The Route to Null0 is OK

Back to the basics today. I have seen this pop up a few times and wanted to offer some clarification on what seems to be a cloudy issue for CCNP (and some CCIE) candidates. I’ve seen quite a few times now where engineers see a route to Null0 in a Cisco router and assume instantly that the router is “black holing” traffic.   Sometimes, a route to Null0 is inserted into the routing table when performing summarization with nearly every routing protocol in common use today.

Fighting Stale Documentation

In my continuing series on the decidedly boring, I would like to discuss the subtle, yet paralyzing, evil of stale documentation. In my experience, stale documentation can be useful or it can be disastrous, depending on how much is wrong. Personally, when I see more than a couple of tiny mistakes in a diagram, spreadsheet, […]

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Keith Tokash

Keith Tokash

Keith Tokash, CCIE (R&S) #21236, began his career in 1999, and has spent the last decade running around large content and small ISP networks. He spends his spare time with his newborn son, on the mat at the local Jiu-Jitsu gym, and trying to keep his fat yap shut.

The post Fighting Stale Documentation appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Keith Tokash.

My Problem

Do you know what my problem is?
250 million people in Indonesia, and there are only about 160 CCIEs.

I'm not saying the whole population must become CCIE or must learn about computer networking. But think about how many networks are there in Indonesia:
We have 7 mobile operators.
We have more than 100 Internet Service Providers.
We have one mobile operator with more than 100 million subscribers.
And there are only less than 200 individuals who have reached the expert skill level in IP network technology.

There are many expatriates who currently work in my country. We don't need to replace them all with Indonesian professionals. But at least we need to make sure Indonesians have the same level of skill set, and they are given the same opportunity to compete.

I'm thinking that the solution is not to make every network engineer to become CCIE. It has to go beyond that. The solution must transform Indonesia's next generations, young professionals and students, to become globally competitive professionals. To become professionals who possess the complete package from social network, technical skill and soft skill, and extensive experiences.

So they can compete in global market. So they can move around Continue reading

CCIE Security v4 Reading List – Update From The Program Manager

Because of my personal interest in the CCIE Security program (at least the written exam the next time I’m up for CCIE recert), I asked Nat Timms if there was an updated CCIE reading list. This list was recommended to me by Nat in her role as CCIE Security program manager; a big thanks 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 CCIE Security v4 Reading List – Update From The Program Manager appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Ethan Banks.

Building a Ghetto WAN Emulation Network

I wanted a way to do some controlled tests of WAN acceleration products, using a production network. You can buy or rent commercial WAN emulators, but for my purposes it seemed like an improvised solution would suffice. I had a couple of Cisco 2800 routers, a switch, and an ESXi box in my lab that I could press into service, so I built a test network that looks like this:


R1 acts like the WAN router at a branch site. It has a QoS policy with a "shape average" statement on its "WAN" interface to change the bandwidth to whatever we want to test.

R2 simply NATs the test traffic onto an IP address in the production network, since I didn't feel like configuring a new production subnet just for the test.

The ESXi box is where the fun part lives: I created two vSwitches and connected one physical NIC to each. I then spun up a simple Ubuntu 12.04 VM with eth0 and eth1 connected to each of the two vSwitches, giving me a separate network connected to each Cisco router. I then enabled routing on the Linux VM and created the appropriate static routes to enable the Continue reading

Install Raspbmc without a Keyboard or Mouse

Once I had got my iTunes library downgraded to 10.7 and liberated some of my DRM'd media I thought it would be awesome to use my Raspberry Pi as an Airplay Receiver...

Head over to http://www.raspbmc.com/download/ and follow the instructions to download and install Raspbmc. Once you've prepped your SD card, popped it in your Pi hole and got it booted it should start the installation… at this point you can grab a coffee

In older versions of Raspbmc you had to SSH in and enable the web server in /home/pi/.xbmc/userdata/guisettings.xml

In the latest version this was already enabled, so I just picked up my phone, downloaded the official XBMC remote app from the Android marketplace (or iTunes store if you are that way inclined).

A couple of points of note when adding your host in the XBMC remote app. If you don't know your IP address and your Pi is not automatically found you can find this from your local router. The HTTP port is 80 by default in Raspbmc (not 8080) and the password is blank, although I configured username xbmc and password xbmc and this works just fine!

Once set up it Continue reading

Downgrading from iTunes 11 to 10.7 on OSX

I decided to downgrade my iTunes from 11 to 10.7 for a number of reasons, top most was the fact the the new UI drives me barmy!

