Teneo !!!

Aaron’s blog on Networking, and Enterprise Technology

Tag Archives: Network

Interop 2011 finishes – Systems Mgmt

Came back from Interop Las Vegas yesterday. What a blast! I met so many great people from Twitter and HP Networking team, I can’t name everyone. But, you know who you are!!

The first day Interop started, I got put into “systems management” mood. Dunno why, but I just wanted to know everything that dealt with systems management.

I stopped by the ManageEngine booth to see their latest offerings (I already use ServiceDesk, and have used OpManager before). It was good. OpManager is a good product. However, their Netflow reporting module isn’t as integrated into their product suite as I would have liked.  It can send events as “emails” to the helpdesk system, but you lose asset information, and other things.

I did not see SolarWinds there, as I would have liked to have talked to them about their Orion product and modules.

Firestorm from BreakingPoint won the Best of Interop 2011 category of “management and monitoring”, but I didn’t talk to them. Downside of making Interop so big.

However, I did get to chat with the HP Networking team in detail on IMC (Intelligent Management Center), which, was also used to manage and monitor the entire Interop NOC.

This system is just too cool! I’ve been an OpenNMS guy for years, and this system takes the cake. With a proven production system actively monitoring, managing, and collecting on over 200,000 devices, it can scale.

What is it’s coolest feature? The ability to manage over 2600 different devices (1000 of them are Cisco alone). As of next month’s service pack, it will be over 3000.  Now, that’s neat, but the coolest part, is that you configure them all the same.  The differences lie under the code that you don’t see.  So, if you want to create another VLAN and you do not use VTP, just create the VLAN, and all the different commands will be sent to each switch.  It will also track your configuration changes.

To quote Dave Donatelli on his press release Monday, “….. we manage Cisco better than Cisco….”.  After seeing the interface, there is no doubt.  Features like central ACL’s (no, no ASA support just yet…. I already asked), VPN management, User Authentication (RADIUS and TACACS), QoS policies, etc, can all be managed from the same interface no matter what the vendor is.  Some are extra modules that you add on.

Other modules include their NTA (Network Traffic Analyzer), which is their NetFlow/sFlow collector and reporting tool, and MPLS VPN management.  You can even see your VMWare environment and kickoff vMotion from here.

In talking to Bob Suhay in the Enterprise HP Networking Group, he explained to me that this system was meant to prevent “swivel chair” syndrome, as you change between different monitors to do different things.

IMC is a really cool product, and I, for one, will include it into my bids next year for a possible replacement.


My System Engineer’s toolkit for Mac

As Mac’s become more and more prevalent in today’s enterprise, more and more engineers are using Mac’s as their primary workstation.  While many of us use VMWare’s Fusion to run Windows for those apps that require it, this post is to identify programs I use on an almost daily basis, running natively on Mac OSX.

1). Wireshark – Okay.  This is pretty obvious.  No engineer’s toolkit is complete without a packet analyzer.

2).  TFTP Server – If you have a large network, you probably already have a dedicated TFTP Server storing all your images.  But, in smaller networks, or if you plan doing any “remote” work, it’s handy to have something local.

3).  IP Calculator – Yes, those that have certifications, can do this in their head, or at the very least, write down a matrix that helps them remember.  For those of us that just don’t have the time, or would like “confirmation”, cheat and use your own calculator.

4).  Chicken of the VNC – Yeah, it looks like a can of tuna.  Kinda kitschig to me, but it works.  Gives you a bookmark console for different VNC Servers.  Mostly used to access X Servers on Linux/Unix, but handy if you don’t have console access to other servers.

5).  Remote Desktop Connection – Pretty self-explanatory.  Gives you remote access to any Windows 2000/2003/2008 servers or workstations.  Full-feature including printer mappings, drive mappings, display settings, etc.

6).  MIB Browser – an indispensable tool, if you do alot of SNMP gets or traps.  Use this to browse vendor’s MIB Files to identify traps, and OID’s.

7).  Screen – This isn’t really a seperate application.  It’s built-in to the shell of Mac.  But I had to list it, as it gives you serial console access into network devices such as Foundries, Junipers, and Cisco’s (probably others, but that’s what I’ve used thus far).  Just plug in a USB-to-Serial adapter that is either a Keyspan or Prolific-based.  Others probably work, but, again, this is what I’ve used.

8).  JellyfiSSH – This is my all-time favorite.  For those that love PuTTY, you will never go back.  JellyfiSSH, is just like PuTTY for Mac.  It gives you full bookmarks to all your devices.  The bonus, is that you can organize your bookmarks into groups.  For example, I have groups called “Firewalls”, “Linux”, “Routers”, etc.  I have already spent LOTS of time ‘tweaking’ my terminal in Mac.  I just tell JellyfiSSH to use my terminal settings, and viola!  It also gives you a handy way to backup/restore your bookmarks, whereas in PuTTY, you have to grab the registry keys.

9).  FileMerge – This comes with the XCode app as a seperate install from your OSX DVD.  Useful when comparing two similar files like network configs or other system files.  Those that use RANCID may already have subversion or CVS doing their compares.


10).  OmniGraffle – I completely forgot about diagramming.  You’ve gotta be able to document your work for troubleshooting, training, or general brainstorming!  OmniGraffle just rocks.  It may take some getting used to, if you are familiar with Visio.  But, after using it for awhile, I’ve found I can diagram faster.  Who knew?

That’s it for my Engineer’s toolkit.  I didn’t include your ‘basic” apps that are built-in, like traceroute, ping, netstat, etc.  I have a host of other apps that I love, but I’ll save that for another day.

Does anyone want to list their favorite Mac Apps that aren’t already listed here?  The public would love to know, as do I.

Being that this is probably my last post of the year, “Happy New Year!!”.  Be safe, and enjoy the coming of “new starts”, “freshness”, or just all-around “good times”!

The general rules of networking.

I’m not sure why, but I got this crazy idea in my head to start coming up with “Rules of Enterprise Networking”. I say, ‘crazy’ because there is NO WAY you can list it all! So, why do this?

Lately, I’ve been seeing two kinds of articles. One is for the beginner. The other is for the advanced. The audience of these sets of articles are for those that want to start taking the lead in building solutions, or managing networks, but already know the technologies.

I hope it will be useful!

11-year old network manager

I’d better step it up a notch! I could be replaced by a younger, more energetic network manager!


But, we all knew this was happening. It’s not so much the intelligence that impresses me about him…. but rather, the responsibility that he possessed.