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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Social networking

I work for one of the biggest consultancy firms in northern europe but in my region there's not a lot of networking guys around. I very rarely get the chance to just sit down and rant about networking stuff. It's mostly VMware, Server, Storage and stuff like that. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy these areas as well. After all, I'm a networking guy with a background in server administration (oh the years of all-night-linux-HOWTO-reading). Keeping track of all areas is extremely important if you want to be a good network administrator. Every IT function depends on the Network but the Network really doesn't depend on any other function. It's autonomous, so to speak. But just like any other support function the Network would not exist without all those servers and clients. We need to know how they work to be able to support them.

So how to fill the void?

I've had a twitter account since..since.. I'm not sure, I'd like to say since 2006 but I'm not even sure twitter was around back then. Anyway, the point is that I've had an account but I've never really gotten into it. Last week or so I've been looking around and I'm hooked. There's just so much information. Today I found a link to a great CCIE mindmap in #CCIE.

Another extremely good thing is the Packet Pushers podcast. Listening to this just gives me a big smile on my face. It's like those times when I go to meetings with the national specialist group of IPC-consultants. I'm reminded of all those things that tends to slip away while talking about the latest VMware features. It's like coming home. That sounds a bit sad but I don't care! :P

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cisco 360 and INE SP comparison

I'm using Cisco 360 and the Service Provider package from INE.  They're covering different tracks so they are not directly comparable. I will share some thoughts of the two.


This is pure VoD in the sense that it's not a recorded class. They follow a script and it's very smooth. If something doesn't work as planned they have the ability to stop, go back and do over. If it's a recorded class you need to live with the Demo Ghost that inevitably slows things down.

There's a lot of written material available for those times when you get bored with VoDs. I like this a *lot*. If they published it in book form I'd buy it.

It also has excellent tips for the lab itself. How to structure your lab with a work sheet and such. Very good!

The material covers all protocols but other parts also helps you understand how to actually apply the knowledge in the lab itself. I guess this is a great thing if you don't have a lot of experience.

A few bad things. You need licenses to be able to view the materials. This is of course included in the 360 fee. You're limited to 2 computers and the VoD player doesn't work in OS X which is a problem for me. The pdf viewer works in OS X, though. However! When you open a workbook scenario in OS X you get the message "you are not allowed to view this file on Mac OS X". This is not acceptable! Cisco can not control what platform I'm using! I figured I could run the viewer of remote desktop to a Windows machine but alas, the software recognizes when you're trying to do this and tells you kindly to go away.

One of the instructors is rather aggravating. Annoying intonations and also a habit to repeat himself.. "so I will now do *insert a lot of things* and I will do that now so I will go ahead and do that right now". That gets a bit annoying after a few hours ;)

The SP materials from INE

This is a recorded class. This is noticable in the sense that by the end of the day the instructor is beginning to sound tired. Sometimes it loses tempo and you start to drift off. 360 has shorter segments and who knows how long breaks the instructors takes between recording.

There's no written material apart from EXCELLENT lab materials. You're simply expected to have more knowledge to begin with while the 360 materials can be used by a less experience person (I'd recommend at least CCNP for faster processing..).

The sessions can get a bit long. Expect at least an hour per session and it's a LOT of information. It's easier to stay focused if you attend the class than if you're watching the recorded materials (at least for me).

A very good thing is that there's a lot of real configurations as well as a lot of good tips regarding debug and such. Most of the configuration steps are supplemented with debug information which really helps you understand what actually happens when you do stuff. I like this a *lot* as it's something you need in your real life if you're actually working with it and not just polishing your framed diploma.

There's no license required for the viewer which means that you can run it on any computer with a browser. This is really good!


 I like them both, they compliment each other nicely and in the long run I hope I will be able to finish both RS and SP before they update SP to include features that I don't have access to in my labs. Would be waste of time and money if I have to start over..

Monday, August 2, 2010

Forced leave of absence from studies

Haven't done any studying what so ever the last week. Two reasons, summer and SC2. Back at it today with more practical QoS!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

BIttorrent for deployment of software in your DC

Stumbled across this very interesting presentation of software developed by Twitter to deploy software on their massive amount of servers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Enhanced ping sweep script

The regular ping sweep script used to verify The Golden Moment can be a bit annoying due to the massive amount of output it generates. I've written a new version that is meant to be easy to remember. There could be a lot more fancy stuff but i want it simple so that I can easily recreate it from memory at any time (read: CCIE-lab).

Here is a full version of it including all IP address in my current scenario (Cisco 360, Lab 15):

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reset startup configs in GNS3 (and some nifty always-there aliases)

So after having manually reset my CCIE-lab of 10 devices (11 counting the FRS) about 5 times I got bored and wrote an extremely simple shell script that does it for me. And of course, don't forget to include a few aliases that really saves typing. Not to mention the risk of typos. I mean, how many times have you done "show run |include" by misstake? If you can't see what's wrong with the command than these aliases are not for you!

HOWTO reset the startup-config in GNS?

1) Paste the following into all your devices. Don't forget to add another carriage return after "wr erase" so that you don't have to [confirm] manually.
wr erase

You figure this would do it but nope, it doesn't. You need to..

2) Shut down all your devices (the big red button in GNS3) and then run this script:


for host in R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 SW1 SW2 SW3 SW4 FRS
  echo "Resetting $host"
  echo "hostname $host" > $PATH/$host.cfg
  echo "alias exec srb sh run | begin" >> $PATH/$host.cfg
  echo "alias exec sri sh run | include" >> $PATH/$host.cfg
  echo "alias exec srr sh run | begin ^router" >> $PATH/$host.cfg
  echo "alias exec srs sh run | section" >> $PATH/$host.cfg
And in case you're wondering, if you don't do step 2 as suggested here you have to right click on every device, choose "Startup config" and then delete everything from the text field. And of course, click OK.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Brand new day, it's cloudy and rain is imminent. What a perfect day for studying!

Unfortunately I got stuck with some random administration of GNS3. I automated the process of erasing startup-configs from my devices. I installed cygwin to get more tools for scripting. I fiddled with some simple tcl-scripts for IOS. And then I created a new blog.

Enough slacking, time to get started with the studies! Today it's IPv6..

But first, lunch!

Cisco 360 and GNS3

So I've been a little lazy with the updates. At the moment I'm working with the Cisco 360 labs. After having browsed around for suitable rack rentals I decided to build the topology in GNS3. I had to use 3660s with NM-16ESW as Cat3560 replacements since Dynamips can't handle those. So far it's been working just fine. Just need to make sure to edit the Initial configs supplied by Cisco 360 as the ports used are different. This is all pretty obvious after loading the net-file and checking connections and comparing them the to configs.

The GNS3-files can be found here

Fresh start!

Ok, moved the entire thing, can't be bothered with reposting old entries.