AWS - Basic EC2 / Snapshot Cleanup

As you migrate from AWS to Azure ;) you may find that you need to clear up resources to save costs.

For example, you may continue to incur costs for snapshots after you de-provision your EC2 instances (virtual machines, for the lamen).

To clear out the snapshots you can use the AWS Powershell commands to clear out any snapshot older then 90 days.

See the example below - by default Get-EC2Snapshot will show all public snapshots, so the -owner self switch is required.
Get-EC2Snapshot -Owner self | ? { $_.StartTime -lt $(get-date).adddays(-90)} | Remove-EC2Snapshot  This command may show an error indicating that a Snapshot is still in use.
Remove-EC2Snapshot : The snapshot snap-xxxxxx is currently in use by ami-xxxxxxx

Windows Monitoring in 2018 - LogicMonitor

Windows Monitoring in 2018 - BMC TrueSight Pulse

This is the first part in a series for my evaluation of Windows monitoring tools.

You can review the original blog post here: Windows Monitoring in 2018

Today's featured offering is BMC TrueSight Pulse


"BMC TrueSight Pulse" is described as "Real time monitoring-as-a-service for web applications". The tools appears to be previously owned by a company called Boundary, as some of the documentation is labeled as such. Here's a really badly voiced over video that serves as an overview.

Given my features, here's what stacks up and what's lacking.
ProsSaaS agent is lightweight and easy to install on Windows.Integrations are done via plugin, which makes the agent light weight. Cloud monitoring is supported on both AWS and Azure.VM and SQL monitoring only for Azure.Virtually no delays. Alerting can be done in as little as 1 second - data shows in the portal almost instantly and refreshes in real time.The dashboards look beautiful.Data appears to be k…

Windows Monitoring in 2018

The quest to find the perfect monitoring tool
I have begun a project in order to really work on re-vamping out monitoring. Frankly, I'm pretty tired of using Microsoft OMS and all of the pain that comes with it. Fortunately, there are a ton of tools out there, unfortunately a lot of them don't seem to fit our specific requirements. Enter our wanted features:
 Wanted features:SaaSIt's 2018 after all.Multi-tenantI work for a Managed Service provider, and the more traditional tools don't really cover this.We want the flexibility to install a lightweight agent, and get all of the information we need without spinning up a clunky virtual or even physical machine dedicated at each client site.AutomationPersonally, we're not there yet for Configuration management, so having a tool that can do simple automation would be a killer feature.InventoryIt would be nice to get some basic inventory information, IP address, Server OS version, etc.Patch management2018 - and I&#…

ASP.NET Core - Notes on "MVC Basics" from the Little ASP.NET Core Book

Understanding ASP.NET core is one of my personal goals for this year. Coming from a background of Systems Administration, I've not had a lot of background in MVC programming. In finding a free resource, I quickly fell in love with the free book - The Little ASP.NET Core Book.

I thought that the introduction was great, and I wanted to create some notes around the core concepts introduced in the first major chapter, MVC Basics. There was a lot of information and I wanted to break everything down for my own personal knowledge and reference.

Key Concepts MVC is a coding pattern heavily in use today which segments the code making it decoupled and less complex.
MVC stands for:
Model - Models hold data that is added to views (These are called view models) or data that is entered by the user.View  - Views are HTML Templates + a Templating language such as Razor (In a word Razor is Csharp + HTML)Controller - Controllers handle requests and make decision about which code to run. The chapter …

Configuration Management with Salt Stack on Windows - Part 3 - Basic Configuration Management of Windows with Salt

In part 3 we're going to just scratch the surface of remote execution in Salt. We're going to accept the keys for the master server and  run basic tasks using the built in modules.

The minion automatically tries to contact the Master server. The master server must approve the minions "keys" before it can be managed.

On the master server you can view the keys by using the command
sudo salt-key -L
As you can see we need to accept the "keys"

You can accept the key by using the command
sudo salt-key -a WIN-R7RQM4ENMHS

Configuration Management with Salt Stack on Windows - Part 2 - Configuring Salt Minion with Vagrant

This is part two of a series of basic configuration management for Saltstack for use in an Windows environment. In this guide we'll be covering the basics of setting up Salt Stack Windows minion on a test machine on Vagrant. Part 3 we will be diving into the meat and pushing some buttons automatically with the Salt Master.

In order to create a test minion, we'll be using a Windows Server 2012 R2 vagrant image.

vagrant init mwrock/Windows2012R2 vagrant up  Once the machine is online you can login with vagrant / vagrant.

The download for the salt minion can be found on

Or the direct link:

The Windows installer is straightforward - just enter the Master IP or Hostname for the Salt server. We're not going over the internet, so I entered the Private IP. If you use the default "hostname" option, it will…