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Computing Dell HowTo TPM VMware

Set up TPM support in vCenter on Dell R7515

Quick HowTo/reminder to myself on how to activate TPM on ESXi hosts connected to vCenter. The smoothest way is to configure the servers before they are connected to vCenter: Otherwise they must be removed from the inventory and re-added. The BIOS security settings must be correctly configured: Select System Security. TPM Security must be turned […]

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Computing HowTo VMware

Fixing vSAN driver compatibility on Dell R7515

A while back, we purchased some vSAN Ready nodes for a new cluster. The machines came with ESXi installed in an all-NVMe configuration, but when setting up vSAN, Skyline Health kept complaining that the driver used for the write-intensive cache drives wasn’t certified for this purpose. I opened support cases with both VMware and Dell […]

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Computing HowTo Linux Postfix

Email address tags in Postfix and Dovecot

What if you could tag the mail address you provide when registering for various services to simplify the management of the inevitable stream of unsolicited mail that follows? If you could register myname+theservicename@mydomain.tld it would make it very easy to recognize mail from that service – and it would make it easy to pinpoint common […]

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Deploying VMware virtual machines using Ansible

I’ve been experimenting with deploying entire environments using Ansible. As usual I had to pass a couple of small thresholds and stumble into a couple of pitfalls before I was comfortable with solution, and so I’m documenting the process here. I’m thinking of creating a separate post describing my general Ansible workflow in more detail […]

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Managing Windows servers with Ansible

Although I to a large degree get to play with the fun stuff at work, much of our environment still consists of Windows servers, and that will not be changing for a long time. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I try to script my way around singular Windows servers using Powershell whenever it makes […]

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File system rights on mounted drives in Windows

As I repeatedly state, the same object oriented design that makes PowerShell potentially powerful in complex tasks, also makes it require ridiculous verbosity on our part to make it accomplish simple ones. Today’s post is a perfect example. Consider a volume mounted to an NTFS mountpoint in a directory. Since this is an obvious afterthought […]

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NTFS mount points via PowerShell

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s sometimes useful to mount an additional drive in a directory on an existing drive, Unix-style, rather than presenting it with its own traditional Windows-style drive letter. Here’s how we do it in PowerShell: If the volume is already mounted to a drive letter, we need to find […]

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PowerShell for Unix nerds

(This post was inspired by a question on ServerFault) Windows has had an increasingly useful scripting language since 2006 in PowerShell. Since Microsoft apparently fell in love with backend developers a while back, they’ve even ported the core of it to GNU/Linux and macOS. This is actually a big deal for us who prefer our […]

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Workaround for broken connection management in Exchange

For legacy reasons (don’t even ask…) we still have an old NLB-based Exchange 2010 mail server farm, with a CASArray consisting of two servers, in front of a DAG cluster at work. The interesting thing, of course, is when one of the CAS’s fail, Outlook clients don’t automatically start using the other CAS as you’d […]

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Monitoring mounted Windows volumes using Zabbix

Sometimes it’s nice to mount a separate disk volume inside a directory structure. For a concrete example: At work we have a legacy system that writes copious amounts of data to subfolders of a network share. While vSphere allows for pretty large vdisks, after you pass 8 TB or so, they become cumbersome to manage. […]