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Meraki SD-WAN

If you have Meraki MX security appliances chances are that you have seen the SD-WAN & traffic shaping option in the Meraki dashboard menu.   Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) can dynamically optimize your WAN without having to make manual adjustments when network conditions change.  In a network with redundant uplinks if one uplink becomes degraded, SD-WAN allows the network to dynamically select the best path to the destination.   This is especially important for latency sensitive services such voip and video.   Meraki’s philosophy has always been about simplicity and their SD-WAN solution is no different.

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A new path to Cisco certification: Part 2

February 24th is coming up fast and those of us working on our certifications are scrambling to complete them before the change. But for those who may not get it done before the deadline, you may need to start studying for the new exams. But what is on the new exams, what topics are covered, and most importantly what training material is out there. Today I will be comparing the certification requirement differences for the CCNP Collaboration. I will explain what you can expect as far as differences in exam topics, testing format, and what study material is available.

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Intersight – A Cloud-based Server Management and Automation Platform

All major server manufactures have a built-in baseboard management controller (BMC) for remote server management. These are great tools for onboarding a server and maintaining the server throughout its lifetime.  Most of my day to day experience has been using the Cisco IMC, Dell iDRAC, HPE iLO, and IBM IPMI.  Some of the server vendors require an additional license to unlock the full features of their remote server management such as Dell iDRAC Enterprise and HPE iLO Advanced licenses, while other server vendors include all feature capabilities by default.

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Cisco Router & Switch Change Control Tip – Use Local Account with Dedicated VTY line

Hello loyal LP blog cats. In this week’s quick post, I’m going to show you a tactic I use to ensure that you never lock yourself out while making changes to a Cisco router or switch configurations.

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Wireless Survey

Wireless networking is now considered a must have in nearly all industries. It’s no surprise I get a lot of comments from clients who believe they are experiencing wireless trouble in some form or fashion. They aren’t sure if it’s related to wireless controller configuration, AP placement, coverage gaps, interference, or even client machine problems. Even though Wi-Fi is nearly as prevalent as indoor plumbing, it doesn’t mean it’s always deployed properly, is reliable enough, or fast enough to address our clients needs. When something is not quite right with WIFI performance, what do I do? I’ll tell you what I do! I suggest a wireless survey and wireless assessment. Surveys are the best tool a wireless engineer has available to assist them with visualizing an invisible medium like RF. Actively scanning the frequency ranges often used for Wi-Fi as the physical location is walked is the de-facto way to record concrete data on signal, strength, interference, and a whole range of other valuable information. It’s really the only way to understand exactly what’s happening between a laptop client and the access points that dot a location.

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Archive config saves the day

As an experienced Cisco network engineer, you have often saved yourself from being locked out of a router when you make a change with a “reload in x” command.  This handy command reboots most Cisco devices (routers, switches, firewalls) in the x number of minutes that you had specified.  Thus, if you made a change that killed your connection to it, then you just have to wait until the time expires and the device reboots back up with the last saved configuration, allowing you to reconnect and remove your palm from your forehead. 

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Zero Trust Network Security

What is Zero Trust? Zero Trust is a framework and attitude towards IT security that centers on the idea that we in the IT field cannot trust anyone or any device on our network. Many systems administrators are well versed in this model. Every employee is assigned a domain joined laptop that is locked down via Group Policy. Those employees are tracked via a user identity using their AD profile that, through security groups, either allow or restrict access to various IT assets (servers, printers, wireless, and/or client VPN). Accounting is enabled to track what the users are accessing and used in the event of a malicious attack to see where the attack originated and who preformed the attack.

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Enabling Digital Signage mode on Webex Room Kit and Webex Board

You are a great boss. You want to enable your team with the best tools to collaborate with so, in your infinite benevolence, you purchased a Cisco Webex Endpoint or maybe even a few of them. Your team is thrilled with the experience and ease of use.

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Upgrade Cisco ISR 4000 series of Routers to 16.X from 3.X for IOS XE

Introduction

Recently, I have been working to upgrade Cisco network devices, mainly routers and switches, for a client.   A recent network audit identified fragmentation in the IOSes and also security advisories.  As a result, all the routers and switches required upgrades and it was a good opportunity for the client to standardize the IOSes for the different type of network devices in the environment.

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Cisco ISE: TrustSec, what is it and why do I care?

As promised, in this entry to our ISE blog series we are going to begin our adventure into Cisco TrustSec, or CTS for short.  When I am approaching a new technology, I find it helpful to not only understand what it is, but also why it exists.  So, in this post, we’re going to attempt to cover just that; what is Cisco TrustSec and why do I care?

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