For those who seek help in different areas of software and hardware platform.

How to Make Windows Computer Shutdown Faster


Windows Computers should shutdown as quickly as possible unless there’s any issue causing a shutdown delay. This guide will walk you through the steps to make your Windows PCs shutdown faster.
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How to Install and Configure Git on FreeBSD 11.0


Git is one of the most popular distributed version control systems. Many projects maintain their files in a Git repository, and sites like GitHub and Bitbucket have made sharing and contributing to code simple and valuable.
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How to Collect Infrastructure Metrics with Packetbeat and ELK on CentOS 7


Packetbeat is a lightweight network packet analyzer allows you to monitor real-time network traffic for application level protocols like HTTP, MySQL, DNS and other services.

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How to Export and Import SSL Certificate in Exchange 2016


When you deploy multiple Exchange server in your environment, you can distribute same digital certificate across all exchange servers. There is no need to buy or issue different certificate for each Exchange servers. 
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How to Delete a Virtual Hard Disk From Hyper-V Cluster Shared Volume


When you use the built-in Hyper-V tools (Hyper-V Manager and PowerShell) to delete a virtual machine, all of its virtual hard disks are still exist. This is by design and is logically sound.  This guide will walk you through the steps to delete a virtual hard disk from a cluster shared volume that can not be deleted.
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How to Set Up Node Fairness in Hyper-V 2016


Node Fairness is a latest feature of Failover Clustering (not Hyper-V) that will automatically Live Migrate guests VMs away from an overloaded cluster node. Even though it is a Failover Clustering feature, it only operates on Hyper-V virtual machines.
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The Internet of Things Explanation


If you follow any tech news, you’ve likely seen the "Internet of Things” mentioned over and again. It’s supposedly one of the next massive things in the internet world —but what exactly does it mean? Isn’t the internet already made up of things?
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Oracle Introduced SQL/JSON Functions in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2)


    Oracle introduces SQL/JSON functions in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2). This guide will walk you through the basic examples of the SQL/JSON functions and how they works.
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    Creating Logical Domains (LDoms) on Solaris 11


    http://techsupportpk.blogspot.com/2013/08/ldoms.html

    This article focusing on the basic administration of a Logical Domains environment under Solaris 11 Operating System.  In this article we will go over what it takes to configure a Solaris 11 installation to be a Logical Domains hypervisor as well as configuring Logical Domains in order to perform an installation of the operating system.
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    How To Set Up ISC DHCP Server to Remotely Install Solaris 10 and Red Hat Linux


    This article describes how to set up a PXE Server that supports remotely installing the Solaris 8 or 10 Operating System for SPARC and Solaris 10 OS for x86/x64 platforms using Preboot Execution Environment (PXE)/DHCP with JumpStart software as well as loading Red Hat Enterprise Linux using PXE and Kickstart.
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    How to Create MySQL Cloud Service on Oracle Cloud


    The Oracle MySQL Cloud Service let you quickly deploy MySQL databases on the Oracle Public Cloud. This guide will walk you through the steps to quickly create a MySQL cloud service using Oracle Cloud.
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    Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) Conversion Function Enhancements


    Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) includes a number of enhancements to datatype conversion functions, making it pretty easier to handle conversion errors.
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    Maximum identifiers in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2)


    Oracle database 12c Release 2 (12.2) increases the maximum size of most identifiers from 30 to 128 bytes, which makes migration possible from other database engines such as SQL Server or MySQL.
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    How to Set Up Basic Configuration with Ubuntu 16.04 Server


    This guide will walk you through the steps to set up a new Ubuntu 16.04 server with basic configuration.
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    How to Set Up a Wireless Access Point on Your Ubuntu Laptop



    If you have a single wired Internet connection – say, in your bed room – you can create an ad-hoc wireless network with Ubuntu and share the Internet connection among multiple devices such as iPhone, Android or any Wi-Fi enabled device.
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    How to Set Up MySQL on Ubuntu 16.04


    MySQL is an open-source database management system, commonly installed as part of the popular LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl) stack. It uses a relational database and SQL (Structured Query Language) to manage its data.
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    How to Set Up Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) Stack on Ubuntu 16.04


    A "LAMP" stack is a group of open source software that is typically installed together to enable a server to host dynamic websites and web apps. This term is actually an acronym which represents the Linux operating system, with the Apache web server. The site data is stored in a MySQL database, and dynamic content is processed by PHP.
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    How to Set Up and Use ONLYOFFICE on Ubuntu 14.04


    ONLYOFFICE is a free, open source corporate office suite developed to organize teamwork online. It's composed of three separate servers:
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    How to Manage NICs with PowerShell on Your Windows PC


