Bhargav's IT Playground

What does Heartbleed vulnerability mean to you

Posted by in Security, Technology

A lot has been said lately of Heartbleed since its announcement few days ago. However, as it goes with overload of information at times, media attention has managed to create mass confusion and hysteria on this topic. Hopefully this post will help answer some of your questions. Let’s try to break it down The Vulnerability The issue stems from a bug in OpenSSL’s implementation of TLS heartbeat extensions. While trying to optimize use of resources when decrypting/encrypting SSL traffic, programming mistake is claimed to have created this vulnerability. Such is…read more


How to protect your KEMP LoadMaster and applications from Heartbleed bug

Posted by in KEMP, Load Balancing

If you haven’t read about heartbleed bug, it’s pretty serious one you should know about. In a nutshell it exploits OpenSSL vulnerability to read system memory of computers/machines/applicances protedted by affected versions of OpenSSL. This means a hacker can steal your encryption keys as well as see unencrypted form of traffic that was encrypted. Talk about passwords, credit cards, any information you deemed secure and trusted only to an SSL connection! You can read whole lot of gory details here: If you are users of KEMP LoadMaster, you should…read more


Gigabyte Brix – Ultra Compact PC for IT Pro’s Hyper-V lab!

Posted by in Technology

Disclaimer: I wasn’t approached by Gigabyte, neither have anyone provided me any units for review. I am just writing my experience with the unit I purchased recently. As I am getting ready for MEC 2014, I was faced with a question of how should I provide demo environment that I  need for my 3 sessions (RBAC, Exchange integration with Lync and SharePoint, and Load Balancing Exchange and Lync 2013), as well as demos out staff will be doing at our booth on exhibit floor. In the past, I have used…read more


Ignoring SSL Trust in PowerShell using System.Net.WebClient

Posted by in PowerShell

This article was originally posted on my PFE blog here: I noticed a few inaccuracies with the article and since I am not a PFE anymore, I can’t edit original article but posting updated article here for everyone to benefit from. The Problem We all at one point or another have come across a coding issue where we are trying to connect to a website using a script and the website is secure with either self-signed or untrusted SSL certificate. This poses a challenge. A challenge to tell code…read more


How to assign Static IP to Azure VM

Posted by in Azure

When you start working with Windows Azure IaaS offering, you quickly realize that the age old ways of dealing with infrastructure configuration immediately becomes invalid. Let me give you an example: when you setup a new server in your datacenter, one of the first things you do is acquire an IP address from your network. It doesn’t matter how, maybe just a simple ping test to see which IP is available, maybe from that spreadsheet you have to keep track of used and usable IP addresses, or an IPAM deployed…read more


Mystery certification on your transcript? A freebee?

Posted by in Certification, Hyper-V, Microsoft

I received a congratulatory email from Microsoft MCP program today informing me that I was now an MCSE: Communication. Coincidentally, I had taken and passed 74-409 yesterday, but that was virtualization and system center exam which had nothing to do with Microsoft Lync! Over matter of few hours, I noticed other fellow MCMs started asking on email and it became evident I wasn’t the only one getting this surprising email! What was happening? Was Microsoft giving away certification accidentally that we did not earn? Fear not! Microsoft is not in…read more


Microsoft ends AOL AIM Connectivity

Posted by in Lync Server, Microsoft

UPDATE: The article was written with limited context I have from Microsoft notification in my email. What I have learned is that it wasn’t Microsoft’s decision but AOL’s to stop connecting to Microsoft’s PIC clearninghouse! Either way, the spirit of article stays the same. Special thanks to Keith Hanna for pointing out facts and add context to this information. For those of you who use Microsot Lync server’s Public IM Connectivity (PIC) to connect your users with AIM, it’s time to take notice. Microsoft announced today in an email to…read more


Routing for Hyper-V Lab – Part 2

Posted by in Hyper-V, Windows Server

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed how you can route between VMs on same host using networks connected to “Internal” virtual switch. Now let’s look at how to route between VMs when your lab consists of more than one hosts. Obviously, what I am going to cover isn’t the only way to do this but is one of many. I can certainly go on an on about all other options but I am trying to show the simplest possible one. Lab Setup For this lab, we are going…read more


Routing for Hyper-V Lab – Part 1

Posted by in Hyper-V, Windows Server

Most of us IT Pros usually have a lab of some kind. Mostly running some form of virtualization and if you are Microsoft savvy, chances are you are running Hyper-V either on Windows 7/8 pro edition so you can carry your lab around with you or have a Windows Server with Hyper-V. When we try to mimic real world complexities in these labs, routing becomes one essential component of these labs. Most of the times we are squeezed for resources and if you are like me, you would like to…read more


Book Review – PowerShell 3.0 Advanced Administration Handbook

Posted by in Book Review, PowerShell, Technology

Automation of mundane daily chores of any IT establishment is essential in today’s world. I would rather spend a day to automate a task that takes only 5 minutes to complete because when automated, it now can be completed in fraction of that time, repeatedly, all while removing possibility of human errors. My first automation attempts can be traced back to DOS 6.22 batch files. Albeit nothing compared to what you can achieve today with PowerShell, it was still achieving basic premise of automation. When I first got my hands…read more