Aruba’s SD-Branch Part #1: Solution Components

Edit: You should also check out Ed Horley’s excellent take on Aruba’s SD-Branch presentation at https://www.howfunky.com/2019/10/network-field-day-21-aruba-sd-branch.html Overview I saw a great presentation about Aruba’s SD-Branch offering as part of being a delegate for Network Field Day #21. I’m going to spend two posts covering SD-Branch as I am not extremely familiar with Aruba’s product line and I suspect I am not alone in that regard. In this first one I’ll go through the parts that form the solution and include a lot of links to help in finding additional information on the topic. In the next one, I’ll cover the needed licensing and some thoughts on the overall offering. For… Read More

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NFD21 Delegate!

It is my great honor to serve with Bruno Wollman, from my CCDE study group, as a delegate to NFD21! I’ve never participated before but I have watched some of their videos and recently subscribed to the podcasts by Gestalt IT. I’m joining for the second half the week and will get to see the following companies present: Network to Code – They are well known for their role in automation and I’m keen to see their presentation. Likely many engineers I’ve taken some tentative steps into this realm and am diving more deeply this year with Ivan P’s excellent automation course. I have not worked with Network to Code… Read More

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Response: Is NAT Security? Should I remove my public IPv4 from my internal network?

This question came really as a need to transition off “public” IPv4 space on an internal network and to the more commonly RFC1918 internal address along with NAT (for security reasons). This posting is the bulk of my reply to the customer. I really see this as the often-discussed question “Is NAT security?”. My wording/frame of reference here is as if I’m writing to someone not entirely familiar with NAT. I tried to provide some reference material below ; to avoid a pure appeal-to-authority. Okay, here goes: 0.) The introduction of NAT to networks was not done to provide a security benefit but to provide a reduction in the use… Read More

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CCDE: Understanding It and You

Overview This post is about covering three key ideas in preparing to take the CCDE and how to validate those ideas through the use of scenarios . The ideas are being minimally qualified, being technically complete,  and being connected to the scenario. The ideas combine to provide success on the test. Being Minimally Qualified Being minimally qualified means understanding the necessary depth of knowledge that is needed on a topic. As an example, it is important to understand QoS, the models of it, how it can help (or hinder) a design, how to roll it out into a topology, how it can be deployed or leveraged in MPLS (both as a carrier and as a customer)… Read More

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Study Materials: MPLS

Well, as predicted I made it about 300 pages into the End-to-End QoS book before needing a new topic. As I had a large chunk of time to spend last week I decided to bear down on MPLS; a technology I was less familiar with and really needed to clarify my understanding of. To that end I worked to finish Definitive MPLS Network Designs and also make headway in MPLS Fundamentals. Definitive MPLS has really excellent explanations but its density was too great for my rate of absorption last time I tried to read through it. By getting a better grasp on the fundamentals via some CiscoLive video sessions I… Read More

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Book Complete: IP Multicast, Volume I

As promised I finished it, IP Multicast, Volume I. I enjoyed the book and it certainly improved my understanding of multicast. I was struggling at the end to make it through the chapters on IPv6 and Troubleshooting but I do notice I get subject fatigue after so many pages (generally around 300 or so). I’ve nearly updated all the mind-map bits and will get a fully updated version posted soon. Next, as I mentioned, is End-to-End QoS Design. I’ll be honest in saying I’m not looking forward to a 1000+ pages on QoS so I might have to break it up and do some other reading between. We’ll see soon… Read More

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Book Complete: Optimal Routing Design

Well, I broke from my plan in finishing IP Multicast, Volume I and completed Optimal Routing Design (or ORD as I’m using in my internal notes) first. I am almost complete with the Multicast book as well – just a bit more on the IPv6 portion but I needed a break from pure multicast and got sucked into ORD and finished it. It is a great read and very, very easy to consume I think. It does a great job of laying out each major protocol and specific concerns around them along with use-cases and examples to illustrate. As most of the text revolves around networking protocols you’ll see updates on… Read More

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Certification News: Passed f5-201

Long Journey, Much Delay I started this journey over two years ago. When I joined my current company I decided I would get f5 certified as I didn’t think we had folks with it and I could help expand our business by being “that guy”. The reality is that we didn’t have a lot of f5 work and I had other things to master ahead of it. I went to Agility 2016, took the 201 training course and determined to get through it then. I didn’t. The next year I signed up for the 301a training and thought I’d complete both 101 and 201 in prep for Agility 2017. Again,… Read More

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CCDE Practical Take #1, May 30th, 2018

Reasoning for the Post It seems customary to write one of these posts after attempting a CCIE or CCDE. At first, I resisted as I didn’t see much value in reporting my experience out – at least not over what others have already written and can be found with a Google search (which is far more likely to return a result than this posting). Nonetheless while attending the excellent session LTRCCDE-3006 at CiscoLive this year I was proven wrong. I took the session for the second time; my first was last year when my CCDE preparations first started in earnest. It was very good I thought and helped give me… Read More

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Book Complete: QoS for IP/MPLS Networks

I finally finished a study book in its entirety – QoS for IP/MPLS Networks. I’ve been bouncing between different texts, depending on what mood and topic struck my interest. I’d also been reading on many topics I am already familiar with to try and bolster and deepen my understanding and draw connections between things. I’ve decided to pause this idea and instead focus in on a major area/concept and read all the way through to completion. I get “credit” when I’ve completed reading the book, augmenting any necessary mind-maps with the information from it and then generating the Studies flash cards as well. I enjoyed this one. Study books are… Read More

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