Articles and Ideas

PowerShell: Report expiring certificates

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PowerShell: Report expiring certificates

There is always an annoyance when public certificate expires out of the blue! Of course, every certificate “owner” or person/department responsible for maintenance of service requiring specific certificate should note the expiration date in his public calendar, but that rarely happens in reality. When service finally stops due to expired certificate, then whole of the IT lines up to dismember the unfortunate PKI Admin guy (without any real grounds to do so!).

But good PKI admin should maximize quality of internal ...

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PowerShell: Disable POSIX subsystem

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PowerShell: Disable POSIX subsystem

I have been instructed by Auditors to disable unwanted POSIX subsystem on many servers not needing it. I have been given a list of server names on which I had to disable POSIX.
Again, the PowerShell kicked in. Just to demonstrate the importance of PowerShell usage I will explain how you can disable POSIX subsystem manually:

You need to change local group policy on each individual server!
The manual way would require RDC login to each server, and change in Local ...

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PowerShell: Audit all local groups with members across domain

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PowerShell: Audit all local groups with members across domain

I was surprised when I found out that not many administrators use PowerShell! It is extremely important to master it, since modern datacenter administration in enterprise environments generate tasks impossible to complete in reasonable deadlines.

I felt so astonished; I am going to dedicate a whole new PowerShell category in my blog.
To explain my decision, I am going to present you the following real-life example:
I was recently given the task to audit (discover) all local groups on all of ...

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Lync User Manual

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Lync User Manual

Microsoft Lync is instant messaging (IM) client intended for enterprise environments succeeding Windows Messenger and Windows Live Messenger which are targeted for home use (after Microsoft acquisition of Skype Technologies). In large environments employees are inert when new technologies are presented and I was challenged with task to create short user manual describing Lync abilities and usage. It is best to use Lync in environments with Exchange Server since Lync provide contacts availability based on information gathered from Outlook by default. ...

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Start and Stop Service from a non-Administrator user account

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Start and Stop Service from a non-Administrator user account

Many times as System Engineer I have been challenged with potential security issue to allow non-administrators to control system services states (including custom ones). Because of many “solutions” I’ve encountered on field, I feel the urge to state that giving non-admin administrative credentials is never a right solution, not even remotely! If you are presented with similar request, please spend more time designing rather than repairing solution which will never pass any audit.

To make this solution a bit ...

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Inspecting Mailbox sizes and Quota limits

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Inspecting Mailbox sizes and Quota limits

When reviewing Exchange configuration it is always recommended to query for all mailboxes in all databases on all storage groups. It is especially useful during the storage consolidating process or when inspecting user mailboxes load. I was asked to evaluate migration to Exchange 2013 hardware prerequisites and this process came pretty handy.

Simple Get-MailboxStatistics cmdlet will give you the basic information about mailboxes but I wanted to inspect a bit more in-depth information sorted (exported) in Excel where I could easily ...

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Exchange Server: Auto reply from Distribution Group via Public Folder

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Exchange Server: Auto reply from Distribution Group via Public Folder

I haven’t found many useful and simple guides to set an automatic reply on mails sent to a distribution group (like in this example, for hiring purposes) and I thought creating this guide might be helpful to interested parties.

Many suggest creating Out-of-Office (OOF) rules or customizing Non-Delivery Reports (NDR’s) and there are a lot of posts discussing endless loops which these designs always initiate. Above picture shows my design which does not generate endless loops and more importantly does not ...

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