Review: ScienceLogic – One Network Management Tool To Rule Them All?

ScienceLogic has been getting the right kind of press recently – e.g. they were a winner of Best of Interop 2013 – Management & Monitoring, and Infoworld had some rather nice things to say. They’ve got some high-profile customers too, such as Fasthosts and Equinix. But what exactly is their product all about, and is it any […]

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Lindsay Hill

Network Management Consultant

Lindsay (@northlandboy) is a network management consultant, with experience across networks, servers, applications and security. He is CCIE #36708, RHCE, CISSP and HP MASE. More of his own content is at lkhill.com.

The post Review: ScienceLogic – One Network Management Tool To Rule Them All? appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Lindsay Hill.

Quiz #14 &#8211 Default Originate into OSPF

Your network follows a standard 3 tier hierarchical design (Core, Distribution, Access) and has two WAN circuits with eBGP sessions with the ISPs. You want to push the default route down to the Distribution routers, but something goes wrong. Where is the mistake?

Mrs. Y’s Rules for Security Bloggers

Recently Greg Ferro published an e-book for bloggers, “Arse First Method of Technical Blogging.” It has some great suggestions (although I’m not sure what an arse is), but after reading it, I realized it really doesn’t apply to security blogging. Without further ado, here are some of my tips for good infosec blog posts. 1. […]

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Mrs. Y

Snarkitecht at Island of Misfit Toys

Mrs. Y is a recovering Unix engineer working in network security. Also the host of Healthy Paranoia and official nerd hunter. She likes long walks in hubsites, traveling to security conferences and spending time in the Bat Cave. Sincerely believes that every problem can be solved with a "for" loop. When not blogging or podcasting, can be found using up her 15 minutes in the Twittersphere or Google+ as @MrsYisWhy.

The post Mrs. Y’s Rules for Security Bloggers appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Mrs. Y.

Nexus – iBGP with BFD

I’ve been trying to setup a BFD neighbor for a link connecting two important sites on a Nexus 7010. That link is only using iBGP for routing.  This seems like a really easy thing to, unless you run into bad documentation with few key missing facts.

I was reading the Nexus 7000 Cisco Configuration Guide for Enabling BFD for BGP at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/datacenter/sw/6_x/nx-os/interfaces/configuration/guide/if_bfd.html. The document specifies that all you have to do to enable BFD for BGP is :

1. enable the bfd feature,
2. enable bfd on an interface
3. enable bfd under the BGP neighbor.

See below for the configuration as specified by Cisco.

feature bfd

interface Ethernet1/10
  bfd interval 100 min_rx 100 multiplier 5

router bgp 65100
 neighbor 172.16.2.1 remote-as 65100
  bfd

The problem with this feature is that BFD won’t see each other as neighbors. You won’t see any debug messages or keepalives or any other bfd packets. When I was troubleshooting it, I noticed that by specifying a source and destination IP address for BFD neighbors (under the interface) brought up the adj. The problem with that was that BGP didn’t recognize that IP address and during testing, BFD Continue reading

Eventually – My JNCIE-ENT Success!

jncie-ent-plaque.jpgFinally… it was bound to happen. My three year journey is complete.

It was about this time last year that I posted about my second JNCIE-ENT lab attempt, and sadly it didn’t go the way I wanted it to!  Due to work commitments I was not going to be prepared to sit the 2012 Q3 round of lab offerings, so I resolved to sit the December / January round.

I picked up my studies again and worked on my weak areas noted during my first two attempts. I paid particular attention to areas of multicast and switch security as these two topics were areas of weakness for me last time. I was lucky enough to work on a project at the end of last year that included nearly 1000 ports of 802.1x with dynamic VLAN allocation, so that proved to be an excellent “lab environment” for me.

After a need to reschedule for March, as the January exams were cancelled in Sydney, I knew I was going to do everything in my control to pass this time around. I didn’t want to face the thought of making attempt #4!

Long story short this time around I felt Continue reading

How Taco Bell Taught Me About Converged Networks

I would make the argument that the term “converged networks” is not really a buzzword the way it used to be, since the world now generally understands the concept. Rather than have isolated physical networks, lets make a very popular network topology more robust in terms of capacity, but also features. After all, the networks and protocols we’re combining have some pretty stringent requirements, and we want to make sure that this transition actually works.

