DNS Self-Service with Orchestrator

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Monday morning, you’re sitting in the comfort of your cubical, playing Minecraft, building a giant pixelated reptile, determined and focused, when suddenly a new outlook toast with “New DNS record creation request” as the subject appears… You feel like:

Ain't nobody got time for time for that

You know the feeling, that woman is my role model !

Imagine if you could just reply the man with “Use the DNS self-service form, fiend” and continue with your masterpiece.

Fret not, old friend, that is exactly what we are going to do today !

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DSC vs Group Policy: In Plain English!

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Internet, we meet again!

No, it didn’t take me 14 months to write this article, i just had a bad case of fleas that took a while to shake off (metaphorically, of course).

As you already know, Windows server 2012R2 is already being shipped with the new PowerShell feature/framework: Desired State Configuration. In this article i will list a summary of key differences between group policy and DSC, in ENGLISH.
Microsoft provided us several tools to manage Windows, other than GP and DSC (e.g. SCCM DCM, InTune), but I wanted to compare those two specifically because they are free, mainly.
Enough chit-chat, differences, in no particular order:

  • DSC, by using MOF files (which are not proprietary to Windows), can manage Linux boxes, while group policy (currently) can’t.
  • DSC can use any MOF file created by any future 3rd party product that can potentially leverage DSC as a policy engine.
  • DSC is easy to extend (the only limit is PowerShell’s potency), whereas extending Group Policy can be really daunting.
  • DSC writes all errors in the Windows event logs when things go south, while not all Group Policy settings does that.
  • DSC periodic configuration refresh checks for updates every 15 mins by default, whereas Group Policy’s background refresh can take up to 120 mins.
  • DSC stores the required config and resources locally, so even if there is no network connection, configuration refresh WILL occur, whereas group policy requires connections to AD and SYSVOL to perform its background refresh.
  • DSC config/policy can be applied to workgroup machines, thus your DMZ machines will never be out of shape again, whereas group policy requires the machine to be in an AD domain.
  • DSC, while declarative, does not have any GUI (yet), while group policies GUI is easy to use and well known.
  • DSC is more complex to apply, whereas Group Policy is click-driven.
  • DSC provides centralized triggering of configuration distribution, while Group Policy relies on the GP client to trigger refreshes.
  • Group Policy uses a combination of event-driven (like computer startup and user logon) mechanisms, while DSC does not have anything like it yet.
  • DSC tattooes its changes on the machine, that means when a DSC config item is no longer applied, its changes does not revert back to its original state, whereas “most” Group Policy settings are not tattooed (GPP is another story).
  • DSC scripts is more human-readable than a raw Group Policy file.
  • In my opinion, DSC is more likely to be used on Servers, while Group Policy is still for both servers and clients (excluding perimeter machines).

That’s it, short and simple, I hope you’ve found it useful. Let me know what do you think by leaving a comment below.
Until next year (hopefully not), have a great one!

 

RDP 7 vs RDP 8: Wan Optimization, Zombies Style

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Yes, 5 months have passed since my last post, I was busy,with uhmm, stuff…

Now enough with my hypocrisy, today my curious monkey refused to sleep before i test the new “Wan Optimization” that Microsoft allegedly added to its new RDP v8.0 feature set that ships natively with Windows 2012.

So i setup 2 client machines, one with RDP v7.1 client and another with RDP v8.0, i will be connecting to my remote machine from home via an RD gateway server which is located in our remote branch’s DMZ.

Now we have to find some material worth testing on, and what is more frustrating than playing flash games over RDP? Their rich graphics, high frame rates and fade in-out effects (alpha) makes it the best candidate.

 I decided to go with something zombies related, “Earn to die 2012” is a great game (Disclaimer above): www.flashgames247.com/play/15994.html

*Round 1: RDP client v7.1 connecting to RDP v7.1 (or v8.0)

  • Of course RDP v8.0 is backward compatible so if you connect from a v7.1 client it will work but you will not get v8’s features
  • General Experience: Very slow and choppy gameplay, hangs when fading effects come into play, quality is good
  • Judgment: Unplayable

 not choppy

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