• Hyper-V Concepts

    It's time to get familiar with Hyper-V Virtualization, virtual servers, virtual switches, virtual CPUs, virtual deployment infrastructure (VDI) and more.
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    Hyper-V Installation

    Learn how to install and monitor the Windows 2012 Hyper-V platform via Server Manager & Windows PowerShell

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Microsoft Windows XP - End of Life / End of Support

on . Posted in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 & 8.1

A Q&A with Cristian Florian, product manager for GFI LanGuard on security implications and planning ahead

windows-xp-eosWith Windows XP End of Life & End of Support just around the corner (8th of April 2014), companies around the globe are trying to understand what the implications will be for their business continuity and daily operations, while IT Managers and Administrators (not all) are preparing to deal with the impact on users, applications and systems.

At the same time, Microsoft is actively encouraging businesses to migrate to their latest desktop operating system, Windows 8.


One could say it’s a strategy game well played on Microsoft’s behalf, bound to produce millions of dollars in revenue, but where does this leave companies who are requested to make the hard choice and migrate their users to newer operating systems?

Do companies really need to rush and upgrade to Windows 7 or 8/8.1 before the deadline? Or do we need to simply step back for a moment and take things slowly in order to avoid mistakes that could cost our companies thousands or millions of dollars?

 Parallel to the above thoughts, you might find yourself asking if software companies will continue deliver support and security patches for their products; a question that might be of greater significance for many companies.

To help provide some clear answers to the above, but also understand how companies are truly dealing with the Windows XP End of Life, Firewall.cx approached GFI’s LanGuard product manager, Cristian Florian, to ask some very interesting questions that will help us uncover what exactly is happening in the background… We are certain readers will find this interview extremely interesting and revealing….


Interview Questions

Hello Cristian and thank you for accepting Firewall.cx’s invitation to help demystify the implications of Windows XP End of Life and its true impact to companies around the globe.


Thank you. Windows XP’s End of Life is a huge event and could have a significant security impact this year. So it will be important for companies to know what the risks are and how to mitigate them.


Question 1
Is Microsoft the only company dropping support for Windows XP? Taking in consideration Windows XP still holds over 29% of the global market share for desktop operating systems (Source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems Feb. 2014), how are software companies likely to respond? Are they likely to follow Microsoft’s tactic?

How to Fix Cisco VPN Client Error 51 – Unable to Communicate with the VPN Subsystem

on . Posted in Cisco Services & Technologies

Apple Mac OS X users are frequently faced with the Cisco VPN Client Error 51 - Unable to Communicate with the VPN Subsystem as shown in the screenshot below:


When this error is produced, users will no longer be able to connect to their VPN using the Cisco VPN client. It seems like Cisco’s VPN client often produces the error when network adaptors disappear and reappear – a common scenario when removing the Ethernet cable or reconnecting to your wireless network.

The solution provided will force the Cisco VPN to re-initialize and continue working without a problem.

How to Install Windows Server 2012 from USB Flash – ISO Image

on . Posted in Windows 2012 Server

Most would remember the days we had to have a CDROM or DVDROM in order to proceed with the installation of an operating system. Today, it is very common installing an operating system direct from an ISO image. When dealing with virtualized systems, it becomes pretty much a necessity.

This article will show how to install Windows Server 2012 (the same process can be used for almost all other operating systems) from a USB Flash.

The only prerequisite for this process to work is that you have a USB Flash big enough to fit the ISO image and the server (or virtualization platform) supports booting from a USB Flash. If these two requirements are met, then it’s a pretty straight-forward process.


The Windows 7 USB-DVD Tool

The Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool is a freely distributed application available in our Administrator Utilities download section. The application is required to transfer/copy the ISO Image of the operating system we want to install, to our USB Flash. The application is also able to burn the ISO image directly on a DVD – a very hand feature.

Download a copy, install and run it on the computer where the ISO image is available.

