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Net Admin ****

By ray.drummond ·
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First post

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>So, this is another blog that I have.  Yay.  I've been busting my butt for the last two weeks trying to resolve a mail issue that keeps popping up periodically.  As expected, due to my IT curse, I've stumped M$ and the tech type has to setup a lab and try to figure out what happened.  This is what happens when you inherit a network that was managed by programmers that only read articles on third party websites about Windows Server.</p>
<p>After speaking with my boss this morning, we decided that it's come time to do what I told him we'd have to do in the beginning and I feared.....flatten everything and start over.  It started when mail ran all night.  I was a little surprised because we've had to reboot the mail servers every morning since Monday.  At least they had the courtesy to stay up over the weekend so I could catch up on sleep.  Anyway, I looked into the servers event viewers and saw the same errors as the nights before, except....mail didn't stop running and noone rebooted them in the middle of the night.  I am convinced the companies coding gnomes brought in help against the network here.</p>
<p>Been told to bring up another domain for them to test our product in.  That's a simple request.  But, I'm sure there will be some flaky request they will ask for.</p>
<p>I have to seriously consider wether I am leaving the IT field or getting my MCSE.  If I stay, may as well get all the certs to increase my worth.</p>

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Complete

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

So, I got the new domain up and have Exchange running on it.  My next task will be to use this box after the big testing is done and figure out Exmerge for Exchange 2003.  This is all in preparation for the Great Flattening of 2005.  The concern will be getting the mail server back online after everything is done.  Fortunately, my one domain controller is pretty new and I can rebuilt quickly.  I hope.

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Firewalls

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>I don't get it.  I simply don't get it.  I can't track down what the problem is with my firewall.  I RMAd a box, the problem persisted.  I unplugged the suspect T1 and the problem persisted.  I plugged the firewall directly into the wall, the problem remained.  I plugged the firewall into an UPS and the problem still persisted.</p>
<p>At this point, I'm simply at a loss as to what is causing the trouble.  I know the SGS 460R gets pretty hot and I wonder if that has something to do with the repeated rebooting of the device.</p>
<p>I know I have limited time before management comes down on me about it.  And I have nothing to tell them.  I've been on the phone with Symantec so much that the techs over there know me by name now.  And we are no closer to a solution than I was before I called them on the matter.</p>

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Resolution?

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>After being on the phone with Level 2 tech support for Symantec for less than a minute, they tell me that there is a support release that will address my issue.  They give me a new location for my LiveUpdate and sure enough, after a short period of inconsistent internet, the fire wall is stable and I've not experienced any unwanted disruptions in the internet connection.</p>
<p>WTF?  This is like the 5th time I've called there for the same issue and just NOW they are telling me about a fix that will do the trick?  </p>
<p>Silver bullets are not created in a day.</p>

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The Wait

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>After being told that the VPN has to work TOMORROW (last Thursday), I check with the people I was setting it up for and discovered that none of them had accessed it since I set it up and sent them directions.</p>
<p>I see that unfortunate pattern of "Hurry up and do ______, but we don't really need it by then.  We just want to make you jump".</p>
<p>I would find another career, but one look at my resume and people will shove more networking jobs down my throat.  I suppose it wouldn't be so bad if I were compensated correctly.  I guess noone here saw the salary reports on TR.  The difference is starggering.</p>
<p>I'm taking it on myself to start learning C#.  Not really so much to be able to help the developers here.  That will take a long while to get to their level.  But more for the automation of some regular tasks that I do.  It'd be nicer to have a little applet or something pop up, I enter info, and things happen.  The goal is to make life easier on me.</p>

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Today's work so far

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>You know, with the exception of a couple of things, 2003 is the same as 2000.  Just with things located in a different place.  Some things remained the same though.  I was looking at roaming profiles for my Terminal Server users so they keep their printers regardless of which server they are on.  This will save me time when the third server comes up.  I don't really feel like being bothered with, "I can't find my printer" all morning.</p>
<p>The telnet application I was testing worked from home.  This is another step in the right direction.  I'm learning a little bit about Java as I mess with it trying to tweak some of the settings to exactly what I want it to do.  The knowledge comes slowly.</p>
<p>My backups are running fine still.  I have them set to overwrite the tapes instead of appending, then overwriting.  Yeah, I'm shortening the life of the tapes by about a third, but that's ok.  I have spares.</p>
<p>My distro list isn't showing up for some reason.  I create an user and it shows up fine.  I create a distro group and nada.  Stupid Exchange.</p>

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Found something

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>So, after looking around for a server monitor, I finally found a decent one.  I was searching on "network monitor" instead of "server monitoring" which yielded considerably better results for what I was after.  <a href="http://www.paessler.com/ipcheck">www.paessler.com/ipcheck</a>.  Provided a really clean and professional looking application that has a windows and web interface for management.  I'm going to let it run over the weekend and see how it runs.</p>

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Decisions

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>So, the boss has decided we will go with the way I'm doing the backups because we are getting reliable backups every night right now.  Ok, yes we are shortening the life of the tapes a little, but at least I can continue to boast my three weeks in the hole for being able to restore data.  If you haven't found out you are missing a file in 3 weeks, I'm sorry but there isn't much I can do at that point.  The boss feels the same way.</p>
<p>I just got a user's printers setup on her machine.  Man, that was painful.  The machine was so SLOW that it took me 20 mins to install and test the printer for her.  My one coworker didn't go do it, but left me an email on how to go and fix up the problem myself.</p>
<p>Support is not fun.  Support with coworker support just plain sucks. </p>

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Work

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>I am now ahead of the game at work.  I've finished all the tasks I had and am now looking for stuff to do.  I have everything running pretty well.  My backups complete regularily now.  I configured the Dell 5100cn with the driver to keep everyone from printing on color for it.  I'm waiting on the guy up at the CDC to test my telnet application that I found.</p>
<p>I guess I'll go checkout the event viewer on my servers.</p>

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Still fighting

by ray.drummond In reply to Net Admin ****

<p>I've been working with this Outlook free/busy data problem for over a months now.  I'm not making any headway as to what is going on and what to do about it to correct it.  I'm leaning towards calling M$ and seeing what they can do for me.</p>

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