Building the lab – part 1

I finally have all the equipment I need to build the lab. I also managed to get a Skeletek C24U rack, and it looks really nice. The fun already starts with assembling the rack as it comes in a relatively small box, including 6 pieces and a whole bunch of nuts and bolts.

Skeletek C24U

Skeletek C24U

After 45 minutes or so the rack is fully assembled and ready to rack the first pieces of Cisco gear.

Skeletek CCIE Home Lab Rack

Assembled Skeletek Rack

After about two hours later I also racked all the Cisco equipment I have into the rack, including two PDU’s for some power juice.

Skeletek CCIE Home Lab Rack

Skeletek CCIE Home Lab Rack

Next step will be to put all the cabling in place. And hopefully the two octal cables (cab-octal-async) I ordered will arrive shortly, so I can also connect all the console outputs to the terminal server/router.

IETF Provides New Guidance on IPv6 End-Site Addressing

I've always been at odds with the recommendation in RFC 3177 towards allocating /48 IPv6 prefixes to end-sites.  To me this seemed rather short-sighted, akin to saying that 640K of memory should be enough for anybody.  It's essentially equivalent to giving out /12s in the IPv4 world which in this day and age might seem completely ridiculous, but let us not forget that in the early days of IPv4 it wasn't uncommon to get a /16 or even a /8 in some cases.

Granted, I know there are quite a few more usable bits in IPv6 than there are in IPv4, but allocating huge swaths of address space simply because it's there and we haven't thought of all the myriad ways it could be used in the future just seems outright wasteful.

So you can imagine my surprise and also my elation last week when the IETF published RFC 6177 entitled 'IPv6 Address Assignment to End Sites'.  In it, the general recommendation of allocating /48s to end-sites that has long been the defacto standard since the original publication of RFC 3177 in 2001 has finally been reversed.

It seems that sanity has finally prevailed and Continue reading

Routing an IPv6 Core on Link-Local Addresses

Can routing an IPv6 Core on link-local addresses be done? Will IPv6 work in a network backbone that only has link-local addresses configured? For this test I’ll be using OSPFv3 but protocol itself...

[[ Summary content only, you can read everything now, just visit the site for full story ]]

LISP is serious business

Some perspective with regards to the maturity of the protocol specifications and implementations of the Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP):

The first LISP specification was published in January 2007 as an individual submission. After 13 revisions the Internet-Draft was adopted as an IETF LISP Working Group document. Within the LISP Working Group there have been 12 versions of the main Internet-Draft. Literally hundreds of contributors from a lot of different companies have made suggestions and fixed bugs to make the LISP specification what it is today.

The first implementation started at the Prague IETF conference in 2007. As of today there are about 10 implementations: Linux, Android, FreeBSD (OpenLISP), Zlisp, LISP-Click, FNSC FITELnet G21, IOS, NX-OS, IOS-XR and IOS-XE. Please note that not all of them have yet been released or are of production quality. I recommend using the implementations developed by Cisco because they are the most mature and feature rich implementations.

Better yet, recently Cisco announced to the world its first production software releases 15.1(4)M and 15.1(2)S which support the Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP). Cisco has committed to make LISP, as an emerging standard, available on all its major routers and switches in Continue reading

IPv4 Address Exhaustion Causing Harmful Effects on the Earth

Today, I received a very disturbing email on NANOG which was forwarded from a recipient on the Global Environment Watch (GEW) mailing list.  If this is true, we all need to take steps to make an orderly and smooth transition to IPv6 as quickly as possible, lest we suffer from the harmful effects described in this email.

From: Stephen H. Inden
To: Global Environment Watch (GEW) mailing list
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 00:19:08 +0200
Subject: IPv4 Address Exhaustion Effects on the Earth

At a ceremony held on February 3, 2011 the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated the remaining last five /8s of IPv4 address space to the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). With this action, the free pool of available IPv4 addresses was completely depleted.

Since then, several scientists have been studying the effects of this massive IPv4 usage (now at its peak) on the Earth.

While measuring electromagnetic fields emanating from the world's largest IPv4 Tier-1 backbones, NASA scientists calculated how the IPv4 exhaustion is affecting the Earth's rotation, length of day and planet's shape.

