Friday, February 13, 2015

It takes a village to eat an elephant

I have been blessed with a multitude of incredibly knowledgeable and gifted individuals from the city of Jacksonville. Last night's conference call came at a time of struggle in my life. A reduction in force was looming over my head at work. Just when we were starting to feel safe, the rug was snatched from under our feet and we lost two team members. A number of emotions were racing through my mind as I tried to focus on my responsibilities.  The human side of me wanted to lash out as I struggled to understand why but the still small voice encouraged me to keep control of myself. 

Emotionally spent, I logged into the conference call and began to address the callers who were already sharing and working. That was a nice boost to hear familiar voices. I gathered my one note document and began greeting all the volunteers as they logged on. One volunteer I had not heard from in several months. As I unveiled the laundry list of task to go over with the group, I felt encouraged by their responses, suggestions and eagerness to help. The list slowly began to look like we were accomplishing something and I felt inspired to keep running. 

As with any elephant, you can only make it disappear one bite at a time. Here's my list for today. 

Thanks all who could attend.  The ITProCamp will be held June 13, 2015 at ITT Technical Institute at 7011 A C Skinner Parkway.  Conference will be held from 8am - 5pm.

8 - 8:30           Continental Breakfast / networking - 5 volunteers
8:30 - 9            Welcome / Keynote -
9 - 9:50            Sessions 1
10 - 10:50       Sessions 2
11 - 11:50       Session 3
12 - 12:50        Lunch - 5 volunteers 
1pm - 1:50      Sessions 4
2pm - 2:50      Sessions 5
3pm - 3:50      Sessions 6
4pm - 4:30      Closing Ceremony - 5 volunteers

As stated in the meeting, one of the speakers has confirmed attendance, Ed Wilson - The Scripting Guy and his wife Teresa - The Scripting Wife.  We need to accommodate our guest in a hotel such as the Aloft or similar facility.  It will help if we can secure a nice place for them to stay at a nice price. 

A few names were assigned to events and responsibilities that need attention.  Please take a look at the titles below.  If you see a ( ?? ), please let me know if you have expertise in that area and can assist. 

