What’s new in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (2017)

With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft are introducing some fun, new ways to get creative – from bringing mixed reality and 3D to the masses, to faster broadcasting for gaming, to turning photos and videos into real memories, and a few things more. The Fall Creators Update can be experienced on a wide variety of Windows 10 PCs (Except Intel Clover Trail systems) and on a few of Windows Mixed Reality headsets listed here.

Continue reading What’s new in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (2017)

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This Is Us (2016-)

About

Everyone has a family. And every family has a story. “This Is Us” chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s to their 37-year-old kids Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love and fulfillment in the present day. This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death.

Continue reading This Is Us (2016-)

Network Quality of Service (QoS) on Windows

The goal of Quality of Service (QoS) is to provide preferential treatment to certain subsets of data, enabling that data to traverse the traditionally best-effort Internet or intranet with higher quality transmission.

By using QoS you can:

  • Specify or request bandwidth requirements particular to their application, such as latency requirements for streaming audio.
  • Give applications their required bandwidth — provided bandwidth availability exist.
  • Control network device resources based on user policy and/or application usage.
  • Reserve portions of a given bandwidth for applications or users that require such availability for core business activities.
  • Shape and smooth the traffic that clients submit to the network, thereby avoiding the overburdening of switches and routers suffered with traditional burst transmissions.

 

QoS History in Windows

Windows 2000 introduced the Generic QOS (GQOS) application programming interface (API) as a framework for QOS. The GQOS API provided access to QOS mechanisms that were available as part of the networking stack. Windows 2000 also provided tools, such as Subnet Bandwidth Manager (SBM) and QOS policy control.

In Windows XP, the focus was on prioritization and traffic shaping mechanisms. Although GQOS continued to be the application interface for accessing prioritized QOS, the reservation mechanisms had been removed. The kernel component that implemented prioritization and traffic shaping was the QOS Packet Scheduler, called the Traffic Control (TC) API. The TC API provided control of QOS mechanisms (such as prioritization and shaping) at the host level rather than at the application level, but it required administrative privileges to be invoked. The QOS mechanisms provided in Windows XP supported enterprise QOS needs for wired networks. In Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), the GQOS mechanisms allowed the application to set Layer 3 priorities only. Applications that set Layer 2 priorities for their traffic had to implement an independent service with administrative privileges to set Layer 2 priorities using TC APIs.

In Windows Vista, two features were introduced: Quality Windows Audio Video Experience (qWAVE) and policy-based QOS. qWAVE is designed to estimate the network bandwidth, intelligently mark the application packets (with proper DSCP values), and interact with the application in the event of network congestion or bandwidth fluctuations (informing the application to take appropriate actions). Policy-based QOS allows IT administrators to apply QOS to applications (which do not need to have native support for QOS), computers, and users in their enterprise network.

In Windows 7, enhancements were made to allow policies to be created based on the URL of an HTTP server (rather than just on an application name), source and/or destination IP addresses, source and/or destination ports, and protocol).

 

Using PowerShell to manage QoS

With the following cmdlets you can manage your QoS.

Get-NetQosPolicy      Retrieves network Quality of Service (QoS) policies.
New-NetQosPolicy      Creates a new network QoS policy.
Set-NetQosPolicy      Updates the QoS policy settings.
Remove-NetQosPolicy   Removes a network Quality of Service (QoS) policy.

Lets get started:

Step 1

As usual step 1 is to know from where you are starting. So we are going to check if some NetQosPolicy is already defined. Open PowerShell with administrative priviledges.

The Get-NetQosPolicy cmdlet allows you to retrieve Quality of Service (QoS) policies from a computer.

QoS policies can originate from many sources, such as from the administrator of a local computer, from a domain controller, or from applications that use the QoS Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) APIs. Therefore, the QoS policies are stored in different locations. If the location as provided by the PolicyStore parameter is not specified, then this cmdlet retrieves all the policies stored on the local computer (localhost).

ActiveStore

ActiveStore is a special location. If ActiveStore is specified as the location, the user will see all the effective QoS policies, regardless of where the QoS policies are stored.

