propeller

Thursday, 5 December 2013

MikroTik VS Cisco - Cisco’s Domination is about to end.



MikroTik VS Cisco - Can Routerboard replace Cisco routers?

MikroTik’s RouterOS are shipped with all Routerboard routers. The router software is featureful and easy to configure. And much cheaper than a Cisco router. But is the Routerboard router good enough to replace the Cisco router? The short answer is “yes, Routerboard can replace Cisco routers in some places”.
There are two aspects we have to dig into before we can decide.
  1. Do we have the features that we need?
  2. Is the performance equal or better?
Lets dig into the features first.

Cisco vs RouterOS: features

The Cisco routers are shipped with lots of features. Perhaps way to many, but what do we need? Here is a list of features that are on both the Cisco routers and on RouterOS. Features that are commonly used.
FeatureComment
IPv4 and IPv6 routingBoth protocols are supported.
NATNAT is supported when routing on IPv4.
IPv4 and IPv6 firewallsAre supported.
DHCP ServerCan be a DHCP Server.
DHCP ClientCan be a DHCP client on the network.
Routing protocolsRIP, OSPF and BGP are supported on both IPv4 and IPv6.
Ethernet portsBoth fast ethernet and gigabit ports are supported.
Internal switchPorts can be switched if the hardware permits it.
802.1QVLAN tagging on ethernet ports.
Separate routing instancesYou can isolate ports into separate routing instances.
HAVRRP is supported so you can make HA solutions.
VPNPPTP, IPSec, GRE are supported VPN protocols.
AuthenticationCan authenticate using the RADIUS protocol.
Application helpersFTP, h.323 and SIP are supported.
QoSSupports many types of queues, tagging and DSCP marking of packets.
As you can see the RouterOS has lots of features and can replace Cisco routers in many uses.

Performance

Can RouterOS outperform Cisco routers? The short answer is that it depends.
If you need to scale up your router you will see that a software-only solution like RouterOS cannot outperform Cisco routers with hardware-based performance.
But often you don’t need to scale up. Let’s compare two routers.
ParameterCisco 2911RB751G-2HnD
Num Gigabit ports3 ports5 ports
WirelessNo2.4GHz bg/n (can be both client and AP)
Routing performance25Mb/sec25Mb/sec
Firewall includedNeed to buy a feature set to implement firewall.Included.
Serial portYesNo
USB port (for modem)UnsureYes
Ports can be switchedNo, need to insert a switch into the router.Yes, ports can be configured as a routed or a switched port.
Software can be upgradedYes, with a support contract.Yes, one major release are free of charge from MikroTik.
PriceAbout $900 with the security feature set.$79.95
As the table above clearly shows the Routerboard can compete with Cisco routers in many places. And it can compete with other vendors as well.

Some Networking Officials personal view's :-

Mark my words !

MIKROTIK is the Future & Cisco’s Domination is about to end. 
For sure CISCO still holds the majority of shares in routers world, but it will going to change very soon  . . .
CISCO is best, but at higher price. Cisco have edge dueto reliable OS and Hardware. 
Mikrotik is good for multi purpose in a very cheap price as compared to CISCO and offer more.  So very cost effective solution.
Its all about personnel preference, choice, budget.
But Even if i have high budgeting, I will prefer Mikrotik :) , buts that’s my personnel choice. and you are not bound to agree with it :D 
Syed M Jahanzaib (Pakistan)

Technorati Tags: RouterOS,RouterBoard,MikroTik,Cisco vs mikrotik


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Install Multiple OS on same pc

1- Download virtual pc from Microsoft web. click here


2- Install the program. Note: You must be running Windows XP or higher. However, the program still may possibly run on older systems.

3- Once you start the program, it should ask you to make a virtual machine. If not, click the "New..." button.

4-Click the Create A Virtual Machine Button and click next.

5-Type a name for the machine (for example, the operating system you are going to install). Click next.

Increase your website traffic- Optimize your website for search engine use


Only 5 Steps For Effective SEO !

1- Title Tags

The first is your page title. It’s very important to put keywords in your page title; specifically try to get important keywords first and try to limit the overall length of your page title. Well-constructed title tags contain the main keyword for the page. It should contain less than 65 characters with no stop words such as: a, if, the, then, and, an, to, etc. Your title tag should also be limited to the use of alphanumeric characters, hyphens, and commas.



2- Header Tags

Next, it’s important to look at the header tags on your site-h1, h2, h3, h4 and so on. H1 is the most significant. Make sure you have the most important keyword labeled as h1 tag. This will help you with ranking for your site, especially if someone is searching for that particular key word or phrase.


3- Page Content

Next up is the content. You definitely want to put your keywords in the contents somewhere, but the object, though, is to make sure the content is very well written for visitors to your website. You want to insert the keywords for that page only where it makes sense. Page content should have between 300 and 700 words of descriptive content that contains the keywords specified in the keywords meta tag for the page. You also want to try to optimize your URLs. Make sure to include important keywords in the URL.


4- Meta Tags

Next are the Meta keywords and Meta description. These are pieces of code behind the scene. The code should look something like this: It should be placed directly under the title tag code

<title> Your site tittle</tittle>
<meta name="description" content="your site description"
<meta name="keywords" content="keyword1, keyword2, keyword3"
Your keywords meta tag should contain between 5-10 keywords or keyword phrases that are also found in page content. Also one more important meta tag is description tag that contains information about the page's content so you can persuade search engine users to visit your web site. It should have 15-160 characters, remember not to stuffed with keywords.