    Since Windows 8 and Server 2012, powershell gives an expansion of cmdlets that let you read the configuration of Network Adapters. In some scenarios you may additionally change settings such as the MAC Address, Wake-on-Lan, or protocols that are bound to the NICs.
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    How to Set Up Shared Disk Cluster for SQL Server on Linux


    This guide will walk you through the steps to create a two-node shared disk cluster for SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2. The clustering layer is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) HA add-on built on top of Pacemaker. The SQL Server instance is active on either one node or the other.
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    How to Troubleshoot SQL Server on Linux


    This article will walk you through the steps to troubleshoot Microsoft SQL Server running on Linux or in a Docker container.
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    Performance Features of SQL Server on Linux


    This guide will walk you through some of the performance features if you are running SQL Server on Linux . These are not unique or specific to Linux, but it helps to give you an idea of areas to investigate further.
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    Security Features of SQL Server on Linux


    This guide will walk you through some of the security tasks if you are running SQL Server on Linux. These are not unique or specific to Linux, but it helps to give you an idea of areas to investigate further.
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    How to Migrate Databases to SQL Server on Red Hat or Ubuntu Linux


    You can migrate your databases and data to SQL Server vNext CTP1 running on Linux. The method you choose to use depends on the source data and your specific scenario. The following sections provide best practices for various migration scenarios.
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    How to Configure and Manage SQL Server on Red Hat or Ubuntu Linux


    There are several ways to manage SQL Server vNext CTP1 on Linux. This guide will walk you through the steps to configure and manage SQL Server on Red Hat and Ubuntu Linux. The following section of the article provide a quick overview of different management tools and techniques with pointers to more resources.
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    How to Install SQL Server on Red Hat Linux 7.2 and Ubuntu 16.04


    Microsoft SQL Server now runs on Linux. The latest release, SQL Server vNext CTP1, runs on Linux and is in many ways simply SQL Server. It’s the same SQL Server database engine, with many similar features and services regardless of your operating system.
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    How to import DHCP reservations from a CSV file using PowerShell


    DHCP reservations are particularly useful to avoid assigning fixed IP addresses to your network devices. It is common practice to add reservations to the DHCP database before the operating system is installed. You can then boot up the computer via PXE to deploy the correct start image. This way, you can also automatically assign the host name to the server.
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    How to Sort Excel Worksheet Tabs in Alphabetical Order


    If you are working on a large number of worksheets in your Excel workbook, it may be difficult to find a specific worksheet. Sorting your excel worksheet tabs alphabetically would make it easier to find quickly what you are actually looking for.
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    How to Remove Docker Images, Containers, and Volumes


    Docker makes it easy to wrap your applications and services in containers so you can run them anywhere. As you work with Docker, however, it's also easy to accumulate an excessive number of unused images, containers, and data volumes that clutter the output and consume disk space.
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    How to Set Up and Use Multiple Desktops on Windows 10 PC


    Microsoft has just  made it pretty simple to set up and use multiple virtual desktops on your Windows 10 computer. Using multiple desktops are great for keeping unrelated, ongoing projects organized, or for quickly hiding from the boss that browser game and movies you can't stop playing while being in office.
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    How to Move Photos From iPhone or iPad to Windows 10 PC


    It is not quite simple to transfer data from an iPhone or iPad to your Windows PC due to its limited accessibility unlike Android and Windows Phone. In this guide, we'll show you how to transfer photos from an iPhone or iPad to your Windows 10 computer with few simple and easy steps.
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    How to Disable Network Button From the Lock Screen on Windows 10


    Windows 10 let you disable many of the Lock screen features, but lacks options to remove certain functionalities, such as the Network icon, visible in the bottom-right corner, and allows anyone to view and disconnect your device from a Wi-Fi network.
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    Plan Your Windows 10 Upgrade with Windows Upgrade Analytics

    Microsoft has just released a preview of Windows Upgrade Analytics, a free tool that gives you access to the all the compatibility telemetry that Microsoft gathers from your Windows devices. This information can be very valuable to guide your upgrade process to Windows 10.
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    How to Deploy Falcon Web Applications Using Gunicorn and Nginx


    In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to build and deploy a Falcon web application using Gunicorn and Nginx on Ubuntu 16.04.
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    How to Track Server's Network Latency Using SmokePing


    Monitoring your server's network latency can give you a useful image of the overall health and availability of your server. For instance, it let you determine if your network is overloaded or alert you incase of packet loss, which may imply an incorrect router configuration or downed tool.
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    How to Set Up IVR Functionality on Asterisk


    Interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and DTMF tones input via keypad. Setting up an IVR functionality on Asterisk is pretty much simple, but you will need to be a little techie to make it functional.
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    How to Install and Configure Redis on Ubuntu 16.04


    Redis is an open source key-value cache and storage system, also referred to as a data structure server due to its advanced support for several data types, such as hashes, lists, sets, and bitmaps, amongst others. It also supports clustering, making it useful in highly-available and scalable environments.
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    How to Install and Configure Zabbix Server on CentOS 7


    This guide will walk you through the steps to install and configure Zabbix 4.4.4 on a CentOS 7 server. These instruction can also be applied if you are running an RHEL 7 server.

    Prerequisites

    You will need one CentOS/RHEL 7 (physical or virtual) machine with minimal installed having sudo non-root user privileges.

    Disabling SELinux

    You should change from SELINUX=enforcing to SELINUX=disabled in /etc/selinux/config file for smooth installation of the packages:
    sudo vi /etc/selinux/config
    SELINUX=disabled
    Save and close.

    Now reboot your CentOS/RHEL machine to take changes into effect:
    sudo reboot

    Adding EPEL Repository

    It is always recommended to add extra packages for enterprise Linux repository before installing packages on your CentOS or RHEL:
    sudo yum -y install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm

    Adding Zabbix Repository

    Zabbix isn't available in yum package manager by default, so you will need to install Zabbix official repository on your CentOS or RHEL 7:
    sudo yum -y install http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/4.4/rhel/7/x86_64/zabbix-release-4.4-1.el7.noarch.rpm

    Installing Apache

    You can install the latest version of Apache by typing the following command:
    sudo yum -y install httpd httpd-devel

    Installing MariaDB

    MySQL is now replaced with MariaDB on CentOS 7, so you will need to install MariaDB database using the following command:
    sudo yum -y install mariadb-server mysql

    Starting Services

    Now start Apache and MariaDB service and make them persistent even when system reboots:
    sudo systemctl start httpd
    sudo systemctl start mariadb
    
    sudo systemctl enable httpd
    sudo systemctl enable mariadb
    

    Securing MariaDB

    By default MariaDB database is not secure and anyone can intrude into your database, so make it secure by executing the following script and follow the instruction:
    sudo mysql_secure_installation
    Response to the following prompts on your CentOS server:
    NOTE: RUNNING ALL PARTS OF THIS SCRIPT IS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL MariaDB
          SERVERS IN PRODUCTION USE!  PLEASE READ EACH STEP CAREFULLY!
    
    In order to log into MariaDB to secure it, we'll need the current
    password for the root user.  If you've just installed MariaDB, and
    you haven't set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
    so you should just press enter here.
    
    Enter current password for root (enter for none):
    OK, successfully used password, moving on...
    
    Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MariaDB
    root user without the proper authorisation.
    
    Set root password? [Y/n] y
    New password:
    Re-enter new password:
    Password updated successfully!
    Reloading privilege tables..
     ... Success!
    
    
    By default, a MariaDB installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
    to log into MariaDB without having to have a user account created for
    them.  This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
    go a bit smoother.  You should remove them before moving into a
    production environment.
    
    Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] y
     ... Success!
    
    Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from 'localhost'.  This
    ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.
    
    Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] y
     ... Success!
    
    By default, MariaDB comes with a database named 'test' that anyone can
    access.  This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
    before moving into a production environment.
    
    Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] y
     - Dropping test database...
     ... Success!
     - Removing privileges on test database...
     ... Success!
    
    Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
    will take effect immediately.
    
    Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] y
     ... Success!
    
    Cleaning up...
    
    All done!  If you've completed all of the above steps, your MariaDB
    installation should now be secure.
    
    Thanks for using MariaDB!

    Installing Zabbix

    Now you can install the Zabbix server and web frontend with its database using the following command:
    sudo yum -y install zabbix-server-mysql zabbix-web-mysql
    You will also need to install Zabbix agent to collect data about the Zabbix server itself:
    sudo yum -y install zabbix-agent

    Creating Database

    At this stage you will need to create a user and a database for Zabbix like below:
    sudo mysql -u root -p
    Type the following on mysql prompt:
    create database zabbix character set utf8;
    create user 'zabbix'@'localhost' identified by 'zabbixpass';
    grant all privileges on zabbix.* to 'zabbix'@'localhost';
    flush privileges;
    quit;

    Importing Zabbix Database Schema

    Find out the Zabbix database schema file and then import it into your newly created database:
    sudo find / -name create.sql.gz
    Now import this schema file into database like below:
    sudo zcat /usr/share/doc/zabbix-server-mysql-4.4.4/create.sql.gz | mysql -u zabbix -p zabbix

    Database Credential Settings:

    Now edit the /etc/zabbix/zabbix_server.conf file, uncomment by removing # and update the DBPassword= parameter with your zabbix database user password:
    sudo vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_server.conf
    ### Option: DBPassword
    #       Database password.
    #       Comment this line if no password is used.
    #
    # Mandatory: no
    # Default:
    DBPassword=zabbixpass
    
    Save and close.

