Archive for ◊ February, 2009 ◊

Point Domain to Another IP Without Changing DNS Name Servers
Saturday, February 28th, 2009 | Author:

One can point your site to any designated IP address you want without changing the Name server of your Domain. Yes, you will be able to view/test your site on new server without changing the name servers as well as having trouble of using site Preview options in Control panel like Plesk. This option is also helpful in the case of some site that use .js script in their codes since those scripts don’t work in Plesk site preview option. Specially in case of sites that work on DotNetNuke [DNN].

So here we go:

On your local machine, [AND NOT THE SERVER]:
Goto START >> Run >> and Type:
notepad "C:WINDOWSsystem32driversetchosts"
And hit Enter

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How to Block IP on Windows.
Friday, February 27th, 2009 | Author:

It is very easy to block a single IP address on a Linux server but Windows Default firewall doesn’t allow us to block a single IP address on the server or for particular ports. However Microsoft released this and introduced IP Security Polices in their Local Security Polices option in the release of their SP2. But most of us are not aware of this option and we mostly adopted third party firewall and pay for their heavy license. However Firewall onl Windows 2008 Server is far more advanced than that on Windows 2003.

It would not be the case now as I have listed detailed steps along with the images on how to block IP using the IP security policy in Windows. This option is also available in XP as well as Windows 2003 Server edition.

How to BLock IP Using Windows:

You can either open MMC from START >> RUN >> MMC and add a new Snapin for IP Security policy with steps below:

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Windows Firewall ICS Services Missing
Friday, February 27th, 2009 | Author:

There are times when the Windows remove the firewall service thinking it as a harmful application OR the Windows Firewall service may also disappear if you make make major changes with your Network Adapter. And when every you try to click to manage Firewall it will give you an error that “No Service was configured”. There is a very simple way to fix this problem.

– Backup the Registry of your computer and save it on a safe place.

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Category: Hosting Security, Window Hosting |  Comments off
Group Policies Overview for SQL Server
Friday, February 27th, 2009 | Author:

Group Policy is a core part of Microsoft’s IntelliMirror technology.You can use Group Policy to manage all aspects of the Server environment for Windows Server, including Registry settings, software installation, scripts, security settings, and so on.The possibilities of what can be done with Group Policy are almost limitless.With VBScript or Jscript, you can write entire applications to execute via Group Policy.You can install software automatically across the network and apply patches to applications. When deciding on the Group Policies you plan to enforce on your network, you should keep in mind that the more policies applied, the more network traffic, and hence the longer it could take for users to log onto the network. Group policies are stored in Active Directory as Group Policy Objects (GPO).These objects are the instructions for the management task to perform. Group Policy is implemented in four ways:

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How MS SQL Failover Clustering Work
Friday, February 27th, 2009 | Author:

The clustered nodes use a “heartbeat” signal to check whether each node is alive, at both the operating system level and the SQL Server level. At the operating system level, the nodes in the cluster are in constant communication, validating the health of all the nodes.

After installing a SQL Server failover cluster, the node hosting the SQL Server resource uses the Service Control Manager to check every 5 seconds whether the SQL Server service appears to be running. This “LooksAlive” check does not impact the performance of the system, but also does not do a thorough check; the check will succeed if the service appears to be running even though it might not be operational. Because the LooksAlive check does not do a thorough check, a deeper check must be done periodically; this “IsAlive” check runs every 60 seconds.

The IsAlive check runs a SELECT @@SERVERNAME Transact-SQL query against SQL Server to determine whether the server can respond to requests. Although a reply to the IsAlive query confirms that the SQL Server service is available for requests, it does not guarantee that all user databases are available, or that the user databases are operating within necessary performance/response-time requirements.

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Encrypt SQL 2005 database with Certificates
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 | Author:

Using Certificates to Encrypt Data

Certificates are parallel with asymmetric keys in the SQL Server 2005 encryption hierarchy. A certificate is simply a method of using asymmetric encryption. Certificates bind public keys to individuals who hold the associated private key. Certificates use the same RSA algorithm as asymmetric keys; therefore, they are resource-intensive and their use is normally restricted to encrypting other keys. SQL Server contains an integrated certificate authority, which it uses to issue its own selfsigned, and industry standard X.509 certificates. Alternatively, you can import certificates from an external certificate authority.The use of external certificates allows you to use a wider range of key lengths, which can provide enhanced security. Certificates are the most secure way in which to encrypt data natively within SQL Server 2005.You can use the CREATE CERTIFICATE statement to create a certificate within SQL Server 2005.

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Secure MS SQL 2005 Database with EFS Encryption
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 | Author:

EFS Encryption

EFS can be used to encrypt SQL Server 2005 data files and folders. EFS is supported on Windows 2000 and later operating systems with New Technology File Systems (NTFS) formatted drives. EFS uses a combination of symmetric and asymmetric methods to provide transparent SQL Server 2005 data encryption. On Windows 2003 Server and newer operating systems, EFS by default creates a random File Encryption Key, which is a 256-bit AES key to perform data encryption.The File Encryption Key is then itself encrypted with the user’s public key and stored within the encrypted file or folder.

To encrypt SQL Server 2005 data files and folders using EFS, follow these steps:

1. Stop the SQL Server service.
2. Log out and log in using the SQL Server service account credentials.
3. Right-click on the file or folder to be encrypted and select Properties | General Tab | Advanced.

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Importance and Ways to Secure SQL 2005 Database
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 | Author:

Why Secure Data in your Windows MSSQL database?

Databases often contain sensitive financial, healthcare, and corporate data. As mentioned earlier, data security breaches are occurring at an alarming rate and international legislations have been passed, which set regulations on how organizations must protect this sensitive data. The Payment Card Industry (PCI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), and the UK Data Protection Act are just a few of these regulations. Several regulations require that sensitive data be encrypted and that organization’s must identify and report data disclosure or misuse. If these regulations are not followed, organizations can face serious repercussions, ranging from financial penalties to imprisonment of responsible parties. Depending on the nature of your business, the above regulations may not apply, but before you discount the need to encrypt data

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Mail Enable Mail Server
Friday, February 13th, 2009 | Author:

Smooth working of Mail server totally depends upon Mail Enable Mail Transfer Agent , as the name suggest, Mail Enable MTA is a program running on Mail Server responsible for transferring email messages between computers over the Internet.

Mail Server works with other programs in collaboration  to make up what we know as Messaging System. Messaging system must work without any flaws to keep smooth movement of Inbound and Outbound emails. Mail System uses following protocols to send and receive email messages.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) – For Sending emails

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) or         -  For Receiving emails.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

At any point you found out that emails are not reaching their destination, there are high chances of these emails would get stuck in Mail Queue. Only way to release emails from mail queue is to restart mail services. Restarting mail services is done from Mail Server. Make sure before restarting mail service you ask anyone who has good knowledge of doing it.

Secure MS SQL – BEST PRACTICES
Monday, February 02nd, 2009 | Author:

There are several points that Microsoft suggests before configuring your MS SQL Server.

BEST PRACTICES ACCORDING TO MICROSOFT

  • Install only those components that you will use immediately. Microsoft recommends that you create a list of components that you will be using, and only enable those. If the need arises, you can install the additional components at that time. The components in a SQL Server installation are the Database Engine, Analysis Services Engine, Reporting Services, Integration Services, Notification Services, and Documents and Samples. more…