Monday, 21 December 2015

Starting to diagnose DFS issues

One of my client's server pairs seems to be intermittent in its syncronisation of data. Here are a few commands to test the sync. 

Using an elevated command prompt ( right click, run as Administrator ) execute the following:

C:\Users\ryv> dfsrdiag.exe backlog /SendingMember:ServerX /ReceivingMember:ServerZ /RGName:RepGroup /RFName:"Data"

So what does this do? The initial part of the command is dfsrdiag.exe - the program to run the diagnosis. The switches are as follows:

/SendingMember:ServerX - this is the server pushing data to the replication partner
/ReceivingMember:ServerZ - and this is the server receiving the data
/RGName:RepGroup - DFS Management has servers in groups so it will want the group name
/RFName:"Data" - DFS is capable of managing different folder groups with different sync settings so you have to specify the folder. 

If all is going well the result from this command should come back with something like: 

No backlog - member <ServerZ> is in sync with partner <ServerX>

Operation succeeded.

If it doesn't come back with this then the fun begins. Once I have a good example I'll post that. 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Ubiquity UAP-Outdoor+ Review

Recently for a motel client I rolled out 12 of these little babies. The UAP-Outdoor+ is a compact, apparently weather resistant access point. The website details are here: https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap-outdoor/

I chose these for a number of factors:

  • they are designed for the outdoors
  • 183M range (apparently)
  • 300Mbps speeds
  • 802.11b/g/n with plenty of bandwidth and a wide frequency band
  • price point was pretty good (compared to other products)
While not strictly producing a meshed network, the UAP-Outdoor+'s have a zero config handoff, so end users won't know as they move around through network range. 

Configuration of the access points was really quite easy - Ubiquity has a great bit of software called UniFi v4.7.6 Controller for Windows. Installing this on my laptop, and connecting it to the same network as the first access point got things up and running really fast. UniFi Controller allows you to configure SSID's, guest network information and everything else about the access points. Love it! Great bit of kit and it made the work of configuring all 12 access points very quick. Ongoing management is excellent too - it shows you information about the clients connected, the data they're using, the most heavily used access points - all sorts of stuff. It also allows you to play with the network topology. In this particular instance, three of the access points are not cabled in - they are "uplinked" via other WAPs. As testing went on, it appeared that my original plan to link certain APs together wasn't as good as the actual data suggested. So I modified it and moved the wirelessly linked access points to other master WAPs. Really excellent and I was very pleased with the rollout. All in all, the budgeted hours for the install were far over the actual hours - always good for the customer and the bottom line.

The range exceeded our expectations significantly and allowed us to push the coverage out to other parts of the property that were designated for a later stage. Needless to say, people were quite happy about the whole thing :-)

I look forward to using the Ubiquity gear again in the future. As for now, I can happily recommend the UAP-Outdoor+ access points!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

OTRS 5 Review and Thoughts

Recently I upgraded our several years old OTRS install to version 5. The upgrade procedure is exactly like all the others have been. It was straightforward and I actually found that the documentation was better this time around than it has been in the past. After backing up, upgrading and testing, I like, mostly, what I see. There are a couple of things that are a bit annoying though.

When closing a ticket, the previous version would automatically put in subject in the closure note. Likewise, in the Owner Update note it doesn't do it either. So each time, I have to update it. Not a problem if you're only getting a few notes every now and then, but we are changing and closing tickets in some large numbers at times.

Also, I have about 50 statistics generated monthly via a script I run. The syntax for doing this.

From: /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.GenerateStats.pl -n number -blah blah etc

To: /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::Stats::Generate --number number etc

(from: https://otrs.github.io/doc/manual/admin/stable/en/html/statistics-module.html#stats-managing-the-module)

I like the speed of the updated system and the cosmetic changes are nice too. The menus have changed slightly and they are more dynamic with drop downs. The layout is a bit nicer too but generally the speed of the system is better.

Upgrade to version 5 if you have the chance - seems to be a winner!