Cisco UCS vNIC Switchport Mode

I wrote an article a while back regarding VLAN configuration when running vSphere ESXi on top of Cisco UCS. A comment pointed out that all vNICs are automatically configured as trunks. I had not heard of this before, so I got into the CLI to take a look. Here’s a VLAN configuration screen in the UCSM GUI for a sample vNIC: Check out the running configuration for this vNIC on the underlying NX-OS CLI.

Network Toolkit

My case full of network doodads always generates lots of questions when people see it for the first time. I don't carry dedicated iPhone chargers anymore, but Apple cube chargers forgotten behind hotel nightstands is where this started.

With this kit it is immediately apparent when something is missing, so things tend to not get left behind.

The limited space has driven me to find the best and most compact solutions to all of my problems. I'm really pleased with everything that's in here. I'm also aware that it's super nerdy.


The case itself is a Duluu Essential case for iPad. It's a nice semi-rigid clamshell type case. I've made two modifications:

  1. Removed the padded "page" between the two halves. This thing was intended to keep the stuff in the pockets on the left from scratching the iPad on the right. It also served as an iPad stand.
  2. I removed the original zipper pulls, replaced them with a repair part because the square corners of the original pulls tended to cause problems.
On the right side of the case I've installed a bit of floor padding foam (this kind of thing, but mine came from Harbor Freight Tools), Continue reading

Applications…Meet Your Network

If you’ve been following Embrane over the past several months, you know we’ve been focusing almost exclusively on differentiating our business in the SDN space by promoting the fact that we have been the only company securing and announcing a steady stream of paying, in-production customers.  As a result, we’ve been placing less emphasis on touting the advancements we’ve made on the technology side. However, since it’s our technology leadership that’s attracting our rapidly growing customer base, it’s time to show off our technology chops too. This week our SDN leadership becomes even more evident with the introduction of our new application-centric networking solutions.

(Okay, it’s not exclusively a technology announcement since we announced another new customer, Ryan Labs Asset Management. More on them in a bit.)

While most vendors started their SDN movement from the bottom up, looking at ways to add agility at the connectivity layer (a.k.a. Layer 2), Embrane continues to take a top-down approach to the network. We focus on the network services that support, enhance and secure the ever-growing number of business applications in an enterprise data center. After all, applications drive enterprises business. The newest release of the Embrane heleos Continue reading

IPv6 RA Router Advertisement and all the flags inside

How does the internet work - We know what is networking

I can say at the beginning that more and more fellows is visiting this blog. Finally networking knowledge project did succeed to get some fans from out there so I felt the need to thank you all for visiting this place. As you can see here from the blog post list I didn’t follow this movement myself these […]

IPv6 RA Router Advertisement and all the flags inside

Cisco onePK Screencast

As a follow-on to my previous article on onePK – Cisco onePK: Now I Get It – I recorded a screencast in which I talk about what a onePK-enabled network is capable of. I also demonstrate two applications which make use of onePK to gather telemetry from the network and also program the network.

  • MTU Checker – Verifies that when the MTU of an interface is changed on the CLI, that the adjoining interface MTU matches
  • Routing For Dollars – Programs the forwarding table of the routers in the network based on the cost – in terms of dollars – of the various links in the network

Please leave a comment below with any questions or feedback.


Copyright Joel Knight. All Rights Reserved.
www.packetmischief.ca

Junos and BGP FlowSpec

Introduction Recently I carried out tests in labs to evaluate the FlowSpec implementation on MX960 router with TRIO MPC cards. I used a 12.3 Junos release. Those tests have covered: - IPv4 blackholing traffic feature - IPv4 rate-limiting traffic feature...

Junos and BGP FlowSpec

Introduction Recently I carried out tests in labs to evaluate the FlowSpec implementation on MX960 router with TRIO MPC cards. I used a 12.3 Junos release. Those tests have covered: - IPv4 blackholing traffic feature - IPv4 rate-limiting traffic feature...

Show 154 – A Bit of Swamp Ass to Lift Your Day – CLUS 2013 Community Show

In this community show recorded at Cisco Live US 2013 in Orlando, Cooper Lees, Lauren Mahoit and Colin McNamara join Packet Pushers hosts Greg Ferro and Ethan Banks in a happy chat about the coming world of networking automation. We discuss the following high-level topics. Automation, orchestration and devops in the network is becoming an ever-bigger deal. We apply this in a Cisco […]

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Ethan Banks

Ethan Banks, CCIE #20655, has been managing networks for higher ed, government, financials and high tech since 1995. Ethan co-hosts the Packet Pushers Podcast, which has seen over 3M downloads and reaches over 10K listeners. With whatever time is left, Ethan writes for fun & profit, studies for certifications, and enjoys science fiction. @ecbanks

The post Show 154 – A Bit of Swamp Ass to Lift Your Day – CLUS 2013 Community Show appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Ethan Banks.