5- Navigation

Next is to have proper navigation. Each page of your site should contain links to every other page so search engine spiders can find every page. This is an important step for the proper indexing and page ranking for your site.

Enjoy !!
and keep sharing :)

Regards : Hassam Sohail Ahmed



Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mikrotik PPPoE Server with User Manager (Billing System)


This guide will illustrate howto create PPPoE server in MIKROTIK RouterOS (I used v 5.in this example). This article will also demonstrate on how you can create your automated pre-paid billing solution for users using Mikrotik’s User Manager. This basic RADIUS Server a.k.a USERMAN can be used for any ppp service like VPN/PPPoE/HOTSPOT.
My Note:
I must state that the USERMAN solution is not a reliable one, You cant rely on it on a large/production server. But after all its free package come along with the mikrotik, so dont expect much from it, IMO its suitable for SOHO. If you want real features related to ISP , Better to USe 3rd Party Radius server like DMASOFTLAB which is feature rich radius built to perform :)
It will also show you how to create a 30 days limit account with 256Kbps speed limit.
We will divide this article in two section.
1) PPPoE Server (Basic Settings)
2) User Manager Billing Setup
In this example Mikrotik have two lan cards.
1) ether1 = ip 10.0.0.1 / LAN Interface hosting PPPoE Server
2) ether2 = ip 192.168.0.1 / WAN interface connected with DSL / Fiber etc.
(Configure interfaces accordingly to your environment, in the images ip series is 192.168.2.1 , don’t get confuse with it. you can adjust it accordingly)

PPPOE SERVER SETUP :-

First we will add PPPoE Server using CLI (command interface)
/interface pppoe-server server
 add authentication=pap default-profile=default disabled=no interface=ether1 keepalive-timeout=10 max-mru=1480 max-mtu=1480 max-sessions=1 mrru=disabled one-session-per-host=yes service-name=MacNet
Now we will add IP Pool for pppoe-users (ips that user will get after successful dialing)
/ip pool add name=pppoe-users-pool ranges=172.16.0.1-172.16.0.254
Now we will add new profile for pppoe users.
/ppp profile add change-tcp-mss=default dns-server=10.0.0.1 local-address=10.0.0.1 name=pppoe-profile only-one=default remote-address=pppoe-users-pool use-compression=default use-encryption=default use-vj-compression=default
Add following rule to allow internet.
/ip firewall nat add action=masquerade chain=srcnat disabled=no src-address=172.16.0.1-172.16.0.255
 above masquerading rule, I have added src-address to 172.16.0.x ip pool, so that ONLY pppoe connected users internet will work)
Add DNS server so users can resolve internet hostnames.
/ip dns set allow-remote-requests=yes cache-max-ttl=1w cache-size=5000KiB max-udp-packet-size=512 servers=221.132.112.8
Now finally we will add local user to test the pppoe server status.
/ppp secret add caller-id="" disabled=no limit-bytes-in=0 limit-bytes-out=0 name=mac password=1234 profile=pppoe-profile routes="" service=pppoe
Now at user end, create a pppoe dialer and connect with the id = mac and password = 1234
If all goes fine, you will start surfing the internet smoothly  :)

MIKROTIK USER MANAGER WITH BILLING SETUP:-


We can setup a RADIUS server in mikrotik using its built-in radius server called User Manager. UM is a nice web-based billing manager package to compliment hotspot / pppoe / vpn authentication solution in RouterOS. It is RADIUS based component so it can provide centralised management to single or multiple RouterOS based NASes.
Now we will first configure user manager and then later we will integrate it with our pppoe server so all authentication will be done viaUM.
Open your web browser and point it to http://10.0.0.1/userman
You will see user manager authentication screen, Now enter admin id and password and you will be forwarded to main UM screen like this.
Note: If default admin password doesn’t work out, change the password by following command
1
2
3
/tool user-manager customer set admin password=PASSWORD
**OR**
/tool user-manager customer print
um-main-screen (zaib)
Now click on Profiles, on your right window, click on + sign (beside profile)
For test purposes, we will add one profile with 256Kbps speed limit, and 30 days UP Time limit. You can add many packages as per your requirements later, once you understand how thins works here)
Now we want to add 256Kb / 30days Limit Package, Name it 256k.
* in ‘Name for users‘ type ‘256k’
* in ‘Validity‘, type ’4w2d’ (for 1 month validity)
* in ‘Starts‘ , select ‘At First Logon‘ (User time will start when users first login)
* in ‘Price’ enter the amount at which you sell this package to users. e.g  400
* in ‘Shared Users’ select ’1′ (so single ID cannot be used from multiple computers simultaneously)
Now Save Profile. (See attached Screenshot)
um-add-profile-zaib
Now We want to add Bandwidth Limitation to this profile, goto ‘Limitations’ and click on ADD ,
A new window will appear
* in ‘Name’ type ’256k’
* in ‘Rate Limit’ in RX ’128k’ in TX ’256k’ ,
Now click on SAVE(See attached Screenshot)
um-rate-limit-zaib
Now go back to Profiles Section. Here you will see your created 256k
Profile, clien on ‘Add New Limitation’ and and click on ’256k Limit’ and
click ‘ADD’ button. (See attached Screenshot)
um-add-new-limitation
Done, your first package with 256k Limit and 30 Days uptime limit is created. Now we will Add new user and tag them with this new 256k profile.
Goto Users, and click on ADD / One (to add single user).
* in ‘Username’ type ‘mac’
* in ‘Password’ type ’1234′
* in ‘Constraints’ check on ‘Called ID’ Bindon first use. This options is good if you want to bind user id with first detected MAC address, if you don’t want to bind , leave this option as it is.
* in ‘Assign profile’ select ’256k’ profile and click on ADD button to finish.Now that we have finished our basic work with UM, its time to integrate it with Mikrotik, so that all Mikrotik PPPoE authentication will be done via UM.
We have to modify some settings, both on UM and Mikrotik as well.
In UM we have to add Mikrotik Router.
* In UM, Goto Routers , ADD, NEW, name it Mikrotik,
* in ‘IP Address’ tpye you server IP address, 10.0.0.1
* in ‘Shared Secret’ type ’1234′
Now click ADD to finish. (See attached Screenshot) (in the image ip address is showing 192.168.2.1, dont get confused, use your own ip address class here)
UM-RADIUS-add