This command gets a list of QoS policies currently effective on the computer:

Get-NetQosPolicy -PolicyStore "ActiveStore"

This command gets all of the properties of a specific QoS policy.

Get-NetQosPolicy -Name "YOUR POLICY HERE" | Format-List -Property *

 

Step 2

The New-NetQosPolicy cmdlet creates a new network Quality of Service (QoS) policy. A QoS policy consists of two main parts: match conditions also known as filters, and actions. If the PolicyStore parameter is not specified, then the new policy is added to local computer (localhost). If a policy is stored in ActiveStore, then the policy will not persist after reboot.

This command creates a QoS policy named FTP that matches an application path at ftp.exe and throttles the traffic at 1,000,000 bits per second.

New-NetQosPolicy -Name "FTP" -AppPathNameMatchCondition "ftp.exe" -ThrottleRateActionBitsPerSecond 1MB -PolicyStore ActiveStore

 

This command creates a QoS policy named SMB Policy that classifies SMB traffic and tags it with 802.1p priority value of 1. The SMB parameter is a built-in filter

New-NetQosPolicy -Name "SMB Policy" -SMB -PriorityValue8021Action 1

This command creates a QoS policy named Backup that matches traffic sent to 10.1.1.176/28 subnet and tags it with DSCP value of 40. This policy is effective only on traffic sent on a domain-joined network adapter.

New-NetQosPolicy -Name "Backup" -IPDstPrefixMatchCondition "192.168.1.170/28" -NetworkProfile Domain -DSCPAction 40

You can also use a single IP as a IPDstPrefixMatchCondition and the NetworkProfile can be: Domain, Public, Private, or All.

Option 3

The Set-NetQosPolicy cmdlet modifies an existing Quality of Service (QoS) policy. You need to specify the existing name to change values in this policy.

This command updates the QoS policy named SMB Policy so that it only applies to traffic that is outgoing from a domain-joined network adapter.

Set-NetQosPolicy -Name "SMB Policy" -NetworkProfile Domain

Step 4

The Remove-NetQosPolicy cmdlet removes the network Quality of Service (QoS) policies. All the policies, in a policy store, are removed unless a specific policy is named.

This example removes a policy named as Backup.

Remove-NetQosPolicy -Name "Backup"

This example removes all the policies from the ActiveStore.

Remove-NetQosPolicy -PolicyStore ActiveStore

 

With this information you can get into shape… 😉

 

Extra Info:

Differentiated Services and DSCP

Diffserv (Differentiated Services) is a protocol that defines traffic prioritization at Layer 3 of the OSI model. Layer 3 network devices, such as routers, that support this protocol use Diffserv markings to identify the forwarding treatment, or per-hop behavior (PHB), that marked traffic is to receive. Diffserv markings for a packet are placed in the IP header.
RFC 2475 defines the architecture for Diffserv. RFC 2474 defines the bits in the Diffserv field.
RFC 2474 redefines the IPv4 TOS octet as 6 bits for the Diffserv value, also known as Diffserv code point or DSCP, followed by 2 unused bits.

DSCP values are backward-compatible with IP precedence values, which means that legacy routers that support only IP precedence can interpret DSCP values. Valid values are 0-63.

Common values sorted from low to high are: 0,8,16,24,32,40,48,56

IEEE 802.1p Priority Levels

IEEE 802.1p defines a 3-bit field called the Priority Code Point (PCP) within an IEEE 802.1Q tag. The PCP value defines 8 priority levels, with 7 the highest priority and 1 the lowest priority. The priority level of 0 is the default. Each priority level defines a class of service that identifies separate traffic classes of transmitted packets.

PolicyStore

Specifies the location of the policy that is stored. The acceptable values for this parameter are:

  • ActiveStore
  • COMPUTERNAME
  • GPO:COMPUTERNAME
  • GPO:DOMAIN\GPONAME
  • LDAP://LDAP-URL

Samba – SMB browsing elections wars

I while ago I posted a page about Kodi and SMB. Read about it here. My goal than was to disable SMBv1 and ban it from my network.

