Cisco Champions 2017 – A reason to reflect

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tl;dr – THANK YOU ALL!

Yesterday morning I opened up my Spark app and was surprised to see I was added to the Cisco Champions room. I checked my e-mail and saw nothing. I knew it was being announced soon do to some twitter chatter. After validating with members it was true. I was selected as a 2017 member of Cisco Champions. I’m going to say I’m blown away even still today. I am absolutely honored to be part of such an amazing group of individuals. It has caused me to sit back and think about how I even came to know the people I look up to. So how did it start?

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2017 – Whats in my bag

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The 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

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I’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

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I 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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MS KB 3161639/3161608 break CUCM – UCCX web access

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The other week I ran into an instance where a group of customers were unable to access Cisco Unified Intelligence Center. Upon further investigation I was unable to get to admin pages of much of the collaboration suite and call control systems from these users computers either. The suite was on various versions of 9.0.X and 9.1.X due to restraints with many third party integration’s. This issue will occur on anything using the cipher suite mentioned below and is not limited to these versions or applications. This is ultimately where the problem stems from but I’ll take you down the path.

To start I’m going to list the fixes in case you don’t want to read my troubleshooting methodology. Then I will walk you through my discovery and detail the fixes. Remember, which fix is correct for your situation will vary based on use case, security policies, etc.

Fix 1: Uninstall Microsoft Updates causing issue
Fix 2: Re-issue certificate (if possible) using strong ciphers (may require upgrading applications)
Fix 3: Use a different web browser
Fix 4: Re-order ciphers via Group Policy

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.packetpilot.com/ms-kb-31616393161608-break-cucm-uccx-web-access/

Config-ease with Sublime Text Snippets

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I love when tools make my life easier. A conversation came up online the other night and I had shown someone a quick summary of the awesome power of Sublime Text. They wanted to know how I made the magic happen in that video. I felt I should and share it with everyone via a blog post. Here’s a quick video of my uses along with a description of what you can do with it, as well as how to make it work.

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Back To Basics – Patching A Switch

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The other day someone joked that I should write a post about plugging in a cable, or at least something to that extent. Then I started thinking about it. It’s actually a good idea. Everyone has their own way of cabling up a rack of patch panels and switches. Most of us would love to get the exact right length cables for the job however, that’s often not the case. There is a patching strategy I like to use when you are stuck using a box of 7 foot cables when all you really need are 3 foot cables. None the less, we all want it to look as neat as it can when we are done. I’m going to show you my practice when it comes to patching which can be easily modified whether you’r racks follow a panel-switch-panel-switch arrangement or a panel-panel-switch-switch arrangement.

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The Raven or The Macaw

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I.T. has had a large past of using animals to describe individuals, their attitudes, their skill sets, etc. Some of these originated outside of Information Technology such as the age old “Paper Tiger”. We’ve used terms like coding monkey to describe a programmer capable of knocking out code repetitively and constantly.

I’m going to take a slightly different approach on this concept with a thought and philosophy I’ve been trying to get myself into the mindset of applying on a daily basis. This mindset is something we all have the chance to challenge ourselves on everyday in different situations. ┬áThe concept is simple and the question goes like this. “Why not become the Raven, rather than the Macaw?” So what am I getting at here? It’s simple, we have two very different birds and many people will chose one or the other based on certain criteria. Here is my logic between the two.

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UC Guerrilla Wallboard on Server 2012 64bit

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I had the circumstances of lack of budget, broken freeware, and understandable need put me in the position of spinning up another unsupported freeware application in the form of a UCCX Call Center Wallboard. As usual, I tend to be a gluten for punishment and tend to try and fight these type of situations into submission. Luckily for me in this case, I had a great solution (UC Guerrilla’s take on the free wallboard), as well as a great resource at my disposal. That resource is none other than one of the best Exchange, Server, and Client engineers I know, and am rather happy to call a friend and colleague; none other than ibageek03 on Twitter.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.packetpilot.com/uc-guerrilla-wallboard-on-server-2012-64bit/

You Coach Not Teach Troubleshooting

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A 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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.packetpilot.com/you-coach-not-teach-troubleshooting/

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