Using Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) in Windows Server 2012 R2

In the Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems, administrators could manage and publish information in their Active Directory environments by using the Active Directory Users and Computers. Beginning in Windows Server 2008 R2, in addition to using Active Directory Users and Computers, administrators can manage their directory service objects by using the new Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC), which has been enhanced in Server 2012 with more features. It can be used to do following:

  • Create new user accounts or manage existing user accounts
  • Create new groups or manage existing groups
  • Create new computer accounts or manage existing computer accounts
  • Create new organizational units (OUs) and containers or manage existing OUs
  • Has Recycle Bin which once enabled, allows us to recover deleted objects
  • We can create Password Setting Object (PSO), also called Fine Grain Password Policies. These PSOs allow us to set up a different password policy based on security group membership.
  • Windows PowerShell History Viewer which allows us to view the power shell commands for all the tasks performed graphically on this tool.

Using Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) to enable Recycle Bin

IT professionals at one time or another have made the mistake of accidentally deleting an object in Active Directory that used to take countless hours to restore.  Active Directory Recycle Bin was created to adhere to that very problem and this step-by-step guide will showcase how easy it is to enable.  This procedure does not negate the need to have a proper system state backup which is always recommended and one must be aware that enabling this feature is one time and cannot be reversed under any circumstances.


Enabling Active Directory Recycle Bin

  1. In the management console, go to ToolsActive Directory Administrative Center Active Directory Administrative Center
  2. Select Local Domain and in the Tasks Pane Tasks Pane
  3. Select Enable Recycle Bin Select Enable Recycle Bin
  4. Click OK. NOTE: Be aware this feature cannot be disabled. Enable Recycle Bin Confirmation
  5. Click OK. Once enabled, wait for AD replication to complete as this is a change made on the configuration partition. This process may take a while should your organization have a large active directory infrastructure.

Please Refresh AD Administrative Center Now

A very simple enablement of a process that could save you hours of restore time.

Again this process cannot be reversed once invoked.


Fine Grained Password Policy

Let’s see how we can use ADAC for creating password setting for a Group.

  1. Open Server Manager Dashboard, click on Tools Menu, and click Active Directory Administrative Center. Server Manager Dashboard
  2. In the navigation pane, click msserverpro(local), then select System Container and double-click the Password Settings ContainerSelect System Container and Double-Click Password Settings Container

  3. In the Task pane at right side, click New and then click Password SettingsPassword Settings
  4. In the Create Password Settings dialog box, Enter the values from the table: Create Password Settings Table
  5. Click Add and type G_Managers, then click Check Names and click OKG_Managers Dialog Box
  6. In the Create Password Settings: ManagerPSO dialog box, Click OKCreate Password Settings: ManagerPSO Dialog Box
  7. Test the settings by changing the password for the Tom account, who is the member of G_Managers, to a noncomplex, four-letter password.

Hope this helps you make the jump to ADAC.

Deepika A.Author Spotlight: Unitek Education Instructor Deepika A.
Deepika A. has 14 years of experience in the information technology field; she has spent four of those years working as an instructor at Unitek Education. Well-versed in Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server technology in MCSE, MCTS, and MCITP editions, Deepika is also a proficient  MCITP Microsoft Server 2008 Administration and Enterprise Administration instructor.

Deepika holds various certifications directly related to her work as an instructor at Unitek Education. Her certifications include MCSE, MCTS, and MCITP certifications, among others.

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The Internet of Things Explained

How it works – and why some worry

The Internet of Things offers a tantalizing vision of technology working in harmony to improve our daily lives. Refrigerators talking to thermostats talking to security systems — the possibilities are endlessly fascinating. But how will the Internet of Things actually work? And will it actually work?

These and other questions are taken up by Patrick Thibodeau on Overall, Thibodeau predicts a slow, gradual, and relatively quiet transition as old appliances are replaced with smart ones, rather than a quick, breathtaking revolution to a smart home. A big challenge will be getting vendors to make their products play nice together. Anyone with four remotes kicking around the living room knows how big a challenge that will be.

