Where the vNIC meets the Network


We live in a time of intent, automation, orchestration and a lot of wonderful tools that promise to make the life of network engineers easier. Sometimes reality is simpler and maybe less fascinating, real problems need to be solved quickly with small budget. The specific case I discuss here is a medium network, around a hundred devices. The problem is to create an inventory of all the devices, backup configurations and verify all the boxes have the correct syslog, ntp and timezone configuration.

AirPiConsole remote access with ZeroTier

In the previous post of this AirPiConsole series (part1, part2) I used Autossh to create a reverse tunnel from the device to a cloud VPS to permit remote access. The VPS I use is cheap but unreliable so the tunnel was down most of the time so I started looking for a better alternative. The solution came from the Packet Pushers podcast episode PQ134 about ZeroTier. What is ZeroTier?

Is there a future for CLI?

The future of CLI and how Network Engineers will interact with devices is a topic being discussed quite often: "I'll give you my CLI when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers" - said no #CCIE ever, they're busy automating their networks with Python to save time for more creative activities. Just a few of them suffer the "CLI Stockholm Syndrome"https://t.co/jHkB4LQk5T pic.twitter.com/j8CDgCIBpA — Gian Paolo (@gp_ifconfig) December 6, 2017 Andrew Lerner wrote on November 2016:

2017 recap

At the end of the year it’s quite common to think about the results accomplished and missed on the last twelve months. Some people say career is a marathon, not a sprint and I partially agree. The main difference is a marathon has a predefined path already known since the beginning, a career looks more like connecting the dots but you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards


Quite often cable management is something that starts well when a new IDF is deployed and then gets messier over time. Cable p0rn channel on reddit shows plenty of example of how cabling should look like. I usually don’t do cabling and I’m not good at it either so I’ll not post my home lab setup ;-) Unpatchable? The real problem with poor cable management arises when a new box must be connected and all switch ports are already patched.

Moving Complexity

I read a lot of discussions about complexity in networking and IT today that include a large amount of FUD. Topics range from “we’ll all lose our jobs because abstraction” to “you can’t fix complexity” to “welcome robot overlords” ;-) Complexity is something that may be easy to move, even easier and to increment, hard to remove. For a clear definition of complexity read Navigating Network Complexity by Jeff Tantsura and Russ White.

White boxes for everyone?

White boxes and their impact on enterprise networking is a hot topic today, with many point of views. The last update from Dave Temkin, VP of Network Architecture ad Netflix, put more gasoline on the flames: Super proud of my team - today they removed the last "big expensive router" from our network; no more Cisco ASR or Juniper MX. Inexpensive commodity switches run the entire Netflix Open Connect CDN!


Today I passed exam 2V0-642 to update my VCP5-DCV and got VCP6-NV (NSX v6.2) I’ll share here what I used to prepare the exam. Learning Path I passed exam VCP5-DCV in 2015. At the time I expected to work more with datacenter technology and I needed a more in-depth knowledge of how virtualization works. After a couple of years I needed to pay the vendor tax a.

Cisco ASA show connections ordered

When a customer calls with a problem or request I often see a chance to investigate a technology, learn something new or apply random skills to find a creative solution. This time is about an ASA, customer noticed too much traffic on the Internet facing interface. Syslog, Netflow, bandwidth monitoring and any other useful tools are totally missing, only the old good CLI to help. The MVP We can get a list of all active connections from ASA with

Innovation sirens singing

In episode 13 of the Network Collective podcast around minute 26 Jordan Martin asks: Aren’t we all just following a trend? The discussion topic is how to mentor juniors in a learning path to grow their skills and be experts eventually. The question can be translated as: Are we creating fake (IT) news/trends or is it just (excessive) nerd enthusiasm? Bloggers, events, news Tech professional read every day about some new technologies promising to change the way we work, live and play.