Writing code today often means interacting with API of many products. For me it means the possibility to integrate existing tools or create new functions. Sometimes it is just a matter to create a small utility. The Problem Meraki Dashboard does not include a page that shows the CDP/LLDP neighbors. Can we do better than Make a Wish? The Solution I wrote a Python script that uses Meraki API to list LLDP and CDP information for a device.
Two factor authentication (2FA) is the way to go for authenticated access for anything than is more than a lab. I use an Yubikey to protect my personal accounts and the password manager1 I use to maintain unique password for each service. When it comes to use PKI on multiple machines a common problem is where to store and how to protect the access to the private key. I read about people saving the key in a private Git, some use sync tools like Dropbox or GDrive.
During Cisco Live this year I had a chance to stop by IP Fabric booth and exchange a quick chat about their product and the problem they’re trying to solve. After the event I had the opportunity to run a trial to better understand the product and the features if offers. What struck me was that the product solves problems that over the years I have tried to mitigate through scripts or the use of other software that have shown many limits.
String manipulation is a skill that is useful almost on daily basis for most IT professionals. Search, replace, count, filter, order text files from the command line make the process repeatable and fast, without too much clickety-click. Awk, sed, sort, cut, uniq are powerful tools to master. Today my focus is on sed that helped me during the migration to the new theme of my website sed (stream editor) is a non-interactive command-line text editor.
Sometimes small problems are opportunities to learn something new or apply skills seldom used. I often try to do things differently or new paths, sometimes just to avoid boredom, but also to improve myself. This is one of the pillars of essentialism and Kaizen that I try to apply to my work and life. The challenge For reasons I need to check very quick the public IP addresses of some Meraki MXs connected to LTE routers or dynamic IP addresses.
On May 10th I had a chance to attend again ITNOG in Bologna. Even if ITNOG seems to be an event with focus on ISP I find it very educative for anyone working in the enterprise market. The boundaries between enterprise and ISP network are a common ground for negotiation about connections, routing, security, SLA. Sun Tzu advice it is a good strategy to know your enemy, I see no enemies on the other side of the CPE but the idea remains valid.
Network documentation and monitoring are topics that never lose interest to me. Over the years I worked with many products, Nedi, Observium, Librenms,, NetBox, Icinga, NetShot, Smokeping to name a few. Each product has its strengths and weaknesses that in some cases are nothing more than the aspects on which the manufacturer has decided to concentrate development more. NetShot has compliance tests easy to write and verify, Smokeping is easy to setup and focused on monitor network and services latency.
Another Cisco Live went with all its usual new product announcements and marketing drives for the next big thing. This year I have been more busy than usual with meetings with customers and I have not attended all the technical I planned on my schedule. Skipping sessions actually allowed me to pay more attention to the real needs of customers rather than just technology. One of the elements that emerged in most discussions frequently was about the need for more attention to the quality of the code.
Keeping up with the new releases of the various manufacturers is an important part of the job of every network engineer. Usually it is enough to see the videos available online but from time to time it is necessary to take one more step. Cisco has released the new Catalyst 9000 family that integrates with 1/20/2019 12:11:45 PM and ISE to build an SDA network. The Catalyst 9k family, strong of IOS XE, also allows programmability levels not previously possible.
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