So, what is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Simply put, it is coordination between multiple devices. IoT devices are equipped with sensors which can observe things like changes in temperature, light, pressure, or motion. Sensors are paired with an application-specific integrated circuit hardwired to do something specific. Circuits can also be paired with microprocessors and attached to a wireless radio for communications.

IoT wireless protocols are designed to operate on low power, use low bandwidth, and work on a mesh network. Devices in a mesh network connect directly with one another and can work in concert with thousands of sensors over a wide area.

No wireless technology currently dominates the market, Thibodeau reports, although Gartner predicts that 10 IoT wireless technologies will get “significant traction” in IoT applications. Which type of network depends on the application; a connected car, for example, will depend on a cellular network in order to contact a home network.

But, Thibodeau wonders, will big consumer product companies really feel the need to join together with competitors in the IoT? “Consumers will be frustrated and will be told that they need to buy into a particular vendor’s product partner network to get a full IoT experience,” Thibodeau predicts.

He also notes concerns voiced by privacy advocates that all the detailed information collected and shared by smart devices could be misappropriated and exploited by third parties. Hackers have already demonstrated the ability to penetrate a smart network and create mischief, like turning appliances and HVAC systems on and off.

Source: – read the full article HERE

Is Microsoft Office Really Necessary?

Light use may favor cheaper options

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, in the corporate world, nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes, and Microsoft Office. But a benchmark report from Softwatch appears to undermine at least the Office part of that assumption.

As reported by David Roe on, the Softwatch study revealed that business users spend less time using their Office applications — on average, about 48 minutes per day — than was generally assumed. The study also suggested that organizations may achieve significant savings by moving to other productivity suites, including Google Apps.

As Softwatch offers a service to help enterprises transition to Google Apps, its analysis deserves careful scrutiny. But on the surface at least, the study appears legitimate, based on data collected from 148,500 users over a period of three months, in 51 companies with an average size of 2900.

Of the 48 minutes on average that employees spent using Microsoft Office, 68% of that time was spent in Microsoft Outlook. The study also found that most users were light users; only two percent of users used two applications in the suite. Hardly any used three or more.

Based on its analysis, Softwatch suggested that at least 80 percent of Office users could move to alternative cloud-based solutions. It estimated that enterprises could save close to 90 percent of the costs of Office licenses by moving light users to Google Apps.


Fortune Names NetApp 6th Best Place to Work

NetApp recently received two major awards with one theme: NetApp is a great place to work. FORTUNE Magazine ranked NetApp sixth on their “100 Best Companies to Work For” list of American companies for 2013. This comes on the heels of another major recognition – the Great Places to Work® Institute recently named NetApp the 3rd best workplace in the world.

“This recognition from FORTUNE magazine is all about our employees, who bring a passion and an energy to work that creates an environment where innovation thrives,” said Tom Georgens, president and CEO of NetApp. “Building the best team in the industry and creating a culture that inspires employees is a key component of NetApp’s business strategy. It directly contributes to driving growth and success for us, and for our customers and partners.”

The award marks the fifth straight year that NetApp has ranked in the top ten. The list is created from a survey of more than 259 companies with responses from more than 277,000 employees and is “the most extensive corporate survey in the country,” according to FORTUNE Magazine. The survey considered several factors, including, management credibility, camaraderie, job satisfaction and corporate culture.

“There is a ton of emphasis placed on leadership, trust, integrity, teamwork, synergy and giving back,” explained Sandy Wallace, a NetApp sales representative, “We lead with our hearts but also with an urgency to get things done. We are accountable and respectful all at the same time. I love it here.”

The Great Places to Work institute (who partnered with FORTUNE Magazine on the survey) believes that investing in an excellent workplace does more than keep employees happy, it leads to better innovation, higher productivity, more loyal customers and, ultimately, greater profits. When you listen to praise from employees like Sandy Wallace, it’s easy to see why.

