Personal website of Steven Peck. Focusing on Microsoft technologies (most notably PowerShell), and other random bits I think to write.

reviewing text log entries

We use TDP for Exchange for our backup program. It's an interesting program and I will save my opinion of it for another time, but one of the things we've learned to do it to check the last 20 lines of the log file on each Exchange server daily for success/failure/issue of the backups. This process will work for checking multiple text files across several servers assuming the files are located in the same path.

I figured that the Get-Content cmdlet was the starting point I was looking for. Sure enough it got the log.

Get-Content "\\server001\c$\Program Files\Tivoli\TSM\TDPExchange\excsch.log

Big log, too much information.


useful utility - scanner

A friend asked me about this utility again so I thought I would mention it here. This will help him to more easily find later and maybe help some others as well. I have used this utility for years now and it is the only one that I know of that does this in a single file executable that requires no installation.

Working in a server environment, there are times when the issue at hand is a lack of free space. Oft times, where that space is being taken up is not easily identifiable which makes it a pain to troubleshoot rapidly. When that happens, I have found this little utility called Scanner to be immensely useful in identifying probable sources of these space vampires.

From the description

This tool uses a unique concentric pie chart to display the usage of your hard disk or other media. The chart shows all major files and folders from all directory levels at once.

The last version was updated in 2006. It is a single file executable with no install needed (it's not the fastest but that's OK) and it works on mapped network drives. It most beneficial use is in finding the huge files buried deep in obscure directories.

The the most memorable use I found for it was on an Exchange 5.5 server that was rapidly running out of drive space on the database drive (a very very bad thing). Using this scanner utility we were able to find that the Trend anti-virus definition files were not clearing themselves out properly and were consuming over 3.5 GB worth of disk space. Another example was a drive alert on the C: drive of a server that multiple people had recently logged into. It turned out that someone had saved the service pack files to their desktop (don't do that) and as it was the default desktop, every time someone logged in it was getting copied to that new desktop. Service pack 350 MB, 6 people log in = 2.1 GB of used space in a short period of time.

I hope others will find the utility as useful as I have.


Winning converts to PowerShell through VMWare

We recently upgraded to VMware 3.5. One of the reasons was Update Manager and it's ability to automate vmotion and patching. This was really cool. Turns out, there is a 'gotcha'. You can't automatically use update manager to vmotion a system that has the CD Rom drive connected. My co-worker discovered this on a update of a test environment and discussed this with support, their answer was to check all the systems. As I was going to be helping do this on a Saturday evening, late, I didn't like this answer so much on checking a hundred guest systems manually.


Setting up a PowerShell environment

Having really gotten excited about PowerShell, I have been getting more friends and co-workers to like and use it. So this post is links to downloads and instructions for setting up PowerShell and some of the tools I use so I don't have to repeat myself so much. I freely admit that I am still learning but this will at least get your environment setup quickly (and since we manage VMware servers where I work, links for them are provided).


Getting user display names

UPDATED: 05Jun2008
There I was with a list of user login id's and a need to turn them into Display Names. Hmmm..... get-qaduser seemed a likely choice.


Drupalcon travel

While chatting in IRC the other night, I found that Adam Light and I will be on the same flight through Chicago on our way to Drupalcon. So, if anyone else is scheduled for United 534 leaving Chicago at 1:10pm leave a comment. Adam and I plan to share a cab to the hotel as they are reasonably close and Public transport in a city new to me on a Sunday night after being up 14-16 hours just doesn't seem to hold an appeal for me. I plan on wearing my BADCAMP07 Drupal shirt so should be easy to spot.

On the downside, it appears that ChipIn has been having issues for the past 16 hours and timing out when people try and donate :(. It does seem to be working now so if you are still interested in helping out my travel fund I'd appreciate it.

Overall this schedule does work nicely. My in-laws are coming up to keep my wife company while I am gone (I suspect they are here to visit with the grand kids).

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