Response: The How and Why of Flapjack | Fractional

If you run any type of network monitoring system you will know the pain of log management. The firewall team needs one view, the WAN team & DC team need different views. There is a category of software that I call “log and alert routing” and Flapjack is one of those systems   Flapjack will […]


Does SDN represent the evolution of Network Management ? Yes but No It Doesn’t

SDN/OpenFlow is about Network Management, at least, in part. But the rich tools for software control dont’ exist. I also think don’t think that todays management _platforms_ (such as Tivoli, OpenView and BMC) are suitable for network orchestration in the future.


ONF Extends their SDN to Embrace NETCONF and YANG

In this blog post, Calle Moberg (from Tail-F Systems who makes NETCONF software) highlights that the ONF has embraced NETCONF as mandatory for configuration of OpenFlow enabled devices. I didn’t know this was coming: [...] OF-CONFIG1.0 requires that devices supporting OF-CONFIG 1.0 MUST implement NETCONF protocol as the transport. This in turn implies as specified […]

Tech Review: NETCONF and YANG

Over the last few months I’ve been looking at Network Management options that are not OpenFlow or SNMP based. This led to NETCONF & YANG and these are my working notes from some time spent reading and researching.

Responding: On optimizing traffic for network virtualization

I’m responding to Brad Hedlund’s post “On optimizing traffic for network virtualization” where he seems to missed a key point. It’s about cost of ownership in terms of ability to troubleshoot.

RFC 6244 – Network Management Using NETCONF and YANG

I’ve been watching NETCONF and YANG for about four years and it seems that it might be breaking through the noise to set a new standard for Network Management data exchange. In short, SNMP isn’t working and the next generation of “blah blah Cloud” will require more sophisticated communication than SNMP can handle. In the last four years, NETCONF has matured and slowly percolated its way through the industry. Now that is has teamed up with YANG we have something that looks like it’s about to burst into the mainstream.

Citrix Branch Repeater Authentication with Cisco TACACS+

I have been looking about for documentation on how to configure TACACS authentication with a Citrix Branch Repeater, however so far I have only been able to find documentation for NetScaler. So I have setup a LAB and decided to write the documentation myself. For those who cannot be bothered to read this post there […]

Network Monitoring: SNMP knows stuff

Some packet generator are more important than others and indeed while a packet is just a packet for us network people if the packets stop moving around the network the way they should it can be a great cause for alarm. I have a customer with such a packet generating devices and it chucks out a 600k udp multicast stream (a single UDP payload) every 5 seconds and if this screws up for any reason then the application is not happy and hundreds of users are very upset. If the packets stop for any length of time then a Severity 1 incident is raised and the customer needs an ass to kick.

Apple deprecates Java, Network Management client software goes…… where ? Call for HTML5

Apple has announced the end of Java support for the MAC. This means that all those fat clients so loved by management vendors are looking shaky. About time too, time to piss off those bloody Java software clients and move on.

Teaching Management to think New Thoughts

HP has developed a Cloud Workshop for Managers. Which means that you might not have to teach your managers about Cloud Computing after all. Huzzah.

File Catalyst:Unlimitech Software: Pretending to be a customer

So a “Mark Johnson –” – posts a comment on my article on How Long it Takes to transfer data :

Blessay: IT Training Lessons from the Olympics

While the current Olympics is about as interesting as reviewing firewall rules, the current success of first world nations shows that money CAN buy you success. I’m hoping IT Managers can learn training lessons from this.

Enterprise Cloud Computing – Build your own with Cisco VFrame – Why wait ?

I can see some value in external Cloud Computing, but why not just build your own with Cisco ? Take a bunch of leftover machines, that old storage system and get a demo version and make your own.

Cisco Security Manager – shortcut to restarting services

If you work with CiscoWorks, you often need to restart services for changes to take effect. This tip shows how to chain the stop and the start together on Microsoft Windows.

RFC 1925 – The Twelve Networking Truths

Every network engineer should read this RFC, and understand what it means. Possibly, should be required reading for all CCNA candidates.

Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) Software Version 2.1.0 ships

I notice that Cisco has released 2.1.0 for the Cisco ACE today. A quick read of the release notes show lots of fun goodies packed inside. These features are starting to ‘catch up’ with the F5. I have installed the ANM 1.2 management platform in the last couple of weeks and will post a review […]

On the death and rebirth of IOS – Why did it take so long ?

The market has been commenting on the rise of Juniper for some years and the fact that Cisco has not been able to stop them growing. Well, we can now see that Cisco was listening to the stock market by spending a lot of time and money developing a new operating system. Oh yeah, and […]

Is the Cisco Nexus 7000 needed today – or tomorrow ?

No doubt that the Cisco Nexus 7000 switch is a fine piece of technology. The performance and throughput is welcome, and clearly offers some fine new capabilities such as virtualisation, ISSU, better OOB and so on. I am sure that everyone can perceive the positive messages, lets face it, Cisco isn’t going to be shy in telling us about them.

However, lets consider the issue from the perspective of the architect/designer and how Cisco has positioned this in the marketplace. From an architecture perspective, I will need to commit a substantial capex to the product and a much larger amount of resource cost to transition a network to use the product. Even if I am building new data centres (and thus have no legacy), changes to operating standards, procedures, management tools and other orchestration issues present substantial barriers to adoption.

Reserved IP address Range for Testing – RFC 2544

I have been looking at a multi host data centre and am using MPLS to securely share certain resources and considering what architecture considerations for Network Management. Lets define the problem. Network Management is software and servers that collect data from my network equipment and presents it to me in some useful form. Add to […]

Custom sizing your MMC RDP console

Following on from yesterdays post I was looking at some of the options and realised that you actually set the size of you RDP console.Since I use a Mac Book Pro with a wide screen the standard resolution are not very helpful, and I like to have fixed size windows, changing them to use the […]

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