    Configuring PHP

    The Zabbix installation process created an PHP configuration file that contains PHP settings. It is located in the directory /etc/httpd/conf.d/. You just need to uncomment date.timezone parameter and update it with your timezone. You can check supported time zones on http://php.net/manual/en/timezones.php to find the right one for you.

    sudo vi /etc/httpd/conf.d/zabbix.conf
    php_value date.timezone Asia/Karachi
    Save and close.

    Now restart Apache service to take changes into effect.
    sudo systemctl restart httpd

    Starting Zabbix Service

    Its time to start Zabbix server and make it persistent even when system reboots:
    sudo systemctl start zabbix-server
    sudo systemctl enable zabbix-server
    
    sudo systemctl start zabbix-agent
    sudo systemctl enable zabbix-agent
    
    Check the Zabbix server status before proceeding to next step:
    sudo systemctl status zabbix-server
    If the zabbix service is failed to start, reboot your CentOS 7 machine.
    sudo reboot
    Once rebooted, check zabbix server status again
    sudo systemctl status zabbix-server
    The Zabbix server status shows up and running, so lets proceed to next step.
    zabbix-server.service - Zabbix Server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/zabbix-server.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Wed 2019-12-30 03:51:36 PKT; 4s ago
      Process: 15167 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/zabbix_server -c $CONFFILE (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
     Main PID: 15169 (zabbix_server)
        Tasks: 38 (limit: 11513)
       Memory: 38.1M
       CGroup: /system.slice/zabbix-server.service
    

    Adding Firewall Rules

    sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=http
    sudo firewall-cmd --reload

    Configuring Zabbix

    The Zabbix web interface lets us see reports and add network devices that you wish to monitor, but it needs some initial setup before we can use it. Open up your web browser and navigate to http://your_server_name_or_ip/zabbix

    The first screen like below will greet you a welcome message.

    Click Next step to continue.



    This page will show you the table that lists all of the prerequisites to run Zabbix. If anything missing make sure to fix it first then proceed to Next.

    Provide zabbix database user password and proceed to next.


    Keep it default and proceed next.


    This is the summary screen, verify and proceed next.


    This screen confirms that you have successfully installed Zabbix.

    Click Finish


    Zabbix frontend is ready! The default user name is Admin, password zabbix.


    Once logged in, you will see below dashboard screen and from here you can administer and manage your Zabbix server.





    Installing Zabbix Agent

    In this step we will show you how to install and configure Zabbix agent 4.4.4 on a CentOS, RHEL, Ubuntu and Windows machine.

    For CentOS/RHEL 7

    dnf -y install http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/4.4/rhel/7/x86_64/zabbix-release-4.4-1.el7.noarch.rpm
    dnf -y install zabbix-agent
    Now edit /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf file and update the Server= parameter with your zabbix server IP
    vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf
    ### Option: Server
    #       List of comma delimited IP addresses, optionally in CIDR notation, or DNS names of Zabbix servers and Zabbix proxies.
    #       Incoming connections will be accepted only from the hosts listed here.
    #       If IPv6 support is enabled then '127.0.0.1', '::127.0.0.1', '::ffff:127.0.0.1' are treated equally
    #       and '::/0' will allow any IPv4 or IPv6 address.
    #       '0.0.0.0/0' can be used to allow any IPv4 address.
    #       Example: Server=127.0.0.1,192.168.1.0/24,::1,2001:db8::/32,zabbix.example.com
    #
    # Mandatory: yes, if StartAgents is not explicitly set to 0
    # Default:
    # Server=
    
    Server=Your_Zabbix_Server_IP
    Save and close.
    systemctl restart zabbix-agent

