Got a Question? Contact Me!

December 9, 2012

I have added a contact form to the website to make it easier for people to get in contact with me about things on my blog.

This is to try and stave off the increasing labyrinth of comments that appear to be increasing across my site with questions about the scripts, that are not necessarily related to the blog post itself. Because of this new feature, I will no longer publish comments that are:

a) Not directly related to the post
b) comments to posts older than 2 months.

However, if the questions/comments received are non-trival, I will now include regular Q&A Blog posts to cover the question :)

Thanks for reading :)

Fixing Errors When Trying to Configure SNMP on ESXi

May 6, 2015

One of the tasts I am working on is the configuration of our fleet of Dell servers to use Dell’s Open Manage Essentials monitoring and management platform. One of the servers however had been unwilling to have it’s SNMP configuration changed using the VSphere CLI tools and was generating the following error:

Changing notification(trap) targets list to: myserver.local@162/DELLOME…
Use of uninitialized value $sub in string eq at C:/Program Files (x86)/VMware/VMware vSphere CLI/Perl/lib/VMware/ line 81.
Use of uninitialized value $package in concatenation (.) or string at C:/Program Files (x86)/VMware/VMware vSphere CLI/Perl/lib/VMware/ l
ine 50.
Undefined subroutine &Can’t call method “ReconfigureSnmpAgent” on an undefined value at C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin\vicfg-snm line 297.
::fault_string called at C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin\ line 299.

Hrm OK fine. Lets try logging in to the Host’s ESX Shell and use esxcli to set the trap:

Community string was not specified in trap target: myserver.local

Clearly something is broken with the SNMP configuration. Luckily the VMware forums were quick to supply a solution.

The SNMP settings for ESX are stored in the XML file /etc/vmware/snmp.xml. You can either clear this file (cat /dev/null > /etc/vmware/snmp.xml) or if you know what the setting should be, modify it. in my case I needed to update the <targets></targets> XML Tag to have a community string:

<targets>myserver.local@162 DELLOME</targets>

HP iLO SSL Certificate Script v3 now available

November 26, 2014

It’s fair to say that I have not done any scripting for HP iLO since the release of their PowerShell scripting toolkit. I simply didn’t have a need. However in the past week I received a request to update my SSL Signing script for iLO to use the HP toolkit, and so I have.

As the HP cmdlets only support iLO3 and above, this script is also only compatible with iLO 3 and above.

The mechanics of the script depart from my previous scripts, in that they require a list of iLO interfaces in a text file, rather than doing DNS queries – this list should be a trivial thing to compile using Find-iLO HP cmdlet. It also no longer makes attempts to correct issues that may cause the certificate to not install correctly, it will simply note the problem and then list the skipped hosts in an exceptions report as the script completes. This greatly simplifies the script.

Poll: Lights Out Management Interfaces

November 25, 2014

I’m making up some code using the HP PowerShell tools and one of the things I discovered is that it does not provide full support of iLO2. I’m not particularly surprised by this – iLO2 technology is nearly 10 years old, and we’re current at iLO4 in the newer model servers.

This may cause issues for some people with older hardware such as me. I was wondering for other HP Server Admins, what’s the iLO version in your environment?

Going Mobile with HP

August 11, 2014

Well, I am back in HP space for a little bit – configuring up a couple of HP c7000 chassis with some Gen8 blades. Being Gen8 they come equipped with an iLO4 interface and it has given me the opportunity to use the HP iLO mobile app. For the purposes of this article, this app was being used on an iPad Air with a bluetooth keyboard.

Having got my basic configuration into the blades I started adding them to the app, which was a little tedius having to re-enter the same credentials all the time. Dear HP, I would love a setting to be able to have a default or global credential store.

This can be worked around however, particularly if you are familiar with QR Codes. Making some assumptions that your server room is secure, you can print out QR codes for your devices with a string of hostname;username;password to put on servers, and then adding servers becomes a scan of the QR code using the app (or a paper based booklet of ‘codes’). The big problem here is that if you do not keep these QR codes secure, anyone with a QR code reading app can obtain login credentials.

As seen in the first image, I have a list of iLO interfaces. There are a couple of servers there with detailed information, and that is collected once you connect to the device for the first time. There is very limited organisation of the devices, with the ability to have a favourites list and thats about it. Dear HP, I would really like to see the ability to see folder organisation in future releases of this app. This will become unweildy with lots of devices.

Read the rest of this entry »

SysAdmin Day is Nearly Here! July 25th

July 20, 2014

July 25th marks the 15th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. SysAdmin Day as it is known is an international event that is held on the last Friday of each July and is a day where businesses and colleagues can express their appreciation for the work IT professionals do, often without any recognition.

There are many events being held around the world for systems administrators to unwind on this day – Reddit has a great list. Also if you are in Australia, you have the chance to win a home theatre system from Samsung, a SAGE-AU subscription and a trophy for System Administrator of the Year. Click here for more contest details.

Spiceworks is celebrating the 12 days of Sysmas leading up to Sysadmin Day, with freebies and giveaways.

Finally, If you are an IT Professional looking after other peoples ICT Infrastructure, then SysAdmin day is for you! Spread the word, go out for drinks, or if you are very lucky, get appreciated by your clients  with cakes and stuff! :)

Have a great day Friday!

Are Some of your GTalk Contacts Offline since using Hangouts? This Might be Why.

July 15, 2014

This article is slightly different from my usual articles, as it’s more about the use of a chat client. However this issue has been one that has been causing me great pain and frustration, and having found the root cause of the issue has been quite a relief. I figured I would share in case others were experiencing.

Over the last 3 months, a group of friends and I have been using Google Hangouts as the primary medium for messaging. Due to the use of an XMPP Bridge, we are able to use chat clients like Digsby, Adium and Pidgin. This worked great, until one day I noticed one of my friends did not appear online any more, though I would receive messages from him. Attempts to remove and re-add the contact, as well as completely & mutually removing our Google Plus and Gmail Contact info from each other did not resolve the issue.

After 3 months, the issue and resolution was finally found on the Google Product Forums. It would appear that when you disable sound notifications in google hangouts for messages, unexpected behaviour can occur including that you will appear invisible to other chat clients. My friend verified this by un-muting notifications, and *boom* he appeared online in a variety of clients we were testing.

So there you have it, if you are having trouble with friends who use Hangouts appearing offline in your chat clients, see if they have muted/disabled message notifications.

Microsoft Release TMG 2010 SP2 Rollup 5

July 2, 2014

Remember Microsoft Threat Management Gateway?

It looks like in the last couple of days,  a new rollup patch has been released. Despite Microsoft discontinuing the product in 2012, patches have continued to be released since then. Rollup comes around 7 months after Rollup 4.

For more information on what this Rollup provides please visit the kb page:


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