Synology Volume Crash

Matt Schmitz/ May 22, 2018

Back when I bought my Synology NAS in 2012, I picked up 4 Seagate 3TB drives. Yes, they’re the same model (ST3000DM001) that BackBlaze reported about in 2015 since these drives have an unusually high failure rate. I even managed to have one drive fail within the first few weeks, but I didn’t think much of it – just submitted

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Tips for Working with Vendor Support

Matt Schmitz/ May 9, 2018

This post has been on my mind for a while now. I’ve worked as a network admin for long enough, and opened more technical support cases with vendors than I want to think about. Over the years I’ve developed my own process for how I handle those support cases in an effort to get a quick and efficient resolution. Some

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Automated F5 Backups with CatTools

Matt Schmitz/ March 27, 2018

We have some new F5 load balancers in our environment, which means I need a method of grabbing regular configuration backups. There are a number of methods out there, but I’ve opted to use SolarWind’s CatTools software since we already own it. The config I used is based on this blog post. It’s a great write-up on how to back

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Juniper SRX – Automated Route Monitoring

Matt Schmitz/ March 13, 2018

I have always said that I’m not sure I could write code for a living, but I do really enjoy writing scripts that make my life easier. Today’s post is a great example of that. The ease of use offered by the Juniper SRX firewalls and JunOS is something that I wish I had in all of my networking infrastructure.

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Thoughts on Cisco’s 2018 Annual CyberSecurity Report

Matt Schmitz/ February 21, 2018

When I started in networking, I never would have thought that security would be such an important part of my job. However, it has become something that I’m involved with almost every day – tasks like applying security configurations, participating in audits, or spending a day chasing down the latest vulnerabilities. It’s already become second nature to watch for what’s

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Autonegotiation issues on Nexus QSFP Ports

Matt Schmitz/ February 20, 2018

Over the past two years we have made a ton of progress shifting datacenter infrastructure from 1G to 10G+. A majority of this has been through a vendor migration back to Cisco for switching – and specifically using the Nexus 9372 line. These boxes come with 48 ports of 1G/10G SFP+ and another 6 QSFP ports that hit 40G. Late

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What is Risk Acceptance?

Matt Schmitz/ February 14, 2018

You can’t always get what you want. As an engineer though, it’s your job to determine what’s best for the company and recommend it to management. What happens if your suggestion gets turned down? Well certainly your proposal must have been mis-understood, right? Maybe the decision-makers don’t truly understand the risk involved in not following your recommendation, whether that be financial, security,

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How Does Maintenance Scheduling Affect Your Network?

Matt Schmitz/ February 7, 2018

Last week I came across a thread on Reddit that asked the question: “What is your company’s policy on maintenance windows?”. This got me thinking about how maintenance windows have been handled at the various companies I’ve worked at, and how those schedules/restrictions impact project timelines, network design, etc. Many of the places that I have worked at in the

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L2 Basics: Configuring an EtherChannel

Matt Schmitz/ January 30, 2018

Today we’re going to take a look at how to configure an etherchannel between two Cisco Switches. What is an etherchannel? It’s a way of taking multiple independent links and bundling them together, so that they appear as one logical connection between two devices. Etherchannels are commonly used between two switches, or between a switch and a host – which

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2018 Cisco Champions

Matt Schmitz/ January 19, 2018

I received an email late yesterday afternoon – to my surprise I was invited to join the Cisco Champions program for 2018! I applied back in November, but I never would have thought I would actually get selected. I’m very excited to join the wonderful group of existing Cisco Champions, a few of which who I’ve bugged on Twitter already.

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