    For CentOS/RHEL 8

    dnf -y install http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/4.4/rhel/8/x86_64/zabbix-release-4.4-1.el8.noarch.rpm
    dnf -y install zabbix-agent
    Now edit /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf file and update the Server= parameter with your zabbix server IP
    vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf
    ### Option: Server
    #       List of comma delimited IP addresses, optionally in CIDR notation, or DNS names of Zabbix servers and Zabbix proxies.
    #       Incoming connections will be accepted only from the hosts listed here.
    #       If IPv6 support is enabled then '127.0.0.1', '::127.0.0.1', '::ffff:127.0.0.1' are treated equally
    #       and '::/0' will allow any IPv4 or IPv6 address.
    #       '0.0.0.0/0' can be used to allow any IPv4 address.
    #       Example: Server=127.0.0.1,192.168.1.0/24,::1,2001:db8::/32,zabbix.example.com
    #
    # Mandatory: yes, if StartAgents is not explicitly set to 0
    # Default:
    # Server=
    
    Server=Your_Zabbix_Server_IP
    Save and close.
    systemctl restart zabbix-agent

    For Ubuntu 16

    sudo dpkg -i http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/4.4/ubuntu/pool/main/z/zabbix-release/zabbix-release_4.4-1%2Bxenial_all.deb
    sudo apt-get install zabbix-agent
    Now edit /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf file and update the Server= parameter with your zabbix server IP
    sudo nano /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf
    ### Option: Server
    #       List of comma delimited IP addresses, optionally in CIDR notation, or DNS names of Zabbix servers and Zabbix proxies.
    #       Incoming connections will be accepted only from the hosts listed here.
    #       If IPv6 support is enabled then '127.0.0.1', '::127.0.0.1', '::ffff:127.0.0.1' are treated equally
    #       and '::/0' will allow any IPv4 or IPv6 address.
    #       '0.0.0.0/0' can be used to allow any IPv4 address.
    #       Example: Server=127.0.0.1,192.168.1.0/24,::1,2001:db8::/32,zabbix.example.com
    #
    # Mandatory: yes, if StartAgents is not explicitly set to 0
    # Default:
    # Server=
    
    Server=Your_Zabbix_Server_IP
    Save and close.
    sudo service zabbix-agent restart

    For Ubuntu 18/19

    sudo dpkg -i http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/4.4/ubuntu/pool/main/z/zabbix-release/zabbix-release_4.4-1%2Bbionic_all.deb
    sudo apt-get install zabbix-agent
    Now edit /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf file and update the Server= parameter with your zabbix server IP
    sudo nano /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf
    ### Option: Server
    #       List of comma delimited IP addresses, optionally in CIDR notation, or DNS names of Zabbix servers and Zabbix proxies.
    #       Incoming connections will be accepted only from the hosts listed here.
    #       If IPv6 support is enabled then '127.0.0.1', '::127.0.0.1', '::ffff:127.0.0.1' are treated equally
    #       and '::/0' will allow any IPv4 or IPv6 address.
    #       '0.0.0.0/0' can be used to allow any IPv4 address.
    #       Example: Server=127.0.0.1,192.168.1.0/24,::1,2001:db8::/32,zabbix.example.com
    #
    # Mandatory: yes, if StartAgents is not explicitly set to 0
    # Default:
    # Server=
    
    Server=Your_Zabbix_Server_IP
    Save and close.
    sudo systemctl restart zabbix-agent
    

    For Windows

    Zabbix Windows agent can be installed from Windows MSI installer packages (32-bit or 64-bit) available for download:

    To install, double-click the downloaded MSI file.


    Click Next


    Accept the licence to proceed to the next step.


    Specify the following parameters and click next.


    Click next


    Click install


    Click finish


    Zabbix components along with the configuration file is now installed in a Zabbix Agent folder in Program Files. zabbix_agentd.exe will be set up as Windows service with automatic startup.

    Adding Devices to Zabbix Server

    When you are done installing Zabbix agent on your Linux or Windows machines, go back to your Zabbix server web interface and start creating devices to monitor them.

    Navigate to Configuration tab


    Click Hosts then click Create host


    This is our Windows 10 zabbix agent machine. Specify the following parameters according to yours and click Add


    Click Templates and add the templates according to your need.


    When done adding hosts, navigate back to Dashboard and there you can see number of hosts you have added in zabbix server to monitor.

    Navigate to Graphs, select your host and graph from the drop down list and see if your host monitoring data is being collected like below.


    This is how you can add and monitor your Windows and Linux machines in zabbix server. For the devices like switches, routers, firewall etc, of course you can not install zabbix agent, but you can add and monitor them in zabbix server via SNMP and IPMI interface.

    Wrapping up

    In this tutorial, you set up a simple and secure solution which will help you monitor your servers. It can now warn you of problems, and you have the opportunity to plot some graphs based on the obtained data so you can analyze it and plan accordingly.

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