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Reaching Higher

You might be a young successful billionaire who has absolutely no needs. If you are, congratulations! This might or might not help you out. I am nowhere near that. Many of us are not. We are looking everyday for ways we can improve our skill sets and and climb higher in our everyday work lives. No matter what you do, you should strive for more, to be the best. Yes, it might be a bit cheesy, but complacency usually does not open doors. If you have a dream, a wish for something more, pursue it. Even if you cannot reach that exact goal, you might be diverted down a path you never even thought about. The main thing is to always move forward, reach higher. Continue reading Reaching Higher

Network Devices: Easy Config Tips

If you work in networking, you probably take care of the switches and routers in your environment or have some input on what happens with them. Switches are the doorway to the network. Even if you have a wireless device, the access point you connect to is probably connected to a switch. This is where your PCs, TVs, appliances and many other wired devices connect. Routers can manage connections in and out of your environment along with a plethora of other services. Everyone should have a template or standard config they use on any network device. With today’s tools and services like Prime Infrastructure or DNA Center, you can spread that configuration around or deploy it to new sites; however, you still need a config to apply. Different scenarios and environments call for different configuration, but there are always those sets of commands you can use everywhere. The goal of this writing is to share a few commands that are helpful and I typically apply. Most of these are commands you spot all over certification studies and others I’ve seen other engineers use.
Yes, you probably memorized every single command from the CCNA and even the CCNP…but did you apply them all on every single port? Sometimes, unless there is a need you might not have to. I call it, situational configuration. Apply what you need and what will keep the environment secure. The important piece is to be consistent. On switches, VLANs might be different for each interface, but why would some of your switches have “enable password” and others have “enable secret”? Continue reading Network Devices: Easy Config Tips

Quality of Service

Imagine driving down a three lane highway at a decent (legal) speed. It’s a beautiful day with the sun high in the sky and a nice cool wind coming in through the window. All is going well. In just a few minutes you should be at your destination. Suddenly, all you see in front of you are red lights. You roll to a stop and realize that ahead of you is construction, converting the three lane highway into a single lane snooze-fest. The construction bottleneck has slowed traffic down to a crawl. Hopefully other drivers will let you in as you inch towards the next lane. If only there was a way to just jump to the front of the lane. Well, in this scenario not so much. However, if this was a network full of layer 2 and layer 3 devices, we would have some ways to organize the traffic in a way that the important traffic (cars) keep moving efficiently through the bottlenecks. Continue reading Quality of Service

Prioritizing

No, this will not be a talk on Quality of Service in the networking world. That entry is coming soon. This is a public service announcement on prioritizing your life. Whether you are dealing with a ton of projects at work or a bag of tasks at home, sitting down and taking a step back from everything can help organize and give the proper priorities to everything that stands before you.

Continue reading Prioritizing

The Importance of Network Documentation

You just purchased a fancy new bookshelf from your favorite store that gives furniture funny names. You carefully place the gigantic box for this bookshelf, or as they call it a “bookenspiel” in your living room and cut the box open. There are a so many parts! The manufacturer seems to have crammed in half the world into the box. Building this bookshelf looks a bit daunting now. At the store, the bookshelf did not look like it would be this complicated to build. You continue taking bags of parts, boxes of parts and pieces of wood out. If it was not for the instruction manual you would have flung everything out of a window. The instruction manual lets you build the bookshelf. It takes half a day, but you get it done. However, imagine for a moment if there was no instruction manual. This half a day build becomes a full day or much longer. As a matter of fact, it might be so frustrating you give up. That instruction manual makes a huge difference. Documentation matters. Continue reading The Importance of Network Documentation

MPLS: Creating an Internet Off-ramp

Yes, MPLS circuits are still being used by companies out there. Shocking! Well, actually it’s not. Even though there continues to be growth in low-cost broadband connections, some companies still utilize MPLS circuits back to their data centers from their branches around the world. Companies continue to use these circuits to connect their sites to each other. The reasons for this varies from company to company. Perhaps it is security, stability or even just a long provider contract that keeps them out there. Either way, MPLS will still be in play for some time. Many companies have not fully embraced the cloud. They host important applications in-house in a data center. Some companies funnel their branch traffic through their data center as its heads out to the internet. This has its benefits. You might only need centralized firewalls or other appliances since all traffic exits via the same egress. Companies still do this as it does save money; however as the adoption of cloud grows, this method starts to see issues. Continue reading MPLS: Creating an Internet Off-ramp

The Foundation

Well, I finally decided to start a blog. I love to write and teach so this will be the perfect platform for it. However, I did not want to go straight into a tech discussion or demo. I think it’s important for anyone trying to build a solid structure, to have a foundation. Anyone looking to build a career or even set a goal needs a foundation. Before you walk, you crawl. Continue reading The Foundation