UM section is complete , now moving on to MIKROTIK to complete the RADIUS setup.

ADDING RADIUS SUPPORT IN MIKROTIK


Open Mikrotik Terminal, and type
/ppp aaa set accounting=yes interim-update=0s use-radius=yes
/radius add accounting-backup=no accounting-port=1813 address=10.0.0.1 authentication-port=1812 called-id="" disabled=no domain="" realm="" secret=1234 service=ppp,hotspot timeout=300ms
/radius incoming set accept=yes port=3799
Make sure you change the ip address as per your local configuration.

:D COMPLETED D:

Now from client end, connect with Users id ‘mac’ and password ’1234′ that you created via UM. It should connect fine. After first connect, this ID will expires in 30 days and bandwidth limit will be 256kb download and 128kb upload.

To view status/change password etc, from client side, point the browser to
OR
[depend on ip series.
If you need any assistance, Do let me know.
Regard’s Hassam Sohail

Technical Interview Questions Part 2 (MCITP)


  • What are the FSMO roles? Who has them by default? What happens when each one fails?
FSMO stands for the Flexible single Master Operation
It has 5 Roles: -
  • Schema Master:
The schema master domain controller controls all updates and modifications to the schema. Once the Schema update is complete, it is replicated from the schema master to all other DCs in the directory. To update the schema of a forest, you must have access to the schema master. There can be only one schema master in the whole forest.
  • Domain naming master:
The domain naming master domain controller controls the addition or removal of domains in the forest. This DC is the only one that can add or remove a domain from the directory. It can also add or remove cross references to domains in external directories. There can be only one domain naming master in the whole forest.
  • Infrastructure Master:
When an object in one domain is referenced by another object in another domain, it represents the reference by the GUID, the SID (for references to security principals), and the DN of the object being referenced. The infrastructure FSMO role holder is the DC responsible for updating an object’s SID and distinguished name in a cross-domain object reference. At any one time, there can be only one domain controller acting as the infrastructure master in each domain.
Note: The Infrastructure Master (IM) role should be held by a domain controller that is not a Global Catalog server (GC). If the Infrastructure Master runs on a Global Catalog server it will stop updating object information because it does not contain any references to objects that it does not hold. This is because a Global Catalog server holds a partial replica of every object in the forest. As a result, cross-domain object references in that domain will not be updated and a warning to that effect will be logged on that DC’s event log. If all the domain controllers in a domain also host the global catalog, all the domain controllers have the current data, and it is not important which domain controller holds the infrastructure master role.
  • Relative ID (RID) Master:
The RID master is responsible for processing RID pool requests from all domain controllers in a particular domain. When a DC creates a security principal object such as a user or group, it attaches a unique Security ID (SID) to the object. This SID consists of a domain SID (the same for all SIDs created in a domain), and a relative ID (RID) that is unique for each security principal SID created in a domain. Each DC in a domain is allocated a pool of RIDs that it is allowed to assign to the security principals it creates. When a DC’s allocated RID pool falls below a threshold, that DC issues a request for additional RIDs to the domain’s RID master. The domain RID master responds to the request by retrieving RIDs from the domain’s unallocated RID pool and assigns them to the pool of the requesting DC. At any one time, there can be only one domain controller acting as the RID master in the domain.
  • PDC Emulator:
The PDC emulator is necessary to synchronize time in an enterprise. Windows 2000/2003 includes the W32Time (Windows Time) time service that is required by the Kerberos authentication protocol. All Windows 2000/2003-based computers within an enterprise use a common time. The purpose of the time service is to ensure that the Windows Time service uses a hierarchical relationship that controls authority and does not permit loops to ensure appropriate common time usage.
The PDC emulator of a domain is authoritative for the domain. The PDC emulator at the root of the forest becomes authoritative for the enterprise, and should be configured to gather the time from an external source. All PDC FSMO role holders follow the hierarchy of domains in the selection of their in-bound time partner.
:: In a Windows 2000/2003 domain, the PDC emulator role holder retains the following functions:
:: Password changes performed by other DCs in the domain are replicated preferentially to the PDC emulator.
Authentication failures that occur at a given DC in a domain because of an incorrect password are forwarded to the PDC emulator before a bad password failure message is reported to the user.
Account lockout is processed on the PDC emulator.
Editing or creation of Group Policy Objects (GPO) is always done from the GPO copy found in the PDC Emulator’s SYSVOL share, unless configured not to do so by the administrator.
The PDC emulator performs all of the functionality that a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server-based PDC or earlier PDC performs for Windows NT 4.0-based or earlier clients.
This part of the PDC emulator role becomes unnecessary when all workstations, member servers, and domain controllers that are running Windows NT 4.0 or earlier are all upgraded to Windows 2000/2003. The PDC emulator still performs the other functions as described in a Windows 2000/2003 environment.
  • What FSMO placement considerations do you know of?
Windows 2000/2003 Active Directory domains utilize a Single Operation Master method called FSMO (Flexible Single Master Operation), as described in Understanding FSMO Roles in Active Directory.
