Installing McAfee EPO 5.0 Part I

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The latest EPolicy server console is a very welcome change to the interface without a huge disruption to finding what you need. What hasn’t gone well is the performance of the actual product: Apache crashes often & with vigor.

I created a new 2008 R2 server to house 5.0 (4GB of RAM, 1 CPU). This environment runs on a SQL 2008 instance (4GB of RAM, 2 CPU). Exporting all the policies and importing were a breeze. I added new LDAP servers and recreated the existing AD structure. Reapplying all the policies is a bit tedious since we have a rather complex AD structure but hey, you do it once and move on, right? Then deployed the 4.8 agent out to all the desktops and servers so that they would join the new console. Deployment via the console went without a hitch except for the usual DMZ machines giving me the usual fits.

I use a mix of Virus Scan Enterprise (VSE)  8.8 for physical clients along with MOVE 2.6.2 for my virtual environment. That detail is where I started to see issues. VSE is a full featured product whereas MOVE is essentially the “light” version of that client so that the virtual guest isn’t overburdened with scan activity. I started to notice after a day that I had some unusual load and activity on some VMs. I started checking deeper and saw that some guests had the VSE client and MOVE! Hey, that’s not right. I can report that filtering the view is even easier in this client, so it wasn’t hard to see where the problems were after peering deeper.

Then I got support tickets for SharePoint. Email notifications not working. Hmm…port 25 is blocked. What is going on here? I go back and check policies and sure enough, the custom policy is not applied. Instead, the default one is in place.

Then a couple days later, I couldn’t log in to my console at all. A review of the event logs demonstrated that Apache had crashed. McAfee doesn’t offer any recommendations for adjusting memory allocation on a Windows server, so a ticket has been opened to dig deeper into the mystery of the disappearing policies and crashed services.

Lighten up

 

P8171562I caught a peek at myself in the mirror at work yesterday and thought, what is the matter with my trousers?!? Something seemed wrong and I asked my co-worker, what is wrong here?  My co-worker laughed and laughed so I started laughing too, “No, really, tell me, what is the matter?”

My co-worker replied, “You have a new dog, you walk miles a day with him, don’t you?”

Me, “Well, yeah, he is a German Shepherd, he needs a lot of exercise!”

Co-worker, “Have you been having fun on those walks?”

Me, “Oh yeah, I listen to audio books, we run together. I feel great.”

Co-worker, “Welcome to a new body”

20 bs later, trousers don't fit well!

Blogging FTW

Did you miss me? I have missed blogging! Suffice it to say that I lost my way to such mundane things as raising a teenager who was offended when I mentioned her in a post (she doesn’t even remember telling me this now), nearly finalizing a divorce and health issues that have included a healthy dose of depression. That last item has been the fight of my life…for my life. So, here are some of the incredible people along the way that have been true highlights and have sustained me to get back here:

Family

My sisters, daughter and Terry and his daughters became extended family to me. Their affection is a healing balm.

andrea_deanna nish deanna D_L_S PB271174

My pets

Cassie & Sarge are endless sources of fun

PC271223 P7211543

And my dear friends who support me constantly

Maryam, Rob and so many others!

PA140492 Rob

I am so lucky! Thank you for helping me find my voice again. And oh my goodness, I have at least 25,000 words to get out, so you know, brace yourself.

Powerful Women

I am sure everyone has heard about Forbes report on the World’s most powerful women that was published today. It is of interest always to all working women how other women fare; one of the follow up articles pointed out how these women often use humor to assist them in breaking through barriers.

Margaret ThatcherMy favorite quotation came from Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Britain and a leader on the 2004 list: “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end,” she said. Indeed!

Keyboard shortcuts and smileys

Oh my goodness, how is it that we forget keyboard shortcuts? They can make life so much easier than always mousing. F2 for renaming for example. Read on here: Keyboard shortcuts

 And in happier news! I start a fun new position in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait! Admittedly, I am one of those folks who gets all scared when starting a new assignment, so much to learn about a new environment. But this is a good kind of scared! Appreciate the support SO MUCH. Thank you. :)

Hosted Exchange is not for everyone

The decision was made by the executive team at the tiny firm where I work to abandon the infrastructure and m0ve to 100% hosted services. Here are some of the ‘gotcha’s’ if you have an existing Active Directory infrastructure and you move to a hosted provider:

1) Don’t forget to export your old profile in Outlook to an archive file before you create your new profile. You will long to see that history in, oh, about five minutes after you see a shiny bright (but empty) new mailbox.

2) Your migrated calendar items will not allow you to edit them. Outlook (correctly) thinks you are a new user. You will have to destroy and recreate the item if you need to change it.

3) Your mobile phone profile must be recreated (same reason as above)

4) Shared resources should not have their items moved, rather, they should be recreated all together

Of course, it goes without saying that you should research your vendor thoroughly in advance to understand:

1) Support. I mean like, do you get to talk to a live person if you need it? The selected vendor in this example prefers that you do NOT call; rather, post your issue on the support site and wait for an answer. While this is expensive in terms of your time, with this particular vendor it proved valuable in the sense that the extremely poor advice they were giving was documented.

2) SLA’s. Yes, yes, everyone claims 99.999% uptime. But what recourse do you have when the provider posts a message on their website apologizing for Exchange 2007 being down, we are working with Microsoft now, check back later please?

3) What services are they actually providing? Using the vendor that my soon to be former employer chose as an example, while their website states things like, “standard 14 day deleted items retention for Exchange 2007 subscribers”, this translated to eight hour deleted item retention unless you ‘upgraded’ for a ‘nominal fee’.

Michael Osterman, a leading analyst in the messaging and collaboration space, I wish we could have retained you to help choose a vendor rather than the ‘Picked the top Google search vendor’ approach.

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I hope service packs are not a thing of the past

ENT news wrote this evening that “Some have even wondered if Microsoft’s various Update services have made service packs obsolete.”

I hope not!

Let me just state for the record now that there are instances when “hotfixes” cause more trouble than the issue itself. 85% of my user population of consultants are client facing and not getting their updates from me, rather, they use Automatic Updates. It can be a real challenge to straighten out issues when you have remote clients.

I try to provide the best support for my folks as possible and test everything that I can in advance including service packs. Inevitably, they are using specialized tools from large vendors like IBM and the like and I can let them know of any ‘gotchas’.

Microsoft, please don’t roll service packs into Automatic Updates.

Just in time before my daughter gets her permit

http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/general/news/news.asp?id=5029

No More Using Cell Phones for Drivers Under 18
New Law Designed to Keep Teen Drivers Safer

RICHMOND – Effective July 1, 2007, Virginia drivers younger than 18 years of age may not operate a motor vehicle in Virginia while using a cellular telephone or other wireless communications devices. The new law prohibits the use of cell phones, even if they are considered to be hands-free. It also prohibits text-messaging while driving….
…All Virginia drivers under the age of 18 are issued provisional driver’s licenses. A provisional license carries other limitations as well, such as restrictions on the number of passengers and driver curfews. The ban on cell-phone usage while driving is considered a secondary violation, similar in Virginia to safety belt laws.

Are you sick of SPAM?

Apparently Virginia is a significant source of spam and the courts here have real expertise in adjudicating antispam cases. There is a new court case expected to be filed against spammers by “seeking the identity of individuals responsible for harvesting millions of e-mail addresses on behalf of spammers.”

“It is clear that the key to stopping spam is identifying those responsible for it, and getting that information into the hands of those capable of doing something about it,” [the prosecuting attorney] said.

“… if we can take two or three major spammers offline, that’s a huge victory for the Internet as a whole.”

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