Checking In: More travel, some StorSimple, and a dash of PKI

I don’t really have much to say, but I haven’t posted anything for the last couple weeks. That wouldn’t be so bad, but I said recently that I was going to narrow the focus of my blog and move things like my photos and other content to other sites. All good intentions at least.

I’ve fallen behind on keeping my Project 365 Tumblr site up-to-date, but I promise I have pictures for all those days. I haven’t moved my cruise cam pages either. This summer has really been a busy one, even more so than usual. Between TechEd, two work trips to Denver and D.C., the Dingler Family Reunion, and all the usual chaos at work as we try and get ready for the fall semester, I’ve just been swamped. And it isn’t getting any better any time soon. On Wednesday I leave for Anaheim to go to Disneyland (woohoo!) and the D23 Expo. Then a Mumford and Sons weekend in Ohio at the end of the month. I need to take a breath sometime soon.

On the plus side I actually feel like I’m actually making some progress at work. I racked the first piece of equipment in our space at the West Campus data center. We received our new StorSimple 7520 last week, and it’s waiting in its new home to be spun up on Tuesday. That’s when we’re scheduled with Microsoft to get it configured and up and running to test before putting it in production. I can’t wait. Now I can finally move forward with migrating off of our decrepit Windows 2003 Storage Server cluster and on to Server 2012. I’ve been meaning to upgrade for so long, and time after time it was delayed, deferred, defunded, and probably three other de-words. So much pain and suffering. Honestly, I shouldn’t complain. Those boxes have chugged along well past what was expected of them.

I also checked something off the project list on the whiteboard in my office,. That hasn’t happened in months and maybe even years. I finally have a two-tier PKI infrastructure in place. My client workstations now have client certificates. What does that mean? That means DirectAccess is coming soon. I know DA in 2012 doesn’t require your own PKI anymore, but that’s only for Windows 8 clients. I need to make sure this works with my Windows 7 clients as well, so that means PKI. Plus it’ll be handy for other things too like Configuration Manager and vPro, so I’m glad it’s finally done. It really wasn’t hat bad to set up, I used PFE Christopher Delay’s TechNet blog series “Installing a Two Tier PKI Hierarchy in Windows Server 2012” as my guide. Thanks Christopher! You can find him on Twitter at @chdelay.

If I run into anything interesting as I start using the StorSimple box or make more progress with DirectAccess, I’ll try to make time to blog about it. In the meantime, this will have to do. And with that I should think about getting some dinner. It is almost 10 PM and I’m so hungry. I worked late tonight, installing our new classroom PCs. What a nightmare. The PCs are great, but the desks in the classrooms where they get installed are complete junk. They’re 10+ years old and they’re horrible to work with. AV equipment is tossed in there every which way, all different plugs an cables from room to room, everything is zip-tied, there’s no slack in the cables. I’m all banged up, scraped up, and sore from contorting myself to get into these spaces. What was I thinking. I should have had my minions work on this. Thankfully this is the last time I’ll have to do that because a year from now the building gets renovated and those desks will be in a dumpster  somewhere, or better yet in a bonfire.

I only hope the faculty appreciate the new systems. We finally started making SSDs standard, so they boot up so fast now. We’ll see if they notice. In IT you get used to only hearing from people when stuff breaks, but I’m foolish enough to think that we might get some good feedback on the upgrades. We’ll see. I won’t hold my breath.

My stomach is growling again. Guess that means I need to stop typing and order some pizza. I’ll type at y’all later.