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Hello World – Tools I use…

By 13th April 2017No Comments

After a lot of debating and a lot more procrastinating on how and what to do a blog about. I’ve finally decided what my first post will be…. So hopefully this is the first blog of many to come.

This post will be on some of the tools I use to make my life that little bit easier in the world of IT.

OneNote!

This tool is truly awesome, I use this tool in both my work and home life. I often get asked by customers and friends how I work and how I get things done. I always show them OneNote, which I think is one of Microsoft best-kept secrets.

The built-in tag system allows me to document client meetings, site audits, and it also acts as a personal knowledge base and finds information with ease as well as share with my colleagues easily.

PowerShell

The tool/programming language that’s on everyone’s mind – PowerShell. My philosophy is that if I have to do it more than twice can PowerShell do it for me…

 I do a lot of exchange email migrations/upgrades to Office365, so a lot of the scripts I use help me to streamline tasks, from gathering user SMTP address to doing suspended remote mailbox moves to the Office365. A great script that I use before starting any email migration to make sure I fully understand a client’s email infrastructure can be found on TechNet. The Exchange environment report available here

Another reason why I love PowerShell is that you can create custom profiles inside my profile, I have a golden nugget that saves me so much time and yet it’s a simple function.

Powerhsell_functionThe function above logs me into office365 and imports all the relevant cmdlets so that I can work on Office365. Simples.

 I’ll leave it at that for now, or this post will turn into a PowerShell post.

 

Office 365 admin app

AdminApp

 This app is an absolute life saver, from quick changes to a user account, password changes, mailbox access and much more. For anyone managing Office365 I can’t recommend this app enough – well done Microsoft!

Greenshot

Forget the snipping tool, Greenshot is like the snipping tool on steroids, my go-to application for taking quick screenshots and making documentation.

Once I press Alt+S (or whatever shortcut you assign) you can select a region you want to screenshot and then it allows you to send it to loads of different locations as shown below:

 Greenshot

Hyper-V

My go to Hypervisor, I have a laptop with 2 x SSDs on the second SSD I have enabled data deduplication that holds different virtual labs, from testing exchange scenarios, WS2016 to Windows Nano server.

An overview of the configurations:

  • PFSENSE virtual router/firewall to isolate the labs from our production environments – Great Firewall
  • 2x Differencing disks parents one for Server 2012R2 and one for Server 2016 – the rest of the VMs look at parent disks (this saves a lot of space)

 

Beyond Compare 4

Use to compare two text files, two folder structures, 3-way merge, synchronize folders anything! Really handy!

Putty

Putty has many different uses from testing SMTP connections to configuring network switches – don’t leave home without it 🙂

 Nmap

Nmap (Network Mapper) is a security scanner. It is used to discover hosts and services on a computer network.

I mainly use this tool to test firewall rules at clients sites and to confirm I’ve opened up ports correctly.

As you can probably tell from the tools above I get involved in many different areas in a work week and I love interacting with different platforms and broadening my knowledge.

The main reason for me blogging is to share anything I discover in the ever changing world of IT and the cloud.

Until next time….

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