16 December, 2013

Exchange 2010 - Get Full Access to User’s Mailboxes

To get access to a specific mailbox with all permissions use the following command in “Exchange Management Shell”

Get-Mailbox username | Add-ADPermission –user username –AccessRights GenericAll

To get access to a specific Exchange Mailbox database and all of the mailboxes that this database contains, use the following command in “Exchange Management Shell”

Get-MailboxDatabase –identity “mailbox database name” | Add-Permission –user username –AccessRights GenericAll


15 December, 2013

Create a VLAN with DD-WRT Based Routers

If you’ve never heard of DD-WRT by now… You should go to that link quickly. (http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index) DD-WRT is a Linux-based firmware for wireless routers and wireless access points. Basically, it’s a firmware compatible with some cheap end-user wireless routers. Once you load that firmware on your router, you get lots of cool networking features that you would normally find in enterprise products for a lot of $$$. Some of the cool features of DD-WRT are WDS, VLAN, Multiple SSID, QoS, different wiles modes (Access Point, Bridge, Repeater, etc…), and the list goes on…
It’s free to download and use. Please use it at your own risk because during the process of flashing your router, you can also “brick” your router although, I’ve never experienced this personally. Not every router is compatible with DD-WRT, so please check the “compatibility” page before trying anything.
In this article, I’ll not cover how to flash your router or how to set it up for the first time, as there are plenty of articles explaining these “how tos”

DD-WRT documentation


  • Make a TELNET connection to your router. I’m using “PuttY” for that.
  • Enter the following commands to show all existing vlans and ports assignments.
    Nvram show | grep vlan.*ports
    Nvram show | grep port.*vlans

Use these commands to configure your vlan2 on your port 4 :
nvram set vlan0ports="1 2 3 5*"
nvram set vlan2ports="4 5*"
nvram set rc_startup='
ifconfig vlan2 netmask
ifconfig vlan2 up
nvram set rc_firewall='
iptables -I INPUT -i vlan2 -j ACCEPT
iptables -I FORWARD -i vlan2 -o vlan1 -m state --state NEW -j ACCEPT
iptables -I FORWARD -i vlan2 -o ppp0 -m state --state NEW -j ACCEPT
iptables -I FORWARD -i br0 -o vlan2 -j logdrop
nvram commit
  • Now go back to the routers web management interface to assign the the port for for the vlan2. To do that, go to “Setup” under “VLAN” tab, deselect the port 4 and select it on vlan2 as shown in the following screenshot;

  • Apply your settings.
It’s all done. Your port #4 is now assigned to a different vlan. It should also communicate with your WAN port. Now, if you want to add a DHCP service into your vlan with your router again. Follow these steps, if you are in a LAB environment and you would like to use your own DHCP server in your lab, you can assign an IP address manually for that vlan port and use your own servers… Optional.

To activate the DHCP on the VLAN2

  • Go to the management interface again and go to “Services” under “Services” tab, find the section “DNSmasq” section and enter your DHCP options like this;


  • Under « Setup », « Networking » tab, under « Port Setup » configuration section, make sure that the « Network Configuration vlan2 » is set to « Unbridged » mode and the « Masquerade / NAT » is enabled. Than you should enter the routers IP address on your vlan. In my case it’s with a subnet mask of as shown on the following screenshot.
  • Make sure that the « use DNSMasq for DHCP » and the « User DNSMasq for DNS » are both checked under “Setup” , “Basic Setup” tab, under “Netwrok Address Server Settings (DHCP)” section as shown on the following screenshot.
  • After all, if you are not happy with your configuration or you would like to start over... To reset "nvram" from TELNET, use the following commands;
erase nvram
Here is a list of all the blogs I've visited during my researches, these are great articles that gives you a better understanding of how vlans work with dd-wrt.




08 December, 2013

Create a Windows Azure Lab

I've been experimenting with Microsoft's new cloud services, Windows Azure. The service is very versatile and practical. Basically, it's an online platform (or Portal as Microsoft calls it) you can create virtual machines, virtual networks, highly available redundant storage, databases, cloud services, web sites, web apps, active directory and the list goes on... So how and why would you use it? It was the first question I asked to myself and when I got my answer and experimented with it, I was totally blown away by the easy usage of it. You can instantly create a Lab environment to test new products. Takes about 10-15 minutes to create a couple of virtual machines connected together. So yeah, if you don't have a Hypervisor machine at home, go ahead and create your lab. But it's meant to be used by enterprises!!! Because all these resources are highly available and redundant. Microsoft spreads out it's datacenters pretty much all over the world and they give you the choice in what region you would like to create your resources. And of course... All these comes with a price! Good news is, it's free for a full month and Microsoft gives you 220$ of credit to spend on your infrastructure needs. All you need is a Windows ID.  I never review any product or service, I write technical articles when I spend hours to find a solution or when I find really cool trick that will make your professional IT life easier :) So if you are interested in Windows Azure, I invite you to look at the following links.

Windows Azure Website

Windows Azure Free Trial

Windows Azure Virtual Machine Pricing

Windows Azure Virtual Machines Documentation

How to create your first Windows Azure Lab ?

Instead of writing a new article, I'll provide the links to a really cool article about how to create your very first Windows Azure Lab.

Part - 1

Part - 2

Part - 3