Assign / discuss social media tactics and planning  ( Hector )
  • Youtube ( Kasie )
  • Hootsuite ( Sid / Josh )
  • Instagram ( Sid )
  • Pintrests ( ?? )
  • City of Jacksonville ( Josh )
  • Clay County ( Richard )
  • Chamber ( Josh )
  • Folio Magazine ( Josh )
  • VOID Magazine ( Elizabeth )
  • Jax Business Journal ( Elizabeth )
  • Mission statement / press release ( Sid )
  • Mayor candidates (  Barbara Vick / Josh )
HOTELS ( Richard )
  • Aloft
  • Adnan's hotel
Assign / discuss tracks, sessions and speakers
  • Speaker IDOL ( to criqutte speakers )
  • IT Trends Track
  • Security ( Bill )
  • Professional Dev ( TEKsystems / Josh wife)
    • Speaker ( Mark Vickers ) CONFIRMED 3 sessions
      • Certificate of English Proficient
      • Certified English Business Proficient
  • MTA ( Sid / Mike ) split  the cost of the MTAs (100 MTA = $5000)
  • PowerShell ( Lynx User-ask Jess who did the powershell session )
  • Cloud &Virtualization ( Adnan - Azure / Blain (2) Public Cloud & BizSpark / Starke (??) / EJ-VirtualBox )
  • DBA / DevOps ( CiCiBrendan, Sean )
    • Ken (teaches C# & .NET) - Keith
  • Infrastructure / Networking ( Herb / John)
  • Exchange / Messaging Track ( ?? )
Assign / discuss user group & educational institution involvement
  • Keiser ( Richard )
  • Virginia College ( Sid )
  • St Johns ( Adam )
  • UNF ( Sherif  )
  • FSCJ ( Norfleet )
  • ISACA ( Bill ) (confirmed)
  • MDUG ( Mark ) (confirmed)
  • Arcsig ( Joti )
  • JSUG & JaxDUG ( Jon & Tom ) (confirmed)
  • Tech on Tap ( Mike / Paul ) (confirmed)
  • CoWorkJax ( Keith )
  • BigData ( Katie / Matt / Ted )
  • JaxWIT ( Rebecca & BofA)
  • UI / UX - ( Natasha  & Keith ) (lunch)
  • Military ( Mary & Beth sending to Terenace )
Assign / discuss t-shirts & giveaways (300 giveaways)
  • SNI Tech ( Brandi / Jon / Tom )
  • Add t-shirt size to eventbrite
  • Keiser University bags ( confirmed )
  • Plural sight sponsorship cards or additional raffle  tickets
  • StormTroopers ( Keith )
  • (Hector)
  • ITT Tech (Mike)
  • Microsoft Store ( ? )
Assign / discuss MTA Test Fest ( Sid )
  • Certiport
  • 150 vouchers
  • Award top achievers ( Top scorer / Fastest Pass - AWARD )
Assign / discuss Pre & Post events ( ?? )
  • Speaker / Volunteer Dinner ( The Taste- Touchton road )
  • Networking / Social after party ( Seven Bridges )
Assign / discuss Vendors ( Richard )
  • Vendors should bring an item to raffle
  • Enterprise Integration ( Keith / Jon / Jason )
  • Feature 23 ( Jeremy )
  • Microsoft Store - ( Josh )
  • $350, $500, $1000, $2000 ( Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum )
  • Kapersky ( Chris  )
  • Vormetric ( Steve )
  • Bit9 ( Dave )
  • Walmart ( Water )
  • Publix ( Water )
  • Winn Dixie ( local sponsor )
  • Host Solutions ( Starke )
  • Aruba Networks ( )
  • Comcast ( Richard )
  • EMC ( Richard )
  • Avaya ( Richard )
  • Cisco ( Richard )
  • Aruba Networks ( Richard )
  • Kaspersky ( Sid )
  • Volmetric ( Sid )
Job Fair ( Mike )
  • Room # ?
  • Room for job opportunities
  • next to the professional development track
  • Publix ( Water & assorted mix drinks )
  • Winn Dixie ( cups, Plates, forks & knives, spoons  Napkins )
  • Walmart (  )
  • Food drive ( Marc )
Budget Items
  • Travel & Expenses Reimbursement ( $2,000 )
    • Continental Breakfast - HostingSolutions
      • Coffee & Doughnuts/ Bagels ( $350 )
    • Lunch  - ISACA ( $500 ) ( confirmed )
    • T-shirts - SNI ( $1500  )
    • Polo shirts ( ? )
    • 2pm - Ice cream social ( Ice Cream Sponsor )
    • AD Booklet sponsor ( Sid ) Keith knows a lady that does LOGOs
    • Name badges
    • Conferencing app ( currently working )
    • Contest
    • Video Recordings - Deborah
    • Podcast
    • Welcome board
    • Wireless network ( Scott )

    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    Plans of the Diligent

    Last night's tech conference was successful. It is possible to get more done with only a few people, than to have a multitude of chatter. We were few in number, but accomplished setting up the schedule for the conference, finalized thoughts on the flyer, setup a meeting to start the podcast and established the group's videographer and goals.

    I want each break out session recorded with a laptop/webcam through Google hangouts and saved to the ITPROCAMP YouTube channel. This will encourage viewers to attend and sponsors can take advantage of this exposure. Speakers can critique and improve their own sessions and view other sessions they could not attend.  I also want to interview attendees and speakers.

    Next week I plan to meet with some app developers to discuss how we can support the conference from a mobile perspective. Should we create a new app or purchase an existing conferencing app? One thing is for sure, the plans of the diligent lead to profit, and I'm so glad we started planning early.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    The High road to ITPROCAMP

    The HIGH road to IT Pro Camp.

    The idea here is to simply blog about thoughts that encourage me through this journey as much as possible.  I won't bore you with the details but I am a system administrator for large financial company.

    And so the journey begins.  There will be a conference bridge tonight at 5pm.  The goal is to discuss and disseminate as much as I can.  Running a conference is like no other job.  It is as exciting as you make it and volunteers love to listen for opportunities to give.

    BTW, the conference I keep referring to is June 13, 2015, about 4 months away.  So why am I blogging at a time like this ??  Because if I don't I will wish that I did.

    Before I continue, I feel I need to post a flyer I created to promote the camp.  This will give you some background on what we are going to do.

    Well next time we may get more done.  I mean how much I give is not important..not right now.  But it's that I give and it will be given back in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. 

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Updating Azure Remote App Template Images

    Updating a Template Image in Azure Remote App is a straight forward task. (If you do not have a template image uploaded into the Azure Remote App space visit to view the walkthrough of the setup and deployment.

