Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Network Guy: Facts And Feels

I've been a network guy for a long time now.  So as I say what I'm about to say, I think it will make some sense to you older guys (like me).  Some of you seasoned veterans out there, it would be nice to get your input on this post.
 I had this conversation today with my sales guy about sizing a core environment for a particular potential customer.  He was asking me if a certain model of Brocade switch would work (ICX7450) for a core switch, instead of a pair of ICX6610s.  At this point in the conversation, I'm already a little uncomfortable (technically speaking).  My first question to my sales guy is "How many devices are on the network?"  His response was "Not sure, Ill have to verify.  But no more than 200."  At this point, I automatically will say "No, the 7450s wont work in the core.  Go with the 6610s." 
As the conversation continued, we did get back into the verification conversation.  I told him to verify how many devices they had on the network.  If its 70 or less, go with the 7450s.  If its more than 70, go with the 6610s.  We also did have the 10gig uplink conversation, as in "How many 10gig uplinks do they need?"  No more than eight would be appropriate for the 7450s (two of them), but if more was needed, go with the 6610s. 
Back to the first part of this conversation.  How did I concluded that the magic number of 70 devices was the breaking point for the 7450s being a core (if they didn't need more than 8 10gig uplinks)?  I told my sales guy this:  "Look man, I don't have a 'fact' to go on here.  Its a 'feel'.  I cant say that 70 devices is the magic device number for a core switch for the 7450s.  Its just what I'm comfortable with, technically speaking."  But, that comfort level comes with technical experiences.  Both in Brocade and Cisco environments.  What particular models will do and what they perform like.  Again, its a 'feel' from experiences.  Not because I 'know for a fact' in these cases.  I realize there are other things to consider (like traffic patterns, etc), but generically speaking, as time goes by and your experiences increase, you just kindof know these things.  Even without having the hard proof. 
If you truly have a 'feel' for something, go with that feel.  Sometimes that IS the best proof you have.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brocade ICX L2 Config Tools

There is an SE here at Brocade that has really made things easy for configuring closet switches.  He created this tool (located here) that asks you a series of questions in a dos prompt, and does the config for you based on your answers.  He also created a GUI version of this tool (located here) that does the same thing.  This is for L2 installs, not for the L3 core.  Although, you can use them to get you started on the L3 config.  Below is a copy of what you would expect.  I put the config portion on the left, and the actual final config on the right.  Its good stuff, and you should get this to help you along.
The CLI version:

The GUI version:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cisco Router Break In

Had to break into another Cisco router that I didnt know the password for.  Its real simple if you have physical access, which is why you keep your gear behind secured doors.  Change the config register and you are in.

Readonly ROMMON initialized
rommon 1 >
rommon 1 > confreg 0x2142

You must reset or power cycle for new config to take effect
rommon 2 > reset

System Bootstrap, Version 12.4(13r)T, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Technical Support:
Copyright (c) 2006 by cisco Systems, Inc.
PLD version 0x10

Change it back to 0x2102 when you are in.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Quote For The Day: 35

"I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life."   ~~ Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Websites That Monitor Your Movement

I'm not one to like someone monitoring my movements or really monitoring anything.  I went to a website today, and as I was moving my mouse pointer up to the tab of the web browser to open another tab, and I noticed the screen blacked out and a message came up in the middle of the screen:
I've modified the whole message, but you get the point here.  They were monitoring my mouse movements.  Its been discussed a lot recently, and this site in particular actually was doing it.  You have to keep in mind these things when you are on the Internet.  Threats are everywhere out there.  Ill be dedicating more to security on this blog in the future.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Brocade ICX Switch: Up,Down (LACP-BLOCKED) Message On Interface

Ever see this message on an interface before?
GigabitEthernet1/2/2 is up, line protocol is down (LACP-BLOCKED)

