2014 year end review

I forgot to greet my readers…Merry Christmas and a Happy new year where ever you are in the world. It has been an amazing year for me and this blog site. Its amazing how people get to stumble upon my simple blog site via some search engine and go through some of the labs I have set up. The blog site that started as a simple journal to CCNA, CCNP and who knows maybe if all goes well, I will buckle up for the CCIE and get my number.

WordPress has done an amazing job letting me know my stats and where people are access my site from. That’s why I know you can read this:) A lot has happened to my journey in network in 2014, completed my CCNP R&S and my VCA-DCV. Started teaching at TAFE Brisbane which as a huge break and maybe starting 2015 with a new company. I also had the opportunity to work with HP, Bank of Queensland and Downer group doing contract work deploying new machines and providing support. Being with HP I guess paved the way for more opportunities to get noticed with my applications. The last two months was a season of going through a number of job interviews. offers and missed opportunities.

I was able to do a couple of instructional videos in youtube on cisco but so far only did beginner’s course in Filipino language. I figured there’s a lot of instructional videos out there in english and I had a get a niche.

This year I also tasted my first failed certification, in Brocade. I will resit that exam sometime february assuming schedule would allow me.

My plans for 2015 would include,

  • get my MCSA Server 2012r2, ITIL and Brocade certs
  • get my consulting firm up and running
  • be amazing and learn more and find a mentor/s to help me advance my skills

Yes, there is a huge possibility I will leave teaching. I felt like I hit a wall and its time to move on to the next adventure. But whatever happens this blog site will continue, will continue to share my insights, experiences and whatever labs that I might build at home.

Frustrated with 70-410 studies…Road to MCSA

It’s been a warm day here in Brissy, start of holiday for most people specially the schoolies. I finished my last deployment for HP yesterday while providing support to our users. While others are in relax and stress-free mode, mine is just mounting up. I am trying to get my MCSA in Windows 2012r2 and starting with the first exam 70-410 Installing and Configuring Server 2012r2. Honestly I find it difficult studying this compared to when I was doing my cisco certs.

Its just weird, I work with Windows almost everyday, teach Server and server security last semester at TAFE but I can’t seem to get my head around this technology completely. I got my lab set up, running a Xeon server with 16G of ram firing up 2 2012r2 servers and 2-3 client Windows 7 & 8 machines. This morning I was on the topic of ABE and offline file access and I couldn’t seem to get it running properly.

On the DC, which I also made a file server I created a folder, inside the folder I had two other folders named user1 and user2 containing a text file each. I have set up its share and NTFS permissions as well as offline capabilities for user1. I had 2 users named user1 and user2, As far as sharing and permission is concerned I was able to create the scenario that user1 can only access user1 folder and not see user2 folder and vice versa. However, when I set the computer offline and did some changes on the text file, it doesn’t want to sync with the file server once it gets online again.

I was giving me an access denied error. I have set up my GPO to allow syncing both local and on the server GPO and still doesn’t work. Its becoming frustrating. Another thing is it takes forever (most of the time) whenever you configure something on the network, may it be handing out IP addresses when you have 2 DHCP servers set up for fault tolerance. It’s driving me nuts. It’s totally different from CISCO where its pretty straight forward, configure this and that then boom its working, if not, run a debug and you can immediately see why its not working.

I guess I am good with the concepts, its actually making it work on my lab environment that really frustrates me. I am getting more things done when I was doing my VMware and Brocade studies than with Microsoft.

On a side note, I might be with a different company by the start of the year. I received an offer from an RTO for the position of IT support which will lead to System Administrator. I am still 50/50 about it to be honest, waiting for this other opportunity to work for an ISP down the Gold Coast which is really in line with what I want…but so far I notice I never really get to have what I really want so far as far as job hunting is concerned.

Coverting your CORE Server 2012 r2 to GUI

Don’t you just love having all your plans laid out and at the last minute something’s gotta change. That’s been my story in terms of my certification path. If you have been following my blog, I’ve been pursuing my BCVRE and BCEF certs from Brocade hoping to get everything done before the year ends. However, due to work requirements, I will have to (again) defer all plans and get my MCSA cert for Windows Server 2012r2.

Oh well, anyway this blog is not a rant just wanting to share something I learned over the weekend. It’s weird that the official MS resource book didn’t mention that you just can’t install all the GUI components if you are running CORE 2k12r2. The way I understood it was, if you installed CORE and you wanted to switch over to GUI all you have to do is issue the powershell command:

Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra, Server-Gui-Infra -Restart

and this is what I got:


then I read the deal about Features on Demand and I realized I needed those files from the install.wim files located at the installation CD. So this is what I did:

  1. Placed the installation disc on the cd/dvd drive or mounted the .iso file on the virtual cd/dvd drive
  2. on the command prompt (admin rights), make sure you are on the cmd prompt not powershell. Create a directory by typing mkdir d:\mount <press enter>
  3. then I typed dism /mount-wim /wimfile:d:\sources\install.wim /index:4 /mountdir:c:\mount /readonly <press enter>
  4. type powershell, to take you to the powershell prompt
  5. then type: Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra, Server-Gui-Infra -Restart -source c:\mount\windows\winsxs

It took forever to install, I thought it hanged but I got my GUI of Server 2012r2 up and running.