Moving Forward, Changing Focus

The past two years have been nothing short of a whirlwind for me. I had the privilege of helping to create the Data Center practice for a technology startup in Cincinnati, and as a result, I’ve figuratively been drinking from a fire hydrant non stop. In the past two years I’ve learned more about technology than I could have ever imagined, part of which was the fact that what I have learned only scratches the surface of what’s likely in store for me in the rest of my career.

Moving Forward, Changing Focus

The past two years have been nothing short of a whirlwind for me. I had the privilege of helping to create the Data Center practice for a technology startup in Cincinnati, and as a result, I’ve figuratively been drinking from a fire hydrant non stop. In the past two years I’ve learned more about technology than I could have ever imagined, part of which was the fact that what I have learned only scratches the surface of what’s likely in store for me in the rest of my career.

How Taco Bell Taught Me About Converged Networks

I would make the argument that the term “converged networks” is not really a buzzword the way it used to be, since the world now generally understands the concept. Rather than have isolated physical networks, lets make a very popular network topology more robust in terms of capacity, but also features. After all, the networks and protocols we’re combining have some pretty stringent requirements, and we want to make sure that this transition actually works.

SDN: Savior or Grifter?

Grift’s like anything else, Roy. You don’t stand still. You either go up or down. Usually down, sooner or later. Lilly Dillon from “The Grifters” At Interop this month, every vendor had product sheets that claimed, “Now with SDN!” It’s the latest industry buzzword and I started to recall some previous one-hit wonders from the past. Remember […]

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Mrs. Y

Snarkitecht at Island of Misfit Toys

Mrs. Y is a recovering Unix engineer working in network security. Also the host of Healthy Paranoia and official nerd hunter. She likes long walks in hubsites, traveling to security conferences and spending time in the Bat Cave. Sincerely believes that every problem can be solved with a "for" loop. When not blogging or podcasting, can be found using up her 15 minutes in the Twittersphere or Google+ as @MrsYisWhy.

The post SDN: Savior or Grifter? appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Mrs. Y.

Packet Design Appoints Andy McFarland as Vice President of Customer Care

Expands Management Team with New Executive Role Focused on Customer Success

SANTA CLARA, CA — May 21, 2013 — Packet Design, the leading provider of IP network route analytics software, announced today that it has added another industry veteran to its management ranks. Andy McFarland has been appointed to build and lead the new Customer Care function and will be responsible for customer success and satisfaction.

McFarland joins Packet Design from CA Technologies where he held various customer success leadership roles, including Vice President of Customer Support. Before that, he was Vice President of Customer Care at NetQoS and helped the company achieve industry-leading Net Promoter Scores. Earlier in his career, Andy help Internet Engineering and Operations management positions at Sprint and Broadwing Communications (now Level 3), and was Director of Carrier Relations and Access Strategy at MegaPath. Andy began his career as a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy.

“Andy McFarland understands the importance of customer enablement after the sale to ensure full value is received from the products and services acquired," said Scott Sherwood, CEO of Packet Design. "Furthermore, he has years of experience in our market implementing measurable customer care programs that promote customer success Continue reading

WCCPv2 and Squid-cache v3.1, a nice couple.

WCCP protocol can be much more interesting than the two commands needed for the CCIE exam. In this lab we will deploy a basic end-to-end solution using IOS 15.2S and the well known open-source solution Squid v3.1 as the content engine. WCCP version2 is deployed in the lab. 1-Topology WCCP enables the router to transparently intercept client […]

ESXi vSwitch Load Balancing Woes

There are a million articles out there on ESXi vSwitch Load Balancing, many of which correctly point out that the option for routing traffic based on IP Hash is probably the best option, if your upstream switch is running 802.3ad link aggregation to the ESXi hosts. It offers minimal complexity, while also providing the best load-balancing capabilities for network devices utilizing a vSwitch (Virtual Machine OR vmkernel). So…this article will be catered towards a very specific problem.

ESXi vSwitch Load Balancing Woes

There are a million articles out there on ESXi vSwitch Load Balancing, many of which correctly point out that the option for routing traffic based on IP Hash is probably the best option, if your upstream switch is running 802.3ad link aggregation to the ESXi hosts. It offers minimal complexity, while also providing the best load-balancing capabilities for network devices utilizing a vSwitch (Virtual Machine OR vmkernel). So…this article will be catered towards a very specific problem.

