What’s wrong with VLAN 1?

Matt/ December 5, 2017

Earlier this year I was involved in a string of interviews for an open network engineer position. The questions and scenarios provided during the interviews were aimed for someone mid-level. One of the more basic-ish scenario questions I like to ask is the following: Given a brand new switch, can you provide me the commands you would use to configure

Read More

How to Improve: Stop Doing, Start Understanding

Matt/ November 28, 2017

There is a key to being successful at just about any IT job: Stop just doing work, and start understanding what you’re doing. Might seem like an odd thing to say right? But this is something that I have seen confuse engineers at earlier points in their careers. In a lot of jobs, the initial training you receive is fairly

Read More

What’s Going Out of Your Network?

Matt/ November 21, 2017

Over this past weekend I purchased a few upgrades to my home network/lab. One of which was upgrading my older Ubiquiti 802.11n wireless access point to the newer 802.11ac model they have out. The other purchase was a new external firewall. I had previously been running on a Cisco ASA5505, but the device is older and doesn’t support some of

Read More

L2 Basics: Spanning-Tree Protocol

Matt/ November 14, 2017

Spanning-tree protocol (STP) is one of those network technologies that is easy to forget about. It exists in the background of almost every network, and for the most part it does it’s job without any issues. However, there is still a huge benefit to understanding what STP does and how it works – because it’s default behaviors might not the

Read More

An Afternoon with ARIN

Matt/ November 7, 2017

I had the opportunity to attend an ARIN on the Road event last week. It was an all-day event that focused on education: who ARIN is, what they do, and some things they are working on. As a network admin I’ve had to work with ARIN a handful of times to request network resources. I figured it would be a

Read More

How to: Migrating to a New Synology NAS

Matt/ October 24, 2017

Back in 2011 I picked up a Synology DS411 NAS, which has proved to be one of the most beneficial parts of my home lab. When I purchased it, I filled it with 4x 3TB drives for a total of 12TB of storage (~8TB usable with RAID5). I use the NAS as an iSCSI datastore for my home ESX hosts,

Read More

Review: Amazon LightSail

Matt/ October 17, 2017

Disclaimer: I’m not at all sponsored by anything I review on here. If there ever comes a time where someone is crazy enough to sponsor a review, I’ll definitely let you guys know I’ve been considering the idea of posting some short reviews of products or services I use. Not at all meant to make this a review site, but

Read More

My 2018 Goal: CCIE R&S

Matt/ October 10, 2017

I first completed my CCNA certification back in August of 2007. After that I started working on certifications pretty heavily, because I wanted to learn as much as I could about networking. I used the certifications as both motivation to learn and a measurable goal of my knowledge. Over the next few years I obtained a number of Cisco’s associate-level

Read More

Devil in the Defaults

Matt/ October 3, 2017

Default settings are the worst. Every systems has them, and they’re great until they’re not. For whatever reasons in the past, my predecessors decided to purchase a bunch of bare-bones HP servers and install Check Point’s firewall software on them. The HP servers were significantly cheaper than buying Check Point’s branded appliances, but unfortunately they come with a different set

Read More

SRX High CPU: httpd

Matt/ September 5, 2017

Over the past few years of my Juniper SRX adventures, I’ve run into a few cases where the Routing Engine (RE) CPU is pegged at 100%. From what I’ve seen so far, this is typically one of three causes: high traffic (spike in IPS inspection), logging using event mode, or a stuck web management session. In a few occasional cases,

Read More