Monday, February 22, 2010

What is tombstone lifetime? How to reconfigure it?

The tombstone lifetime in an Active Directory forest determines how long a deleted object - aka a ‘tombstone’ - is retained in Active Directory. The tombstone lifetime is determined by the value of the tombstoneLifetime attribute on the Directory Service object in the configuration directory partition.
Tombstone Lifetime assists in removing objects from replicated servers and preventing restores from reintroducing a deleted object. Actually when an object is deleted from Active Directory, it is not physically removed from the Active Directory for some days. Instead, the Active Directory sets the ‘isDeleted’ attribute of the deleted object to TRUE and move it to a special container called ‘Tombstone’.

  • ·         The default Tombstone Life time period is 60 days in Windows Server 2003
  • ·         But the default Tombstone Lifetime period has been changed in Windows Server   2003 SP1 and later to 180 days.

The tombstone lifetime attribute remains same on all the domain controllers and it is deleted from all the servers at the same time. This is because the expiration of a tombstone lifetime is based on the time when an object was deleted logically from the Active Directory, rather than the time when it is received as a tombstone on a server through replication.

Reconfiguring Tombstone Lifetime:

       As I mentioned earlier, Default period of Tombstone Life time is 180 days in Windows Server 2003 SP2 or later. This is because the value of tombstoneLiftetime object is
    The default Tombstone Lifetime can be modified through ADSIEDIT console, if necessary. But I would like to remind you that, the longer tombstone lifetime decreases the chance that a deleted object remains in the local directory of a disconnected DC beyond the time when the object is permanently deleted from online DCs.
This attribute is located in the below path:
cn=Directory Service,cn=Windows NT,cn=Services,cn=Configuration,dc=
To Change the Value, go to:
Run > ADSIEDIT.msc
Expand: Configuration > CN= Configuration > CN=Services > CN=Windows NT > and right click on CN= Directory Service
You will get an attribute window, Drill down to tombstoneLiftime, and double click it. You will get a field to type down the value, type the value you intended and click OK.
The below picture will help you out to reach the correct object.

For further reading on Tombstone Lifetime, I recommend you below Microsoft links:

Active Directory: NTDS folder and its Contents.

The Active Directory Database is Stored in %SYSTEM ROOT%\NDTS folder. The file is called as ntds.dit. Along with this file there are other files also present in this folder. The files are created when you run dcpromo. The list of files and use of those files are listed below
1. ntds.dit : This is the main database file for active directory.
2. edb.log : When a transaction performed to ad database, like writing some data first the data will be stored to this file. And after that it will be sent to database. So the system performance will be depends on how this data from edb.log file will be written to ntds.dit. multiple .log files will be created according to the requirement.
3. res1.log : Used as reserve space in the case when drive had low space. It is basically 10MB in size and created when we run dcpromo.

4. res2.log : Same as res1.log. It is also 10MB in size and the purspose also same.
5. edb.chk : This file records the transactions committed to ad database. During shutdown, shutdown statement is written to this file. If it is not found when the system rebooted, the ad database tries to check with edb.log for the updated information.
6. Drop folder : It contains details related to SMTP.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Script to Stop and Start Exchange Services before and after Restarting Exchange Server.

Typically, exchange server will take much long time to shutdown and restart, if the exchange has a much more load, it will take around 25-30 minutes. The best way to avoid this waiting is to stop the exchange related services. If you stop the services before restarting exchange, both the shutdown and restart time will be faster than never before.
 As you know, there are 9 exchange related services are working for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. But few of them will be started by default. 
Here is a very small script that you can run before initializing the restart process. Copy the script to notepad and then change the extension to “.bat”, and run it.

net stop MSExchangeES /y
net stop MSExchangeIS /y
net stop MSExchangeMTA /y
net stop MSExchangeSA /y
net stop POP3Svc /y
net stop IMAP4Scv /y

If POP3 and IMAP4 are not used by your exchange organization, you can eliminate the last two lines.
Also you can use similar batch file script to start all those services, after the exchange server restarted.
net start MSExchangeES /y
net start MSExchangeIS /y
net start MSExchangeMTA /y
net start MSExchangeSA /y
net start POP3Svc /y
net start IMAP4Scv /y

Copy the script to notepad and then change the extension to “.bat”, and run it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

VMware; New Features of VMware Server 2.

           VMware Server installs and runs as an application on top of a host Windows or Linux operating system. A thin virtualization layer partitions the physical server so that multiple virtual machines can be run simultaneously on a single server. Computing resources of the physical server are treated as a uniform pool of resources that can be allocated to virtual machines in a controlled manner.
           VMware Server isolates each virtual machine from its host and other virtual machines, leaving it unaffected if another virtual machine crashes. Data does not leak across virtual machines and applications can only communicate over configured network connections. VMware Server encapsulates a virtual machine environment as a set of files, which are easy to back-up, move and copy. 
Below mentioned are new features brought by VMware Server Version 2:
Expanded operating system support: VMware Server now supports Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista Business Edition and Ultimate Edition (guest only), RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 and Ubuntu 8.04; including paravirtualized mode support on certain Linux distributions. 64-bit operating system support: Use 64-bit guest operating systems on 64-bit server hardware to enable more scalable and higher performing computing solutions. In addition, VMware Server 2 will run natively on 64-bit Linux host operating systems.
Web-based management interface: A new Web-based user interface provides a simple, flexible, intuitive and productive way for you to manage your virtual machines. With the new VMware Remote Console, access your virtual machine consoles independent of the Web-based management interface.
Greater scalability and flexibility: Use up to 8GB of RAM per virtual machine, up to 10 virtual network interface cards per virtual machine, transfer data at faster data rates from USB 2.0 devices plus add new SCSI hard disks and controllers to a running virtual machine.
Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) Support: Properly back up the state of Windows virtual machines when using the snapshot feature to maintain data integrity of the applications running inside the virtual machine.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Configuring Option 150 in DHCP for CISCO Phone Setup in Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Based Domain Environment.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 provides various options to configure in the DHCP server, which will be distributed to the DHCP clients. Some of the well knows options are DNS domain name, Router, WINS, Time Server, and so on. But, by default, some of the necessary options cannot be find in the DHCP option properties. There are various addresses such as TFTP, HTTPS IPs are needed for various setups such as CISCO and Avaya IP phones.