In most cases an administrator can keep the FSMO role holders (all 5 of them) in the same spot (or actually, on the same DC) as has been configured by the Active Directory installation process. However, there are scenarios where an administrator would want to move one or more of the FSMO roles from the default holder DC to a different DC.
Windows Server 2003 Active Directory is a bit different than the Windows 2000 version when dealing with FSMO placement. In this article I will only deal with Windows Server 2003 Active Directory, but you should bear in mind that most considerations are also true when planning Windows 2000 AD FSMO roles
  • What’s the difference between transferring a FSMO role and seizing one? Which one should you NOT seize? Why?
Certain domain and enterprise-wide operations that are not good for multi-master updates are performed by a single domain controller in an Active Directory domain or forest. The domain controllers that are assigned to perform these unique operations are called operations masters or FSMO role holders.
The following list describes the 5 unique FSMO roles in an Active Directory forest and the dependent operations that they perform:
  • Schema master – The Schema master role is forest-wide and there is one for each forest. This role is required to extend the schema of an Active Directory forest or to run the adprep /domainprep command.
  • Domain naming master – The Domain naming master role is forest-wide and there is one for each forest. This role is required to add or remove domains or application partitions to or from a forest.
  • RID master – The RID master role is domain-wide and there is one for each domain. This role is required to allocate the RID pool so that new or existing domain controllers can create user accounts, computer accounts or security groups.
  • PDC emulator – The PDC emulator role is domain-wide and there is one for each domain. This role is required for the domain controller that sends database updates to Windows NT backup domain controllers. The domain controller that owns this role is also targeted by certain administration tools and updates to user account and computer account passwords.
  • Infrastructure master – The Infrastructure master role is domain-wide and there is one for each domain. This role is required for domain controllers to run the adprep /forestprep command successfully and to update SID attributes and distinguished name attributes for objects that are referenced across domains.
The Active Directory Installation Wizard (Dcpromo.exe) assigns all 5 FSMO roles to the first domain controller in the forest root domain. The first domain controller in each new child or tree domain is assigned the three domain-wide roles. Domain controllers continue to own FSMO roles until they are reassigned by using one of the following methods:
  • An administrator reassigns the role by using a GUI administrative tool.
  • An administrator reassigns the role by using the ntdsutil /roles command.
  • An administrator gracefully demotes a role-holding domain controller by using the Active Directory Installation Wizard. This wizard reassigns any locally-held roles to an existing domain controller in the forest. Demotions that are performed by using thedcpromo /forceremoval command leave FSMO roles in an invalid state until they are reassigned by an administrator.
We recommend that you transfer FSMO roles in the following scenarios:
  • The current role holder is operational and can be accessed on the network by the new FSMO owner.
  • You are gracefully demoting a domain controller that currently owns FSMO roles that you want to assign to a specific domain controller in your Active Directory forest.
  • The domain controller that currently owns FSMO roles is being taken offline for scheduled maintenance and you need specific FSMO roles to be assigned to a “live” domain controller. This may be required to perform operations that connect to the FSMO owner. This would be especially true for the PDC Emulator role but less true for the RID master role, the Domain naming master role and the Schema master roles.
We recommend that you seize FSMO roles in the following scenarios:
  • The current role holder is experiencing an operational error that prevents an FSMO-dependent operation from completing successfully and that role cannot be transferred.
  • A domain controller that owns an FSMO role is force-demoted by using the dcpromo /forceremoval command.
  • The operating system on the computer that originally owned a specific role no longer exists or has been reinstalled.
As replication occurs, non-FSMO domain controllers in the domain or forest gain full knowledge of changes that are made by FSMO-holding domain controllers. If you must transfer a role, the best candidate domain controller is one that is in the appropriate domain that last inbound-replicated, or recently inbound-replicated a writable copy of the “FSMO partition” from the existing role holder. For example, the Schema master role-holder has a distinguished name path of CN=schema,CN=configuration,dc=<forest root domain>, and this mean that roles reside in and are replicated as part of the CN=schema partition. If the domain controller that holds the Schema master role experiences a hardware or software failure, a good candidate role-holder would be a domain controller in the root domain and in the same Active Directory site as the current owner. Domain controllers in the same Active Directory site perform inbound replication every 5 minutes or 15 seconds.
A domain controller whose FSMO roles have been seized should not be permitted to communicate with existing domain controllers in the forest. In this scenario, you should either format the hard disk and reinstall the operating system on such domain controllers or forcibly demote such domain controllers on a private network and then remove their metadata on a surviving domain controller in the forest by using the ntdsutil /metadata cleanup command. The risk of introducing a former FSMO role holder whose role has been seized into the forest is that the original role holder may continue to operate as before until it inbound-replicates knowledge of the role seizure. Known risks of two domain controllers owning the same FSMO roles include creating security principals that have overlapping RID pools, and other problems.

