Contents tagged with Network

  • Fixing VPN and IPSec pass-through problems with Belkin N1 Vision router

    Tags: Network, Hardware

    Belkin N1 Vision A couple of weeks ago I bought the Belkin N1 Vision router and was really impressed with the design, usability and performance of it. This was until I tried to connect to my work using a Cisco VPN - it just did not work!

    The specifications for the router states that it has VPN support; IPSec pass-through and PPTP. On other routers I have seen methods to enable/disable IPSec pass-through in the router configuration, but I could not locate it in the N1 setup utility. After some googling I found out that this is always enabled on the N1 Vision, duh - guess not!

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    So I finally submitted a support case to Belkin support (twice - one in the US and one in Scandinavia/Sweden). Quite quickly I received response  on both cases and after a few checks on firmware version, IP number series etc the Swedish support gave me access to a pre-release firmware. I uploaded it to the router and within a few minutes the VPN access worked perfectly.

    So if you have this problem contact Belkin support and ask for the pre-release firmware (F5D8232-4_WW_1.00.13, the latest official is F5D8232-4_WW_1.00.11), or contact me.

  • Unboxing of Belkin N1 Vision wireless router

    Tags: Network, Hardware

    I am really keen on gadgets and devices and have for some time had troubles with my current wireless routers so today I acquired a brand new Belkin N1 Vision wireless router. The reason for choosing this one was many but one of the most important ones was the WAF, Wife Acceptance Factor. Since it is placed central in our home the router must be good looking and that is exactly was Belkin N1 Vision is.

    I thought I should share the unboxing of this sweet device. The N1 Vision is not just a high-end wireless router it comes in a nice package and has the most compelling design of a wireless router I've ever seen.

    belkin1 belkin2 belkin3

    Wrapped and sealed in a nice package and when you open it you feel and see that Belkin has put a lot of effort into making this a high-end product.

     belkin4 

    Everything is nicely packaged. The Ethernet cable and AC adapter comes in small boxes, with numbers corresponding to the setup steps, more about that later.

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    The router itself has the standard plastic foil for protection and when you peel it off you can see how shiny it is (the wife can nearly use it as a mirror, WAF++...). The back of the router is simple, and you can see the numbers here relating to the setup.

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    The box contains the router, an Ethernet cable (for setup), an AC adapter, a thin setup manual, a warranty and a CD-ROM with the manuals.

    The setup of the router is really easy, and the instructions are made for non-technical installers. Everything is numbered and color coded, I could trust my wife with installing this one (WAF++). When everything is plugged in you just direct your browser to http://routersetup/. First time I've seen this, you normally enter an IP-address to configure the router. The setup is done through a wizard (you can do it manually also, which I of course did in the end) and the display of the N1 follows the setup. I was up and running within no time. Everything is done through the web interface - you can even configure it to update itself (not seen that either on a router before).

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    If you have a router at home you sure would like it look like this.

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    Just take a look at the N1 and compare it to the last three ones I have used - no competition!

    The display of the N1 Vision is the most notable feature and it's fun to have. Yes, mostly fun, I guess I won't be running down to the router all the time checking how much I have downloaded etc. I will use it as a clock in the hallway! I guess the display will come handy when something messes up.

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    Through the display and the buttons on the router you can do some basic settings such as enable Guest mode and

    The technical specifications are impressive and this piece of electronics will for sure stay for a long time in our home. It even has lifetime warranty. So if you are ready spend three or four times more bucks on a router that looks this nice you should head over to the nearest electronics store...

  • Planning Capacity for SharePoint and Exchange

    Tags: Business, SharePoint, SQL Server, Windows Server 2003, Network

    SCCP If you are about to plan capacity for your Microsoft SharePoint 2007 topology you can get great assistance from the Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner 2007 and the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Model.

    What is Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner 2007?

    The Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner (SCCP) 2007 is a pre-deployment capacity planning tool for Microsoft Server products when creating distributed application deployments.

    The SCCP allows you to create a model of your hardware, network and applications/servers using a Model Editor. The model can then be run through a simulator which warns you of eventual bottlenecks and allows you to analyze all kinds of different data.

    SCCP also contains a hardware editor (CPU and hard disk configurations) so you can customize your model and adapt it to your existing hardware or hardware that you intend to use.

    The SCCP can be loaded with different Capacity Models and wizards, which helps you to create your topology.

    Create a model...

    Some Screenshots

    The Model Editor

    The image above shows a SharePoint intranet site with three branch offices and the image below shows how the topology looks like when you zoom in to the Intranet Site.

    Intranet Site topology

    Using this Model editor you can change everything from the networks used to the number of users to the roles of the servers and then run a simulation to identify your bottlenecks.

    Bottlneck analysis 

    This is how the hardware editor looks like and you can see how detailed you can configure the CPUs.

    The Hardware Editor

    Capacity Models

    There are only one Capacity Model out of the box; Exchange Server 2007.

    The SharePoint models can be downloaded here and should appear soon on the TechNet System Center Pack Catalog and an Operations Manager model is in beta and should be shipped before summer.

