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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Modifying Packet Captures with tcprewrite

Recently I wanted to look at the structure of sFlow packets. Of course I can read the specs, but it’s often easier to look at some real packets. So I set up a simple network, configured sFlow, created some traffic across the network, and used tcpdump to capture the sFlow packets. Unfortunately I had a bit of a brain […]

Continue Reading

NZ IPv6 & DNSSEC Update

A year ago I published a table of New Zealand ISP IPv6 support. At the time support was fairly poor. I’m pleased to report that things have gotten better over the last year. There has also been a very pleasing uptick in DNSSEC support. IPv6 Changes The big movers here are Trustpower & Orcon, who have both […]

Continue Reading

Brocade VDX SNMP Changes

Brocade tightened up some SNMP settings with NOS 6.0.x. This improves security, but it also means that you will need to modify your configuration if you upgrade. If you don’t, SNMP won’t work, and you’ll get errors with BNA/Nagios/Cacti/etc. Here’s the changes, and how to get SNMP working with NOS 6.0.x. NB This applies to […]

Continue Reading
influxdb-logo

Using InfluxDB + Grafana to Display Network Statistics

I loathe MRTG graphs. They were cool in 2000, but now they’re showing their age. We have much better visualisation tools available, and we don’t need to be so aggressive with aggregating old data. I’ve been working with InfluxDB + Grafana recently. Much cooler, much more flexible. Here’s a walk-through on setting up InfluxDB + […]

Continue Reading

Sit Stand Desk Setup

I work from home these days. Therefore it’s important that I have a decent desk setup. My previous setup was pretty crappy, but I only worked from home part-time. I’ve been using a standing desk at home, and wanted to move to a sit/stand model for full-time use. Here’s what I did. Desk & Monitor […]

Continue Reading
Brocade Logo

Brocade BNA API

Brocade Network Advisor (BNA) has a REST API for accessing Fibre Channel-related data. The documentation includes a sample Python script showing how to connect to the API to retrieve Fabric info. The script given only works with Python 3.x. It’s also a pain to copy out of the documentation as you end up with a few […]

Continue Reading

Closing out Projects

We put a lot of energy into new projects. We argue about the design, we plan the cutover, we execute it…and then we move on. But decommissioning the old system is critical part of any project. It’s not over until you’ve switched off the old system. Years ago I was involved in the buildout of a […]

Continue Reading