Coming to SD-WAN: The Build vs. Buy Decision

Earlier this month, I attended Networking Field Day 13, where we heard from VeloCloud on their SD-WAN solution. Their presentation and case study got me thinking about how most businesses will consume SD-WAN and where business customers may fall on the “Buy” vs. “Build” spectrum.

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NFD13 Forecast – Cloudy With a Chance of Software

Well, this week is a week of firsts — or at least, firsts in a while. It’s my first time actually posting something new on the blog in a while, and it will also be my first Tech Field Day event in a while. Continue reading

Performing Ping Sweeps with IOS TclSh

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a blog post up, but with my CCIE recertification out of the way I’m hoping to ramp some volume back up. We’re talking about some sexy stuff today… Ping sweeps! First off, let’s cover why you’d need to sweep up your pings. Some people use the ping sweep as a means to “find” hosts on the network. The problem with this is, devices with host-based firewalls active may not respond to an ICMP ping. If you’re pinging from off the local subnet, there are other reasons you might not get a response back as well, like a host having a mis-programmed default gateway or subnet mask, or an interface ACL on the routing device. That said, ping sweeps are still incredibly useful for helping to find vacant IP addresses on a LAN. Or, at least, IP addresses that are not currently active. Always consult your properly maintained IP documentation to find IPs you can safely use for new deployments (yes, I’m laughing at that one too…).

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Creating Uplink Port-Channels in UCS Manager

Recently, a customer asked me for a quick how-to for plumbing and configuring northbound port-channels on their UCS B-series setup. The basic install including management access had been completed some time ago, but as projects sometimes go, this one had been back-burnered for some time so we were just getting around to making it work.

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ASA File Operation Tips

I’ve been working on Cisco’s ASA firewall platform for years, and I continue to work on a variety of environments with multiple generations of the ASA for clients at H.A. Storage. One of my favorite features of the ASA platform has been the quality of the high-availability failover mechanism, which is generally very reliable, fast, and seamless.
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Thoughts on Building Tools versus “Programming”

A couple weeks ago at Networking Field Day 9, Brocade presented with their usual A-list of networking gurus. One of the presenters was Jon Hudson, a very engaging, visionary speaker. His talk, shown below, was about the state of network programmability.

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The Buzz About NetBeez

One of the great benefits of attending Tech Field Day events is the opportunity to learn about new startups that I might otherwise not have heard about. And one of the great things about startups is their ability to apply a fresh set of eyes to long-standing problems without being bogged down by existing products or past decisions.

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NFD8 Recap: Nuage Networks – One to Watch

Last fall, I attended the Tech Field Day NFD8 event, and one of the presenting companies was Nuage Networks. This was actually the second time I’d seen Nuage present at an NFD event, the first one being NFD6 a year earlier. Upon my return from NFD8, I did a short write-up of each presenting sponsor for my coworkers at H.A. Storage Systems to keep them informed. The following is my recap of Nuage Networks after their presentation in which I explain why I think Nuage is really on-target with their SDN solution and is definitely a solution to keep an eye on.

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In the Data Center, No One Can Hear You Lose Your Hearing

Working for a data center-focused reseller/integrator like H.A. Storage Systems, I spend my fair share of time in various data center environments. I have, for years, elected to use some sort of hearing protection when in these facilities. I have constantly been amazed, though, at how few other workers in data centers do the same.
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Normalizing ACLs to Support Automated Changes

Although I look forward to network fabric management seeing broad deployment, the fact is that many networks (and especially enterprise LAN/WAN) will be managed with traditional methods for some time yet. Inconsistencies in device configurations can present a barrier to some types of automation. In this article, we’ll explore that very challenge and a resolution I came up with to handle it.

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