Transfer FSMO roles

To transfer the FSMO roles by using the Ntdsutil utility, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to a Windows 2000 Server-based or Windows Server 2003-based member computer or domain controller that is located in the forest where FSMO roles are being transferred. We recommend that you log on to the domain controller that you are assigning FSMO roles to. The logged-on user should be a member of the Enterprise Administrators group to transfer Schema master or Domain naming master roles, or a member of the Domain Administrators group of the domain where the PDC emulator, RID master and the Infrastructure master roles are being transferred.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type ntdsutil in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Type roles, and then press ENTER.Note To see a list of available commands at any one of the prompts in the Ntdsutil utility, type ?, and then press ENTER.
  4. Type connections, and then press ENTER.
  5. Type connect to server servername, and then press ENTER, where servername is the name of the domain controller you want to assign the FSMO role to.
  6. At the server connections prompt, type q, and then press ENTER.
  7. Type transfer role, where role is the role that you want to transfer. For a list of roles that you can transfer, type ? at the fsmo maintenance prompt, and then press ENTER, or see the list of roles at the start of this article. For example, to transfer the RID master role, type transfer rid master. The one exception is for the PDC emulator role, whose syntax is transfer pdc, not transfer pdc emulator.
  8. At the fsmo maintenance prompt, type q, and then press ENTER to gain access to the ntdsutil prompt. Type q, and then press ENTER to quit the Ntdsutil utility.

