Bulk DNS updates with Plesk/Windows

August 13th, 2011 No comments

So we ran into a situation where a dedicated mail server needed to be migrated. For reasons I won’t get into, we were not able to migrate the main IP of the server to the new machine. We were, however, offered the option of migrating the secondary IPs. However, we had about 200 domains with their MX records pointed to the main IP of the server.

The websites are run on a Plesk/Windows server with an external mail server. The DNS is controlled by Plesk.

After some brainstorming, we decided to try to interact directly with the Plesk database to change these entries all at once. We found that the Plesk database handler was MySQL which made this project a lot easier. You can verify this by following the advice here:

http://kb.parallels.com/en/3453

First, following the advice of this article, we established a connection to the database:

http://kb.parallels.com/en/3472

Then we use some standard MySQL queries to update the database:

UPDATE dns_recs SET val=”1.2.3.4″ WHERE val=”5.6.7.8″;

UPDATE dns_recs SET displayval=”1.2.3.4″ WHERE displayval=”5.6.7.8″;

So, basically, there are two data fields that have to be updated. The val field and the displayval field. This changes all instances of 5.6.7.8 to 1.2.3.4 in all the dns records.

Once this is done, run this command:

%plesk_bin%/dnsmng.exe update *

This will force plesk to re-read the database for all the DNS records and regenerate the dns zone files.

Categories: Server Administration Tags:

Parallels Conference?

January 12th, 2011 No comments

Anyone going to the parallels conference? Contact me and I’ll buy you a drink!

Categories: Server Administration Tags:

Windows Update Error 0x8007f0da

December 26th, 2010 No comments

A bit ago, we had two servers start throwing windows update error 0x8007f0da. Having looked into it, I found this KB article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822798

The article lists tons of errors and possible solutions, however, about halfway down the page, there is a link to a Microsoft Fixit for the entire KB. With some trepidation. I downloaded and ran it. Worked like a champ. Cleared the errors and updates were moving again.

Both servers were running Windows Server 2003 and Plesk 8.x. It did not break Plesk in any way.

Categories: Server Administration Tags:

Free Windows Password Recovery Tool

December 12th, 2010 No comments

I was replacing a domain controller today and on one of the client machines, we realized after we had removed it from the old domain that the administrator password had at some point been changed to one that was not part of our records. Making matters worse, this was the managers Windows XP Professional machine and held the companies financial data. I’d seen many ads and links in the past for password recovery/reset tools, but most of them seemed like a scam and the ones that worked were pretty expensive.

Since I was desperate to not have to format the machine, I renewed my search and came across this:

http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

I didn’t have a lot of faith that it work work, but actually worked flawlessly. Its a live boot linux CD that walks you through the steps to clear a user password. Very simple to use, nothing confusing about it at all.

Oddly, the author is not taking donations at all.

Just for insurance, I have archived the program here:

http://greenolivetree.net/files/cd100627.zip

But please do visit his site for the latest version!

Categories: Server Administration Tags:

Monitor Disk Space with Perl

November 20th, 2010 No comments

Have a client who has a very popular web site that contains terabytes of images. He has been hitting the limit of his available disk space and for reasons I won’t bore you with, getting more storage has proven difficult. We’ve had a few occasions where drive space ran out and of course, MySQL stops working at that point, so we needed something to alert us when the drive was getting close to being full. I’m not a big perl programmer, but here is what I cobbled together.

Fist, using cpan or other methods, install Filesys::DfPortable. Then run the following from a cron as often as necessary:

#!/usr/bin/perl
use strict;
use warnings;
use Filesys::DfPortable;
my $warning_level=98;
my $ref = dfportable("/", 1024); # Display output in 1K blocks
my $to='you@domain.comt';
my $from='you@domain.com';
my $subject='Low Disk Space';
if(defined($ref)) {
my $use = $ref->{per};
if ($use > $warning_level) {
my $out = sprintf("WARNING Low Disk Space : %0.2f%% ()\n",$use);
open(MAIL, "|/usr/sbin/sendmail -t");
print MAIL "To: $to\n";
print MAIL "From: $from\n";
print MAIL "Subject: $subject\n\n";
print MAIL "$out\n";
close(MAIL);
}
}

Categories: Server Administration Tags:

RingCentral

November 20th, 2010 No comments

I have been in the process of switching my phone system over to RingCnetral, and I have to say, I love it! For $50 per month you get a full featured PBX system with unlimited calling. You can do just about anythng you want with this system. I cannot give it higher marks.

