hong Kong, shortly after the Microsoft Airlift for System Center Configuration Manager 2007.  My first time in this seat is heading to the WSSC vNext Airlift, seven years later.

The table is not very intuitive, but other than that (and more new ridiculous rules from the FAs) I approve :)

Private Posts

I want to thank all of you who reached out to me this morning when you could not get into my ‘private’ article.  I wanted to share something that I had written (that believe it or not is far too incendiary to post on this site) with an old army buddy, so I pass-word protected it.  I assure you that you have not missed any great wisdom regarding IT.  I was essentially venting about terrorism.

Thanks for your feedback and your continued loyalty!


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