When the tool runs, browse to the path where the ISO image is located. Once selected, click on Next:

Installing Windows 2012 via USB Flash


At this point, we can choose to copy the image to our USB device (USB Flash) or directly on to a DVD. We select the USB Device option:

Creating a Virtual Machine in Windows Hyper-V. Configuring Virtual Disk, Virtual Switch, Integration Services and other Components

on . Posted in Windows 2012 Server

Our previous articles covered basic concepts of Virtualization along with the installation and monitoring of Windows 2012 Hyper-V. This article takes the next step, which is the installation of a guest host (Windows 8.1) on our Windows 2012 Hyper-V enabled server. The aim of this article is to show how easily a guest operating system can be installed and configured, while explaining the installation and setup process.


Steps to Create a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

To begin the creation of our first virtual machine, open the Hyper-V manager in Windows Server 2012. On the Actions pane located on the right side of the window, click New and select Virtual Machine:



Read the Before you begin page which contains imporant information and then click Next:

Windows Hyper-V Creating new VM


Type name of the virtual machine and configure the location to store virtual hard disk of this virtual machine. On server systems with shared storage devices, the virtual hard disk is best stored on the shared storage for performance and redundancy reasons, otherwise select a local hard disk drive. For the purpose of this lab, we will be using the server’s local C Drive:

How to Install Windows 2012 Hyper-V via Server Manager & Windows PowerShell. Monitoring Hyper-V Virtual Machines

on . Posted in Windows 2012 Server

Introduction to Microsoft Hyper-V

Our previous article covered the basic concepts of Virtualization and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.  This article takes a closer look at Microsoft’s Hyper-V Virtualization platform and continues with the installation of the Hyper-V role via the Windows Server Manager interface and Windows PowerShell command prompt.

Hyper-V is a server role used to create virtualized environment by deploying different types of virtualization technologies such as server virtualization, network virtualization and desktop virtualization. The Hyper-V Server role can be installed in Server 2012 R2 Standard, Datacenter or Essentials edition. Hyper-V version 3.0 is the latest version of Hyper V server available in Windows Server 2012 R2 versions.

To learn more about the licensing restrictions on each Windows Server 2012 edition, read our article Windows 2012 Server Foundation, Essential, Standard & Datacenter Edition Differences, Licensing & Supported Features. 


Hyper-V Hardware Requirements

The Hyper-V server role requires specific system-hardware requirements to be met. The minimum hardware requirements are listed in the table below:


Minimum Requirements


  • 1.4Ghz 64-bit with hardware assisted virtualization. Available in processors that include a virtualization option—specifically, Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) or AMD Virtualization (AMD-V)
  • Hardware-enforced Data Execution Prevention (DEP) must be available and enabled. Specifically, you must enable the Intel XD bit (execute disable bit) or AMD NX bit (no execute bit).


512 MB

Network Adapter

At least one Gigabit Ethernet adapter

Disk Space

32 GB

Keep in mind that the above table specifies the minimum requirements. If you wanted to install Hyper-V in a production environment along with a number of virtual machines, you will definitely need more than 512MB memory and 32GB disk space.


Installing The Hyper-V Server Role in Server 2012 Using Server Manager

In Windows Server 2012, you can install Hyper-V server role by using the Server Manager (GUI) or windows PowerShell. In both cases, the installation requires the user to be an Administrator or member of Administrators or Hyper-V administrators group.

At first, open Server Manager. Click Manage and select the Add Roles and Features option:


Cisco Routers

  • SSL WebVPN
  • Securing Routers
  • Policy Based Routing
  • Router on-a-Stick

VPN Security

  • Understand DMVPN
  • GRE/IPSec Configuration
  • Site-to-Site IPSec VPN
  • IPSec Modes

Cisco Help

  • VPN Client Windows 8
  • VPN Client Windows 7
  • CCP Display Problem
  • Cisco Support App.

Windows 2012

  • New Features
  • Licensing
  • Hyper-V / VDI
  • Install Hyper-V


  • File Permissions
  • Webmin
  • Groups - Users
  • Samba Setup