Blessay: On Stackable / Fixed vs Chassis / Modular Ethernet Switches

The debate on Stackable vs Chassis based switches has a long and proud pedigree. Here is my addition to the debate.

Is this the year of 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the LAN ?

A number of switch vendors have announced (and they are certainly hoping) that 10Gb Ethernet is the THING for 2010. Really ?

Cynicism and Regret are powerful Design Tools

If there are two aspects of my personality that drive my design process, its Cynicism and Regret. Let me tell you that bitter tales of disappointment, let downs and failure that make for better designs.

Cisco, EMC, VMware – living together isn’t the same as married

A bunch of CEO’s promising to play ‘nice’ with each others toys is not a convincing marketing exercise. Cisco and EMC/VMware need to merge to get big enough to compete with HP / IBM.

What the letters on 802.1 Ethernet standards stand for

A recent post from a member of the IEEE standard finally tells us something useful instead of keeping everything a secret.


Rant:Why is the IEEE all about secrecy ?

I’m not happy that IEEE hides much of the meeting and discussions that progress the standards that affect all of us. Why does it have to be a secret ?

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

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

Blessay: Designing Enterprise DMZ and multilayer Firewall Clusters

In modern Enterprise networks, you typically have many clusters of firewalls protecting assets in your network. Since we use two or more layers of firewalls, we can put our DMZ for intermediate security zones in different places in our network. Lets gather together the different options and consider the merits or not, and sometimes how they ‘self-build’.

Network Diagrams:Zones on a diagram with Visio shape union

The post looks at using the Union of shapes in Visio to create unusal shaped objects. Especially useful when trying to draw zones to show the DMZ in dual layer firewall cluster.

Network Diagrams: Drawing Freehand Curves (and then fixing them)

Continuing on with absurdly popular posts about making diagrams in Visio. Lets draw a line in freehand. It will be broken, because we aren’t artists so lets talk about how to fix it.

Network Diagrams: Drawing the Background Shape

This post looks at how to draw the background shape and shaping following my previous posts on drawing network diagrams.

What does ‘Ethereal Mind’ mean ?

What does Ethereal Mind mean ?

Design: Lack of choice improves client outcomes

One of the prime criteria for a design process is to search for and evaluate design choices. But research suggest that excessive choice actually produces negative outcomes, its hardwired into the human brain. Therefore a Network Designer needs to ensure that they are overriding their natural instinct.

Configuring Windows 2003 / XP SP2 to use IOS NTP server

In certain networks, it is difficult to get the time on your servers to be exactly the same as the NTP time on your network equipment. In this case, you want to force the Windows servers to use the same NTP Network time source as your routers and switches. But Microsoft Windows doesn’t understand NTP […]

Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) – introduction and comparison with F5

My new interest of the moment is the Cisco Application Control Engine or ACE module. I have just received a pair of them and planning on starting the configuration in the next couple of days. So perhaps some discussion on the ACE is in order, and why I am considering using both F5 LTM AND the Cisco ACE in this network.

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