Category: operations

  • Solarwinds Geek Speak

    I’m sharing some articles I wrote on the Solarwinds Geek Speak blog.  I recommend you start with the 80/20 rule below post below before reading through the rest. The 80-20 Rule of Analysis and Optimisation Start with Continuous Improvement, then do DevOps The pain of network variation – part 1 The pain of network variation…

  • Clear Pricing for Network Services

    I had to buy some switches recently and needed to gather a second quote from another vendor. I went to the Dell website and was pleasantly surprised to quickly find a clear price and a buy-now button for each device on their website. Normally you’d need an account of the vendors portal to get this information, so it is refreshing…

  • 5 ways to fail – WAN link acceptance

    I’ve had an interesting few months doing WAN circuit turn-ups for a new Data Centre. I dealt with three major carriers, and each experience was worse than the next. I’m not sure why I held such high expectations but I was surprised by their hopeless inefficiency in delivering what should have been a standard product. In this post…

  • East West Segmentation With ACI

      East/west segmentation is required in the data center to protect backend networks from each other. Segmentation is often implemented using ACLs between VLANS on your core switch. The ACLS are maintained by network or security engineers but define the flows permitted between hosts or host classes.

  • Basic network change control process

    Scenario: You are an engineer who runs a managed network on behalf of a customer. Your manager has asked you to create a change control process. Your customer and your manager will measure you only by the uptime or outages they experience, and don’t care what your process looks like. I’ve discussed why we need change control in a…

  • Network change – who is in control?

    Network Change Nothing sparks engineering debate quite as much as ‘network change control’. It’s one of those topics we love to hate. We feel buried by useless bureaucracy. We ask, ‘Why can’t our managers just trust us, instead of weighing us down with meaningless process and red tape’?   This may be a controversial perspective but…

  • VTY ACLs don't block HTTP/S access

    I was doing some testing on a 3750X and saw that the http and http services were enabled. I knew that you could apply an ACL to restrict HTTP access, but had assumed that the HTTP security was an optional extra on top of the VTY ACL. I tested this … and found out I was…

  • Link Utilisation Varies By Packet Size

    I said to a colleague recently, “you can’t get 100% link utilisation on an Ethernet link”. When I tried to explain myself I wished I could link to a simple blog post with a nice graph. So here’s a quick blog post with a nice graph. I have talked a little about link speed in…

  • Four Trouble Ticket Survival Tips

    Sometimes the phrase ‘working the ticket queue’ is code for ‘doing meaningless work’. If you find yourself playing whack-a-mole with your ticket queue, then this is the post for you. You should strive to do meaningful work and this post discusses some ways to get more value out of the trouble ticketing process. 

  • 3 Suggestions for Network Automation

    Network automation is a hot topic right now. However, many of the automation solutions focus on edge-port provisioning. I can understand why vendors are chasing this niche; port-provisioning is a high-volume and error-prone activity. Network Automation Ideas Port provisioning isn’t the only cause of heartache in networking. In this post I’ve shared a few painful problems that the…