Web-Based IP Address Management – phpIPAM

For those of you still using a spreadsheet for tracking IP addresses – it’s time to graduate! A couple of months ago I was looking around for free web based IPAM software. I wanted to be able to track the IP’s I have in use on my home/lab network and I also was consulting for a client that was looking for the same type of solution.  There is quite the list of IPAM related software and many more unlisted options. Believe me – I looked and tried almost all of them (the free ones anyway).

When it came down to it, the ones that stood out were phpIPAM and GestióIP. After using both for a couple of weeks it was clear that phpIPAM was the winner. While both have different strengths and weaknesses – phpIPAM was both aesthetically pleasing and had the feature set I was looking for.  At the time I was using version 0.9 of phpIPAM and since then they have released new versions which I was even more impressed with.


Full List of Features:

  • IPv4 / IPv6 address management
  • Domain authentication (AD) / OpenLDAP authentication
  • Per-group permissions
  • Multiple level of nested subnets
  • Visual subnet display
  • IPv4 / IPv6 address calculator
  • VRF support
  • VLAN management
  • Device management
  • RIPE import
  • Import / export XLS files
  • User management
  • E-Mail notification with IP details
  • IP database search
  • IP request module
  • IP range adding / editing / deleting
  • Custom IP/subnet/userVLAN address fields

phpIPAM uses a clean bootstrap interface, includes LDAP support out of the box, has automatic host availability checks, and is very customizable. It’s very easy to get setup and I had it running on CentOS 6.5 LAMP server in a matter of minutes. I would highly recommend it for small to mid sized environments looking for a cost effective (free!) IPAM solution.

What IPAM software would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

End of General Support for vSphere 4.x

This is just a friendly heads up for anyone who may still have VMware vSphere 4.x (ESX, ESXi, and vCenter 4.x) in their environment.

We have quickly approached the end of vSphere 4.x General Support phase on May 21st, 2014. This means that there will be no more maintenance updates / upgrades, security patches, bug fixes, new hardware support, or server / client / guest OS updates. This support is only provided during the General Support Phase which begins on the date of general availability of a Major Release (“GA”) and lasts for a fixed duration (typically 5 years).

Support will still be available through the 2-year Technical Guidance Phase but it’s limited to providing existing security patches, bug fixes, and workarounds for non-business critical issues. Be aware that there is no phone support for a product that has reached the Technical Guidance phase of its lifecycle.


SSD Emulated Virtual Disks for Nested ESXi

I came across a gotcha scenario when trying to deploy vSAN in my home lab. When adding disks to the nested ESXi server all of the disks are detected as regular ol’ spindle disks regardless of the actual underlying storage. So I was in need of a method to emulate an SSD device. Truth be told there are actually many other reasons why you might want to emulate a SSD disk.

The solution is easy! It’s just one simple edit to the virtual machine’s configuration file (VMX). As long as you’re running virtual machine hardware version 8 or later you can configure a specific virtual disk to appear as an SSD.

scsiX:Y.virtualSSD = 1

X represents the controller ID and Y is the disk ID of the virtual disk.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law – The Rundown

This is targeted to my Canadian readers. Canada has come out with a new Anti-Spam law, dubbed “CASL“. It will affect you if you use email marketing to promote your business to customers and prospects in Canada.


Effective July 1st 2014, when you send commercial email, instant messages, or other electronic marketing messages to residents in Canada, you’re going to have to make sure you are in compliance with the new regulations or face hefty fines. Here’s what you’ll need in order to comply with Canada’s anti-spam legislation:

  • Consent from the recipient, either expressed or implied.
  • Clear identification on the message (your business name and contact information).
  • An unsubscribe mechanism – basically, a way for the recipient to inform you to stop sending them messages in the future.

What’s the point of enacting these three rules?

According to the Government of Canada’s web page for the Anti-Spam Legislation, it’s all about improving online protection for Canadians while “ensuring that businesses can compete in a global marketplace.”

The goal behind the new law is to stop unwanted emails and text messages. Even if the promotional messages you send to customers don’t look like total “SPAM!” you could still be at risk for severe penalties if you don’t follow the new rules. Express consent is required before sending any email. That means that people have to explicitly say they want to receive email, by either checking a box or putting in an email address in a place that clearly states you will be receiving email.

Penalties include:

  • Up to $1 million fines for individuals
  • Up to $10 million fines for companies

Read more about the new CASL law here: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/casl-lcap.htm

Questions? Comments? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below!

Change SSH Port in CentOS – Linux

This is just a quick guide on how to change the SSH port in CentOS. While there are many ways to make sure your server is as secure as possible there are some basic steps and measures that you can take to cover your bases.

By default SSH runs over port 22, this is well known and because of this it can be used for malicious reasons to try and access a websites core files or your Linux Servers. As part of improving security to a site you should make sure that you change the default port to something else. Here we will change the port in Centos 6.5 ( although this is for all flavors of Linux ) via command line and also change the SSH port via Webmin.

Change The SSH Port Number in CentOS

First log in to your VPS or CentOS Server and browse to the following path.


Once there you will see a file named SSHD_Config, this is the file we will need to edit. This file is the main config file for SSH.  I use VI to edit text files on Linux, but you can use your tool of choice.

vi sshd_config

Locate the line that specifies the port. If your sshd_config file has not been altered the Port setting will be commented out with a # symbol (example below).

000040_2014-06-04 12_47

The # symbol tells the server to ignore anything after it on the same line, so we will need to remove that character and then change the number 22 to something else. Be sure you do not pick a port number that is in use by a different service.

Remove the # symbol and change the port number as desired:

000041_2014-06-04 12_50

Save your changes and close the sshd_config file. If you are using a firewall also make sure you open this port and disable port 22.

To apply the changes simply restart the SSH service and your finished!

service restart sshd

Next time you want to SSH to your server just use the port you specified in your config file and away you go!