IT Pro Tuesday #163

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Welcome back to IT Pro Tuesday!

First off, we’re asking you to share your expertise by replying with some of your own favorite resources and free tools, so we can pass them along to thousands of other IT Pros in the coming weeks. And as always, we’re updating the full, searchable list on our website here. Enjoy.

But on with this week's tools...! Here are the most-interesting items that have come across our desks, laptops and phones this week. Hornetsecurity has no known affiliation with any of these unless we explicitly state otherwise.

A Tutorial

IT Exam AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Study Guide is a video training series aimed at teaching the skills needed to earn the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals role-based certification badge. This 63-part series covers every objective from the exam, with a clear presentation offered by IT professional, trainer and author Tim Warner. Appreciation for this one goes to CrumyOldDanish.

A Free Tool

strongSwan is a multiplatform IPsec solution that offers encryption and authentication for servers and clients to facilitate secure communications with remote networks. Implements both the IKEv1 and IKEv2 key exchange protocols, with fully tested support of IPv6 IPsec tunnel and transport connections. Kindly suggested by red_babun.

A Tip

SwordofFargoal offers a health-related PSA for IT Pros: "Deep Vein Thrombosis—Just a heads up, we have stressful jobs where we sit most of the time. If you get unexpected pain, swelling or bruising in your legs, get it checked out. I discounted it as a muscle injury, though the bruising should have warned me. I got lucky this time, but I was stupid."


Another Free Tool

Xymon provides monitoring for hosts, network services and whatever else you configure via extensions. Can periodically generate requests to network services like http, ftp and smtp and record if the service is responding as expected and send alerts in the case of problems. Monitors local disk utilization, log files and processes through the use of agents installed on the servers. Results are collected by a central server and displayed on webpages that show the status of your network, with drill-down functionality. Records the history of each item, so you can generate availability reports and check on incidents. HTechs explains, "Say what you will... but once set up, this bad boy works like a champ. You can restyle it to modernize it some, but seriously, when all your other tools hiccup, this one is always still running in the background spitting out data."

One More Free Tool

Freeplane is an intuitive mindmapping and analysis application that can help you flesh out and organize your ideas about any project and even prepare them for presentation. Content is added without concerns about format—a straightforward mind dump of your ideas—and the tool generates an organized structure that can be manipulated as easily as a diagram. Because the workflow is unimpeded by the need to think about structure, you can unleash your creativity while still working efficiently toward a usable, organized document. gsmitheidw1 likes it because it's "quite good and free (open source) and cross platform."

P.S. Bonus Free Tools

365 Threat Monitor is a new mobile app that allows sysadmins to find out how many threats make it through on M365, so you can proactively prevent users from being tricked. Detects any threats that breach Microsoft 365’s security and sends a phone alert, so you can instantly delete it with a click and prevent damage. To celebrate the launch, Hornetsecurity is offering a forever-free version to the first 10,000 M365 IT admins who download it.

Grafolean is an easy-to-use monitoring system that provides real-time flow information in a graphical form. Works as either a self-hosted or hosted service—with API-first; built-in or remote agents; and UI-controlled agents for NetFlow, ICMP ping and SNMP. Uses PostgreSQL/TimescaleDB as data storage for easy data maintenance and a granular permissions model, with support for custom dashboard widgets via plugins.


Have a fantastic week and as usual, let us know any comments.

IT Pro title: 
Azure Tutorial, VPN Solution, Project Mindmapping & More