    To get started simply select the remote collection you would like to update. Keep in mind Microsoft images cannot be updated by you only Microsoft. As seen below.

    Your remote deployment however can be updated to change the applications based on need and or location. As seen below with your remote desktop collection selected click the update button and you will be prompted for which image to deploy out to your collection. Within the option you have two choices allowing users to be logged out immediately once the update is completed or allowing them 60 minutes to complete the necessary work and allowing them to save their data.

    Select the template that you would like to use to update your remote desktop collection with. (As shown above). The update of your image will begin. This can take a few minutes. Once completed you can now publish your newly added apps out to your users as seen below. From the client remote up select update and the newly published apps will appear.

    Success! You have updated your newly added applications.

    Thursday, December 25, 2014

    Hyper-V Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure

    The Microsoft Azure public cloud is yet increasing in functionality as time passes. While there are numerous options in terms of features you can configure to begin an organization, extend it or even scale it to meet demand. Disaster Recovery is well covered. From options to back up Windows Servers, System Center, and newly added Windows Client Operating Systems beginning with Windows 7. Hyper-V is not far behind.

    As a matter of fact it was there from the initial release and it has been enhanced upon. System Center Virtual Machine Manager was a necessary piece in order to protect your virtual machines within the Azure Platform. Newly added Microsoft is now supporting the protection of Virtual Machines with Hyper-V as a standalone.

    Let's get started!

    From the Azure platform click on the new button, data services, recovery services, site recovery vault and then quick create. Name your vault and select the region in which you would like for it to reside. When completed click the create vault button as shown below to create your Hyper-V DR Vault.

    Next select your newly created vault. From the setup recovery menu select Between an on-premises Hyper-V site and Azure as shown below.

    Next, we will complete the follow steps to configure the vault to enable protection of our Hyper-V virtual machines shown below.

    Next we will select the first step which will create our Hyper-V site. Name your site and select the check button.

    Download the registration key and save it to a location local to your machine.

     Download the Provider for the vault and when ready begin the installation.

    Once the software is installed the key downloaded earlier will need to be added to register the Hyper-V Server with the vault.

    A storage account will need to be made. Select the new button from the portal, data services, storage and then quick create. Name your storage account preferably something aligned with the deployment and easy for you to remember. Select the region where you would like to have the storage account reside. In my demo I selected locally redundant. In production it is best practice to select a Geo-redundant deployment which allows your protected virtual machines replicate to two data centers instead of one. Note: The configuration of a Azure Virtual Network is needed if the intent is to have a hybrid connection between your on-premises network and Azure. For the lab demo shown here a virtual network was not created. This will not hinder the process of replicating your virtual machines to Azure for protection.

    Now that the storage account has been configured we are ready to specify a protection group and its settings. Here you can configure the replication time, frequency in how much each protected virtual machine should replicate, its recovery points as well as the snapshot option. Here you can design a plan that works best for your infrastructure and/or company policy.

     Next we will add the virtual machines we would like protected in Azure.

    Select the virtual machines, the operating system whether it is Windows or Linux and select the check button.

     Protection is enabled and the process will begin replicating your virtual machine from on premise to the Azure Site Recovery Vault.

    Once completed via the Azure portal you will have an update for the health status.

    From the on-premise Hyper-V Server you can select the virtual machine protected, the replication tab at the bottom to gain a summary of the replication and its status from within the Hyper-V Manager console. 

    Success! You have configured Hyper-V Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure.

    By: Adnan Cartwright

    30 day Trial of Azure with a $200 credit limit -

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

    Migrating FSMO's Using PowerShell

    PowerShell continues to make Administrative tasks easier the more it is utilized. Migrating FSMO's is also part of those task. So you have to move the Active Directory Database to another server in your environment. Let's get this task underway. In our lab environment we have two servers. One is a Server 2008 R2 server and the other a Server 2012 R2 server.

    The 2012 R2 Server is joined to the domain but is not a DC. Let's run the PowerShell cmdlet Install-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools to get the role going as seen below.


    Next we will run the cmdlet as shown below
    Install-ADDSDomainController -CreateDnsDelegation:$false -DatabasePath 'C:\Windows\NTDS' -DomainName 'FISG.LOCAL' -InstallDns:$true -LogPath 'C:\Windows\NTDS' -NoGlobalCatalog:$false -SiteName 'Default-First-Site-Name' -SysvolPath 'C:\Windows\SYSVOL' -NoRebootOnCompletion:$true -Force:$true

    Enter the Safe Mode Password to continue the install


    Next restart the server to complete the install.