Today I did a new installation of my Chromebook (with Chromebook Unix on the side). I noticed I couldn’t browse with the file manager from my distro and after editing the samba configuration file to bumb the client max protocol to level 3 it still wouldn’t work.

Having multiple looks at my smb.conf file and restarting the service multiple times after uncommenting some settings I had no clou what was going on. Samba can be a handfull but has an overwhelming documentation library. Reading Chapter 7. Name Resolution and Browsing pointed my in the right direction to solve this.

Continue reading Samba – SMB browsing elections wars

The Night Of (2016)

About

The Night Of is an eight-part limited series that delves into the intricate story of a fictitious murder case in New York City. The series follows the police investigation and legal proceedings, all the while examining the criminal justice system and the purgatory of Rikers Island, where the accused awaits his trial.

Filmed in and around Manhattan, the HBO series is based on the BBC’s “Criminal Justice,”

Continue reading The Night Of (2016)

VMware vSphere 7 – the next numbered release

vmware

VMworld is two weeks away from now and they already gave us a sneak preview about some upcoming changes in their next product line.

vCenter Server for Windows

VMware plans to deprecate vCenter Server for Windows with the next numbered release (not update release) of vSphere.  The next version of vSphere will be the terminal release for which vCenter Server for Windows will be available.

The vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) was first introduced with the release of vSphere 5.0 and has since evolved to become the definitive deployment model for vCenter Server. VMware has also been pushing the appliance a bit by giving it features that are exclusive such as:

  • Migration
  • Improved Appliance Management
  • VMware Update Manager
  • Native High Availability
  • Built-in Backup / Restore

VMware plans to deprecate the Flash-based vSphere Web Client

The vSphere GUIs, including the vSphere Web Client and HTML5-based vSphere Client, are tools that are used every day by IT to manage the operation of their virtual data center.  VMware is constantly striving to make these tools performant and easy to use.  However, with the vSphere Web Client, the community were frustrated because it was based on Flash technology that resulted in less than ideal performance and constant update requirements.   Additionally, Adobe has recently announced plans to deprecate Flash.

VMware had the intention for a few years now to eventually replace the vSphere Web Client with a modern GUI administration tool.  The HTML5-based vSphere Client is that worthy successor.  The vSphere Client was introduced first in the Fling, then supported with vSphere 6.5 and has now been in customer hands for 1.5 years and production tested for over 9 months.  Since its introduction, the vSphere Client has received overwhelmingly positive responses from the vSphere community and customer base.

By the time the vSphere Web Client is deprecated, the vSphere Client will be full featured but with significantly better responsiveness and usability.

The vSphere Client will be the primary GUI administration tool for vSphere environments starting in the next release.  Customers should start transitioning over to the vSphere Client if they have not already done so as the vSphere Web Client will no longer be available after the next vSphere release.

The Wall (2017)

IO-pinion

How many Hunger Games movies are produced to date? Is it 3? Oh I looked it up, it’s 4. I watched the first one, it gained a little bit of momentum from the media before it hit the theaters here being a movie where teenagers are killing one-other in a game. I didn’t find it that great or shocking afterwards. The idea is the same as The Running Man (1987) and after discovering they were milking it like there’s no tomorrow with a story that somehow evolved from a survival game broadcasted on tv to a civil war I didn’t even bother to watch the other 3 movies. Hate it when they try to milk it out like there’s no tomorrow.

The Wall is keeping it simple. The story is about two marines, a crappy wall between them and an enemy. It’s a slow-paced story about a mission that should be easy but goes wrong due an enemy sniper. Yes, perhaps it’s a bit boring in the middle section but man… this ending… superb! I won’t spoil anything but this I love unpredictable movies and this ending is great for multiple reasons. I can’t image that they will do a sequel and they shouldn’t. Not everything has to be presented on a platter to finish a movie.

The movie didn’t do exceptionally well at the box office. They made about $3.9 million of a $3 million budget (Well it’s still more than you and I make but compared to other movies today it’s not that much). The movie is directed by Doug Liman who also directed movies like Edge of Tomorrow, Mr & Mrs Smith and The Bourne Identity.