Lindsay Hill automation, networking, product management

OpenFlow implications for network monitoring

I’ve been reading more about OpenFlow recently, and something that was pointed out to me was that OpenFlow offers features that could give us deeper insights into our traffic flows, without necessarily modifying them. Whilst not being a full replacement for NetFlow/sFlow, it would be far better than just guessing at what an application is doing. I’m pretty excited about the possibilities.

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Should I Monitor My Service Provider?

How much monitoring should I do for services that I’ve outsourced? This question comes up frequently with my clients. They’ve paid someone else to manage a service for them, and they’re wondering if they should just leave all monitoring to the service provider. They’re paying for it, so why have a dog and bark yourself? This applies to all sorts of outsourcing agreements - it might be for a simple SaaS-based service, or it might be a complex network environment that you designed and built, and then handed over to a third party to manage.

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Service Timestamps - make your log timestamps readable

The default logging style for Cisco IOS-based devices is to insert the system uptime in the log entry. This makes it basically useless. Here’s some typical log output:

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Help Me Do Business With You

A good customer of mine needs to replace their Service Desk system. Having a fair idea of their requirements, I asked them if they had looked at $(insert very well-known player here).

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How Long Before CCIE SDN?

Cisco made some announcements about SDN certifications at Cisco Live US, in June this year. These didn’t seem to get a lot of attention at the time, perhaps due to little detail being available. A few more things have started to come out, but it’s still not full released. What might these SDN certifications be like, and will they be in demand?

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"Black Tuesday" - Isn't it Just Business as Usual?

Microsoft patches are released on a (mostly) monthly cycle, and other vendors have started following suit. When this first happened, people treated it like a major event. But I think that it is now treated as “Business As Usual”, and maybe it’s time for the headline-writers to realise this.

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DHCPv6 Client on Juniper SRX-110

Juniper recently released 12.1X45-D10 for the SRX-110. The key new feature for me was DHCPv6 Client support - finally! It’s still new, and buggy, and I wouldn’t rush it into production, but if you need DHCPv6 client support, it’s here. These are my notes on how I’ve configured it to get it working.

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IMC - Changing Predefined Device Model Definitions

IMC has a predefined list of over 6,000 devices. This list maps sysOIDs to devices, so when you add a new device to IMC, it will say “this is a Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switch”, or a “HP MSM 760 Wireless Controller”, etc. Here’s a sample of what that list looks like:

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Managing Hybrid Networks

The most interesting talk I attended at HP Discover in Las Vegas this year was Ken Gott’s talk on “Management of Software Defined Networks and Hybrid Environments with HP IMC.” This talk outlined the architecture for how HP plans to manage hybrid network environments using IMC, and gave us a quick demo of the code.

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Configuring Timezones on IOS, ProVision and Comware

Timezones can be complicated things - every country has its own set of rules around how to decide what time it currently is - and those rules change, frequently. Modern Operating Systems have systems in place for handling those changes. Give it a location, it will deal with the rest. Unfortunately, network devices don’t have those systems, and we need to explicitly tell them how to work out what the current local time is, and when to change it to Daylight Savings Time. Here’s how to do that for Cisco IOS, HP ProVision, and HP Comware systems.

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