Patching windows servers with Ansible

After I configured my Ansible server to manage my windows machines in the previous article, one of the first tasks I planned to automate was patching. Patching is one of those extremely boring but needed activities, and in any environment, even with a small amount of server, automated patching may be a savior. As long as proper data protection is in place, like a daily backup of the involved virtual machines, we can safely plan automatic updates, and if anything goes wrong, we just need to revert the virtual machine to the previous state.

Configuring Windows machines for Ansible

As I’m studying Ansible, one of my goal is to manage my several Windows machines with it. I know it sounds strange as Ansible was first designed to deal with Linux systems, but this powerful configuration management platform supports Windows since version 1.7, and is completely agentless: it relies on SSH for linux/unix machines, and Windows Remote Management (WinRM) for Windows machines. Through WinRM, Ansible can connect to Windows machines ard run PowerShell scripts. The idea of using Powershell as the main code to execute tasks in Windows systems, together with the agentless approach, made me be even more curious in learning more about the Windows support.

Tunnel all your remote connections through ssh with a linux jumpbox

As many guys working in IT, I have my own lab. I usually prefer to use my own lab as the degree of freedom I can experience cannot be compared with a corporate lab. It often happens that some specific configurations (one for all, my vCloud Director environment) are better looking in my own lab than any other place, and so I also use my lab to show those technologies to partners and customers. This is easy when I’m at home, but I may be in an hotel room, in a conference room at the customer’s site, or another different place, and in many of these situations it may happen (and it happened enough times to justify this little project) that the connections to my lab are blocked by a firewall or another device. I have two ways to connect to my lab: an RDP to a jumpbox machine, published on a different port that the usual TCP/3389, and an ipsec vpn concentrator. In one case, none of them was possible at a customer, so we ended up with a colleague of mine tethering from his phone. I decided it was time to develop a better solution that was able to work in almost any situation. And my solution involves the always amazing SSH.

Seeding Veeam Cloud Connect – Part 1: Backup copy jobs

Veeam Cloud Connect is a great technology that allows end users to add to a local protection also an offsite location where they can store backup copies or replicated virtual machines. As not every customer has a fast internet connection, Veeam Cloud Connect implements multiple data reduction tecniques to improve data transfer, but especially the initial full backup or full replica can be slow and painful for some customers with really small internet connection. That’s why seeding is such an important option in Veeam Cloud Connect.
In this three series blog posts, you will learn how to use Veeam Cloud Connect. In Part 1, how to seed a regular backup copy job.

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