Dr. Ron F. Stevens, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said all packet switching based communications have some effect on the Earth's  Continue reading

Monitoring Direct Attached Storage Under ESXi

One of the first things I wanted to do with my ESXi lab box was to simulate a hard drive failure to see what alarms would be raised by ESXi. This exercise doesn't serve any purpose in the “real world” where ESXi hosts are likely to be using shared storage in all but the most esoteric of installations but since my lab box isn't using shared storage I wanted to make sure I understood the behavior of ESXi during a drive failure. This post is also a guide to my future self should a drive fail for real :-).


The marathon was really a hard one. 800 meters of total accent (2600ft). ... What a great scenery, it was more a tour then a marathon ;) ...I’ll am working on some new entries to the blog.

Installing Olive 10.4R1 under VMware

It's been a long time since I've taken a run at getting Olive up and working. I wanted to take another stab at it and document how to get a working Olive installation using the latest JUNOS code. I also wanted to document how to get Olive up inside VMware ESXi since I hadn't actually done that before.

Juniper Olive

Olive refers to a regular PC or virtual machine that is running Juniper Networks’ JUNOS software. Juniper created Olive early on so they could perform testing of JUNOS during development. These days Olive is deprecated in favor of cheap, low-end M and J-series routers but is still used by people wanting to evaluate/test JUNOS or those who are studying for Juniper certifications. For the most part Olive is fully functional as a basic router.

Choosing a RAID Card for ESXi

I recently built a VMware ESXi host at home. When I was researching the hardware, I learned there are a number of things to consider when choosing a RAID card for use under ESXi. This article covers those things and offers advice for anyone who is building a similar system.

Preparation Tips for the JNCIE-ER Exam

As many of you know, Juniper is currently undergoing a massive effort to update their certification program.  The previous track in 'Enterprise Routing' is now changing to 'Enterprise Routing and Switching' incorporating elements from the previous certification track in addition to some new elements essential to Enterprise switching such as Spanning-Tree, VLANs, Layer 2 Security, as well as High Availability features like Virtual Chassis.  We can expect that a lot of the topics like Firewalling and NAT will be removed from this exam as these topics will more properly appear in the Security track.

Although the new JNCIE-ENT certification is planned to be released in August 2011, there are many of you who are currently pursuing the existing JNCIE-ER before time runs out.  The good news is that Juniper plans to continue offering the existing JNCIE-ER exam until October 2011 so there is still quite a bit of time for those who are interested in attaining this certification.

There probably isn't a single day that goes by that I don't receive an email inquiry from someone currently pursuing the JNCIE-ER with a request to learn from my experiences and test preparation techniques.  And although this exam Continue reading

Nagios and IPv6 made easy with the mknagconf configuration generator

This article describes how to install Nagios3 and my mknagconf tool and how to use them. It should take about 30 minutes to install nagios3 and mknagconf and set it up to monitor a few hosts. The following has been tested with Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10 and 11.04 on an amd64 platform.

Nagios3 is an excellent monitoring engine, but the stock Nagios has some limitations in regard to dual-stack hosts. In the Nagios universe, one host is one ip address, and a secondary ipv6 address would require an extra host definition.

The Nagios packages which you are about to install have been patched to support this concept "one host = 1 ipv4 address + 1 optional ipv6 address". The mknagconf script makes it easier to maintain your Nagios installation. mknagconf takes small short, and simple definition files, parses them and generate the configuration files for Nagios. This will be explained after installing the required software.

Step 1: Install all dependencies
apt-get install apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils apache2.2-bin 
apache2.2-common bsd-mailx libapache2-mod-php5 libapr1
libaprutil1 libaprutil1-dbd-sqlite3 libaprutil1-ldap
libgd2-noxpm libjpeg62 libperl5.10 nagios-plugins-basic
php5-common postfix ssl-cert nagios-plugins-standard
nagios-plugins-extra git-core make
Step 2: obtain PGP key, configure apt Continue reading

Common Services VRF MPLS and BGP

One of the most common MPLS VPN topologies is the Common Services simply put, it provides the most control of Branch traffic and filtering. MPLS VPNs are among one of today’s favorite and for good...

[[ Summary content only, you can read everything now, just visit the site for full story ]]

The OSPFv2 Network Summary LSA Type-3

Well, what is the Network Summary LSA? It’s an LSA flooded throughout the backbone area, which describes networks in other areas. Originated only by ABRs (Area Border Routers) and not flooded...

[[ Summary content only, you can read everything now, just visit the site for full story ]]