Who is Netwrix?

During Tech Field Day 11 we had presentations from a lot of awesome companies. Some of them I knew, but others were new to me, and that while some of these already exist for multiple years. The first of these “older”companies was Netwrix.

When writing a couple of VMware designs in which compliancy was a big deal, I learned that a good auditing tool is a must have as the auditors will not approve anything if they you didn’t provide them with the right answers and tooling needed to be compliant. A tool like Netwrix can help a lot with this.

Netwrix History

So during Tech Field Day 11 I was pleased to see Netwrix do a great job at explaining where they came from and what they do. A couple of points that were told in this first presentation:

• The company is founded in 2006 (that’s right the company celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year)
• The founders Michael Fimin and Alex Vovk, who both worked at Quest software before starting Netwrix.
• The company has no venture funding.
• The company has over 200 employees across the globe, and;
• They have over 7000 customers worldwide

But it might be better if you just watch part 1 of the presentation first:

Who is Netwrix? from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

Netwrix Auditor Platform capabilities

The Netwrix auditor platform can help you audit and monitor multiple systems and application, the following are usable by default:

  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Microsoft SQL server
  • VMware vSphere
  • Windows File Server
  • EMC
  • NetApp
  • Windows Server

Some of these are on-premises only, but a couple of them are also hybrid cloud capable, meaning you can audit your applications both on- and off-premises. Through the use of RESTful API’s both in and out bound you can leverage even more, but that is for a later blogpost :D.

Other TFD11 delegates on Netwrix

As always a couple of my TFD11 delegates also wrote some articles on Netwrix. Here are the articles already in the open (I’ll try to keep it updated, but I can’t promise anything :D):

Julian Wood (@julian_wood) wrote a great preview, the Tech Field Day 11 Preview: Netwrix

As well as Alaister Cook (@DemitasseNZ) did an introduction: TFD11 introduction: Netwrix

A small section on Netwrix can be found in the write-up by Tech Field Day Goes To 11

And last but not least, Mark May (@cincystorage) wrote a piece right after the presentation (showoff ;-P) called: Breaking down silos between security and operations

And as always, all Netwrix information and videos are available at the Tech Field Day site: Tech Field Day Netwrix

As already mentioned I’ll try to keep this post updated if people will write more on Netwrix, and I will also try to do a part two and three on Netwrix, but first I want to write a couple of post on other companies presenting at TFD11.

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The day before #VeeamOn2015
Oct27

The day before #VeeamOn2015

DSC05940

So after a long day of travel on sunday (Amsterdam-Detroit and Detroit-Las Vegas) I arrived in Las Vegas late in the evening and fell into a deep sleep as soon as I hit the rather large bed in the Aria Resort and Casino, where the #VeeamOn2015 is held. I really like the venue in the way that it is an awesome resort where everything you need is in the same building(s) and if you need something it’s just a short 5 minute (or a little longer) walk. A esbig surprise was waiting for me when I entered the room and found a great gift (See picture). I actually had a discussion in the plane with the dutch guy (Ikea filmcrew) about this awesome headphones.. So a big thanks Veeam!

Monday at VeeamOn2015

So on monday after a good night sleep I went to the conference location to pick up my pass as well as a backpack and meet with a couple of guys. As I’m a foreigner with a big jetlag I decided to really take it easy this (Partner)day, and give myself the time to adjust.

I did went to the Grand opening of the Expo Lounge, to meet with peers and enjoy some great food and drinks. Always great to meet with people like Vladan Seget (blog: ESX Virtualization), Andrea Mauro (blog: vInfrastructure) and Joep Piscaer (blog: VirtualLifeStyle). Those three guys are all Veeam Vanguards and if you don’t know what that is, my suggestion is that you start reading more about this program here.

#VeeamON

#VeeamON2015

Evening in Vegas

In the evening I decided to make the best of my time here in Sincity and did a walk over the strip to see the fountains, take pictures of all the crazy stuff in this town, before heading to my room to do a Skype call with the homefront and get a (not so) good night sleep.

DSC05979

Day 1 of VeeamOn2015 is already started and I’ll be writing another blogpost on that asap Open-mouthed smile

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Step by step installation guide installing a RD Session Host with RemoteFX (Part 3)
Nov27

Step by step installation guide installing a RD Session Host with RemoteFX (Part 3)

So in part 1 and part 2 we installed a Hyper-V host and a Remote Desktop Session Host both with Server 2008 R2 SP1. This means we are ready to rumble.

