How Windows Communication Works

If you are working in a support or engineering role with Microsoft platform products like the various Windows versions one of the biggest struggles you can have is understanding what to expect in code and on the network when Windows computers communicate to each other and other platforms.  Documentation at that level of depth is… Read more

These are the Updates You Are Looking For

In this blog post we’re going to go over a few techniques that are a bit old school but will come in handy for understanding how things work even if you ultimately use a great monitoring suite like MOM. Now, there are great articles here and here that describe good general ways to start checking… Read more

September 11th 2001

Eight years ago today people had started their day at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and on a few planes. Some were commuting to work destinations and others were already at work. These were people that were working to feed their families, pay their bills, improve their lives…. Read more

Bulking Up an ADAM Test Instance

This week I’ve had the need to do some testing around ADAM (also known by it’s shiny new name of Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services or AD LDS).  The tests themselves are not directly relevant to this blog post, but in order for the tests to have some validity the ADAM instance needed to be… Read more

Split IO and Intermittent “File Not Found” Errors

There are a whole host of issues that are simply never seen unless you have a large distributed environment. I know that sounds startling but here’s a hypothetical example. Imagine that you are an online retailer and for every identity that you are transacting business with an object in a AD LDS/ADAM database is created… Read more

Testing a Credential Provider

Weeks ago I blogged about how single sign on and credential providers work and a scenario you can run into with them. One reader faced a slightly different scenario but was able to apply that topic toward getting his issue resolved. He had installed a credential provider for testing purposes. Unfortunately, once the credential provider… Read more

Referral Chasing

It’s easy to forget that when we say “Directory Services” we are really talking about multiple technologies. I remember when the idea that what we support is so much more than simply a user account repository first hit me. It happened when I first read the Windows 2000 Distributed Systems Guide from the Windows 2000… Read more

Important Security Bulletin

I wanted to do a quick post on an important security bulletin.  It’s Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-018 – Critical.  This security update is to address a vulnerability in Active Directory.  I’m pasting the Executive Summary below, but I highly recommend that you read the entire bulletin and apply the updates. Executive Summary This security update… Read more

Thoughts on Single Sign On and Credential Providers

We use the term single sign on (SSO) to describe a variety of behaviors in Windows and other applications where the result is simply to prevent the user from being prompted to provide their credentials again and again; to ideally enter their credentials only once at initial logon. Active Directory and the integrated authentication which… Read more