    Summary

    This is a great tool for IT-professionals as well as architects and developers to identify possible problems before start wiring and plugging in. I can really recommend SCCP; especially when making proposals to clients, so you can test the recommended setup. I have been running the beta and RC for a while and are very satisfied with it.

    The tool can of course not replace good knowledge of the products and hardware and should be used with caution.

    The only drawback I found is that it should be possible to combine your models. For example making a content deployment (with staging, authoring and publishing sites) scenario with MOSS 2007 is not possible, you have to make several models and then make your own analysis

    Where can I get this?

    SCCP can be downloaded from the Microsoft Downloads site (4.7 Mb) as of today and the SharePoint models here (3.2 Mb).

  • McAfee Security Center installation sucks

    Tags: Software, Upset posts, Network

    Here goes a post, in which I am really upset!

    One of our customers has implemented a new VPN solution that requires us to have McAfee or Symantecs anti-virus programs. I have been using Grisoft AVG for a long time and are very satisified with that one, but they don't accept it so I had to change. If you have not tried AVG out, then do it, it's free for personal use.

    Since I live in Sweden I wen't to the swedish McAfee site, signed up for the software and payed with my credit card, good rebates and everyting was fine. Then I logged in to my McAfee account and clicked on the link to start the installation.

    First annoyance: no option for a separate download only a direct in-browser installation was available.

    Second annoyance: I'm using Internet Explorer 7 and the menu appeared to far away from the link that it came out of focus when trying to click it so it disappeared. Solution: use the tab key and enter key.

    After a few blocked pop-ups and ActiveX control warnings it started downloading.

    Third annoyance: to many ActiveX controls were involved!

    The download started out fine; downloading virus signatures, program and setup script. Then it asked me to save a shortcut on the desktop to be able to continue installation after a reboot, I clicked yes. Then an actual program started and the installation continued. Bang - a dialog appeared stating that the installation cannot continue without reason why. The recommendation was to reboot and try again.

    I rebooted and looked for the shortcut on the desktop to continue, no shortcut but there were a lot of files remaining in the Program Files folder.

    Fourth annoyance: should not a failed installation remove all of the remains?

    I uninstalled my previous AV software and made sure all applications was shut down and redid the procedure again - same error.

    I booted into safe mode redid the procedure once again - same error.

    Okey, let's try Firefox: "please upgrade your internet browser" with a link to the Microsoft Internet Explorer site.

    Fifth annoyance: not supporting Firefox!

    By now I am furious, I have to get connected to my client since they have an urgent support incident! I took a walk around the office to calm down and went back to my computer.

    I went to the US McAfee site and logged into my account and there I finally found a normal download link in which I could download a small program that did the installation and after a while (while writing this post and rebooting once) I was up and running!

    But, yes a but, the ActiveShield features was not installed!

    Searched through the McAfee support database with no luck and finally came to the McAfee Virtual Technician (another ActiveX control) that scans your machine for problems with the McAfee software. It found some problems and fixed them. Now I could see a menu with the Virus Scan options but all of them led to a dialog stating that The feature is not install, please reinstall!

    This led med to uninstall McAfee Security Center. Control Panel -> Add Remove Programs! After uninstalling some of the components and restarting again (not everything could be removed at once) I tried to uninstall the last bits, the Security Center, it stated Legacy programs must be removed first. What the heck!

    After some fiddling I managed to find a folder under Program Files called McAffee.com that I removed and then I was able to remove the last bits and of course reboot once more.

    Sixth annoynace: Uninstall programs should be able to uninstall and requiring at the most one reboot and should not include any manual removal not mentioned anywhere!!

    So I downloaded it once more and proceded with the installation. This time it went fine! Phew...

    This costed me almost a whole day to figure out, to bad that our client won't be compensated by McAfee nor me for the lousy ActiveX based installation program used on the Swedish site. I feel sorry for all people trying to install an Anti-Virus program and are not that experienced with computers...

  • IPSEC Services could not be started

    Tags: Windows XP, Network

    I ran into some troubles with the IPSec Services on my Windows XP SP2 machine today. This service was needed by a VPN application that I installed to connect to one of our customers. But during the last re-install of my machine, I set this service to manual startup, and now when I tried to start it It could not start. I recieved the following error message when trying to start it:

    Error message 10048: Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted.  

    The Event Viewer displayed the following:

    Event Type: ErrorEvent Source: Service Control ManagerEvent Category: NoneEvent ID: 7023Date: 2006-09-11Time: 10:08:10User: N/AComputer: LAPTOPWWDescription:The IPSEC Services service terminated with the following error: Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted.

    To find out which application that used the ports that the IPSEC Services needed I started up a command prompt and used netstat, as below, to find out the PID of the process. This command below will display all the active UDP connections and the PID (-o). The findstr function searches the output from the netstat and shows the lines containing the text "500" - which is the UDP port the IKE uses.

    c:\> netstat -p UDP -n -a -o | findstr 500UDP 0.0.0.0:500 *:* 316UDP 0.0.0.0:4500 *:* 316

    Using the Task Manager I found out that PID 316 was used by the Cisco VPN Service and I shut it down and then IPSEC services started fine!

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About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is a Director and SharePoint Architect working at Connecta AB. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for four consecutive years.

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