Sorry to be the partypooper but that’s not exactly true, yet. Let’s see what i mean:

part31

When examening my Hyper-V host and selecting the settings for my WINSRRDSH01 server. I see there is a RemoteFX Video Adapter option but it’s greyed out. So what should we do to be able to add (and use) RemoteFX?

There are a couple of needs for this, but let’s start with the obvious, the Hyper-V host. On the host we must do four things to enable RemoteFX:

  1. Make sure SP1 RC for Windows Server 2008 R2 is installed. (If you didn’t already, download it here. And install it)
  2. Add the Remote Desktop Services / RemoteFX role
  3. Use GPedit.msc to set RemoteFX compression
  4. Set Windows Firewall

So let’s check or set them step by step:

Make sure SP1 RC for Windows Server 2008 R2 is installed

  • Go to Start and right click on Computer in the menu click on Properties. In the screen you’ll see if SP1 is installed:

Hyper-VRemoteFX1

If you didn’t install SP1 by now, do so by following this link.

Add the Remote Desktop Services / RemoteFX role

Go to start go to administrative tools and click Server Manager. The Server Manager window will open:

ServerManager

Go to Roles and on the right side click on Add Roles:

Roles1 Roles2

The Before you begin screen will show, click Next. The Select Server Roles window will show. Select Remote Desktop Services and click Next:

part32

The Remote Desktop Services role will show. Click Next:

part33

The Select Role Services window will Show. Click RemoteFX, there will be a Add Roles Wizard popup (click Add Required Role Services) and click Next:

part35

part34

The Confirm Installation Selections window will show. Click Install:

part36

And after install the Installation Results window will show. Click close, and on the reboot window clik yes:

part37

part38

After reboot log back in and let the installation continue. The Installation Results window shows. Click close:

part39

We’re almost there, just a couple more changes and we’re ready to try RemoteFX….

Let’s begin with giving our RDS Host a RemoteFX 3D video adapter. In the Server Manager go to the Hyper-V host and right click on the RDS vm, click settings.

Click Add Hardware select the RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter and click add:

part312

The RemoteFX 3D video adapter will be added, you can then choose the maximum monitors and resolution options (for me 1 monitor 1280 x 1024). Click Apply:

part313

Just to be sure memory will not be a bottleneck we’ll set dynamic memory (see this post for more info). Select Memory, select memory and set Maximum RAM. Click OK:

part315

On the host, the guest and the client, the following firewall settings must be changed, Remote Desktop – RemoteFX select all 3 (just to be sure ;-)):

Firewall

The last settings need to be made on the RD Session Host and the client computer. First the RDSH go to start, run and enter gpedit.msc press enter:

In the Group Policy Editor Console go to Computer Settings, Administrative templates, Windows Components, Remote Desktop Services, Remote Desktop Session Host, Remote Session Environment, and double click on Configure RemoteFX:

GPEDIT1

In the Configure RemoteFX window select enable and click OK:

GPEDIT2

That’s it for the RD Session Host. For the client we can do some tuning. Go to start run gpedit.msc press enter, and go to the same folder as you did on the RDSH. So go to Computer Settings, Administrative templates, Windows Components, Remote Desktop Services, Remote Desktop Session Host, Remote Session Environment, and double click on Optimize visual Experience when using RemoteFX:

CLIENTsettings

In the Optimize visual exprience… window select enable and set Screen capture Rate and Screen Capture Quality to Higest, and press OK:

CLIENTsettings1

Your al set to test RemoteFX on a RD Session Host now! Start a mstsc.exe and go to experience. Set the performance on LAN (10 Mbps or higher):

CLIENTsettings2

On the general tab set the name to the name of your RD Session Host and click connect to set up a connection. To check if RemoteFX is installed correctly do the following check. Log in to the RD Session host with administrative rights. Go to start, administrative tools and click on event viewer. In event viewer go to Application and Services\Logs\Microsoft\Windows\RemoteDesktopServices-RemoteDesktopSession Manager. If the your client computer is connected to the RDSH by using RemoteFX for Remote Desktop Session Host, Event ID 1000 will be shown:

CLIENTsettings0

The installation of RemoteFX is completed! Hope it works as good for you as it did for me! See you on the next post!

Download PDF of Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3

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Step by step installation guide installing a RD Session Host with RemoteFX (Part 2)
Nov25

Step by step installation guide installing a RD Session Host with RemoteFX (Part 2)

In part 1 of this post we installed a Hyper-V host and a Server 2008 R2 VM on it. To be able to install and use RemoteFX it is necessary to add  the Remote Desktop Session Host Role to the VM. In this post we’ll do that, step by step.

To enlarge the screenshots you can click on them!