Source: NetApp

NetApp #1 Storage Provider for U.S. Government

From 2009 to 2011, NetApp was the leading vendor of information storage solutions for the federal government, according to a study by GovWin Consulting. In the fiscal year 2011 NetApp held 41.2 percent of the market share, beating competitors by a 12 percent margin.

“NetApp has been committed to its customers in the federal market for 20 years,” said Mark Weber, president of NetApp’s U.S. Public Sector unit. “Both defense and civilian agencies are seeing a substantial increase in the volume of storage they need. When you add big data, cloud computing, mobility, and virtualization into the networking mix, the demand for capacity is only going to continue to grow.”

As the federal market has grown, so has NetApp’s market share. Again, looking at 2011 statistics, GovWin estimated that federal entities (that report spending data) spent approximately $1 billion on data storage services. NetApp’s share of the market saw an annual growth rate of 33.6 percent during the time of the study, their nearest competitor, EMC, grew at 19 percent.

According to Pierre Bernasconi of GovWin Consulting, the ever-shifting federal market provides unique challenges: On the one hand, there are restrictions on federal budgets these days, on the other hand, efforts like a cloud computing mandate and the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative are providing opportunities for companies like NetApp.

“We have strong relationships with all of our federal customers, rooted in NetApp’s game-changing and innovative products and services that will enable them to unleash the power of their data,” Weber explained. If history is anything to go by, NetApp should continue to be a leading provider of data solutions for the U.S. Government in the years to come.

Source: NetApp

NetApp Successfully Hosts Super Bowl XLVII

If you think hosting a Superbowl party is a lot of work, imagine hosting all of the game-day data needs – from camera crews and satellite uplinks to game statistics and player information – for the most watched television event of the year. This year, that job was in the hands of NetApp.

“We are excited to team with NetApp to enhance our technology platform at the Super Bowl and beyond to help deliver the best experience for our fans, our broadcast partners, and the media,” said Michelle McKenna, NFL senior vice president and chief information officer.

Delivering that experience to football fans and Beyonce enthusiasts alike required seamlessly coordinating the Super Bowl XLVII Media Center (game statistics, player information, multimedia, etc.), the NFL Headquarters Hotel (source of data replication for centers in Los Angeles and New York City) and the NFL Broadcast Compound (camera crews, technical equipment, satellite uplinks, etc.). Not to mention, they made sure all of that data was delivered safely and securely every step of the way.

NetApp’s partnership with the NFL will continue beyond this year’s Super Bowl. They will also provide data solutions for upcoming Super Bowls and for all 32 NFL teams throughout the season.

“Our relationship with the NFL demonstrates the importance of data storage to key brands that can ill afford to take risks with their mission-critical operations,” said Amy Love, vice president of brand and communications at NetApp. “The NFL has to manage challenges similar to those of many enterprise businesses—reliability, data protection, agility, and efficiency. NetApp brings capabilities to the NFL that will help accelerate its business operations and drive success, because we do it every day for our customers.”

Although NetApp couldn’t help you tell the Harbaugh brothers apart or improve your rendition of “Crazy in Love,” for Super Bowl XLVII they took care of just about everything else.

Source: NetApp

Great News!

Hey Im an UNCLE!  Nothing to do with Cisco nor any sort of certification but I have a blog and I get to say what gets posted.  Call me Uncle Cisco!

Revised Book for Exchange 2007

Hey All!  Quick tidbit:  There is a revised book for exchange 2007 for the MCTS exchange 2007 Class.  It also talks about the new features with SP1.  And guess what?  It has the Virtual server images where Exchange 2007 is on Server 2008.

I just hope the exam (70-236) is the same as I feel the exam might change slightly because of the new questions on sp1.  We shall have to wait and see, but I will be certain to let you all know as soon as I do!