All posts by mkultra

VMware Exam Vouchers to Re-certify

VCP Logo

VMware is having a wonderful promotion to help ease the painful cost of continuing one’s certification portfolio.

Existing VCPs may take any of the following exams (and any retakes) before January 1, 2015 for 25% off!

VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization

  • Exam Code: VCP550
  • Exam Code: VCP510

VMware Certified Professional 5 – Desktop

  • Exam code: VCP510-DT
  • Exam code: VCPD510

VMware Certified Professional – Cloud

  • Exam Code: VCPC550
  • Exam Code: VCPC510
  • Exam Code: VCPVCD510

VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization

  •  Exam Code: VCPN610

In order to schedule the exam, remember to request authorization in advance of using the PearsonVUE website. The discount code (VCPRECERT25) is applied after payment information is entered during the scheduling process.

For complete information, click here.




The best nightmares are encores of the worst of one’s life.

“The best nightmares are encores of the worst of one’s life.”

I can’t recall the first time I penned this but believe it was back in high school while writing a paper analyzing my life to a soundtrack comprised of various genres.

What purpose this mechanism serves is best described by others but I will say – perhaps too obviously – that a critical circuit is short-circuited demanding attention and that one’s treatment of that error condition is what defines his life in regard to the event and associated conditions.

Avoidance reinforces the impingement as do techniques that seek to revisit and hence remember the pain.  The greater context and long term goals and journey become so significant and may be the only way to simply and easily turn that meteoric crash into a minor bug splat on a windshield. Without the broader perspective and the allowance (cf guilt) to look beyond, smile as that heavenly body nears and pulses your doom.



System File Checker finds corrupt files after June 10 update

After installing Microsoft Windows 8 KB2821895 you may notice a few quirks. The first is that you might see the update is listed as having been applied – in multiple places. This seems innocuous but can be confusing.

The second issue is that running SFC directly or via other tools like the wonderful D7 from FoolishIT will report corrupt files in Windows that _cannot_be fixed. Thankfully there is a work around to this corruption reporting issue. From an elevated command prompt as depicted in the graphic,  run the following Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command:

dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

KB2821896 workaround

Once this dism process completes, you can rescan for Windows file integrity:
sfc /scannow


Bonus from the Palo Alto Networks PA-500

Every now and then I get the opportunity to use in my home manufacturer gear such as Palo Alto Network’s PA-500, a next-generation firewall. Even without any policy refinement, the PA demonstrated a consistent performance advantage of about 5-6 Mbps over my straight Asus RT-N66U freshly imaged with firmware that I had installed just prior.


Is this surprising? Well, no. Not only does Palo Alto Networks make pretty fantastic systems but this test is like racing a recent BMW Roadster against a new Prius. What’s exciting if I were to have the opportunity to use a PAN firewall is that my speed would be largely deterministic and consistent regardless of what features I turned on. As of this post, I’ve turned on just about every feature such as live Data Filtering, URL Filtering, Spyware and Virus Filtering, and File Blocking.

Much more to come on the blog site so stay tuned.

Resist the urge to flush

Example DNS Client cache on Windows 8
Example DNS Client cache on Windows 8

Every IT guy eventually learns how to flush the local cache for a system’s DNS client. The following command has probably wore many a helpdesk or admin keyboard:

ipconfig /flushdns

There are certainly times where that is the best or only course of action in diagnostics or recovery. For instance, a replacement service may be running with a different IP address such as when a VM or service is moved from one Data Center to the other.

Sometimes the better course is to observe (passively) before any action is taken. Windows PowerShell offers a simple commandlet, Get-DnsClientCache that can be very helpful showing each entry of a host and other useful information such as record type, TTL and the IP addresses. Combine the basic command with some simple processing for more power (below):

PS C:\Users\User> Get-DnsClientCache | where entry -Contains

Entry                     RecordName                Record Status    Section TimeTo Data   Data                                      
                                                    Type                     Live   Length                                           
-----                     ----------                ------ ------    ------- ------ ------ ----                                                       A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                              A      Success   Answer      58      4                                              A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                              A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4


Go ahead and try it out on your Windows system the next time you feel the urge to flush.