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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You Should Automate Something This Year

Matt Schmitz/ January 9, 2018

Maybe 2018 isn’t off to quite the best start. Recent processor vulnerabilities have people scrambling to patch and update systems. Stuff like this ends up being a fairly large sink of time for any systems/network administrator. The worst part is that we have practically no control of when this stuff happens or how much time it’s going to take to

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One Year Later

Matt Schmitz/ January 2, 2018

2017 is over! Now we’re on to whatever 2018 may bring. The past year has been very interesting for me. For one thing, it was the first full year of this blog which started in December of 2016. While I didn’t quite accomplish everything here that I had hoped for, I still managed to do a lot more than I

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What’s wrong with VLAN 1?

Matt Schmitz/ 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

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How to Improve: Stop Doing, Start Understanding

Matt Schmitz/ 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

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What’s Going Out of Your Network?

Matt Schmitz/ 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

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L2 Basics: Spanning-Tree Protocol

Matt Schmitz/ 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

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An Afternoon with ARIN

Matt Schmitz/ 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

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