The four Mac security options everyone should know

As our lives increasingly go digital, security is a major concern not only for the various online services we use, but also for the devices on which we save our data. Chances are that if you’re reading this article, you own a Mac. And on your Mac, you’d like much of the work you do on it to be kept private.MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: Free security tools you should try While OS X is relatively secure by default, there are some additional steps you can take to ensure the data on your Mac is only accessible by you, even if your Mac is stolen. Take the following tips to heart to better protect your Mac and its data.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IKEv2 VPN – ASA/IOS

In our next blog post, we will focus on configuring an IKEv2 VPN between the ASA and IOS.

Is there anything special about that configuration? Yes and no. It is still “just” IKEv2 that will take care of negotiating our tunnels, but there will definitely be a difference in how we configure one platform versus another. Remember – tunnel interfaces are not supported on the ASA, at least as of 8.6, and this generally means that we will not be able to use tunnels (FlexVPNs) on IOS, too (there is actually one small exception to this rule, but it will not be discussed in this article).

Let’s take a look at our simple network:
20141216_01

We’ll try to build a VPN tunnel between R10 and ASA3 that we will then use to protect traffic flowing between VLANs 10 and 8. I am going to start with the ASA configuration.

First and foremost – the Policy. Note that PRF must generally be the same as what you have selected for Integrity/Hashing:

crypto ikev2 policy 10
encryption aes-256
integrity sha384
prf sha384
group 14

We will authenticate the tunnel using pre-shared-keys, and since authentication method is no longer negotiated in IKEv2 we Continue reading

Python paths and Cron logging

I created two new twitter accounts yesterday and the amount of followers in such a short time is great to see. Feel free to follow them here – @bgp4_table and @bgp6_table The accounts get updated through Python, and that Python script is run via a cron job once every six hours. I noticed that when […]

VRF Lite on Nexus 5600

One of the networking engineers using my ExpertExpress to validate their network design had an interesting problem: he was building a multi-tenant VLAN-based private cloud architecture with each tenant having multiple subnets, and wanted to route within the tenant network as close to the VMs as possible (in the ToR switch).

He was using Nexus 5600 as the ToR switch, and although there’s conflicting information on the number of VRFs supported by that switch (verified topology: 25 VRFs, verified maximum: 1000 VRFs, configuration guide: 64 VRFs), he thought 25 VRFs (tenant routing domains) might be enough.

Read more ...

New CCIE RSv5 Workbook Labs & Enhancements

Foundation Lab 2 has now been added to the CCIE RSv5 Workbook.  This lab is great for working on your configuration speed and accuracy when combining multiple technologies together.  It also has a great redistribution section that I hope you’ll all enjoy ;)  More Full Scale, Troubleshooting, and Foundation labs are in progress and will be posted soon.  I’ll post another update about them when they are available.

In addition to this we’ve added some feature enhancements to the workbook in response to customer requests and feedback.  First, there is a new Table of Contents for the workbook that allows you to view all tasks, and to check off tasks that you’ve already completed.  This will help you track your progress as you’re going through the workbook.

You can additionally check off the progress of a task in the upper right hand portion of the individual lab page.

Multiple bookmarks are now supported, and will be added to a section under the Table of Contents.  When you open the workbook it will now also prompt you to load your latest bookmark.

Lastly, configuration solutions are now hidden by default when you open a lab.  This will help prevent “spoilers” in the Continue reading

IPsec VPN Mikrotik to Linux

After writing the Mikrotik IPsec VPN article and I got some questions about how Mikrotik will work with a Linux device to build an IPsec VPN. I did notice that the questions were more oriented for a copy / paste solution, so I’ll provide one that it’s working. If you need more details about why the solution is like it this, please let me know.
Also don’t forget to customize the solution as you need.

Read more on IPsec VPN Mikrotik to Linux…

DDoS flood protection


Denial of Service attacks represents a significant impact to on-going operations of many businesses. When most revenue is derived from on-line operation, a DDoS attack can put a company out of business. There are many flavors of DDoS attacks, but the objective is always the same: to saturate a resource, such as a router, switch, firewall or web server, with multiple simultaneous and bogus requests, from many different sources. These attacks generate large volumes of traffic, 100Gbit/s attacks are now common, making mitigation a challenge.

The 3 minute video demonstrates Flood Protect - a DDoS mitigation solution that leverages industry standard sFlow instrumentation in commodity data center switches to provide real-time detection and mitigation of DDoS attacks. Flood Protect is an application running on InMon's Switch Fabric Accelerator SDN controller. Other applications provide visibility and accelerate fabric performance applying controls reduce latency and increase throughput.
An early version of Flood Protect won the 2014 SDN Idol competition in a joint demonstration with Brocade Networks.
Visit sFlow.com to learn more, evaluate pre-release versions of these products, or discuss requirements.

