IT Managed Services Provider Resource Recommendation Update on August 31, 2021

Webinar for Windows Server Admins

Unlock your Storage Potential with these Powerful Built-in Windows Server Features is a free webinar on August 11 presented by two Microsoft MVPs that will show you how to make the most out of the latest in-built Windows Server storage features. It covers storage innovations with Storage Spaces Direct & Azure Stack HCI, ReFS, PMem, QUIC & SMB, and more!

Script

PS-ScheduledTaskCheck is a script that will check all scheduled tasks running on a Windows server and alert on any failures. It will also generate a report in the install directory of all tasks—which includes the taskname, runas user, command run, arguments to the command run, triggers and server the task runs from.

PS Clear Cisco IOS is a script that automatically clears port security for Cisco IOS. Explains, “we use port security on our switches and I used this script to check for devices in err disabled mode, and if they were tripped, reset the ports and clear port security automatically… I can make it check for anything I want to just by changing a couple lines. I have also used it to shut down unused ports and unused ports in specific vlans.”

Free Tool

Supercharger Free provides a single pane view of the entire Windows Event Collection environment. Offers pre-built security filters with noise suppression, wizard-based create/update/delete/view of subscriptions and step-by-step guidance for new WEC implementations.

Selenium HQ is a framework and ecosystem that encapsulates a variety of tools and libraries for browser automation to provide an infrastructure for the W3C WebDriver specification—a platform and language-neutral coding interface compatible with all major web browsers. Explains, “I recently got tasked with changing settings on hundreds of printers, and they have no central management or API. [Selenium] uses a chrome or firefox driver to automate browser actions. It works with several programming languages, but I’m using python to look at a csv of printer IPs and run through them all. Rather than something like AutoHotKey, which relies mostly on the position of the mouse and can get thrown off easily, this is scripted to look for the specific web element you point it at. You can even record it like a macro and view what the code would be for that part if you aren’t sure what you need to interact with that element.”

johann is a web-based network device monitoring tool for Cisco IOS XE devices. Allows you to collect configuration and operational data for your networking devices in a structured way—all in a single database.

Fog Project is an open-source network computer cloning and management solution. Can capture, deploy and manage Windows, Mac OSX and assorted Linux distributions. “I’ve used it to image 5000+ Dell workstations in a single day… it was great and made the process super simple.”

nuttcp is a network performance measurement tool that determines the raw TCP (or UDP) network layer throughput by transferring memory buffers from a source system across an interconnecting network to a destination system, either transferring data for a specified time interval, or alternatively transferring a specified number of bytes. Provides user, system and wall-clock time, transmitter and receiver CPU utilization and loss percentage (for UDP transfers).

strongSwan is a multiplatform IPsec solution that offers encryption and authentication for servers and clients to facilitate secure communications with remote networks. Implements both the IKEv1 and IKEv2 key exchange protocols, with fully tested support of IPv6 IPsec tunnel and transport connections.

Xymon provides monitoring for hosts, network services and whatever else you configure via extensions. Can periodically generate requests to network services like http, ftp and smtp and record if the service is responding as expected and send alerts in the case of problems. Monitors local disk utilization, log files and processes through the use of agents installed on the servers. Results are collected by a central server and displayed on webpages that show the status of your network, with drill-down functionality. Records the history of each item, so you can generate availability reports and check on incidents.

Freeplane is an intuitive mindmapping and analysis application that can help you flesh out and organize your ideas about any project and even prepare them for presentation. Content is added without concerns about format—a straightforward mind dump of your ideas—and the tool generates an organized structure that can be manipulated as easily as a diagram. Because the workflow is unimpeded by the need to think about structure, you can unleash your creativity while still working efficiently toward a usable, organized document.

ASCIIFlow is a online tool that allows you to easily design text diagrams you can then export with ASCII Characters.

Trinity Rescue Kit is a live Linux distribution for recovery and repair operations on Windows and Linux. Offers command-line control of offline operations like rescue, repair, password resets and disk cloning.

PS Pad is a plain text editor with lots of useful formatting functions, spell check and a web-authoring editor. It catches and parses compiler output, integrates external help files, compares versions and more. There are lots of text editors on the market, but this one is my favorite [for its] simplicity, the number of filetypes it works with, tools including diff and lorem and the extremely small memory footprint.

Regshot is an open-source registry-comparison utility that can be helpful after making system changes or installing a new software product. It allows you to quickly take a snapshot of the registry pre- and post-change, and then produces a changes report (in either text or HTML) that lists all modifications between the two snapshots. You can also specify folders (with subfolders) to scan for changes as well.

Universal is a cross-platform solution to facilitate the creation of web-based tools using PowerShell—including APIs, automation and dashboards. Offers an administrator console, management REST API, PowerShell cmdlets and a idempotent configuration system using PowerShell scripts. “Automation interface that gives a webUI for creating and scheduling PowerShell scripts. It really is amazing. I migrated all of my scripts to it, then created dashboards in place of the scripts the required user input. I just keep finding new things to do with it.”

Lightshot is a fast, easy way to take a customizable screenshot. The intuitive interface lets you capture any area on your desktop with just two clicks. Allows you to edit your screenshots, search to find similar images, and share them right from the app.

Tutorial

Understanding Wi-Fi Speed and How 6 GHz Compares is a fantastic post that explains the components of Wi-Fi connections, how they interact to determine performance and how 6GHz compares with 5GHz and 2.4GHz in practical terms.

IT Exam AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Study Guide is a video training series aimed at teaching the skills needed to earn the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals role-based certification badge. This 63-part series covers every objective from the exam, with a clear presentation offered by IT professional, trainer and author Tim Warner.

Website

ChannelE2E is a great resource to help IT service providers stay current. Offers strategic information for MSPs and VARs on business development, talent recruitment and management, financial models, marketing, sales and customer engagement.

Blog

PeteNetLive is the technical blog of Pete Long, an expert, highly credentialed Technical Architect, IT Consultant and Microsoft MVP. You’ll find lots of well-explained and detailed articles (with very helpful diagrams and screenshots) on topics related to networking, VMware, Microsoft and Cisco.

Tip

Shortcut to get the uptime: net stats workstation — which allows you to check the complete stats for that workstation.

Offers a health-related PSA for IT Pros: “Deep Vein Thrombosis—Just a heads up, we have stressful jobs where we sit most of the time. If you get unexpected pain, swelling or bruising in your legs, get it checked out. I discounted it as a muscle injury, though the bruising should have warned me. I got lucky this time, but I was stupid.”

You can freeze (hold/pause) Task Manager values by holding Ctrl button. Open task manager > performance tab > Hold Ctrl key, the values are frozen. Hold down F5 to get ‘realtime’ stats too.