Lindsay Hill automation, networking, product management

CCIE Renewed Once More - Exam 400-101 v5.1

I’ve given in to the Sunk Cost Fallacy once more: I’ve renewed my CCIE. There was a lot of foot dragging this time around, and I only had four months to spare. But it’s done, for another year. Here’s some quick notes on my prep, and thoughts on the exam.

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CLI Still Sucks for Automation

Using network CLI for automation has always been fragile. But it keeps surprising me with the way it breaks. This time, it was a combination of Ansible, Arista, replace: config and terminal length used as a config command.

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Our Green Card Journey

We are now Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States - aka Green Card Holders. It took a few years to get to this point. Here’s our timeline, why we did it, what it means for us, and what next.

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Replacement Strips for Screen Privacy Filter

I use a Privacy Filter on my laptop screen when traveling. I’m doing a bit of time on planes these days, and it makes a big difference. Most of my code is Open Source, but other content is proprietary. High chance of competitors being on the same plane as me, so better to make it harder for others to see.

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New Year, New Home

We have left the Bay Area, and headed North. We have moved to the Greater Seattle area - specifically the Eastside, between Bellevue and Redmond. We’ve given up the old apartment in San Francisco for a larger, nicer house…for a lot less in rent. A lot fewer bars & restaurants, a lot more trees, parks and lakes.

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CircleCI, Docker and Systemd

I have been battling to get the combination of CircleCI, Docker and systemd to play together. After much frustration, I have a workable solution. Machine Executor, privileged: true, cgroup passthrough, and disabling AppArmor.

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More Ansible Modules for Extreme

We published Ansible modules for Extreme SLX devices earlier this year. Now we have modules covering all the main Extreme Switching & Routing product families - SLX, VDX, MLX, EXOS, VSP.

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Ansible - Don't be Afraid of a Little Python

This year I’ve written several Ansible modules. It wasn’t that hard, yet some people claimed they had been waiting “years” for those modules. There was nothing stopping anyone else doing it, yet they hadn’t. There’s a weird reticence amongst network engineers to learn or write any code, even when it could make a large difference to their job. People either do nothing, or they create complex Ansible playbooks to work around their reluctance to write Python. It’s not that scary. Why don’t people put in a bit of effort?

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CCIE - Should I Renew?

It is 6 years since I passed the CCIE Lab Exam. The dreaded email has arrived:

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IXP Graphs are an Eyesore

Too many IXPs (and networkers in general) are using horrible outdated methods of graphing data. These are an ugly eyesore, and should be updated to something from this century. Big IXPs in particular have no excuse: they have the resources to do better.

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