gloucester-cathedral

A Hosting Cathedral or a Cloud Bazaar ?

I woke up at three o’clock this morning with a thought racing around my brain – am I building a Hosting Cathedral or Cloud Bazaar ? My data centre is like a cathedral – regimented rows of seats, full of disciplined and controlled resources all looking towards the technical priests for inspiration and direction. Each […]

Arista VTEP VXLAN termination

◎ Comparing Arista and Brocade VXLAN VTEP Hardware Termination

Arista has announced the 7150S device. It’s low latency, 10 Gigabit and VXLAN terminating. What’s interesting to me is that Brocade and Arista are solving the same problem in different ways. Ivan has determined that Arista have decided to use the Intel chipset (I’m guessing the SM6000?) and then enable the tunnel termination features in the software.

What is the Definition of a Switch Fabric ?

The marketing people in IT tend to be overwhelmed by complexity and deep technology. For many liberal arts graduates, they take the drowning option and latch onto certain terms and then grossly abuse it. The most egregious abuse today is “cloud” but “fabric” comes a close second. In this series of posts I want to look at what is a FABRIC and provide a canonical look at what it does and how it works for us.

Review: HP and Optical Backplanes

There were a lot of cool things at InterOp, but not much that was new from the big vendors. For example, Cisco didn’t announce anything, probably waiting announce at Cisco Live in July where they can control the press and message much more tightly. However, HP announced the A10500 switch (action pictures ) which is a new campus switch and Gnodal arrived with new products.

However in the centre of the HP stand there was something very cool – a prototype E8212 ProCurve switch with a fully optical backplane. Hp procurve optical backplane 1

Citrix Branch Repeater : WCCP or not to WCCP that is the question?

Whether ’tis nobler in the network to suffer un-accelerated traffic during an outage or to take arms in the form of Policy Based Routing. When you decide to†deploy†Citrix Branch Repeaters (CBR) you have to†deploy†at either end of the WAN to accelerate and compress traffic between these endpoints. Therefore it would seem sensible to have some […]

Cisco ACE – Enterprise Load Balancing on a Stick using Source NAT – Part 3

A detailed look at configuring a Cisco ACE module to do load balancing on a stick. This time with basic configuration for dual VIPs and dual NATs.

Cisco ACE – Enterprise Load Balancing on a Stick using Source NAT – Part 2

A detailed look at configuring a Cisco ACE module to do load balancing on a stick. This time with basic configuration for a single VIP.

Cisco ACE – Enterprise Load Balancing on a Stick using Source NAT – Part 1

A detailed look at configuring a Cisco ACE module to do load balancing on a stick.

Network Design – Creativity and Compromise

Of all the disciplines that are needed by a ëNetwork Consultantí, the one of design is by far the most difficult for me. For years I wondered why I found designing solutions difficult. I’m a CCIE with over 15 years experience; Iíve worked with some great networking people and on some very complex networks. Iíve got a stack of excellent books, Iíve even read some of them, yet I still find it difficult to be decisive and confident when designing.

10 Networking Books to read before you dieÖ.

Are all networking books over 10 years old obsolete? Kevin Bovis a Technical Services Director with Cisco Gold Partner provides 10 examples that would suggest that some networking books are worth keeping and can provide a bit of credibility to an ageing Technical Manager.

The Ancient and Noble Art of Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting, itís something we all do. It may be your parents Internet connection, the company photocopier, your kidís car or the core network of a medium sized bank. However, troubleshooting is not like that, itís more like football, years of watching and playing does not guarantee to make you a superstar. However, with troubleshooting, just like football, it does teach you enough so you have an opinion on how it should be done.

Blessay:Cloud Computing not “Essential Service”, more like “Public Transport”

I believe that Cloud Computing is unlikely to become Essential Service, but will be more like Public Transport – cheap, mass market, limited function and “acceptable” for some.

Blessay: FCoE is JUST a transition Technology

Chris Evans believes that “FCoE” will rule the world. Hah. I believe it’s just a transition technology that drags Storage out of it’s closed, proprietary mindset into the open collaborative world. Data Networks can easily adapt.

Blessay: Working for a Reseller or End User is different like Doctoring and Parenting

Where you choose to work in the Networking Industry can come to down to a simple choice: Are you a Doctor or a Parent ?

Blessay: Sixty Five Percent – Cisco’s Gross Profit Margin

Lets be honest, there are many things that Cisco does well, and some things that Cisco doesn’t do well. Somebody once said that being a successful company is to do more good things than bad. For me, one area that is becoming a bigger and bigger design problem is the price on Cisco products. Recently […]

Blessay:VTP Version 3.0 – Is VTP making a comeback ?

VTP Version 3.0 – Is VTP making a comeback ? I found this document at Cisco.com today about VTPv3. What ? VTPv3 ? I had to dig into that.

On the Art of Network Diagrams and Presentation

Network Diagrams are the most effective communication tools that are available for network engineers. Frankly, a document is nice, but often contains only supporting information. Lets take some time to look at how a good looking diagram can be made.

IPv5 – What was it ?

I have been working on IPv6 lately, but now knowing about IPv5 has made me feel that something was missing. A little digging, and there it is – the little known IPv5 (otherwise known as ST2).

Blessay: My Life of Study – Planning, Tips and Thoughts

I was asked how I organise myself to study, and how do I make time. It not really easy to write it out because I make choices that suit my life, but if someone wants my recommendations or suggestions, here they are.

OS X:Using Web Kit for HTTP, website analysis and network testing

Safari (or Webkit) has a neat debugging feature built in. It is available in both OS X and Windows versions. When testing performance of websites through application inspection on firewalls or load balancer it can be a useful tool to get visibility.

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