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Salman Naqvi – 2xCCIE

Simple Multicast Testing Tool for Windows

After multicast has been configured on the network, one of the biggest challenges tends to involve actually testing multicast functionality in between two Windows machines (physical or VMs) connected via the network.

In the past, I’ve just used iPerf and/or multicast video streaming via VLC, which are still valid and great testing options, but, sometimes when using these tools, I’m often second guessing my self as to whether or not I am even using the tool correctly and legitimately generating the multicast stream that I intend to generate. Part of the problem is that iPerf can be complicated to use, and VLC multicast streaming can be buggy.

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Singlewire Multicast Testing Tool

I would still continue to use the iPerf/jPerf and VLC multicast video streaming method, which can be a good way to test throughput, however, I’ve now come across new VERY SIMPLE tool to validate basic multicast connectivity, the Singlewire Mutlicast Testing Tool (free).

Continue reading “Simple Multicast Testing Tool for Windows”

Best resources for learning Cisco ACI

Update Oct 31, 2016: Added Jason Lunde’s “Learning Cisco ACI” course at twistedIT

For those who’ve read previous blog posts, you can probably tell that constant learning and training is a recurring theme on my blog. I even have one blog posts dedicated to “learning to learn”. Continuing on with that tradition, this post will be dedicated to getting you up to speed with Cisco ACI.

aci-infra
Source: http://gblogs.cisco.com/fr-datacenter/2013/11/07/application-centric-infrastructure-la-revolution-est-en-marche/

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Microsoft Message Analyzer – MS’s poorly named Wireshark sidekick

Have you ever heard of Microsoft Message Analyzer? While troubleshooting some networking issues with Windows Server 2012, I requested the application owner to install Wireshark. Being a good systems admin, the application owner was naturally suspicious of an application with ‘shark’ in it’s name. Despite my insistence, I wasn’t able to convince the administrator to install Wireshark. We decided to look at alternatives – and came across Microsoft’s own Windows Message Analyzer! (WMA).

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It turns out, WMA is very similar in form factor to Wireshark, Continue reading “Microsoft Message Analyzer – MS’s poorly named Wireshark sidekick”

SPAN and Nexus / ACI platform caveats and limitations

First of all, there is no way I can make a complete, comprehensive list of caveats and limitations on all the different Nexus platforms and with all the different major revisions, modules and linecards. My aim is to capture some of the major gotchas and meaty details specific to each platform. For detailed guidelines and limitations, please see references end of end of the blog.

10570-41d
Source: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/switches/catalyst-6500-series-switches/10570-41.html

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Million dollar monitoring solutions vs Solarwinds

TL;DR summary: Before finalizing on a million-dollar network monitoring solution, be sure to consider and trial at least a few smaller vendors, new comers and open-source solutions. You may be surprised at their breadth, capability and value. And no, Solarwinds did not pay me to write this blog post! :p

10+ years ago, Solarwinds had a bad reputation for not scaling, being slow, buggy, etc. In the last 7-8 years, it has really transformed, and is a different company, with product portfolio that offers amazing value on several fronts.

Having worked very closely with CA Spectrum/eHealth, Riverbed/OPNet SteelCentral, Nimsoft (purchased by CA), IBM Tivoli ITNM, HP BTO/OpenView, Cacti (open source), Observium/Libre NMS (open source), Zenoss (open source), WhatsUpGold, InterMapper, Cisco DCNM, Cisco Prime/Works and Solarwinds in the last decade, I continue to stay impressed with the usability, feature-set, price-point and scalability offered by Solarwinds products compared to it’s competitors.

solarwinds
Source: http://oriondemo.solarwinds.com/

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Make your Android phone read books to you!

I’ve read over 150 books in the last 4 years! How? I haven’t actually ‘read’ them, but have had them read out to me by my smartphone. I listened to these books while driving, riding the subway, exercising, and during other idle times. Many of these, I read even two or in some cases three times. This included various genres: fiction, psychological, technical, spiritual, business, etc. Here is a video showing how to set up your Android phone to read books to you:

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Learn to code in Python for only $25!

Consider learning Python. It will help you with your current job, make you more marketable for a promotion and other better jobs, and help you get ahead of the SDN curve.

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freepik.com

You don’t need to become a full-time hard-core programmer. You just need to learn enough to be able to understand and use code that the very altruistic open-source community is constantly producing – and return the favour if you end up making something useful too. Learning to code in Python will take about 100-150 hours of your time, but, in turn will save you thousands of hours in the future. After trying a few different Python courses, I discovered this one, which is I think is THE BEST networking focused Python course, and only costs $25 USD. Mihai, the instructor, starts from scratch, assuming you don’t even know how to spell Python, and goes from there.

https://www.udemy.com/python-programming-for-real-life-networking-use/
Continue reading “Learn to code in Python for only $25!”

Best resources for keeping up with Networking

In one my previous blog posts, we covered “Best resources for learning Networking”. In this post, I will attempt to cover some of the best resources I’ve used to keep up with the changes in the Networking world.

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This is going to be a very subjective post. Depending on your area of expertise and mix of vendors being utilized at your organization, your resources for keeping up with networking may be very different.

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Learning to learn!

Learning is itself a skill – just like riding a bicycle or swimming is a skill. Treating it as a skill, and working to improve that skill is essential for almost all careers, but especially important for careers in Information Technology which require constant upkeep with new trends and technologies.

First of all, why should you listen to my advice? Actually you shouldn’t – as I wouldn’t be giving my own advice or “wisdom”.  I’d instead be presenting ideas from academics and scholars who have professionally studied human memory, brain development and learning. Also, these are the ideas I used to attain two CCIEs and numerous other certifications. Continue reading “Learning to learn!”

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