I followed the great instructions at http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/03/how-to-downgrade-from-itunes-11-to-version-10-7-on-your-mac/ and found that I couldn't open my iTunes library after the upgrade.

Since I didn't make a library backup before the iTunes 11 upgrade I thought I would be stuck, but to my surprise I found a Previous iTunes Libraries folder in my ~/Music/iTunes

Restoring was as easy as taking my swapping iTunes Library.itl with the file in the Previous iTunes Libraries folder from December and everything worked fine...

One thing I noticed was that my new iTunes purchases didn't show, but this was a minor inconvenience. Now I have the old iTunes back and I'm happy… for now...

Tales from the Road

As I reflect on the myriad of conversations I had over the past few weeks, (most with network admins of leading enterprise and service provider customers), there is a consistent theme that has emerged and is worth sharing. Immediacy, agility, and granular control are terms, desired concepts really, that I hear over and over again and frankly seemed to hold more importance than any other topic.  A great example of this came at the end of the second day keynote panel at World Wide Technology’s (WWT) 8th annual Geek Day event. The last question an attendee asked the panel of leading technology CIO’s: If you had one dollar to spend on IT where would you spend it? Half of the panelists answered, “network agility”.  

I came to Embrane via a leading cloud service provider and I was looking to validate the idea that speed in IT was as, if not more, important on the networking side of the fence as it was on the server and storage side.  After three months in the chair, without question, I can confirm that the “network guys” continue to  keep up at cloud speed or to match the pace of Continue reading

OSPF external E1, E2, N1, N2…Who is the winner?

This lab focuses on route selection mechanism of OSPF external routes. The complexity of OSPF selection process is due to its inherent hierarchical structure. The following selection order should be familiar to you: intra-area (O) inter-area (IA) external routes OSPF provides more flexibility for external routes by manipulating the following criteria: Regular areas or NSSA […]

Show 143 – Anuta Networks Demonstrates nCloudX Controller – Sponsored

On March 26, 2013, the Packet Pushers held a sponsored webinar with Anuta Networks to introduce their nCloudX controller to our networking community. In the webinar, the Anuta team covers the following: A bit about their background, the problems they are going after, and how nCloudX addresseses these challenges. An explanation of the nCloudX architecture, […]

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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 143 – Anuta Networks Demonstrates nCloudX Controller – Sponsored appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Ethan Banks.

Programming 101 for Network Engineers – Why Bother?

Is this you perhaps? You’re the king of the network. You know it all inside out (your company and its processes too). You have every CLI mastered, you know the RPs you use in-depth, you’ve seen and used all the big management platforms, and you even know a fair bit about a few critical applications. […]

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Steven Iveson

Steven Iveson

Steven Iveson, the last of four children of the seventies, was born in London and has never been too far from a shooting, bombing or riot. He's now grateful to live in a small town in East Yorkshire in the north east of England with his wife Sam and their four children.

He's worked in the IT industry for over 15 years in a variety of roles, predominantly in data centre environments. Working with switches and routers pretty much from the start he now also has a thirst for application delivery, SDN, virtualisation and related products and technologies. He's published a number of F5 Networks related books and is a regular contributor at DevCentral.

The post Programming 101 for Network Engineers – Why Bother? appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Steven Iveson.

Upgrading F5 BIGIP HA Pair from v10 to v11 – Ethan’s Notes

I recently completed a challenging upgrade on a pair of production F5 3600s running 10.2.0, going to 11.2.1 running the LTM module. In hindsight, it shouldn’t have been a challenging upgrade, but that was due to the things I learned along the way. Lessons Learned License reactivation. The upgrade document doesn’t say much about this. […]

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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 Upgrading F5 BIGIP HA Pair from v10 to v11 – Ethan’s Notes appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Ethan Banks.

The Importance of QoS in a Converged Infrastructure

I’ve done quite a few posts on Quality of Service, particularly on it’s basic concepts, as well as specific implementation details in a Data Center environment. Many of these concepts can be applied to really any use case, since QoS is QoS - just depends on how you classify traffic. But what do we gain by implementing QoS, especially in a context like Data Center, where a modern core layer is typically at least 10GbE and network congestion is rarely seen?

The Importance of QoS in a Converged Infrastructure

I’ve done quite a few posts on Quality of Service, particularly on it’s basic concepts, as well as specific implementation details in a Data Center environment. Many of these concepts can be applied to really any use case, since QoS is QoS - just depends on how you classify traffic. But what do we gain by implementing QoS, especially in a context like Data Center, where a modern core layer is typically at least 10GbE and network congestion is rarely seen?