Lindsay Hill automation, networking, product management

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.

(Read more...)

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?

(Read more...)

CCIE - Should I Renew?

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

(Read more...)

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Too many IXPs (and networkers in general) are using horrible outdated methods of graphing data.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.

(Read more...)

GitHub & Microsoft - It's OK

Microsoft buys GitHub, and most of the press has been pretty positive, even from those you might not expect.

(Read more...)

Don't Rely on Long Support Lifecycles

I hate long support lifecycles for hardware and software. Yes, you should be able to buy a new iPhone or switch and use it for 3+ years. But some people want 10+yrs of support, and wail and moan when vendors end support. This is wrong. It drives up costs & complexity, and makes your systems less robust, not more. It’s a false sense of security. Plan to buy smaller & cheaper, and upgrade frequently.

(Read more...)

Culture Shifts and Work Travel Learnings

I’ve seen a few Twitter threads recently about learning to live with the sudden plenty of working for tech companies. If you didn’t grow up that way, the adjustment takes time. It made me think about a few things I’ve learnt about corporate travel, and mistakes I’ve made along the way. People who grew in the corporate world instinctively know stuff I had to learn. Here’s some of the mistakes, and learnings:

(Read more...)

Cloud: Not Just Someone Else's Computer

Cloud computing is a lot more than “someone else’s computer” and it annoys the hell out of me when people keep trotting out this tired old excuse. There is much more to service delivery than compute power. You do yourself and your customers a disservice if you don’t do your research.

(Read more...)

Ansible for Extreme Devices

Here’s something I’ve been working on recently: Ansible modules for Extreme SLX switches & routers. Ansible is a popular automation framework, and with good reason: it has a low barrier to entry. Time to usefulness is short. But you need device-specific modules to work with networking devices. Finally we have some modules for SLX. Read on for how to use them.

(Read more...)

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

It takes a village to raise a child. Or so the old saying goes. Creating a product is the same. It takes more than small group of developers (or parents) to raise a product. There’s a lot more to creating a product than writing an application. Don’t mistake a feature or application for a product.

(Read more...)