• 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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The Importance of a Hyper-V Server Backup Tool - 20 Reasons Why You Should Use One

Posted in Windows 2012 Server

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hyper-v-backup-toolUsing Hyper-V Server virtualization technology, you can virtualize your physical environment to reduce the cost of physical hardware. As part of IT best practices, you implement monitoring solutions to monitor the Hyper-V Servers and virtual machines running on them. You also take necessary actions to provide security to production environment by means of installing antivirus software. Then it also becomes necessary that you implement a backup mechanism to restore the business services as quickly as possible using a Hyper-V Server Backup tool.

This article is written to let you know as to why it is important to choose a dedicated Hyper-V Backup tool rather than relying on the existing mechanism as explained in bullet points below.

Users interested can also read our articles on Hyper-V Concepts/VDI, how to install Hyper-V Server & creating a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V.

1. Flexibility

Third-party backup products are designed in such a way that the product is easy to use when it comes to backup or restore a virtual machine running on the Hyper-V Server. For example, using third-party backup product, you can select a virtual machine to backup or restore. In case of any disaster with a virtual machine, it becomes easy for an IT administrator to use the flexible backup product’s console to restore a virtual machine from backup copies and restore the business services as quickly as possible.

2. Verification of Restores

Third-party backup products provide features to verify restores without impacting the production workload. IT administrators can use the verification feature to restore the backup copies to a standalone environment to make sure these backup copies can be restored successfully in the future, if required.

3. Designed for use with Hyper-V

Microsoft Windows XP - End of Life / End of Support

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

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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

Posted in Cisco Services & Technologies

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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

Posted in Windows 2012 Server

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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

Posted in Windows 2012 Server

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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:


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