Lindsay Hill network control, visibility, management

Proxy ARP Sucks

Proxy ARP was often used in network designs 10–15 years ago, to enable NAT. It helped get around some specific challenges, but it was always an administrative hassle, and caused significant scaling issues. There’s very little reason to use it these days, but sadly it still lingers on, just waiting to catch out junior engineers.

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HP IMC 7.0 E0202: Steady Improvements

When I’m evaluating products, I’m more interested in their progression and development, than the exact feature list currently shipping. I like products that have a frequent release cycle, with a clear feature roadmap, even if they have a few rough edges. Better that than an OK product that hardly ever sees updates. HP IMC is a product that has been steadily, visibly improving over the last few years, with a release cycle around 6 months. IMC is a key part of HP’s overall SDN strategy, and there’s been a lot of focus on delivering major new components. But there’s also a number of smaller improvements and tidy-ups going on. Here’s some of the improvements in the most recent release, 7.0 E0202:

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Monitoring IPv6 vs IPv4 Traffic on Juniper SRX

I use a Juniper SRX 110 at home, and my ISP is enlightened enough to offer IPv6 by default to all customers. My devices are dual-stack, and I know that a lot of content is now available via IPv6 and IPv4. I’ve been trying to figure out how to measure the volume of IPv6 traffic, and I think I’ve got it figured out.

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How Not to Publish Documentation

Good documentation is critical to the success of any product. Write clear deployment & configuration information, and you’ll have a higher project success rate. Detailed command references and troubleshooting information shorten the time it takes to resolve issues, and reduces support calls. But writing high-quality content is only one part of it. You have to make sure that the documentation is easy to find, and easy to access.

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Polling XML Values with ScienceLogic

Most Network Management Systems are built to make it easy to poll data via SNMP. But ‘interesting’ data is not always available via SNMP. Sometimes it’s in another format, such as XML. I’m working with ScienceLogic quite a lot recently, and it makes it easy to poll that data, alert on it, and integrate it with all the other sources of data, into dashboards, reports, etc. Here’s a quick walk-through of polling data in XML format, and adding it to ScienceLogic.

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War Stories: Dual-Vendor Firewall Strategy

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Choosing the Best Product for the Client or the Best for Me?

A Miktrotik course was held in my area recently, and I thought “They make some really cool stuff, and it’s amazing value. Maybe I should go on the course?” But then I thought: “Who’s going to pay me for Mikrotik expertise? The people who purchase Mikrotik are engineers deploying it themselves, and they don’t have the budget or desire to pay for external consulting resources.”

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Keeping Calm: Don't Lose Face

I got angry and swore and shouted during a business meeting recently, when I felt someone was doing a poor job. Ultimately this reflected poorly on me, not the other party. I should not have done it, and will strive to do better in future.

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Scalyr - More than Just Logs

Earlier this year I came across Scalyr, a newer player in the cloud-based log management scene. They’re taking a slightly different approach to products like Loggly and Splunk. I’ve been testing it in my lab - here’s my impressions.

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Transparent Caching Won't Save Us

A recent Gigaom article asks: “Will transparent caching reshape the future of video on the internet?”

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