Other posts related to networking

 | October 26, 2011 10:27 pm

As difficult as it can be to secure individual computers, making sure that a network is secure is even more challenging. This is because, instead of working with a single machine, you have an entire network of devices to worry about. It’s a classic case of, “if the security of one is threatened, we’re all threatened.”

Luckily, there are several tools that can be used to “harden” individual computers, thereby making the network as a whole more secure. This series of videos will explore a few of those, including the Windows Server Security Configuration Wizard, the Role of Security Templates, and some of the Linux/Unix Security best practices.

This first video kicks things off by looking at the Windows Server 2008 Security Configuration Wizard and shows how to configure a simple firewall setting.

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 | October 23, 2011 4:29 pm

In the world of large networks, Microsoft’s Active Directory holds a near monopoly. There are many reasons for this, but I’ll only cite one: it’s an excellent product. It offers much more than just mere authentication for users. It also represents desktop computers systems as objects, and makes it easy to manage and secure them. It provides application deployment, standardizes system configurations, and locks down user interfaces through Group Policy Objects. Finally, it issues Kerberos tickets to enable single sign-on for enterprise applications.

Using Active Directory to manage a domain of computers is smart. If you have non-Windows clients (such as Windows or Mac computers) on the network, though, it can seem like a daunting prospect to add them to an Active Directory Domain. In this series of videos, I will walk you through the process of adding a Linux client to an Active Directory Domain.

It covers:

  • Where to download the software
  • How to configure the DNS settings and network settings of the Linux system so that it is able to localize Active Directory domains
  • How to join the domain
  • Some hints on where to start troubleshooting if things go wrong

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 | October 13, 2011 9:43 pm

Fender StratocasterCarefully engineered system or products have a beauty all their own. You can see it in the specifications, prototypes, and especially in the finished product.

I’m not just talking about the physical design. It’s easy to look at a Fende Stratocaster or a furniture design by Ray or Charles Eames and know that it was labored over. Such things are deliberately attractive, and as such, they’re easy to appreciate.

What I’m referring to goes deeper than that. It’s the beauty of a passenger jet, the flow of traffic at rush hour, the solidity of a bridge, the charm of a well-made hat, or the magic of an online purchase; the desirability of clever insights, intelligent choices, profound decisions, and (yes) aesthetics. In sum, it’s the allure of human craft, curiosity, and the desire to push at the impossible; the very distillation of human progress.

Because of this beautiful something, we have better ways to move, build, heal, and … destroy. In the end, it may even be the end of us all, our own Beautiful Apocalypse.

Or, at least that’s what I found myself thinking after watching the following TED video about the STUXNET computer worm. Even with near impossible challenges, some intelligent group of engineers found a way to elegantly wreak havoc.

Stunning.

http://ted.com/talks/view/id/1107

 | October 12, 2011 5:16 pm

Introduction to Virtual Networks - Title SlideVirtualization technology is one of the most powerful tools that technologists have at their disposal. It allows you to test software in a variety environments, make better use of server hardware, and experiment with risky technology in a controlled manner. For that reason, virtualization is used in nearly every company, university, laboratory, and software development house.

This video introduces a few of the general concepts of virtualization, particularly as they apply to networking. It also takes a look at some of the most popular virtualization products — VMware Workstation, Fusion, and VirtualBox — and how they compare to one another.

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 | October 6, 2011 6:06 pm

Active Directory is one of the most pervasive technologies in the Windows networking world, with good reason. Active Directory makes it easy to manage users, security policies, and network resources. It’s so good, many companies rely on it exclusively to manage their network infrastructure.

This video introduces Active Directory and shows how to install/configure it on a server running Windows Server 2008. It then shows how to add additional servers to the domain, in this case a Server-Core machine, and configure the second machine so that it is a backup domain controller. Finally, it briefly covers how to create user accounts and configure sharing of resources (like shared folder volumes) for users of the network.

Note: This video was created as part of a networking class that I am currently teaching. I’ve posted it here in the hope that it will be useful to a slightly wider audience.

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 | September 29, 2011 11:16 pm

Though the Internet, and the many things that it enables, may seem magical, the system is built upon tried and true pillars. In this video, I take a look at how two of those pillars, DNS and DHCP work by deploying them on a virtual network using VMware.

The tutorial includes a brief introduction to virtual networks, how to configure the virtual network adapters, and the installation of DNS and DHCP services on Windows servers.

Note: This video was created as part of a networking class that I am currently teaching. I’ve posted it here in the hope that it will be useful to a slightly wider audience.

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 | September 27, 2011 7:14 pm

The ability to create custom installation images (whether they be of servers, desktops, or more specialized devices) is a tremendously handy thing. In Windows Server 2008, Microsoft released a tool that makes the creation of these images much easier called ImageX.

ImageX works hand-in-hand with a second tool, called the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE). In this series of videos, I will explain how you can use ImageX and Windows PE to create custom images and deploy them.

In this final video of the series, we look at how to capture a custom image from a computer running Windows Server 2008 and how to deploy it on a new machine. The video also covers how to prepare an unformatted drive from the command line, and one way to repair the installation if you run into problems.

Note: This is Part 3 of the series. Part 2 covered how to create a custom WinPE image that includes ImageX and other useful tools. Part 1 showed where to find and download WinPE/ImageX and how to install them.

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 | September 26, 2011 3:54 pm

The ability to create custom installation images (whether they be of servers, desktops, or more specialized devices) is a tremendously handy thing. In Windows Server 2008, Microsoft released a tool that makes the creation of these images much easier called ImageX.

ImageX works hand-in-hand with a second tool, called the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE). In this series of videos, I will explain how you can use ImageX and Windows PE to create custom images and deploy them.

In this video, Part 2 of the series, we will cover how to create a custom WinPE image that includes ImageX and other useful tools. Part 1 talks about where to find and download WinPE/ImageX and how to install them.

The entire series is from a networking infrastructure course that I am currently teaching. I am posting it here in the hope that it will be helpful to a wider audience.

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 | September 22, 2011 9:50 pm

The ability to create custom installation images and deploy them to other machines is a very handy skill. If you are working in a large environment, you can create a master image with all of the tools needed for your work that could be used on all of your hardware. In this series of videos, I will explain how you can use ImageX and Windows PE to create custom images and deploy them.

Note: The following video is part 1 of a series that I have put together for a networking class that I am currently teaching. I have posted it here in the hope that it will be helpful to a slightly wider audience.

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