I saw this last night when trying to connect a Cisco switch configured for a port-channel to a Brocade ICX7450 LAG.  Keep in mind, a LAG and Port-channel are the same thing, which is bonded ports for more throughput and redundancy.  In this case, we were using LACP.
Config for a Brocade LACP LAG in version 8.X:
lag LAG01 dynamic id 1
 ports ethernet 1/2/2 ethernet 1/2/4 
 primary-port 1/2/2
 port-name ***ToCisco*** ethernet 1/2/2

Because I was getting the error message above, I asked the other engineer if they had their side configured for LACP.  She said yes, but then she double checked and verified that she actually didn't have either "mode active" or "mode passive" with the "channel-group 1" command.  She actually had "mode auto", which uses port aggregation protocol (PagP) instead.  Simple mistake that we all make at some point.  She corrected and then the LAG came up and we started passing traffic.
Below is what I saw when I did a "show lag" on the Brocade side"
DIR_Irondale_(config)#sh lag
Total number of LAGs:          1
Total number of deployed LAGs: 1
Total number of trunks created:1 (255 available)
LACP System Priority / ID:     1 / 609c.9f3a.a488
LACP Long timeout:             120, default: 120
LACP Short timeout:            3, default: 3

=== LAG "LAG01" ID 1 (dynamic Deployed) ===
LAG Configuration:
   Ports:         e 1/2/2 e 1/2/4
   Port Count:    2
   Primary Port:  1/2/2
   Trunk Type:    hash-based
   LACP Key:      20001
Deployment: HW Trunk ID 1
Port       Link    State   Dupl Speed Trunk Tag Pvid Pri MAC             Name
1/2/2      Up      Blocked Full 1G    1     Yes 18   0   609c.9f3a.a488  ***ToCisco***
1/2/4      Up      Blocked  Full 1G   1     Yes 18   0   609c.9f3a.a488

Port       [Sys P] [Port P] [ Key ] [Act][Tio][Agg][Syn][Col][Dis][Def][Exp][Ope]
1/2/2           1        1   20001   Yes   S   Agg  Syn  Col  Dis  Def  No   Ina
1/2/4           1        1   20001   Yes   S   Agg  Syn  No   No   Def  No   Ina
Just know that if you get the above message (GigabitEthernet x/x/x is up, line protocol is down (LACP-BLOCKED), you have a LAG protocol mismatch.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Home Projects: Pantry Shelves

One thing I really don't like in a home is the shelves made of wire. I just prefer wood.  So I made these below in the old '35 house.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Thought: "Relax, God's Got This"

I saw this on a church sign, and it's a good message. Hang in there.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Edible Plants: Rosemary

Rosemary smells really good to me.  I really like running my hand down a branch of Rosemary and smelling the nice aroma it bears.  Did you know you can eat it also?  In my neighborhood, its almost in every yard and easily accessible.  So if you have to have something to eat, and you can find it, you can eat it raw.  Just like its smell, it leaves a strong taste on your breath.  It doesn't seem to actually taste like you might think it would, but still not bad raw.  I read that it has many health benefits to it as well.  Just know if you are out of food, its one thing you can eat safely either cooked or raw.
Image result for rosemary

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Brocade ICX7150: Stats To Know

Brocade has come out with a low end switch (even lower than the 7250).  Its called the ICX7150, and its essentially a very cheap (in price) enterprise switch and performs about the same as the Cisco 3850s and 3650s.  The 48 port 7150 has a forwarding rate of 134 Mpps and a switching backplane of 180 Gbps.  Considering the Cisco 3850s forwarding rate for the 48P is 130.95 Mpps and the backplane comes in at 176 Gbps, even this very low end Brocade model still outperforms the Cisco 3850.
These 7150s go in the access closet.  Considering the 7250s are already cheap in price, and the 7150s are even cheaper, this is going to be interesting...
You can find the datasheet here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Milestone: One Million Views On Network Fun!!!