Categories: General Business Tags:

SoftLayer Merges with The Planet

November 16th, 2010 No comments

I’ve been in this business a long time. I started out back in the RackShack days. Remember Robert Marsh? What a character that guy was! I’ve seen acquisitions and takeovers abound, and all of them made me nervous and most resulted in a reduction in customer service.

However, I feel differently this time around. I’ve been with SoftLayer for many years and watched them grow exponentially without the usual degradation of service that is so common in this industry.

I have every faith and confidence in the SoftLayer management team and I think this will result in a better overall experience for everyone.

And if anyone would like to see a photo of your humble host, you can surf on over here:

http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/111210_The_Value_of_Being_the_Biggest_SoftLayer_Tops_Market_with_76K_Servers

I’m the guy who is NOT Lance Crosby, CEO of SoftLayer.

Categories: Industry News Tags:

New cPanel Version

November 16th, 2010 No comments

Been poking around the 11.28 release of cPanel. It’s really an improvement in many areas. Some clients had even reported better spam handling, but that is just anecdotal at this point.

Categories: Industry News Tags:

Plesk for Windows not creating DNS zones

July 22nd, 2009 No comments

For only the third time in many years, we came across an odd problem where in earlier versions of Plesk (8.2 and 8.3) when a domain is removed and recreated, the DNS zone file is not created.  Apparently this is due to a setting in the Plesk database for that domain name.  Here is what Parallels told me the fix was:

============================================
I resolved the issue by the following way:

C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\admin\bin>dbclient --direct-sql --sql="select * from dns_zone where name like '%domain.com%'";
id name displayName email status type ttl ttl_unit refresh refresh_unit retry retry_unit expire expire_unit minimum minimum_unit
106 domain.com domain.com xxxx@xxxxx.com 2 master 86400 86400 10800 3600 3600 3600 604800 86400 10800 3600
107 domain.com domain.com xxxx@xxxxx.com 0 master 86400 86400 10800 3600 3600 3600 604800 86400 10800 3600

You see the status equals 2 – if for some reason the transaction is interrupted during DNS
managing (Plesk restarts for example) the status field value is not changed to 0 and stays as 2. Domains with that status value are not recorded in named.conf file during any DNS management.

C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\admin\bin>dbclient –direct-sql –sql=”select * from domains where name like ‘%domain.com%'”;
id cr_date name displayName dns_zone_id status htype real_size cl_id cert_rep_id limits_id params_id guid
105 2009-07-20 00:00:00 domain.com domain.com 107 0 vrt_hst 4326014 80 0 588 0 35CB0512-FFA9-48
12-B238-F8DA98A7ECFF

C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\admin\bin>dbclient –direct-sql –sql=”select * from domains where dns_zone_id=106″;
id cr_date name displayName dns_zone_id status htype real_size cl_id cert_rep_id limits_id params_id guid

C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\admin\bin>dbclient –direct-sql –sql=”delete from dns_zone where id=106″;
C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\admin\bin>dnsmng.exe update *

Named.conf file was updated:
zone “domain.com” {
type master;
file “C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\dns\var\domain.com”;
allow-transfer {
common-allow-transfer;
xx.xx.xx.xx;
xx.xx.xx.xx;
xx.xx.xx.xx;
};
};

and corresponding zone file was created.
============================================

In usual Parallels fashion, this is a little hard to follow, but basically, it looks like there were two entries for the domain in the Plesk database.  The initial one that has a status of 2 and the newer one with the status of 0.  They removed the db entry that had the status of 2 and forced a DNS update which then got the DNS zone properly created.

I imagine there are going to be variations on the theme here, but in the end, look for the domain having a status of 2 and either edit that record using sql queries, or if its a duplicate record, remove it.

Categories: Server Administration Tags: , , ,

New Dedicated Server Support Community

February 6th, 2009 No comments

I was googling for a support community strictly geared toward dedicated server owners a few months ago and was suprised to not be able to find one.  WHT has a pretty active community, but its focus is so broad that I often find it hard to weed through the noise to get to the information I am looking for.

I decided to throw this thing together to see what we can come up with.  My name is Jon Berry and I am the Owner of Green Olive Tree, Inc.  We are a dedicated server management company and we sell managed dedicated servers in addition to managing servers that people have aquired on their own.  We manage Windows as well and Linux servers and we also have a lot of experience in various virutalization technologies.

At first, I imagine your questions will primarily be answered by me, but as we grow, I’m sure we’ll see more experts coming on board and participating as well.

Its always a challenge to start a new community, and I hope you will find your time here beneficial.  All questions should be posted to the forums.

Categories: Server Administration Tags:

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