Lindsay Hill network control, visibility, management

Top 10 tips for Network Management

Many network faults I see are quite preventable, or could have been fixed far sooner, if basic network ‘hygiene’ had been maintained. Major faults are often the result of multiple small faults. Fix the small problems, and you won’t get as many of the big problems. It’s not glamorous, and you won’t be seen as a hero for solving that production problem, but you will sleep better, and the network will run smoother. Here’s my top 10 tips on maintaining good network hygiene:

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Review: ScienceLogic

I’ve posted a review of ScienceLogic EM7 up at Packet PushersReview: ScienceLogic - One Tool to Rule Them All.

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NNMi and Operations Manager integration issues

Watch out if you have HP NNMi integrated with HP Operations Manager, and you’re upgrading to the latest Operations Agent. I have a customer using HP Network Node Manager 9.22, with HP Operations Manager for Windows 9.0. Both of those systems are running the latest publicly released patches. They are integrated using the Operations Agent method, where NNMi sends SNMP traps to the local Operations Agent on port 5162, which then forwards NNMi incidents as Operations Manager messages.

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Loop detection - without STP

If you have a strong Cisco background, then you immediately think of Spanning Tree Protocol when you think of Layer 2 loop protection. Or if you’re keeping abreast of the newest developments, you think of TRILL and SPB. But there are other mechanisms for helping detect loops at layer 2. Here’s one I came across while studying for HP Master ASE: HP Procurve Loop-Protection.

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HP2910al - fails to boot due to corrupt boot.ini

Recently I was upgrading an HP 2910al switch from 14.70 to 15.08.0012. I used IMC to load the new firmware, rebooted the device, waited…and nothing. Device went offline, and never came back. Ruh roh. It was only a lab switch, but still, it meant I needed to go and hook up a console cable, to see what was going on. Luckily the fix wasn’t too difficult, and I got things back up and running quickly.

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HP Master ASE: HP0-Y37

I have just passed the HP exam “HP0-Y37: Migrating and Troubleshooting Networks.” This means I I have now passed all required exams for “HP Master ASE - Network Infrastructure 2011.” This is a run-through of my impressions of the exam, and what I used to study for it.

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VMware EVC Mode

Recently I’ve been doing more VMware work. It’s been a while, but it makes a nice change. At this site, we have 100+ hosts, and thousands of VMs. Recently we were making some changes to the physical networking of some of the hosts, and we needed to evacuate all VMs from a host. But when we went to migrate the VMs, we got this warning:

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IMC - test script for Cleanup_Parser

When developing IMC adapters, sometimes you have problems with parsing the output correctly. Adapters that use the CLI to retrieve a backup will have extra lines that creep in, such as the show run command. You may also have some lines you wish to strip out - e.g. you might want to remove the ntp clock-period line from Cisco devices, as it triggers false positives indicating a configuration has changed, when it really hasn’t.

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IMC - Device Adapters for Mikrotik and Netscaler

I’ve written basic versions of Device Adapters for IMC, to allow configuration backup of Miktrotik RouterOS-based systems, and Citrix Netscaler-based systems. I’ve also posted a modified Juniper adapter, with a couple of modifications so it now works with SRX-110 devices.

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Asking Questions on Forums the Right Way

I’ve spent a lot of time on technical and non-technical forums over the last 10+ years. I’ve written thousands of posts on places like CPUG, CPshared, Thorntree, Packetpushers, NetOps, HP Support Forums, IEOC, etc. I’ve never received any financial gain for it, not even so much as a free T-shirt. No jobs, no promotions, nothing. But I believe that participation in technical forums is an important part of developing your career - you learn something technically, and maybe you’ll learn a bit about people along the way. I’ve also learnt a few things about the “right” way to participate in forums. I think I can sum them up as:

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