Create a custom VPC with private and public subnets on AWS

  • AWS

In my free time I’ve been working through the AWS Certified Solutions Architect by Ryan Kroonenburg from ACloud.guru. Ryan really drives home the importance of knowing how to create a custom VPC within AWS as part of the exam. For me I learn best by not only doing it but writing it down.

So if for nothing else but my own benefit, this post is going to show step by step how to create a custom VPC in AWS without using the AWS wizard.

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Use Pi-Hole to block ads on all devices in your network

Sure ad blockers have been around for a long while now, but those are typically only available for your web browsers and not ever device allows you to install them such as cell phones, media players, smart TV’s, etc. I came across a neat project that allows you to block web ads on every device in your network, called Pi-Hole.

In a nutshell Pi-Hole was developed to run on a Raspberry Pi, but will run on most any Debian based distro, and will act as a DNS server to which you point your devices or router to use as the DNS server so that all requests are filtered through Pi-Hole. Pi-Hole then blocks 100’s of thousands ad domains. All without having to use a single browser extension and for FREE!

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How to install Ubiquiti UniFi controller on the cloud

Recently I replaced my wireless router, an Asus RT-AC66U, with an Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X router and Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LR access point. Both of which are a HUGE step up over traditional consumer wireless routers.

The Ubiquiti access points use software called the Ubiquiti UniFi controller to configure and control the access points which can be installed locally or in the cloud – allowing you to manage the access points no matter where they are located.

To automate the install process, I created a simple script to deploy the Ubiquiti UniFi Controller in the cloud on a Ubuntu server, and have also tested the script on three popular VPS providers: Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean – all three worked perfectly!

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How to add Realtek R8168 to ESXi 5.5 Update 2 ISO

Realtek

Over the past weekend I was working on a whitebox ESXi host and wanted to upgrade it to ESXi 5.5 Update 2 from an older version of ESXi 5.1 using a realtek R8168 network card. While I could have performed an in place upgrade, such as via command line, a clean install was preferred. However, VMware has removed a number of NIC drivers from ESXi 5.x and trying to install with the base ESXi image would result in a “No Network Adapters” error during install.

In order to do a clean install you have to re-add the Realtek R8168 NIC drivers back into the ESXi 5.5 image, otherwise a NIC will not be found and thus ESXi will not install. These are the steps to easily re-add the Realtek R8168 drivers into ESXi 5.5 ISO by making a custom ESXi 5.5 image.

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How to use Site Recovery Manager DR IP Customizer

  • VMware
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As one of the tasks given to me include protecting critical virtual machines via Site Recovery Manager (SRM) I ran into an environment that needed to be protected and have static IP’s assigned to them. The environment consists of about 15 VM’s, all of the VM’s each have 5 NIC’s with two of the VM’s having 9 NIC’s – that’s a lot of NIC’s to manually configure on both the Protected and Recovery side in SRM.

Looking through the SRM Documentation I was able to see that VMware has graced us with a wonderful tool to greatly speed up this process, dr-ip-customizer.exe!

How to use VMware DR-IP-Customizer

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