Seize FSMO roles

To seize the FSMO roles by using the Ntdsutil utility, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to a Windows 2000 Server-based or Windows Server 2003-based member computer or domain controller that is located in the forest where FSMO roles are being seized. We recommend that you log on to the domain controller that you are assigning FSMO roles to. The logged-on user should be a member of the Enterprise Administrators group to transfer schema or domain naming master roles, or a member of the Domain Administrators group of the domain where the PDC emulator, RID master and the Infrastructure master roles are being transferred.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type ntdsutil in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Type roles, and then press ENTER.
  4. Type connections, and then press ENTER.
  5. Type connect to server servername, and then press ENTER, where servername is the name of the domain controller that you want to assign the FSMO role to.
  6. At the server connections prompt, type q, and then press ENTER.
  7. Type seize role, where role is the role that you want to seize. For a list of roles that you can seize, type ? at the fsmo maintenanceprompt, and then press ENTER, or see the list of roles at the start of this article. For example, to seize the RID master role, type seize rid master. The one exception is for the PDC emulator role, whose syntax is seize pdc, not seize pdc emulator.
  8. At the fsmo maintenance prompt, type q, and then press ENTER to gain access to the ntdsutil prompt. Type q, and then press ENTER to quit the Ntdsutil utility.Notes
    • Under typical conditions, all five roles must be assigned to “live” domain controllers in the forest. If a domain controller that owns a FSMO role is taken out of service before its roles are transferred, you must seize all roles to an appropriate and healthy domain controller. We recommend that you only seize all roles when the other domain controller is not returning to the domain. If it is possible, fix the broken domain controller that is assigned the FSMO roles. You should determine which roles are to be on which remaining domain controllers so that all five roles are assigned to a single domain controller. For more information about FSMO role placement, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 223346 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223346/ ) FSMO placement and optimization on Windows 2000 domain controllers
    • If the domain controller that formerly held any FSMO role is not present in the domain and if it has had its roles seized by using the steps in this article, remove it from the Active Directory by following the procedure that is outlined in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article: 216498 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216498/ ) How to remove data in active directory after an unsuccessful domain controller demotion
    • Removing domain controller metadata with the Windows 2000 version or the Windows Server 2003 build 3790 version of thentdsutil /metadata cleanup command does not relocate FSMO roles that are assigned to live domain controllers. The Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) version of the Ntdsutil utility automates this task and removes additional elements of domain controller metadata.
    • Some customers prefer not to restore system state backups of FSMO role-holders in case the role has been reassigned since the backup was made.
    • Do not put the Infrastructure master role on the same domain controller as the global catalog server. If the Infrastructure master runs on a global catalog server it stops updating object information because it does not contain any references to objects that it does not hold. This is because a global catalog server holds a partial replica of every object in the forest.
To test whether a domain controller is also a global catalog server:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Sites and Services.
  2. Double-click Sites in the left pane, and then locate the appropriate site or click Default-first-site-name if no other sites are available.
  3. Open the Servers folder, and then click the domain controller.
  4. In the domain controller’s folder, double-click NTDS Settings.
  5. On the Action menu, click Properties.
  6. On the General tab, view the Global Catalog check box to see if it is selected.
For more information about FSMO roles, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
  • How do you configure a “stand-by operation master” for any of the roles?
  1. Open Active Directory Sites and Services.
  2. Expand the site name in which the standby operations master is located to display the Servers folder.
  3. Expand the Servers folder to see a list of the servers in that site.
  4. Expand the name of the server that you want to be the standby operations master to display its NTDS Settings.
  5. Right-click NTDS Settings, click New, and then click Connection.
  6. In the Find Domain Controllers dialog box, select the name of the current role holder, and then click OK.
  7. In the New Object-Connection dialog box, enter an appropriate name for the Connection object or accept the default name, and click OK.
  • How do you backup AD?
Backing up Active Directory is essential to maintain an Active Directory database. You can back up Active Directory by using the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and command-line tools that the Windows Server 2003 family provides.
You frequently backup the system state data on domain controllers so that you can restore the most current data. By establishing a regular backup schedule, you have a better chance of recovering data when necessary.
To ensure a good backup includes at least the system state data and contents of the system disk, you must be aware of the tombstone lifetime. By default, the tombstone is 60 days. Any backup older than 60 days is not a good backup. Plan to backup at least two domain controllers in each domain, one of at least one backup to enable an authoritative restore of the data when necessary.
System State DataSeveral features in the windows server 2003 family make it easy to backup Active Directory. You can backup Active Directory while the server is online and other network function can continue to function.
System state data on a domain controller includes the following components:
Active Directory system state data does not contain Active Directory unless the server, on which you are backing up the system state data, is a domain controller. Active Directory is present only on domain controllers.
The SYSVOL shared folder: This shared folder contains Group policy templates and logon scripts. The SYSVOL shared folder is present only on domain controllers.
The Registry: This database repository contains information about the computer’s configuration.
System startup files: Windows Server 2003 requires these files during its initial startup phase. They include the boot and system files that are under windows file protection and used by windows to load, configure, and run the operating system.
The COM+ Class Registration database: The Class registration is a database of information about Component Services applications.
The Certificate Services database: This database contains certificates that a server running Windows server 2003 uses to authenticate users. The Certificate Services database is present only if the server is operating as a certificate server.
System state data contains most elements of a system’s configuration, but it may not include all of the information that you require recovering data from a system failure. Therefore, be sure to backup all boot and system volumes, including the System State, when you back up your server.
Restoring Active Directory
In Windows Server 2003 family, you can restore the Active Directory database if it becomes corrupted or is destroyed because of hardware or software failures. You must restore the Active Directory database when objects in Active Directory are changed or deleted.
Active Directory restore can be performed in several ways. Replication synchronizes the latest changes from every other replication partner. Once the replication is finished each partner has an updated version of Active Directory. There is another way to get these latest updates by Backup utility to restore replicated data from a backup copy. For this restore you don’t need to configure again your domain controller or no need to install the operating system from scratch.
Active Directory Restore MethodsYou can use one of the three methods to restore Active Directory from backup media: primary restore, normal (non authoritative) restore, and authoritative restore.
Primary restore: This method rebuilds the first domain controller in a domain when there is no other way to rebuild the domain. Perform a primary restore only when all the domain controllers in the domain are lost, and you want to rebuild the domain from the backup.
Members of Administrators group can perform the primary restore on local computer, or user should have been delegated with this responsibility to perform restore. On a domain controller only Domain Admins can perform this restore.
Normal restore: This method reinstates the Active Directory data to the state before the backup, and then updates the data through the normal replication process. Perform a normal restore for a single domain controller to a previously known good state.
Authoritative restore: You perform this method in tandem with a normal restore. An authoritative restore marks specific data as current and prevents the replication from overwriting that data. The authoritative data is then replicated through the domain.
Perform an authoritative restore individual object in a domain that has multiple domain controllers. When you perform an authoritative restore, you lose all changes to the restore object that occurred after the backup. Ntdsutil is a command line utility to perform an authoritative restore along with windows server 2003 system utilities. The Ntdsutil command-line tool is an executable file that you use to mark Active Directory objects as authoritative so that they receive a higher version recently changed data on other domain controllers does not overwrite system state data during replication.
  • How do you restore AD?

Restoring Active Directory :
In Windows Server 2003 family, you can restore the Active Directory database if it becomes corrupted or is destroyed because of hardware or software failures. You must restore the Active Directory database when objects in Active Directory are changed or deleted.
Active Directory restore can be performed in several ways. Replication synchronizes the latest changes from every other replication partner. Once the replication is finished each partner has an updated version of Active Directory. There is another way to get these latest updates by Backup utility to restore replicated data from a backup copy. For this restore you don’t need to configure again your domain controller or no need to install the operating system from scratch.
Active Directory Restore MethodsYou can use one of the three methods to restore Active Directory from backup media: primary restore, normal (non authoritative) restore, and authoritative restore.
Primary restore: This method rebuilds the first domain controller in a domain when there is no other way to rebuild the domain. Perform a primary restore only when all the domain controllers in the domain are lost, and you want to rebuild the domain from the backup.
Members of Administrators group can perform the primary restore on local computer, or user should have been delegated with this responsibility to perform restore. On a domain controller only Domain Admins can perform this restore.
Normal restore: This method reinstates the Active Directory data to the state before the backup, and then updates the data through the normal replication process. Perform a normal restore for a single domain controller to a previously known good state.
Authoritative restore: You perform this method in tandem with a normal restore. An authoritative restore marks specific data as current and prevents the replication from overwriting that data. The authoritative data is then replicated through the domain.
Perform an authoritative restore individual object in a domain that has multiple domain controllers. When you perform an authoritative restore, you lose all changes to the restore object that occurred after the backup. Ntdsutil is a command line utility to perform an authoritative restore along with windows server 2003 system utilities. The Ntdsutil command-line tool is an executable file that you use to mark Active Directory objects as authoritative so that they receive a higher version recently changed data on other domain controllers does not overwrite system state data during replication.