    Next we will verify that AD replicated to our new Server by checking the Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC).

    Next we will move or FSMO's to our new Server. In PowerShell on our new server we will run the netdom query fsmo command as seen below.

    Next we will run the cmdlet
    Move-ADDirectoryServerOperationMasterRole -identity "FISG-DC1" -OperationMasterRole 0,1,2,3,4 as seen below to transfer the roles.

    Next we will run the netdom query fsmo cmdlet again to verify that all fsmo's were transferred to FISG-DC1 as seen below.


    For Server Downloads visit

    For a 30 day trial of Azure with a $200 credit limit visit

    By: Adnan Cartwright

    Sunday, March 16, 2014

    Deploying Remote Desktop Services In Windows Azure

    Windows Azure has indeed made deployments much easier and less costly in some cases. One of those cases being a remote office that needs their clients to connect to a server for remote app works. Applications such as Microsoft Office, Quickbooks and others can now be deployed and accessed with the great of ease using Windows Server 2012 R2 in Windows Azure.

    For a quick deployment and single server setup connect to a Windows Azure account. Don't have one. no worries. Obtain one for free at

    Once your account is active the next step is to configure a storage account. To create a storage account click New, Data Services, Storage and then Quick Create. Enter the name of the storage account one you can remember and is not use. I selected Locally Redundant for Replication as this is a lab. You can choose to have it Geo-Redundant to replicate your storage account based on your needs. As seen below.

    Our Next Step is to set up the network in which our RDS Server will be utilizing. Click New, Network Services, Virtual Network then Custom Create as seen below.

    On the Virtual Network Details Page enter the Name of your Virtual Network and Select Create a New Affinity Group as seen below. Select the Region and then name the Affinity Group. Click next.

    Leave the DNS Servers blank as we will be adding one in later in the lab. As seen below. Click Next.

    On the Virtual Network Address Spaces page select your space and add your subnet as seen below. Click OK.

    Now that our network is successfully created! We can now create out Virtual Machine in Azure where our RDS Role will be installed.

    From the Azure Platform Click New, Compute, Virtual Machine and then From Gallery as seen below.

     In Choose an Image Select Windows Server 2012 R2. Click Next.

    Enter the credentials for your virtual machine and the click next.

    In the Virtual Machine Configuration Screen. Enter the Virtual Network which we created earlier as well as the storage account. Click Next.

    On the End Points page add HTTPS and click OK to finish the Virtual Machine configuration.

    Now that our Virtual Machine is up and Running lets get connected to configure Active Directory.

    Open Power Shell and enter the command "Install-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools" to lay down the binaries for Active Directory. Next enter the command "Install-ADDSForest -DomainName (your domain name here)" The virtual machine will shutdown and restart once completed. The next step is add the DNS Server to our Azure Virtual Network. From the Virtual Network click configure then add the name of the AD Server we just created as well as the IP Address as seen below. VERY IMPORTANT!!!! (Also enable Remote Management in the local Server. It will need to be enabled for the installation of the Remote Desktop Services role to succeed).

    To check the IP Address of the server view the network configuration. You may have to stop and start the virtual machine for the IP configuration for the network to take affect. Once it does you will have the same IP Configuration as we do below.

    Once confirmed our next is to do a little DNS Cleanup. This will remove any issues we will have with DNS resolving not only internally but externally as well. Will need to remove all forwarders and have DNS listen only to the IPv4 Address as seen below.

    Once you have removed the forwarder and only checked the IPv4 Address to listen on. Please perform and Security Updates from Microsoft and restart the server.

    Our next steps are to install the RDS Role. Click Manage from Server Manager then Add Roles. Select your server and then Remote Desktop Services Installation. Click Next.

    In the deployment type select Quick Start then click next.

    Select Session-based desktop deployment and then click next.

    With your server added click next. On the complete install page check the box to Restart the server automatically during the configuration. The server will restart one time and then complete the install.

    Once the install is complete you will be given a link to connect to your newly created RDS deployment. As seen below. Once logged in you will see the default applications you can connect to As seen below.

    To configure a SSL cert for secure communications create a certificate request for your Trusted Certificate Authority and complete the request once the certificate is received. 

    You have successfully completed the deployment of Remote Desktop Services in Windows Azure!!!!

    By: Adnan Cartwright

    Resource Links:

    Windows Azure and Server 2012 R2 Downloads: