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Cisco Live 2019 – On Site – Last Minute Checklist

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It’s crunch time! Many of you may have already left for a few extra days before the event, others aren’t leaving until this weekend. Either way, there are a few things you want to be sure you have on hand and ready for Cisco Live in San Diego!

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Cisco Champions – An amazing place to be

Reading Time: 5 minutesThe time for applications to the Cisco Champion 2019 program are fast approaching. As I learned this it caused me to reflect on the privilege I have had for the last two years of being part of it.  I’d rather tell you about my experience and why you might want to join in on the fun. In those two years, I have seen it from two different views. My first year was 100% remote as I was unable to make it to Cisco Live. Last year I got to experience all of the greatness of some of the in-person events.
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CLUS 2017 – A remote view

Reading Time: 4 minutesThis year I was unable to make it to Cisco Live U.S. for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the stars don’t align and you can’t make logistics work, or maybe financials just fall short. That doesn’t mean you can’t “go” to CLUS even if it may be remotely and in spirit. Trust me, if the spirits right it’s an exhausting week even when you aren’t there.

I dedicated a lot of effort this year into “attending” even though I was remote just shy of a couple thousand miles away. Here’s how I did it!
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MPLS Headend FVRF Migration Strategy

Reading Time: 14 minutesSay you have a network that currently has an MPLS WAN from your HQ to all of your Branches. You want to migrate these MPLS connections into a DMVPN design and in doing that, you would like to move the MPLS links into a Front Door VRF. There comes a challenge with this move in regards to the routing tables and when to move the headend.

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2017 – Whats in my bag

Reading Time: 2 minutesThe new year just sprung upon us. This is usually when I go through my bag and reorganize. I figured hey why not post what I carry. I know, it’s nothing new nor original. I’m surely not the first person to do this post. I always find it interesting though to see what others carry so maybe someone is interested in my daily carry.

2017 Carry Bag

So, here we go. Lets start with the top left and move through from there.

  • Super Glue
    • I always end up ripping a finger or knuckle home on something. Super glue it the go to fix
  • Pain Reliever
  • Extra Pair of Contacts
    • Hey, I’ve lost one before and it isn’t fun being half blind
  • Visine
    • Again, contacts…they tend to dry out in datacenters
  • Bose Soundsport bluetooth headphones
    • For conference calls, general listening. Paired with laptop and phone
  • Laptop Charger
  • Kobalt 6x speed driver and bits
    • Seriously the coolest and most efficient screwdriver. Each turn and back cycle = 6 spins.
  • Small LED flashlight
  • Old Wacom Tablet for drawing diagrams on projectors when whiteboards aren’t available
  • Fluke Networks rollup pouch
    • Holds misc cables and adapters
  • The original Air Console.
    • Freedom from the rack!!!
  • Stock iPhone headphones and charger
    • No I haven’t upgraded to the 7
  • Thumb Drive and SD card
  • Whiteboard Markers
  • Console Cable
  • Battery Pack
  • Metallic Sharpie
    • Ever need to take notes about cables on a black network rack?
  • Pen and Pad of paper
    • Sometimes you just have to write analog style
  • Laptop
  • Bose QC 15 cans
    • Again, haven’t had a reason to upgrade but love noise canceling when necessary

 

So where does it all go? It seems like a lot listed out but to be honest it barely fills up the backpack I carry. I currently carry an OGIO Renegade RSS. Plenty of room for more than you need. Also, before anyone asks “what? No box cutter?!”. Daily carry is a Gerber Paraframe of sorts on my person.

 

 

 

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Using MRM to test Multicast

Reading Time: 4 minutesI’ve always wanted to find a quick way to test a multicast deployment in a Cisco environment. Many of us are already familiar with simply pinging a multicast address from an interface, and going to another router and issuing the ip igmp join-group command.

I’ve came across a new way to test that I’ve missed over the years but has apparently been around. This tool is the Multicast Routing Monitor. It has a fairly straight forward configuration and will at least give you some view into your multicast domain and it’s functionality.

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Advertise Static Routes in EIGRP without Redistribution

Reading Time: 5 minutesI came across a paragraph in an older book in regards to EIGRP operation. As I read it I was kind of dumfounded. To be honest I didn’t believe it at first so of course I had to lab it to see if it was true. It turns out that it is in fact the way EIGRP operates in this very specific circumstance. I had never seen it before in some of my favorite books nor through my favorite video training vendors. So my findings are this: In a very specific scenario, EIGRP will advertise static routes into EIGRP as internal routes without any redistribution statements.

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You Coach Not Teach Troubleshooting

Reading Time: 4 minutesA colleague and I have been debating over a few months the topic of troubleshooting. My initial stance on the topic was that you CAN teach troubleshooting. However, as time has passed working with particular individuals I have came to a realization that you CANNOT teach troubleshooting. My belief now is that some people simply have a mind that thinks in logical sequences to rule out options and others don’t. While I’m sure this post may cause some heat towards myself the point isn’t to say anything bad about anyone. My point is that some individuals have a very effective troubleshooting skill set, while others simply have a set rubric of tests that if exhausted, results in a complete halt in process. I’ve come up with four items that impact an individuals ability to troubleshoot effectively even after the initial checklist has been exhausted.

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SRT: Offline type 7 decrypt

Reading Time: 1 minuteI was recently working on deploying a new device into our network infrastructure. I was working off a configuration template that had a standard arguments for AAA leveraging TACACS+. I was offsite and had asked a fellow colleague to enter the new device into our ACS deployment to allow authentication and command authorization. The long and short of it is, it was copied off of a different group of devices than what my configuration template was based of. The issue was a mismatch in TACACS server keys. The problem was I was currently offline as I was connecting to the device what would let me out to the network. So what is the stupid router trick? The stupid router trick consists of using the key chains to decrypt a type 7 TACACS (or other key) that is hidden via service password-encryption in your configuration template. The trick is pretty simple. Create a temporary key chain that won’t be applied anywhere, enter the key(s) into the key chain in their type 7 format, and then do a simple show key chains. Really! That’s all there is to it. See the output below.

 

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