Ansible Named a Top 10 Open Source Project by OpenSource.com

2014_Top_10_Open_Source_Project

We are pleased to announce that Ansible has been named a Top 10 Open Source Project for 2014 by Opensource.com. Be sure to watch Michael DeHaan's presentation on why your IT infrastructure should be boring, read his interview with Opensource.com's Jen Krieger and learn about one of his favorite Star Trek quotes.

View the full list here.

 

 

Business Drivers Talk at Interop 2015

interop-talk

This talk is a case study around some of the issues and solutions for TelePost Greenland. I’ll have to give credit to Denise Donohue and the folks there as I go along through the slides, but it’s a unique network with some extreme requirements — and therefore some interesting solutions.

Cisco Just Killed The CLI

DeadCLI

Gallons of virtual ink have been committed to virtual paper in the last few days with regards to Cisco’s lawsuit against Arista Networks.  Some of it is speculating on the posturing by both companies.  Other writers talk about the old market vs. the new market.  Still others look at SDN as a driver.

I didn’t just want to talk about the lawsuit.  Given that Arista has marketed EOS as a “better IOS than IOS” for a while now, I figured Cisco finally decided to bite back.  They are fiercely protective of IOS and they have to be because of the way the trademark laws in the US work.  If you don’t go after people that infringe you lose your standing to do so and invite others to do it as well.  Is Cisco’s timing suspect? One does have to wonder.  Is this about knocking out a competitor? It’s tough to say.  But one thing is sure to me.  Cisco has effectively killed the command line interface (CLI).

“Industry Standards”

EOS is certainly IOS-like.  While it does introduce some unique features (see the NFD3 video here), the command syntax is very much IOS.  That is purposeful.  There are two Continue reading

Open Networking Has Arrived

“My servers run on Linux. My team knows how to manage Linux servers and networks. It just makes sense for my switches to run on Linux too.” 

What most people don’t know is that many high-end network switches already run on Linux.

Switches from Cisco®, Extreme Networks® and Arista® use Linux to run their switch hardware (the operating system is hidden behind abstractions and APIs). As well, most of these share the same switching silicon products from Broadcom® and Intel®.

We are in the midst of a major transformation in networking. Innovation from companies like Cumulus Networks® and Edge-Core® are leading the way, disrupting the way new networks are deployed and old networks are upgraded.

In my role as head of product engineering at Tuangru, almost every small-to-mid size hosting service provider I talk to is considering open networking. Why? Because it just makes sense.

Open network hardware is more affordable and easy to acquire. The Linux software is familiar and, in most cases, admins prefer it over the next CLI and syntax versions available.

The rise of DevOps and cloud technologies like OpenStack are driving higher levels of automation and uniformity. Continue reading

Compliance and Automation Using Ansible

Compliance is a big deal in many industries, from e-commerce and PCI, to healthcare and HIPAA, to federal government and FedRAMP. At the core, compliance is all about making sure that IT systems are secure. The controls for the various industries will inevitably have some overlap; there are fundamental security controls that (should) apply to all IT systems. However, as technology advances, even the fundamental controls need to be refreshed in order to address the ever increasing advancements in security threats. 

When the need comes for your IT environment to be both compliant and automated, Ansible makes the most sense.

Why? For simple but very powerful reasons; readability, encryption, architecture and transport.

Architecture:
For starters, Ansible requires the smallest architecture. In it’s simplest form, none whatsoever, just its installation on your laptop (presuming linux or OSX). Even in our enterprise offering it is a single server. With Ansible there is no notion of Masters, Slaves, Masters of Masters, etc.

Secondly, you don’t/shouldn’t need to change anything. If you run a linux shop, SSH over port 22 is probably already in place for all servers and if you’ve been doing any sort of Windows automation, you likely already have remote Continue reading

Great Wi-Fi Starts with Proper Design

I’m sure that we have all experienced poorly designed Wi-Fi networks. When a technology is so ubiquitous, so easily accessible, and is increasingly the most relied upon method of Internet access for mobile devices and cloud computing, then there are bound to be some issues. Unfortunately, the prevalence of underperforming Wi-Fi networks is still much too common for my liking.

Great Wi-Fi starts with proper design. There are various approaches to WLAN design that have evolved over time, ranging from providing basic coverage to maximum capacity and situations in-between. 

At one end of the spectrum, we have a basic coverage oriented design. This was the historical way of designing a WLAN that simply involved ensuring adequate signal strength from access points was present in desired locations. At the other end of the spectrum is a design focusing on maximum capacity. This involves careful RF planning in order to integrate the most Wi-Fi cells as possible into a physical area. 

The problem with both of these approaches is that they are the extremes and aren't applicable for many wireless networks. Basic coverage designs may still work for warehouses and some retailers and maximum capacity designs are great for stadiums and Continue reading