Programming 101 for Network Engineers – Basic Language Elements & Concepts 1

Welcome to the third part of the Programming 101 for Network Engineers series. This is likely to be the most ‘straight up’ piece so far; all fact and almost no fun (but learning is right?). Sorry, but for now the comment and opinion need to be put aside as we get into some nitty-gritty. The following […]

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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 – Basic Language Elements & Concepts 1 appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written Continue reading

Two Hours, Two Days…

It’s either two hours, two days, two weeks… or too long. Two things these last two weeks have brought this old saying to mind in full force. First, there is this interesting article about the woes of the Medicaid Management System in Tennessee. Here we have a program that has overrun it’s budget for multiple […]

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Russ White

Principal Engineer at Ericsson

Russ White has scribbled a basket of books, penned a plethora of patents, written a raft of RFCs, taught a trencher of classes, nibbled and noodled at a lot of networks, and done a lot of other stuff you either already know about — or don't really care about. You can find Russ at 'net Work, the Internet Protocol Journal, and his author page on Amazon.

The post Two Hours, Two Days… appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Russ White.

SDN: A Tale of Two Frogs

I have recently come across an article that references comments from a Cisco survey as claiming you are more apt to see Big Foot than software-defined networking (SDN) deployments. Cisco’s statement is not surprising and the results of the survey are probably skewed by Cisco’s ability to deliver solutions that enable more agile and programmable networks, such as those that can be built with available SDN products.

Cisco has done a lot for the networking industry, but these most recent comments it has made related to SDN should be a concern for enterprise and service provider customers looking to the incumbent for innovation. Equating SDN with a Big Foot sighting, or creating a consortium to deliver SDN solutions that won’t be available for years (if ever), won’t solve the real problems customers face today – the lack of network agility, lengthy provisioning times, the need for over-provisioning to meet variable demand, etc.

With all due respect, I understand the plight of the incumbent. I've been on the other side of the fence myself. Answering and educating shareholders on new revenue models, never mind training and compensating sales people to drive consumption-based versus one-time, monolithic, “big box” selling methods is a Continue reading

Passed CCIE Data Center!

After a number of months studying and final 2 weeks full 100% dedicated preparation I passed the CCIE Data Center Lab exam last week on April 25th in Brussels at first attempt!!!

This is my fourth CCIE title and I can honestly say that this is the title means a lot to me! Currently there are so few individuals who passed the CCIE Data Center lab and many have failed it already.

Verification

Preparation

What did I use for preparation?

IPexpert CCIE Data Center Workbook

Of course I used the CCIE Data Center Workbook from IPexpert for my preparation, because I wrote the book. After writing the labs for the past couple months I really had to re-do them all to get a feeling about the entire picture again. This has been an invaluable resource with labs that are a lot harder than the actual lab tasks!

Real life experience

In my work for a Cisco Gold Partner (Telindus) I did a lot of projects with Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000, Nexus 2000, MDS switches and a ton of UCS systems. This is where I found that I learned most of the knowledge that was required for the test.

Focus Focus Focus!

Continue reading

The Important Question for a Technology Fresher

After spending a considerable amount of time on forums like the Cisco Learning Network, it is apparent that there are many challenges for those entering the field of technology. Freshers, as they are known in the industry, have many challenges. Some of these challenges stem from the gap between the education process and the real […]

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Paul Stewart

Paul is a Network and Security Engineer, Trainer and Blogger who enjoys understanding how things really work. With nearly 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Paul has helped many organizations build, maintain and secure their networks and systems. Paul also writes technical content at PacketU.

The post The Important Question for a Technology Fresher appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Paul Stewart.

Cisco IOS Alias

Don't you just love the option of configuring aliases on IOS? Call it being lazy or saving time, but I can't begin a network implementation without some awesome aliases!

Switch#p alias
alias exec s show run
alias exec w write memory
alias exec si show ip int brief
alias exec sr show run interface gigabit
alias exec c config term
alias exec st show int status
alias exec p show run | include
alias exec b show run | begin
alias exec ae alias exec 

Get creative!

On a related note, some MAC OS X aliases


alias flushdns='sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder'
alias menubar='killall -Kill SystemUIServer'
alias p4='ping 4.2.2.2'