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Network Diagrams: Choosing Better and Free Fonts

Making diagrams aesthetically appealing with visual impact is better documentation. Choosing the correct fonts on network diagrams will improve your network diagrams significantly. Here is some work on how to choose a good font and some recommendations on the best free fonts for your machine.

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Basics: Explain Concepts of Network Abstraction In Simple Terms

I was asked to explain the concept of abstraction in software and IT infrastructure to a group of people who had limited technical capability. It needed to be simple and relevant to every day people.

Here is what I came up with.

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◎ How Many Standards Are There in Networking ?

Let me ask you a question about IETF and standards. How many do you think there are ? Many thousands or a few thousands ? Maybe a few hundred ? Today there are more than 7000 RFCs. RFC is short “Request for Comments” but less than 96 RFCs are actually fully approved standards.

Response: Courier Prime | Quote-Unquote Apps

If you like using Courier font in your terminal window then you should downloading and using this font: But there’s no reason Courier has to look terrible. We set out to make the best damn Courier ever. We call it Courier Prime. via Courier Prime – A Courier made for screenplays. | Quote-Unquote Apps. And […]

Quick Look at networking Features in vSphere 5.1

TL:DR look like the first version of vSphere that has least amount of compromises for large corporates. In other words, it’s more usable than before. Importantly, VMware has delivered a lot of networking features in this release and it would be fair to say that they either “overdue” or “much anticipated”. Take your choice.

Basics: Three Types of Cisco UCS Network Adapters

In the Cisco UCS servers, there are three classes or categories of Network Adapters for B-series and C-Server servers. I write this down because it’s pretty hard to find this summary anywhere is Cisco’s documentation and I keep having to tell people the difference. Now I can point them at this blog post.

10 Safety Tips on Electrocution for the Network Engineer

Short version – I’d like you to read just these if nothing else.

  1. A data centre uses a lot of electricity. It’s dangerous.
  2. Just in case you didn’t pay attention – Electricity is really dangerous. Right, can we move on ?
  3. You should be scared of being electrocuted. That will keep you safe.
  4. When electrocution happens, the muscles in your limbs contract. This causes arms and hands to wrap around or clench objects.
  5. Someone who is being electrocuted can’t let go because of this
  6. If you touch a person being electrocuted, you will get an electric shock too, and may also be injured.
  7. The BEST thing to do is to turn the power off.
  8. Know where the power kill switch is for Data Centre. Or at least the breaker for the area that you are in.
  9. Don’t work in the Data Centre alone.
  10. Learn resuscitation. People who have been electrocuted are likely to have breathing problems and heart failure.

People shouldn’t die at work. Think seriously about going home everyday and what you can do to make that happen.

What is the Best IP address to Ping to Test my Internet Connection ?

Quick tip on the best IP addresses on the Internet when you need to test your Internet connection from the command line

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Top 20 Practical Cabling Tips for Network Engineers – Part One

Most engineers think that cable is simply plug and play. And mostly, that true. In recent years, Ethernet standards and manufacturing Here are 20 things that Network Engineers have forgotten or don’t know about network cabling in a two part series on things I have learned in twenty years of looking after networks.

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Basics:Threat Asymmetry and Security Posture

Define Threat Asymmetry

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Basics: What’s the Difference between STP BPDU Guard and Root Guard

BPDU Guard and Root Guard are enhancements to Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements that improve the reliability of the protocol to unexpected events ad are primarily to ensure design enforcement ( integrity / security). There they must configured in specific locations in the networks.

Cisco NX-OS CLI Tip – Feature Enabled, License and CLI Syntax

When working on NX-OS it’s kind of annoying to attempt to use a feature that hasn’t been enabled and get an error message. Why not get an “not enabled” or “not licensed” error message ?

Basics: Cisco VLAN Trunking Protocol – Transparent discard and passing VTP Packets

It’s a common discussion about when Cisco VTP protocol is actually forwarded through Cisco switches and when it’s isn’t. I’ve always gotten it somewhat confused and when I stumbled across some old notes on the topic I had an ah-hah moment. I’m answering the equation about when using VTP in your network, which versions are risky – that’s risky is terms of how do you prevent VTP updates from ‘crossing’ a switch.

Can Fibre Optic Ethernet Cables Be Longer Than The Standard ?

Short Answer is “It depends, but usually yes.” Long answer follows with a discussion of launch power, receiver sensitivity, and cable losses.

OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking: Is it Routing or Switching ?

I got asked a question by a reader “is OpenFlow used for Routing or Switching ?”

Fibre Connectors

A short summary of the Fibre Cable Connectors, description and some notes on usage. This is summary notes and intended for reference.

Basics: Cisco IOS Native VLANs

Cisco IOS and Native VLANs – some brief notes to myself.

Cisco IOS: What is VLAN 1002 – 1005 used for ?

Why does a Cisco IOS SX switch not let you use VLANs 1002 − 1005 ?

Cisco IOS CLI Shortcuts

Mostly for my own reference. I really need to practice using the Delete Buffer commands and Ctrl-R Refesh as part of my muscle memory.

◎ Musing: On Permananent and Ephemeral Knowledge and Exam Study

Like many tech-workers, we need to ingest vast quantities of knowledge to get started in our jobs. Without that knowledge, there is no working in our business. What is unique, however, is that we continue to ingest knowledge for the remainder of our careers – often consuming large portions of our personal time and energy. Worse we even get tested on it by sitting formal examinations.

How can we manage this process to be more effective ?

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