Log in to the guest VM (WINSRRDSH01 in my case) and go to start, administrative tools and click on Server Management:

Capture

Click on Roles and on the right side on Add Roles. The Select Server Roles window will show. Select Remote Desktop Services and click Next:

RDSH01

The Remote Desktop Services Window shows. Click Next:

RDSH02

The Select Role Services Window Shows. Select Remote Desktop Session Host and click Next:

RDSH03

The authentication Method for RDSH will show. select Do not … (you can change this if you want) and click Next:

RDSH05

The Specify Licensing Mode window will show. Select Configure Later and click Next:

RDSH06

The Select User Groups Allowed Access to this RDSH server window will show. click Next and leave Administrators as default:

RDSH07

The Configure Client Experience window will show. Select all three options and click Next:

RDSH08

The Confirm Installation Selections window will show. Click Install.

RDSH10

After installation the installation results window will show. Click Close

RDSH11

And click Yes to reboot the server:

RDSH13

After the reboot log on to the server, and let the installation do it’s final thing. The last window will show. Click Close:

RDSH09

This is the end of part 2. We’ve now installed the Hyper-V server role, and a Guest VM running Server 2008 R2 SP1 with the Remote Desktop Session Host Role installed.

In the Part 3 of this post we’ll finally go to configure RemoteFX.

Download the PDF for Part 2 Here

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Step by step installation guide installing a RD Session Host with RemoteFX (Part 1)
Nov25

Step by step installation guide installing a RD Session Host with RemoteFX (Part 1)

The last couple weeks there’s a lot of talk about Microsoft Teched Europe 2010 and a lot of it is about RemoteFX. There are some great posts on the net about what RemoteFX is, and what the future will be for it. Here are some links that caught my attention:

Reading all this info made me interested on how to install it on my home lab, and if it was even possible. To keep the post readablei devided the post into three parts:

  • Part 1: Step by step installing Hyper-V (Host) and
  • Part 2: preparing the VM for Remote Desktop Session Host (Guest)
  • Part 3: Step by step enabling RemoteFX.

This is part 1 so lets start with installing Hyper-V. I’ll presume you’ll have system running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 RC installed. I’ll also will not show how to install the VM for the RDSH, that’s a simple next, next finish install, which you already done installing the Hyper-V host.

To enlarge the screenshots just click on them!

For the installation of Hyper-V click on start and go to Administrative Tools and click on System Manager, which will open the following window:

ServerManager

On the Left side highlight Roles (see first screenshot below), and then click add roles (the second):

Roles1 Roles2

When you’ve done this the Before You Begin window will show, in which you’ll click next:

Hyper v

When you clicked Next the Select Server Roles window will show, in which you select Hyper-V, and click Next:

Hyper v1

The Hyper-V window will show, in which you’ll click Next:

Hyper v2

The Create Virtual Networks window will show, in which you’ll choose the appropriate network card(s) and click next:

Hyper v3

The Confirm Installation Selections window will show, in which you’ll click Install:

Hyper v4

After installing the Hyper-V role the Installation Results window shows, in which you’ll choose Close:

Hyper v5

After clicking close this window will show, click Yes to restart the server:

Hyper v6

When the server rebooted, and you’re logged in, the installation will finish with the following window:

Hyper v7

The installation of Hyper-V is now done! Let’s install the Remote Desktop Session Host. Click on Start go to Administrative tools and open System Manager again:

ServerManager

Go to roles on the left side and click on it. Go to Hyper-V, Hyper-V Manager and right click on the server. Select New Virtual machine

Part21

The Before you Begin window will show in which we’ll press Next:

Part22

The Specify Name and Location window will show, in which we can give the VM a name (WINSRRDSH01 in my case) and where we can set the location in which the VM will be stored. When we set Name and location we’ll click Next:

Part23

The Assign Memory window will show. I’ve given the VM 1024 MB’s of memory, but we’ll adjust that later with Dynamic Memory (also new to SP1), and click next:

part24

The Configure Networking window will show. Select the network card you want to use and click Next:

part25

The Connect Virtual Hard Disk window will show. I only did a reset of of the filesize, because 40 GB is more then enough. click Next:

part26

The Installation Options window will show. I have an iso file for the server installation which I select, and click Next:

part27

The Completing the New Virtual Machine Wizard window shows, if it meets your needs click Finish. The VM will be created.

part28

Perform a normal Windows Server 2008 R2 installation, and install SP1 RC on it.

If you’re done installing, let’s proceed to part 2. Implementing a Remote Desktop Session Host.

Download this post in PDF

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