METHOD:-

A.
You can’t restore Active Directory (AD) to a domain controller (DC) while the Directory Service (DS) is running. To restore AD, perform the following steps.
Reboot the computer.
At the boot menu, select Windows 2000 Server. Don’t press Enter. Instead, press F8 for advanced options. You’ll see the following text. OS Loader V5.0
Windows NT Advanced Options Menu
Please select an option:
Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Enable Boot Logging
Enable VGA Mode
Last Known Good Configuration
Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows NT domain controllers only) 
Debugging Mode
Use | and | to move the highlight to your choice.
Press Enter to choose.
Scroll down, and select Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows NT domain controllers only).
Press Enter.
When you return to the Windows 2000 Server boot menu, press Enter. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see in red text Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows NT domain controllers only).
The computer will boot into a special safe mode and won’t start the DS. Be aware that during this time the machine won’t act as a DC and won’t perform functions such as authentication.
Start NT Backup.
Select the Restore tab.
Select the backup media, and select System State.
Click Start Restore.
Click OK in the confirmation dialog box.
After you restore the backup, reboot the computer and start in normal mode to use the restored information. The computer might hang after the restore completes; Sometimes it takes a 30-minute wait on some machines.
  • How do you change the DS Restore admin password?
When you promote a Windows 2000 Server-based computer to a domain controller, you are prompted to type a Directory Service Restore Mode Administrator password. This password is also used by Recovery Console, and is separate from the Administrator password that is stored in Active Directory after a completed promotion.
The Administrator password that you use when you start Recovery Console or when you press F8 to start Directory Service Restore Mode is stored in the registry-based Security Accounts Manager (SAM) on the local computer. The SAM is located in the\System32\Config folder. The SAM-based account and password are computer specific and they are not replicated to other domain controllers in the domain.
For ease of administration of domain controllers or for additional security measures, you can change the Administrator password for the local SAM. To change the local Administrator password that you use when you start Recovery Console or when you start Directory Service Restore Mode, use the following method.
1. Log on to the computer as the administrator or a user who is a member of the Administrators group. 2. Shut down the domain controller on which you want to change the password. 3. Restart the computer. When the selection menu screen is displayed during restar, press F8 to view advanced startup options. 4. Click the Directory Service Restore Mode option. 5. After you log on, use one of the following methods to change the local Administrator password: • At a command prompt, type the following command:
net user administrator
• Use the Local User and Groups snap-in (Lusrmgr.msc) to change the Administrator password. 6. Shut down and restart the computer. You can now use the Administrator account to log on to Recovery Console or Directory Services Restore Mode using the new password.
  • Why can’t you restore a DC that was backed up 4 months ago?
Because of the tombstone life which is set to only 60 days
  • What are GPOs?
Group Policy gives you administrative control over users and computers in your network. By using Group Policy, you can define the state of a user’s work environment once, and then rely on Windows Server 2003 to continually force the Group Policy settings that you apply across an entire organization or to specific groups of users and computers.
Group Policy Advantages
You can assign group policy in domains, sites and organizational units.
All users and computers get reflected by group policy settings in domain, site and organizational unit.
No one in network has rights to change the settings of Group policy; by default only administrator has full privilege to change, so it is very secure.
Policy settings can be removed and can further rewrite the changes.
Where GPO’s store Group Policy Information
Group Policy objects store their Group Policy information in two locations:
Group Policy Container: The GPC is an Active Directory object that contains GPO status, version information, WMI filter information, and a list of components that have settings in the GPO. Computers can access the GPC to locate Group Policy templates, and domain controller does not have the most recent version of the GPO, replication occurs to obtain the latest version of the GPO.
Group Policy Template: The GPT is a folder hierarchy in the shared SYSVOL folder on a domain controller. When you create GPO, Windows Server 2003 creates the corresponding GPT which contains all Group Policy settings and information, including administrative templates, security, software installation, scripts, and folder redirection settings. Computers connect to the SYSVOL folder to obtain the settings.
The name of the GPT folder is the Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) of the GPO that you created. It is identical to the GUID that Active Directory uses to identify the GPO in the GPC. The path to the GPT on a domain controller is systemroot\SYSVOL\sysvol.
Managing GPOs
To avoid conflicts in replication, consider the selection of domain controller, especially because the GPO data resides in SYSVOL folder and the Active Directory. Active Directory uses two independent replication techniques to replicate GPO data among all domain controllers in the domain. If two administrator’s changes can overwrite those made by other administrator, depends on the replication latency. By default the Group Policy Management console uses the PDC Emulator so that all administrators can work on the same domain controller.
WMI Filter
WMI filters is use to get the current scope of GPOs based on attributes of the user or computer. In this way, you can increase the GPOs filtering capabilities beyond the security group filtering mechanisms that were previously available.
Linking can be done with WMI filter to a GPO. When you apply a GPO to the destination computer, Active Directory evaluates the filter on the destination computer. A WMI filter has few queries that active Directory evaluates in place of WMI repository of the destination computer. If the set of queries is false, Active Directory does not apply the GPO. If set of queries are true, Active Directory applies the GPO. You write the query by using the WMI Query Language (WQL); this language is similar to querying SQL for WMI repository.
Planning a Group Policy Strategy for the Enterprise