PQ Show 29 – How To Prepare for the CCDE

At Cisco Live US 2013 in Orlando, Packet Pushers co-host Ethan Banks was joined by CCDE program manager Elaine Lopes, CiscoPress author Russ White who was closely involved with the CCDE program creation, quad-CCIE & CCDE Scott Morris, and CCIE & CCDE Jeremy Filliben who instructs a CCDE bootcamp. We discuss (what else) how to […]

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Ethan Banks

Ethan Banks, CCIE #20655, has been managing networks for higher ed, government, financials and high tech since 1995. Ethan co-hosts the Packet Pushers Podcast, which has seen over 3M downloads and reaches over 10K listeners. With whatever time is left, Ethan writes for fun & profit, studies for certifications, and enjoys science fiction. @ecbanks

The post PQ Show 29 – How To Prepare for the CCDE appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Ethan Banks.

Quality of Service (QoS) Congestion Management Notes

Of all the tools within the QoS toolset, congestion management tools, also known as queuing tools, provide the biggest impact on application service levels.  Whenever packets enter a device faster than can exit it, congestion exists and this is where queuing tools come into play.  Queuing tools are only engaged when congestion exists, otherwise packets are sent as soon as they arrive.  When congestion does exist, packets must be buffered, or queued, to mitigate dropping.

Packet markings, or lack thereof, affect queuing policies, so queuing policies are complementary and have a dependence on classification and marking policies.

Scheduling vs. Queuing

These two terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably – they are two different things.  Scheduling determines how a frame or packet exits a device. Whenever packets enter a device faster than they can exit it, as is the case with speed mismatches (ex. Gigabit Ethernet traffic heading to a WAN interface), congestion can occur.  Devices have buffers that allow the temporary storing and subsequent scheduling of these backed-up packets, and this process is called queuing.

Inbound traffic > Queuing (During congestion) > Scheduling > Outbound traffic

Quality of Service (QoS) Classification and Marking Notes

The first part of building a QoS policy is to identify the traffic that you need to treat preferentially (give better priority), or differentially.  This is accomplished via classification and marking.

  • Classification – sorts packets into different traffic types that policies can then be applied to.
  • Marking (or re-marking) – establishes a trust boundary on which scheduling tools later utilize.  The edge of the network where markings are either accepted or rejected is known as the trust-boundary.
  • Classifier tools – Inspect one or more fields in a packet to identify the type of traffic that is being carried. After being identified, it is passed to the appropriate mechanism to handle that type of traffic class.
  • Marking tools – actually write a field within the packet (or frame, cell, label) to preserve the classification decision.  By marking traffic at a trust boundary, subsequent nodes do not have to perform the same in-depth analysis to determine how to treat the packet.

Classification Tools

These tools can examine a number of criteria within layers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7.

  • L1 – Physical interface, subinterface, PVC, port
  • L2 – MAC, 802.1Q/p CoS, VLAN, MPLS EXP, ATM Cell Continue reading

Checksum Verification

Occasionally I have to install software that is no longer available for download via the official channels. This is due to us having pretty strict standards on which IOS versions are stable and suitable for use via a bug scrub process that Cisco are party to.

I could speak to our Cisco SE and ask for the image to be provided, but it’s simpler and quicker to find a similar piece of kit on the network and FTP/SCP the image across.

I did this today, and then realised that I couldn’t rely on CCO to give me the MD5 sum for the image. A quick google tells me that I can perform a checksum on the switch using this command:

verify /md5 <file-location>:<file-name>

Location choices are:

bs: File to be verified
cns: File to be verified
flash: File to be verified
ftp: File to be verified
http: File to be verified
https: File to be verified
null: File to be verified
nvram: File to be verified
rcp: File to be verified
scp: File to be verified
system: File to be verified
tar: File to be verified
tftp: File to be verified
tmpsys: File to be verified
xmodem: File to be Continue reading

Change your vocabulary, change your career

When people look at their careers, the focus pretty naturally falls to skills acquisition. Almost everyone believes that their future hinges on learning some skill or mastering some talent. Maybe you want to know more about business or strategy. Perhaps you think you need to read leadership books or find Harvard Business Review articles on […]

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The post Change your vocabulary, change your career appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Michael Bushong.

Invest in great tools for your engineers

Can you remember your last newly hired engineer, all shiny and happy and new? Can you also remember the look on their face when they received their corporate craptop? Or maybe they received a decent laptop, but it came in a ten dollar laptop bag. The tech industry spends a lot of time and effort […]

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John Harrington

John is an experienced data center engineer with a background in mobile telecoms. He works as a network test engineer for a large cloud service provider, and is gradually accepting that he's a nerd. He blogs about network technology and careers at theNetworkSherpa.com. You can reach him on twitter at: @networksherpa

The post Invest in great tools for your engineers appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by John Harrington.

Don’t Alienate Your Co-Workers With Your Passion

We geeks love our tech. Really love it. I mean…really, really get down deep into a technology, decide it’s the best thing ever, and then wave the flag around high. Make the wallpaper. Wear the t-shirt. Evangelize the ignorant. Shout down the naysayers. Mock the competitors. Fan the flames of rivalry. Linux vs. Microsoft. Mac […]

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Ethan Banks

Ethan Banks, CCIE #20655, has been managing networks for higher ed, government, financials and high tech since 1995. Ethan co-hosts the Packet Pushers Podcast, which has seen over 3M downloads and reaches over 10K listeners. With whatever time is left, Ethan writes for fun & profit, studies for certifications, and enjoys science fiction. @ecbanks

The post Don’t Alienate Your Co-Workers With Your Passion appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Ethan Banks.

