vCloud Service Announcement: Federation Certificates

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, February 28th 2014 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, VMware

We upgraded to vCloud Director v5.1 fairly recently and started receiving user tickets regarding a new issue with federation certificates. Users were sent automated e-mails reading as follows:

The federation certificate expiration is [DATE] [TIME]. An expired certificate may disable federation with the identity provider setup with your organization. The certificate can be regenerated from the Federation Settings page.

Federation certificates are set to expire after one year and warning e-mails go out a few weeks before they do. At the end of this one year cycle each certificate must be regenerated. Follow these steps to regenerate a federation certificate:

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vSphere Backup and DR: How to Set Up Built-in Replication

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 26th 2014 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Storage, Disaster Recovery, VMware

A disaster recovery plan is vital for your business. Though Green House Data offers managed backup and disaster recovery with a variety of software options, administrators can also set up replication tools directly from vSphere. This blog post will be a quick overview of how to install and configure replication within your virtual environment.

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NTP: DDoS Evolves into 400 Gbps Monster Attacks

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 19th 2014 — Categories: Networking and Fiber, Security

You may have seen recent headlines about NTP attacks, a new variation of Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) that is driving massive attacks with up to 400 Gbps of traffic overwhelming servers. Victims have included Xbox Live, customers at CloudFlare, and hosting company OVH.

The new NTP attacks take advantage of Network Time Protocol, which is used to sync timestamps between servers and networks. Hackers amplify their attacks through NTP, by sending a small packet to the NTP server under the guise of the target IP. The NTP automatically replies to the spoofed IP with the last 600 IP addressed that connected. The specific command used is “monlist”, which replies with the list of IP addresses.

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Gartner’s 3 Easiest Ways to Improve Data Center Cooling Efficiency

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 12th 2014 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Colocation , Data Center Design, Green Data Center

Even as we build a new efficient data center, we’re always looking for ways to improve the PUE of our existing facilities. As fans of efficient infrastructure in general (after all, efficient equipment is well-installed, maintained, and operates at a lower cost), we encourage our data center peers to strive for efficiency as well.

Gartner posted a Top 10 Techniques to Improve Data Center Cooling Efficiency back in April 2012. We’ll take a look at the three methods they found easy to perform while still delivering dramatic results.

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The 4 Step Guide to Disaster Recovery Planning

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 5th 2014 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Disaster Recovery

IT is a critical component of every successful business on the planet. With everything from company websites to phone systems to resource management systems hosted in enterprise data centers, a disaster, whether it is man-made or natural, can bring a company to a shuddering halt. Any organization wishing to avoid losing critical data and systems needs a disaster recovery plan in place.

Planning for disaster recovery is more than standing ready for the worst: it can also help highlight inefficiencies and the discovery of what systems and data are truly mission-critical. This quick guide will help you on the way to disaster preparedness.

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