When you plan an Active Directory structure, create a plan for GPO inheritance, administration, and deployment that provides the most efficient Group Policy management for your organization.
Also consider how you will implement Group Policy for the organization. Be sure to consider the delegation of authority, separation of administrative duties, central versus decentralized administration, and design flexibility so that your plan will provide for ease of use as well as administration.
Planning GPOs
Create GPOs in way that provides for the simplest and most manageable design — one in which you can use inheritance and multiple links.
Guidelines for Planning GPOs
Apply GPO settings at the highest level: This way, you take advantage of Group Policy inheritance. Determine what common GPO settings for the largest container are starting with the domain and then link the GPO to this container.
Reduce the number of GPOs: You reduce the number by using multiple links instead of creating multiple identical GPOs. Try to link a GPO to the broadest container possible level to avoid creating multiple links of the same GPO at a deeper level.
Create specialized GPOs: Use these GPOs to apply unique settings when necessary. GPOs at a higher level will not apply the settings in these specialized GPOs.
Disable computer or use configuration settings: When you create a GPO to contain settings for only one of the two levels-user and computer-disable the logon and prevents accidental GPO settings from being applied to the other area.
  • What is the order in which GPOs are applied?
Local, Site, Domain, OU
Group Policy settings are processed in the following order:
1:- Local Group Policy object-each computer has exactly one Group Policy object that is stored locally. This processes for both computer and user Group Policy processing.
2:- Site-Any GPOs that have been linked to the site that the computer belongs to are processed next. Processing is in the order that is specified by the administrator, on the Linked Group Policy Objects tab for the site in Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). The GPO with the lowest link order is processed last, and therefore has the highest precedence.
3:- Domain-processing of multiple domain-linked GPOs is in the order specified by the administrator, on the Linked Group Policy Objects tab for the domain in GPMC. The GPO with the lowest link order is processed last, and therefore has the highest precedence.
4:- Organizational units-GPOs that are linked to the organizational unit that is highest in the Active Directory hierarchy are processed first, then GPOs that are linked to its child organizational unit, and so on. Finally, the GPOs that are linked to the organizational unit that contains the user or computer are processed.
At the level of each organizational unit in the Active Directory hierarchy, one, many, or no GPOs can be linked. If several GPOs are linked to an organizational unit, their processing is in the order that is specified by the administrator, on the Linked Group Policy Objects tab for the organizational unit in GPMC. The GPO with the lowest link order is processed last, and therefore has the highest precedence.
This order means that the local GPO is processed first, and GPOs that are linked to the organizational unit of which the computer or user is a direct member are processed last, which overwrites settings in the earlier GPOs if there are conflicts. (If there are no conflicts, then the earlier and later settings are merely aggregated.)
  • Name a few benefits of using GPMC.
Microsoft released the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) years ago, which is an amazing innovation in Group Policy management. The tool provides control over Group Policy in the following manner:
  • Easy administration of all GPOs across the entire Active Directory Forest
  • View of all GPOs in one single list
  • Reporting of GPO settings, security, filters, delegation, etc.
  • Control of GPO inheritance with Block Inheritance, Enforce, and Security Filtering
  • Delegation model
  • Backup and restore of GPOs
  • Migration of GPOs across different domains and forests
With all of these benefits, there are still negatives in using the GPMC alone. Granted, the GPMC is needed and should be used by everyone for what it is ideal for. However, it does fall a bit short when you want to protect the GPOs from the following:
  • Role based delegation of GPO management
  • Being edited in production, potentially causing damage to desktops and servers
  • Forgetting to back up a GPO after it has been modified
  • Change management of each modification to every GPO
  • How can you determine what GPO was and was not applied for a user? Name a few ways to do that.
Simply use the Group Policy Management Console created by MS for that very purpose, allows you to run simulated policies on computers or users to determine what policies are enforced. Link in sources
  • What are administrative templates?
Administrative Templates are a feature of Group Policy, a Microsoft technology for centralised management of machines and users in an Active Directory environment.
Administrative Templates facilitate the management of registry-based policy. An ADM file is used to describe both the user interface presented to the Group Policy administrator and the registry keys that should be updated on the target machines. An ADM file is a text file with a specific syntax which describes both the interface and the registry values which will be changed if the policy is enabled or disabled.
ADM files are consumed by the Group Policy Object Editor (GPEdit). Windows XP Service Pack 2 shipped with five ADM files (system.adm, inetres.adm, wmplayer.adm, conf.adm and wuau.adm). These are merged into a unified “namespace” in GPEdit and presented to the administrator under the Administrative Templates node (for both machine and user policy).
  • What’s the difference between software publishing and assigning?
ANS An administrator can either assign or publish software applications.
Assign Users
The software application is advertised when the user logs on. It is installed when the user clicks on the software application icon via the start menu, or accesses a file that has been associated with the software application.
Assign Computers
The software application is advertised and installed when it is safe to do so, such as when the computer is next restarted.
Publish to users
The software application does not appear on the start menu or desktop. This means the user may not know that the software is available. The software application is made available via the Add/Remove Programs option in control panel, or by clicking on a file that has been associated with the application. Published applications do not reinstall themselves in the event of accidental deletion, and it is not possible to publish to computers.