CDN activity and what it means for network monitoring

One of the more useful ways to find out what is happening in the real world of network monitoring and troubleshooting is to have a look through some of the many on line forums that exist. Spiceworks Community and SolarWinds Thwack are examples but there are many more. Here you can spot trends as to […]

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Darragh Delaney

Technical Director at NetFort

Darragh Delaney is head of technical services at NetFort. As Director of Technical Services and Customer Support, he interacts on a daily basis with NetFort customers and is responsible for the delivery of a high quality technical and customer support service.

Darragh has extensive experience in the IT industry, having previously worked for O2 and Tyco. His User and Network Forensics blog. for Computer World focuses his experiences of network management and IT security in the real world. In his current role Darragh is regularly on site with network administrators and managers and this blog is a window into the real world of keeping networks running and data assets secure.

He shares network security and management best practices on the NetFort blog. Follow Darragh on Twitter @darraghdelaney and NetFort Technologies @netfort. You can also contact him Continue reading

eFSU on VSS (WS-6513, Sup2T)


I performed an eFSU (enhanced Fast Software Upgrade) of a pair of Cisco WS-6513-E switches in VSS. eFSU is the closest one can get to a true ISSU (in service software upgrade) of a VSS chassis. The entire process took 25 minutes. It is slower than a conventional FSU that involves changing the boot variables on the switch to point to the new software image file and then reloading the switches. This will cause a complete outage irrespective of whether devices are single or dual attached to the VSS. With the eFSU, we lost a single ping in the complete process from a workstation that was connected to an upstream 4500 switch that was dual homed to the VSS chassis. However, for devices that were single attached, there was a considerable outage (60-180 seconds).

I'll go over the process and hopefully this post should familiarize other network engineers who want to attempt an eFSU but haven't done it before. I've capture screenshots of the upgrade process, so we can look at some of the interesting logs on the switches.

Current IOS: 15.1(1)SY
New IOS: 15.1(1)SY1

Cisco's documentation is very precise and straight forward and can be found here.

Visibility, Debugging and Network Virtualization (Part 1)

[This post was written by Martin Casado and Amar Padmanahban, with helpful input from Scott Lowe, Bruce Davie, and T. Sridhar]

This is the first in a multi-part discussion on visibility and debugging in networks that provide network virtualization, and specifically in the case where virtualization is implemented using edge overlays.

In this post, we’re primarily going to cover some background, including current challenges to visibility and debugging in virtual data centers, and how the abstractions provided by virtual networking provide a foundation for addressing them.

The macro point is that much of the difficulty in visibility and troubleshooting in today’s environments is due to the lack of consistent abstractions that both provide an aggregate view of distributed state and hide unnecessary complexity. And that network virtualization not only provides virtual abstractions that can be used to directly address many of the most pressing issues, but also provides a global view that can greatly aid in troubleshooting and debugging the physical network as well.

A Messy State of Affairs

While it’s common to blame server virtualization for complicating network visibility and troubleshooting, this isn’t entirely accurate. It is quite possible to build a static virtual datacenter and, assuming the vSwitch Continue reading

The Value of Certifications

I hope to clear the air on what a vendor certificate (or any certificate, such as a degree/diploma/etc) is, and is not. Too many times have I heard/seen people place too little or too much stock in the single piece of paper. What a certificate is A certificate, simply put, is proof that on a […]

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Ken Matlock

Ken Matlock

Ken Matlock is a networking veteran of 19 years. He has worked in many fields in the networking industry including Service Provider, Retail, and Healthcare. When he's not fixing the problems of the networking world, he can be found studying for his CCIE, spending time with his family, and trying to chase the ever-elusive sleep.

He can be found on twitter @KenMatlock , email at [email protected] , irc.freenode.net #PacketPushers, or the occasional blog or forum post.

The post The Value of Certifications appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Ken Matlock.

Cisco onePK: Now I Get It

I had an opportunity recently to sit in a Cisco onePK lab and it opened my eyes to exactly what Cisco is doing with onePK, why it’s going to be so important as Software Defined Networking (SDN) continues to gain traction, and why onePK is different than what anyone else is doing in the industry.

onePK is a key element within Cisco’s announced Open Network Environment SDN strategy. onePK is an easy-to-use toolkit for development, automation, rapid service creation and more. It enables you to access the valuable data inside your network via easy-to-use APIs.

Source: www.cisco.com/go/onepk

Since having my own eyes opened, I’ve been pondering how to explain my new found understanding in a way that others will grasp. In particular to business decision makers (BDMs) and technical decision makers (TDMs). I’m really, really, struggling to come up with a good analogy for BDMs. I’m still working on that one. Surprisingly, I’m also struggling to come up with a sound analogy that will work with the majority of TDMs that I know. Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised at that since all the TDMs I deal with are on the infrastructure side of things (networks, storage, Continue reading