OpenStack Adventures

I had an interesting and relatively tough time with OpenStack. First, the bad news: Due to change in direction/focus, I won’t be spending much time on OpenStack any more. There are still lots of other interesting topics however that have yet to be covered.

Good news: I learned a lot of lessons that may help individuals playing around with OpenStack.

Summary of lessons learned:
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Technical and Non-Technical lessons learned from SDN implementation.

SDN implementation from any vendor is a big undertaking.  Unlike traditional networks, where lifecycle activities individually within network, compute, storage or security teams can happen in fair bit of isolation from each other, SDN implementation requires all teams, especially network, compute, application and security teams, to work more closely with each other than ever before.

(source: http://www.imagesource.com/)

 

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Practical Guide to getting started with Software Defined Networking (SDN)

The wonderful world of Software Defined Networking (SDN) is here.  If you are a networking professional, it’s best to embrace it with both arms open.

What is SDN?  How can I practically get started with SDN?  What are some good free and inexpensive resources to learn about all the different SDN solutions?  Which SDN solutions should I focus on in particular?

There are no 100% right or wrong answers to these questions, however, I will attempt to answer these questions based on the approach to SDN I am taking myself.

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Multi-DC, Multi-VRF, Multi-Tenant Network Utilizing BGP with L3 DCI

Where and how do you even begin implementing BGP in an established production environment?  First of all, I’ve been brainwashed by Ivan Pepelnjak’s blog into using BGP.  If you search through his posts relating to BGP, it’s a clear choice (amongst competing protocols like OSPF or IS-IS) for scalability and flexibility for any data center where scalability is a concern.

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Intro to GNS3 and Testing Dual MPLS WAN with QoS and more

The open source GNS3 platform is one of the ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE tools for any networking professional.  Definitely take a look at the GNS3 website and especially this great video by Keith Barker of CBT Nuggets to learn more about GNS3, how it works, etc.  There are tons of other great blog posts and YouTube videos explaining how GNS3 works, so I won’t go into those details.
GNS3 is an amazing tool not only for learning networking in general, it’s also indispensable tool for testing new topologies, proof-of-concepts, etc.
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CCIE Data Center – CLI Commands Summary

When I was studying for CCIE Data Center, learning Storage Area Networks (SAN) was challenging because of a large number of brand new concepts, technologies and related CLI.  I had a similar experience with Nexus 1000v as well.
I created two lists of commands that seemed most important – potentially all the commands one would need to know for the actual exam – for SAN and Nexus 1000v specifically.  Thankfully, it’s an infinitely shorter list than what one would see in Cisco’s command reference.

Frequently used Wireshark Filters

This will be a living document in which I will document the Wireshark filters that I use most often.  For those new to Wireshark, a filter is used to limit the number of displayed packets to help narrow down and more efficiently troubleshoot network issues by looking on only relevant packets.

I will use THIS capture as an example in all filters documented.  You can download this packet capture and test the below filters yourself in Wireshark.  This capture includes:  visiting three websites and SMB (Windows file transfer over network) from one computer to another on the same network.

Single filters: Continue reading “Frequently used Wireshark Filters”

Network Troubleshooting on Steriods – using SteelCentral AppResponse – previously OPNet ARX

SteelCentral AppResponse by Riverbed, previously known as OPNet AppResponse Xpert, is a seriously awesome product.  It’s a physical appliance, that’s dedicated to packet capture, typically from SPAN, RSPAN, ERSPAN sources, and can also be used as a serious Netflow/sFlow/jFlow collector.  It then beautifully analyzes and displays this capture data in myriad ways, some of which are shown below.  It is a supreme network troubleshooting tool.  It’s like Wireshark on steroids – making network troubleshooting simpler, faster, easy to use, accompanied by many forms of graphical representation of network data and important metrics.

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