The Network Fun!!! blog hit an official milestone today.  One million views.  Thank you all for participating.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Brocade VDX: Four Technical Benefits To Be Aware Of

I really like the VDX products for the data center.  They have some really good benefits that I thought I would explain in a post.  You should know why one product is better than another, apart from cost.  What is the technology actually doing that makes a difference?  Here are the ones I'm aware of for the VDX line.
1.  There is not ARP age out waiting times when a VM server moves from one host to another.  Meaning that when a VM moves from one VDX to another, the ARP entry is changed appropriately at the same time.  This causes NO blip or downtime in waiting on the ARP entry to age out, like you would normally see.  It happens immediately, and no traffic is lost.  Its able to keep up with where the VM servers are.
2.  When you create a VLAN on the VDX, it is automatically created in the VSwitch as well.  This saves you from having you and the server guy doing the work.  Now its just you doing it.
3.  The packet buffers are truly "deep".  24 Meg deep.  This means no dropped packets on heavily utilized gear.  Competitors are nowhere near this much.
4.  When it comes to the ISL links from one VDX to another, the data throughput is truly load balanced across each link.  If you have three links, and 40% utilization, then all three links have 40% across them.  Other vendors are not doing this.  Streams get divided up instead of the packets, meaning in the three links I just mentioned, you may have 80%, 20%, and 35% on the bonded link.  This method is not as effective for performance, whereas the Brocade way is.
5.  Cheaper in price that competitors for what you are getting in the data center.  Plain and simple.

Look into the VDX line.  Its a great data center solution.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The American Citizen's Bill Of Rights

Just FYI.  If you are a United States citizen (not illegal), then you have these rights by the Constitution of the United States of America.  I have two of each, one in original language, and the other in simplified language (which I got from here).  Its important for us American citizens to know our rights.
Amendment I 
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment I 
The United States Congress can't make any law about your religion, or stop you from practicing your religion, or keep you from saying whatever you want, or publishing whatever you want (like in a newspaper or a book). And Congress can't stop you from meeting peacefully for a demonstration to ask the government to change something.

Amendment II 
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Amendment II
Congress can't stop people from having and carrying weapons, because we need to be able to defend ourselves.

Amendment III 
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Amendment III
You don't have to let soldiers live in your house, except if there is a war, and even then only if the United States Congress has passed a law about it.

Amendment IV 
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment IV 
Nobody can search your body, or your house, or your papers and things, unless they can prove to a judge that they have a good reason to think you have committed a crime.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
Amendment V 
You can't be tried for any serious crime without a Grand Jury meeting first to decide whether there's enough evidence for a trial. And if the jury decides you are innocent, the government can't try again with another jury. You don't have to say anything at your trial. You can't be killed, or put in jail, or fined, unless you were convicted of a crime by a jury. And the government can't take your house or your farm or anything that is yours, unless the government pays for it.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Amendment VI 
If you're arrested, you have a right to have your trial pretty soon, and the government can't keep you in jail without trying you. The trial has to be public, so everyone knows what is happening. The case has to be decided by a jury of ordinary people from your area. You have the right to know what you are accused of, to see and hear the people who are witnesses against you, to have the government help you get witnesses on your side, and you have the right to a lawyer to help you.

Amendment VII 
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VII
You also have the right to a jury when it is a civil case (a law case between two people rather than between you and the government).

Amendment VIII 
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment VIII
The government can't make you pay more than is reasonable in bail or in fines, and the government can't order you to have cruel or unusual punishments (like torture) even if you are convicted of a crime.

Amendment IX 
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment IX
Just because these rights are listed in the Constitution doesn't mean that you don't have other rights too.

Amendment X 
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Amendment X
Anything that the Constitution doesn't say that Congress can do should be left up to the states, or to the people.

