Using AWS Systems Manager to regain access to an EC2 machine

  • AWS

The other last night I received a call from a co-worker who added a Windows firewall rule to a production AWS EC2 machine running Server 2016. Soon after he couldn’t access the server via RDP nor were any of the IIS sites loading.

Of course a snapshot was not created prior to the change, because “It worked in Test”.

At first I thought we might be up a creek and restoring from an older backup. But, then I remembered AWS Systems Manager and the ability to send commands to an AWS EC2 machine via the AWS console.

Below are the quick steps I took to disable the Windows Firewall using AWS Systems Manager to regain access into the EC2 machine.

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Enable DNS over HTTPS and Encrypted SNI in Firefox

In Firefox 62, Mozilla has added two new features called DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and Trusted Recursive Resolver (TRR). The ideal behind each of these features is to improve user privacy and improved performance. DNS has typically been sent over insecure HTTP allowing anyone on the wire, such as your ISP, to monitor what sites you are visiting.

Below we’ll look at how to enable TRR you can tell Firefox to make DoH it’s first choice and use the system DNS as a fallback option.

The second feature we will be enable is Encrypted SNI, which prevents others from intercepting the TLS SNI extension and use it to determine what websites you are browsing.

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How to fix Veeam Backup after installing vCenter 6.7 Update 1

After upgrading vCenter 6.7 to vCenter 6.7 Update 1 in one of my environments, it was noticed that Veeam backups where failing with the error: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Error: Object reference not set to an instance of an object

I’m running Veeam Backup and Replication 9.5 U3a and after doing some digging around, it seems there is an API change in vSphere 6.7 Update 1 that is causing the backups to fail.

While Veeam plans to resolve this issue with their new Update 4 version coming out soon, there is a very simple work around thanks to this forum post.

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How to update VMware ESXi 6.7 to 6.7 Update 1

To go along with the newly released VMware vCenter 6.7 Update 1 release, comes VMware ESXi 6.7 Update 1 as well.

As you might expect with an Update 1 release there are a number of patches, fixes and new additions with ESXi 6.7 U1. If you haven’t already seen, check out the release notes here.

Below are two ways to easily upgrade your ESXi 6.0-6.7 hosts to ESXi 6.7 U1 using the command line or by using VMware Update Manager.

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Upgrade VCSA 6.5 to VCSA 6.7 Update 1

VMware vCenter 6.7 U1 has recently been released. Last week I posted how to upgrade VCSA 6.7 to 6.7 Update 1, this post will walk you though upgrading VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 to VCSA 6.7 Update 1!

When doing a VCSA version upgrade the upgrade process is much different, than going from say 6.7 to 6.7 U1. When going from 6.5 to 6.7 the upgrade is actually broken up into two stages.

The first stage involves deploying a brand new vCenter 6.7 appliance. Then the second stage will copy the data from your 6.5 VCSA into the newly deployed 6.7 VCSA from stage 1.

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Update vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 to 6.7 Update 1

VMware has released vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 and with comes with a number changes.

One most notable change is the feature complete HTML5 vSphere client. The vSphere client in vCenter 6.7 Update 1 now includes the ability to manage:

  • Host profiles
  • Auto deploy
  • Full vSphere Update Manager (VUM)
  • A new dark theme
  • and vCenter High Availability.

That’s no where near all of the changes though, there are many more changes and updates in the 6.7 Update 1 update. Be sure to read the full release notes here.

In this post we’ll see just how easy it is to upgrade from VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7 Update 1 in just a couple steps!

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