      Here I will tell you how to configure TFTP option for Cisco CallManager. Cisco CallManager devices boot up and request an IP address. They also need additional information, such as the default gateway and the TFTP Server IP Address (Option 150). This step-by-step instruction provides details on how to configure all the necessary parameters for the Windows 2003 DHCP Server.

   In this scenario we have already configured DHCP server, Scopes, and Scope option details such as DNS server, Router, and so on. Then see how to configure TFTP option 150 in an existing DHCP.

Select Start > Programs > Administrative Tools > DHCP in order to go to the DHCP Manager.

Right-click the server and select Set Predefined Options, then click Add.

Enter the Name as TFTP Server IP Address, Data Type is IP Address, Code is 150, and Description is TFTP Server IP Address for CallManager Devices.
Click OK twice in order to complete the creation of Option 150. If you right-click Scope Options and select Configure Options, you can select Option 150 as an option to hand out to Devices.

Now, reboot your device and check if you are getting all the options you have configured.

WS_Ping ProPack; A tool to trigger Network Issues.

Here is a fantastic utility tool, I usually use to trigger the network and OS related issues.
WS_Ping ProPack is the ultimate network information tool, Provides Ping, Traceroute, DNS Lookup, Finger, Whois, LDAP, SNMP, and SCAN IP. This is exactly what you need to help you track down network problems and to find out information about users, hosts and networks on the Internet (or in an Intranet).
WS_Ping ProPack implements a 32 bit graphical PING client for Windows Operating Systems. Additional functionality of this program is the inclusion of Traceroute, Domain Name Service (DNS) lookup, Finger, Whois, LDAP, SNMP and SCAN IP.
The below mentioned are the main functionalities of this tool:
            Verify connectivity to a particular device on your network
·         Quantitatively test data connections between your computer and a remote system
·         Trace the path to a network host or device
·         Obtain information on host names and IP addresses
·         Scan your network and list devices and network services
·         View summary information about a network host or device including the official hostname, IP address, and contact information (from the Whois database)
·         View Simple Network Management Protocol values as well as Windows network domains, hosts, and workstations
·         Search information (such as user’s full names and e-mail addresses) available through LDAP

Download and try the tool from the below link:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google Chrome is Growing; Now Stands at 3rd in Terms of Popularity.

Google’s innovative and fast growing web browser application, Chrome, has reached number 3 in terms of popularity after just a 16 months after its lauch. It landed behind Mozilla firefox and Internet Explorer, and made Apple’s Safari into number four.

Internet Explorer (IE), meanwhile, lost almost a full percentage point in December, the latest slip in a decline that accelerated during the second half of 2009.

Chrome ended December with a share of 4.63%, according to California-based measurement firm Net Applications. Apple's Safari, which dropped into fourth place for the first time, posted a share of 4.46%. The swap in positions came a month earlier than Computerworld's December prediction, which had been based on a three-month gain-loss trend of the two browsers.

Chrome's December increase of 0.7 of a percentage point, the largest since Google launched the browser in September 2008, may have been partly fueled by the release three weeks ago of beta editions for Mac and Linux.

Although it fell to the No. 4 spot, Safari didn't stand still last month: It picked up 0.1 of a percentage point. Opera Software's flagship browser also gained ground in December, and accounted for 2.4% of all browsers used in the month, a record for the Norwegian-made program. However, Mozilla's Firefox lost 0.1 of a percentage point, finishing with 24.6%, delaying for at least another month the No. 2 browser's move past the 25% milestone.

An Easy Way to Add Additional Pages in Your Blogger Blog

There is an easy way to create additional pages in your blogger blog. You might be thinking how to add About me or Contact pages in blogger. But don’t know whether this option only available when we install customized template. But hopefully it will work on default blogger templates as well.

Login to your blogger Dashbord, and select your blog for which you wish to create additional page. And navigate to posting à Create New Page or Edit Pages, as you see in this picture, there you will see a tab called ‘New Page’. Select that option and start creating new page.

In the edit window, add the title and contents of your new page. Then click on publish page. You will get the below option.

Here, select the option as per your preference. if you want to appear new page links in the side bar, select ‘Blogger Side Bar’; or if you want to the new page to appear on the top as menus, select ‘Blog Tabs’, or you can select No Gadget’ if you wish to manually add links, but it is recommended for advanced bloggers.

Hope this description helped you. If so, please join my blog, and also, put your valuable comments:

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