Thursday, September 29, 2016

Virtualization - Oracle VM 3.4.2

Oracle released version 3.4.2 of Oracle VM on 9/21/16 which can be upgraded manually via the downloads here or can be initiated via the Update option on the VM server right-click menu.

Once we've completed this upgrade we'll post updates with our findings.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Outlook/Exchange - Winmail.dat

If you use ZixGateway from ZixCorp for encrypting e-mail you may have run across an issue where your recipients start receiving attachments as Winmail.dat files. This is likely to show up when the ZixGateway is used as a smart host for your local Exchange server. The real issue is Outlook/Exchange are sending the e-mails as Microsoft's proprietary Rich Text Format. In order to resolve this issue you'll need to check several places in Outlook as well as Exchange to verify the RTF is not being used.

In Outlook 2013/2016 check under the Outlook Options, Mail settings. The heading is "Message format" and has an option to convert to HTML format when sending RTF to internet recipients.

Additionally you might want to check your Exchange server settings to ensure the remote domain transport is not set to always use RTF. Under your Exchange organization select Hub Transport, then under the Remote Domains tab select your default domain and click properties. From there you should see the option for Exchange rich-text format which can be set to Always use, Never use, or Determined by individual user settings.

To disable TNEF from the registry use the following steps:

  1. Close Outlook
  2. Start Registry Editor (type regedit in the Start Search box or Start menu, Run command and press Enter)
  3. Locate the following registry key:
    In Outlook 2016:
    In Outlook 2013:
    In Outlook 2010:
    In Outlook 2007:
  4. Add a new DWORD named DisableTNEF.
  5. Double click on DisableTNEF and in the Value data box, type 1
  6. Close the Registry editor and Restart Outlook
More helpful details can be found here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Zetta Cloud Backup - Introduction

Zetta cloud based backup solutions offer great flexibility as well as affordable offsite backup and DR. We started using them this year and the flexibility has been a great part of the backup. You have the option for the typical cloud backup as well as a local backup copy for faster restores, and you can backup individual files or a volume. Additional options include Exchange and MSSQL support, as well as NetApp and HyperV modules. The backup client supports both Windows and Linux and there's even a VMware hypervisor client.

For DR you can actually boot a VM image in their cloud and connect to it remotely. This option does require some advanced setup but is a great DR solution. For a regular backup restore operation you can mount the volume backup in the cloud and browse it to restore an individual file rather than needing to download and restore the entire volume image. If you keep a local copy the image can be restore locally which works without the need to restore from the cloud solution.

The cost of Zetta varies by the amount of data being backed up. The cost averages out to about $3.20/GB per year for the cloud backup and recovery with the DR offering at an additional cost.

Cisco Meraki - Introduction

If you're not familiar with Cisco's new Meraki line, you should be. This new cloud managed super user friendly and easy to setup line of hardware is both robust and feature rich. We're in the process of evaluating several of their new product lines and will have more detailed reviews coming soon.

Virtualization - Oracle VM 3.4.1

The new version of Oracle VM 3.4.1 is out and appears to offer some improvements over the previous versions. The web interface loads much quicker and the general "feel" of the web application is much smoother overall.

The installation is very easy on the Oracle VM Manager, simply download the installer to the existing Oracle VM Manager server and run through the installation steps. After that's done the Oracle VM servers are much more difficult to upgrade if you're not running your own YUM repository. That setup is detailed here.

One thing to note when you update the Para-Virtualization Drivers on your Windows guest VMs, you'll want to check the MTU setting on the network cards. If you're running Jumbo Frames you'll need to reset the MTU to 9000 since when the new driver is installed it gets reset to 1500.