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IT Managed Services Provider Resource Recommendation Update on December 22, 2021

Free Tool

Traefik is a self-maintaining HTTP reverse proxy and load balancer that makes deploying microservices as simple as pointing it at your orchestrator. Integrates with your existing infrastructure components (Docker, Swarm mode, Kubernetes, Marathon, Consul, Etcd, Rancher, Amazon ECS, …) and configures itself automatically and dynamically.

Vim is a highly configurable text editor built to improve efficiency. While often preferred by programmers, its usefulness extends well outside that world to any sort of text editing, from composing email to editing configuration files. It can be configured to work very simply, like Notepad.

Flowalyzer NetFlow & sFlow Tester can facilitate troubleshooting of hardware from vendors like Cisco and Enterasys, as well as testing NetFlow collector software, to ensure that both the hardware and software are configured correctly. Includes a listener, generator, configurator and communicator. For on-the-fly quick graphs that were polled often.

VoIPmonitor is an open-source network packet sniffer with a commercial front end for SIP, RTP, RTCP, SKINNY(SCCP), MGCP and WebRTC VoIP protocols running on Linux. Allows you to analyze the quality of VoIP calls based on network parameters, with all relevant statistics saved to MySQL database. Each call can be saved as a pcap file if desired. Explains, “The open source sensor is great. The paid GUI is totally awesome and well worth the cost.”

Logseq is a privacy-oriented, open-source knowledge base and to-do list for writing, organizing and sharing your thoughts. Works on top of local plain-text markdown and org-mode files. I preferred Roam Research but the $15/month price tag was kind of steep for a note taking needs. I recently switched to LogSeq, it’s nearly identical (maybe better) and it’s free.

oVirt is an open-source, distributed virtualization solution for managing your whole enterprise infrastructure. Features include rich, web-based user interfaces; integrated management of hosts, storage and network configuration; live migration of virtual machines and disks between hosts and storage; and high availability of virtual machines in the event of host failure.

VaultWarden is an unofficial Bitwarden-compatible server that can be a nice option for self-hosted deployment. This alternative implementation of the Bitwarden server API is written in Rust and includes organizations support, attachments, vault API support, serving the static files for Vault interface, website icons API, as well as support for authenticator and U2F, YubiKey and Duo.

MCastTest allows you to test IP multicast routing on your network, with the ability to add multiple transmitters and listeners on different IP multicast groups. By checking from assorted machines and locations on your network, you can discover if all your multicast traffic is arriving where it should.

Trilium Notes is a hierarchical notetaking application designed with the creation of large personal knowledgebases in mind. The editor includes tables, images and math with markdown autoformat, plus support for versioning and editing notes with source code and syntax highlighting. Features fast, intuitive navigation, full text search, strong note encryption and more. hakoen recommends it as “a very nice note taking app.”

NetSpeedMonitor is a simple, straightforward tool that lets you test to find out your current download speed or how much data volume you are using. “It’s a tiny program that’s showing you the current traffic that is going via your network card. But before install, you have to enable compatibility mode.”

Need To Graph is a library for automatically generating diagrams in yWorks, graphml or Diagrams drawio that can help you more quickly produce consistent, editable diagrams. You provide the structured data (csv, dictionary, list or api calls), and it returns XML text that can be edited by your application of choice.

anonymizepcap is a Python tool for anonymizing MAC addresses (by substituting with zeros) and pseudonymizing IP addresses (by substituting with a password-based HMAC or a first-time-seen mapping) from *.pcap files. Works on *.pcap files in filesystem or on-the-fly on piped PCAP input.

Kustomize offers a Kubernetes-native, template-free way to customize application configuration. It is included with Kubectl, but it really deserves some attention. Managing Kubernetes CRDs can be painful, and then adding multiple environments just makes it worse. Kustomize allows you to declare a base and then make make configurations per environment without having to fork while reducing yaml.

Blog

Office 365 Reports offers a great archive of useful information on how to make your life easier by putting PowerShell to work in your O365 environment. Nice collection of Office 365 PowerShell scripts.

Tutorial

Learn Windows Powershell in a Month of Lunches YouTube Channel is a free, video resource offered by the author of the well-loved book by the same name. The material is designed to take you from novice level to understanding all the practical techniques you would need in order to leverage Powershell to make your life as a sysadmin a bit easier.

Free Service

OpenCVE is an open-source security alerting platform that lets you search the vulnerabilities from the NVD feed, filtered by vendor, product, CVSS or CWE. seuledr6616 appreciates that it “lets you subscribe to particular technologies and will email when there are vulnerabilities for them.”

Training Resource

DrPeering International is a nice, free resource from the Internet Peering Knowledge Center that is intended to help you to make more-strategic peering decisions. Offers tutorials on introductory concepts, application, video internet and international guidelines.

Script

Monitoring with PowerShell: Detecting Log4J files—This blog post explains the author’s timely script, ‘Search-Everything,’ that detects Log4J files by checking the JAR file for the class that is used that has the vulnerability. Uses the well-loved “Everything” search tool by Voidtools to generate a quick, full index. Unfortunately more applications use this class than log4j so it’s not 100% accurate, but it at least gives you a quick overview of what you need to investigate.

Tip

A simple-but-powerful idea for keeping things running smoothly for your users: “Easiest [IT fix] I ever implemented was the walk-around. I just started walking around for 30 minutes in the morning or afternoon and just checked in with people. Small enough org to do so (about 50-75 people in one building). Carried a notebook just in case I needed to write something down to take care of. Just talking to people goes a long way to keeping ahead of what your users need from IT.”

Some advice on when it makes sense to automate: A prerequisite to automation is fully understanding (and ideally, documenting) the workflow for a given task. If you can’t draw it in Visio/Mermaid, how the f* are you going to script it successfully? … automating a bad process is a waste of time. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to automate a process that has too many variables, bottlenecks, or dependencies, or that is not actually repeatable. Instead, identify those bottlenecks, find out how to estimate their magnitude and frontload or eliminate them, and get as streamlined as possible in your workflow. Then, once it’s parameterized and repeatable with zero interventions, you can automate it.”

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