netmiko support for Brocade ICX and MLXe

netmiko is a “Multi-vendor library to simplify Paramiko SSH connections to network devices,” written by Kirk Byers. It doesn’t solve all of your pain with dealing with CLI-only network devices, but it tries to at least take away the low-level hassle of setting up a connection, and handling variations with things like enable mode, line-breaks, […]

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VRRP Skew Time (and always be learning…)

It’s funny how you can work with something for years, but miss a small detail. This week I learnt about Skew Time for VRRP. The reason for it is completely obvious once you think about it, but for some reason the detail had escaped me for all these years. VRRP Hellos VRRP sends out a “hello” […]

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Travel Badge of Shame

All frequent flyers strive to the top tier of their program. Qantas Platinum, BA Gold, KrisFlyer Elite Gold, United Premier 1K. They all want that extra level of benefits, those extra upgrades. But a former manager said: “You don’t really want to be on the top tier. You want to be on the tier just below, […]

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GCP, and Regaining Trust

Google is telling us they’re serious about the cloud. They’re hiring the right people, spending the big bucks, and even (gasp!) talking to customers! (Oh how that must stick in their craw). They have great technology, they’ve proved it out at scale, and the price is right. There’s just one nagging doubt in the back […]

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Networking’s not so bad

Ivan’s post this week was a good reminder that other parts of IT aren’t perfect either. It’s not all roses on the other side of the fence. Networking has done many good things, and often showed the way. Consider a conversation between a sysadmin & a network engineer: Look at how I can virtualise these […]

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War Stories: Backup NICs, DNS and AD

A return to our sporadic series of networking war stories. This time it’s fun with dedicated backup networks, DNS auto-registration, and Active Directory. Thank God it’s a lot easier these days with virtualisation. But back then… Backups suck, but you need to do them somehow Back in the olden days we had a dedicated tape […]

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Efficiency vs Effectiveness

I’ve been wondering about how we’re approaching networking change. We know we need to make things better. Are we changing the ‘right’ things? I’ve got a feeling that we’re not, but I suspect that we’re too constrained by higher-order systems. Simon Wardley wrote a great post on Efficiency vs Effectiveness. He gave a slightly contrived […]

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Help! My Boss is Scared of Automation!!!

A reader asked “What can I do if my boss won’t let me automate my tasks?” Sadly some people still have a fear of automating even common, well-understood tasks. They’re worried about automation run amok. They think it’s safer to have a human typing in commands. But you know better. Humans have a place. But that place is not […]

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Learning to Love Codenames

One of the things I struggled with when starting at a vendor was dealing with project codenames. There is no secret decoder ring – you have to learn the names the hard way. I couldn’t understand why descriptive names weren’t used. It took a while, but I’ve come to understand the reasoning behind the obscure names […]

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