Friday, November 11, 2016

By the way, Happy Veterens Day

Edible Plants: Clover

I guess I wont get into the whole background of a thought process I have on this topic, but I have decided that I'm going to learn what plants and trees are edible.  I think it could be valuable information, and you can find all kinds of info out there in "Internetland" discussing this sort of thing.  But I thought I would add a section on this blog about this topic.  The point is that if there is an emergency of any kind, you can still find food, should you need to.  You just have to know what to look for.  I'm learning myself on this topic, and I'm no expert.  But, I think as I walk through this learning process, I would post about it.  Also, if you try this, this is at your own risk.  I suppose different people will have different side affects to this sort of thing.
My first plant that I thought I would learn about eating was clover.  Just like what is in your yard.  I went out and tried this, and it tasted very much like a green, sour apples.  Its safe to eat and it actually tastes pretty good raw.  I would recommend washing it off first.  
As I'm still learning about this, you may certainly want to research for yourself the nutritional value and side affects of eating these things, like I'm doing.  I do think its worth "knowing" this kind of information.  Comments are certainly welcome as well.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Ultimately, doesn't this below reflect what really matters? You can make a change one interaction at a time. Wasn't Mother Teresa such a beautiful soul?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Don't Ever Give Up

Just goes to show, when you are down, it doesn't mean you are out. Don't give up when the odds are against you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

Some Thoughts About The Broadcom/Brocade Buyout...

Ok. Now that we are after the initial shock of this event of the "acquisition", here are some thoughts:
The product:
1. The ICX product line has not changed.
2. The dependability has not changed.
3. The performance/features have not changed.
The business look:
4. The IP product line is profitable. This is a good thing. Someone will want that profitability.
5. There are a ton of Brocade customers in the world. Someone will want those customers.
6. I'm sure there are contracts that are in place that have to be honored, such as warranty, support, etc.
7. Someone will want this side of the business. I can think of several "good fits" that could break into that business and integrate into their product line. I have zero insight into this, just like you. I only speculate.

If you are a Brocade customer, don't panic. Just wait and let's see what happens. It's not panic time at this point.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Brocade ICX: 6610/7450 PSU Interchangability

Just a quick note, but the power supplies of a 6610 are interchangeable with the 7450.  Just FYI.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The News... Broadcom Set To Aquire Brocade

Well, I just officially found out yesterday that Broadcom is acquiring Brocade.  I'm literally stunned by this.  You can read about it at the link below:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Brocade ICX: Multi VRF

Dont forget when you are working in a new environment, that you might come upon a multi-VRF environment.  If that is the case, some of your normal commands might not work as you expected.  For instance, you might have to specify the specific vrf you want to see things in.  Below is an example of trying to see the ARP table.  Notice the first time I run the "show arp", I get one entry.  But, when I specify the VRF I'm actually looking for, I get more.

Switch#sh arp
Total number of ARP entries: 1
Entries in default routing instance:
No.   IP Address       MAC Address    Type     Age Port               Status
1     cc4e.2496.9f00 Dynamic  0    1/1/24            Valid
Switch#sh arp vrf vrf2
Total number of ARP entries: 24
Entries in VRF vrf2:
No.   IP Address       MAC Address    Type     Age Port               Status
1       cc4e.2496.9f00 Dynamic  1    1/1/24            Valid
2       a89d.2147.efc3 Dynamic  0    1/1/4             Valid
3       6400.6a58.4abb Dynamic  0    1/1/4             Valid
4     0023.ae84.efb1 Dynamic  0    1/1/4             Valid
5     0023.ae84.d1b0 Dynamic  1    1/1/4             Valid

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Brocade ICX7750: Stacking And Breakout Cables

I was reading this the other night, and wanted to pass this on to you engineers.  This is an important thing to know for the 7750 when you want to stack them together, IF you need a breakout cable (40gig to 4 10gig) for another purpose.  This below is from the FAQ for the 7750.

Q. Can splitter cables be used to split the Brocade ICX 7750 40 GbE ports into four 10 GbE ports?

A. Yes. The Brocade ICX 7750 supports the use of QSFP+ to 4x SFP+ splitter cables, but only when switches are running in a standalone switch configuration. Splitter cables cannot be used when Brocade ICX 7750 Switches are part of a stack (that is, running in a “stack member” configuration). Also, there are some restrictions concerning which QSFP ports can be split using these cables. Refer to the Brocade ICX 7750 product documentation for further details.