Tag Archives: network

Where is all the Automation?

Matt Schmitz/ July 24, 2018

The future is APIs! SD-EVERYTHING! Automation! Orchestration! Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning! Sound familiar? It’s all part of the messaging going around in just about everything IT-related. With as much as you keep hearing about it, you might think that it’s all anyone is doing anymore. Yet it still just seems like not a whole lot of people are really

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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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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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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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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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How to: Migrating to a New Synology NAS

Matt Schmitz/ 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,

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Devil in the Defaults

Matt Schmitz/ 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

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Migrating IP Addressing Schemes

Matt Schmitz/ May 24, 2017

Back a few months ago, I wrote a bit about why it is important to have a good design for IP addressing schemes (part 1 and part 2). As a brief refresher, the situation I found myself in was an environment where practically everything was assigned a 10.x.x.x/16 subnet – even if we only needed a handful of hosts. When

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