Lab Time

ElastiFlow Template VM

Flow data is a critical piece of understanding how your network works what what it is actively doing. It also provides a great baseline and capacity planning tool. However, some of the more feature rich NetFlow and/or sFlow collectors can be quite daunting in their cost and/or complexity to install. ElastiFlow is a great alternative for flow analytics and is built on the well traveled and robust ElasticStack, meaning, its back end is well documented, well supported, and scales exceptionally…

Basic automation for WISPs and small to medium ISPs

Small to medium ISPs are an interesting phenomenon. Early in my career I was pretty heavily involved in that space, so much of my current thought processes and methodologies are heavily informed by that experience. Something that never ceases to amaze me today is that the practice of scripting and “automating” things seems to have become somewhat of a lost art, or at the very least it is not part of an initial deployment plan. As I learned to operate a network at scale and with efficiency, we…

Building a dynamic security infrastructure [in a box - with SDN]

Years ago I wrote about building a secure network in a box. Over a weekend I decided to revisit this concept thanks to a colleague at work wanting to do something similar. It got me thinking “a lot has changed since I last did this” and it felt like time to revisit it. Well, disappointment wasn’t in the cards because it’s easier, smarter, and more flexible now that it was back then. As I noted back in 2013 when I wrote that last post, OVS was a lot less well traveled and, frankly, there was not…

FreeRouter as a test environment

A few months ago Kevin Myers of IP Architechs introduced me to a really interesting project called FreeRouter. Being that I absolutely love alternative routing platforms and feature complete simulation environments, this really got me going. I tend to define “feature complete” in a routing platform as something that can do both IS-IS and MPLS. Given that there aren’t many platforms that do both correctly or within a reasonable budget, and offer simulation options, I was pretty…

Brocade Vyatta Install and OpenFlow 1.3 on ICX 7450

I recently had a need to test OpenFlow on the brocade ICX 7450 for a fairly good sized, high visibility project. The basic goal is pretty simple, Layer2 path provisioning. Straightforward and fairly well supported in OpenFlow, even from the early days. To do this, the idea was to use a turnkey platform, that way there is one throat to choke if there are issues. I landed on the Brocade Vyatta controller (which is essentially ODL), and the ICX. Below is a rough account of getting this up and…

BigSwitch Networks BigCloud Fabric 2.5

BigSwitch is making waves again, this time with its Big Cloud Fabric product update. I was lucky enough to get a bit of a preview of what was coming and was pleasantly surprised by the new features, finding them functionally useful for both operators, security folks and management alike.

Monitoring VMware ESXi with SNMP and Cacti

VMWare is a powerful tool, and monitoring is a critical service. How does one monitor such an integral piece of infrastructure, and what do they monitor it with? There are powerful commercial ways of monitoring VMware, however, for those with existing SNMP based systems in place, specifically cacti, there are options. To that end, I’ll set aside my strong distaste for SNMP [yet again], because those are for a larger, less useful series of posts.

BigSwitch Labs for SDN learning: a sneak peek!

I was recently granted access to the beta BigSwitch Networks lab site, a purpose built classroom in the cloud focused on teaching the BigSwitch SDN environment.  I had seen some of the BSN offerings in the past and always held them in high regard, but I was thoroughly impressed with both the completeness of the lab and how polished the controller environment was. At the time of this writing, the lab consists of 3 modules: Building cloud fabric, monitoring fabric and dynamic provisioning of…

Install nfsen and nfdump on CentOS 6.5 for netflow and or sflow collection

I am an absolutely huge fan of statistical and instrumentation data, especially when it comes to traffic analysis, visualization and baselining.  I’ve rambled on about the importance of it at every opportunity.  As a result of that, I have been doing work with netflow and netflow-like data for a fairly long time.  My first collector was the OSU Flow tools based stuff  back around 13 years ago.  From there I played with all kinds of netflow tools, both commercial and open source, finally…

Fixing the dreaded "error: could not open configuration database (juniper.data+)" problem.

Working on some MX series routers recently I encountered a problem I’d never seen before, essentially preventing the configuration from being committed:` buraglio@rtr# commit check re0: error: could not open configuration database (juniper.data+)