Saturday, December 30, 2006

The new year...

I just finished off reading the new Network World articles on the most powerful people and companies. Has anyone else noticed that the list really hasn't changed that much over time. I think a list of most innovative people / companies would change more frequently and be more interesting. Its nice to have a ranking of who is who but everything they are rating on is not grounded in facts and they do little to nothing to tell you how they picked the individuals.

Hope everyone has a great new year, 2007 is upon us, year of the boar too.

- Ed

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Side thought - not tech related

Well, I realized the other day that my 20 year for graduating from Gunn High School will be next year (2007). My older daughter will graduate from HS in 2009, I am feeling a bit old.
The only cool thing about all that is assuming our class actually gets a 20 year event together then I will get to see and hear what everyone is up to now and to toast those no longer with us. A bit off topic so sorry to those who read for the technical stuff. ;-)
- Ed

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Slacking and Upcoming Cisco events

I haven't posted as of late mainly because there hasn't been that much interesting coming out of the networking industry. Perhaps that is due to the holiday slowdown. I don't really like talking about consumer stuff as there are a ton of folks out there doing that.
Next week will be the Cisco Partner SE VT events around the bay area so that should be cool. All Unified Communications products will be the focus. I've been learning a ton about the Cisco product line and I have to admit they are doing some very cool stuff. I am also very impressed with what I have heard about the ACE. I will post some more notes about that once I have gotten some good hands on time with it (hopefully very soon).
- Ed

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Motorola is smart to pick up Good Technology

So, the real question should be... what was Palm thinking?!? Why did they let Motorola step in and allow them to own the major enterprise connector for their Palm Treo 650's? And I find it odd that Motorola with the Q even bothered since it can use Active Sync and the direct push technology from Microsoft.
Well, we will see how it all plays out. Maybe Motorola will buy Palm next!
- Ed

Just got back from presenting at Windows Connections Conference

After a crazy travel schedule and spending less then 24 hours to and back from Las Vegas I am happy to report that the presentation I did with Doug Spindler at the Windows Connections Conference went really well. We presenting on all the new things in Windows Vista regarding networking. We showed off all the new improvements in the network stack, how IPv6 will be impacting you, regardless of if you want to run it or not, and why Vista is going to require IT Pros develop a whole new toolkit.
It was fun interacting with all the folks and going over netsh, the new advanced firewall and all the new stuff in QoS. I also got to go over the Cisco configurations that were required to enable 6to4, native IPv6 and the associated routing protocols.
I believe our slide decks will get posted up at the Windows Connections Conference website but they will also be available at the Pacific IT Professionals site.
- Ed

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cisco NAC and CAS

I had the chance to attend Cisco Partner VT event for security this week and they had several sessions on the NAC CAS (Clean Access Solution - now the Cisco NAC Appliance) solution. This is the technology they picked up from Perfigo - not to be confused with their other acquistion of Protego Networks which is now the MARS product.
Cisco seems to really be ahead of almost everyone else in the NAC space in terms of having a product that is easy to implement, is robust and can do all aspects of what you would expect from a NAC Appliance. I think the hardest thing about this market is the lack of a common definition of NAC and what it really mean, but that is to be expected from a new technology.
At this time, points go to Cisco for a complete and quick to deploy solution. I think Microsoft will have some advantage once the install base of Vista becomes significant (2009?) and they are able to have a complete story around AD, IPSec, Federated Domains and running everying on IPv6. Doing something like NAP become much easier once all those items are in place.
I will expect to see more and more announcements come out as the 40+ vendors who are all trying to get mindshare in this space dook it out.
- Ed

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Microsoft NAP / Cisco NAC

I have had some opportunities to listen to several early presentations on Microsoft NAP and Cisco NAC integration from folks who are working on the technologies in both the Microsoft and Cisco camps. Despite the typical cynical remarks regarding both companies and their far reaching marketing efforts I think there is a good chance that we will have a very cool integration story.
With the Vista client having a native NAP client built in to the OS and having Cisco NAC ACS solution work with Microsoft's backed services to do health and other checks there is a chance we could get the best of both worlds. True network access control from a Ethernet port level that authenticates you and moves you to appropriate network segments based on credentials and health and remediation based on client/server access requirements.
I will have to attempt to set up a lab running both. The biggest problem is getting access to all the third party products that work with both NAP and NAC. I can get the Cisco and Microsoft product lines to test but all the other add ons that really bring value to the solution are hard to come by. Maybe I will get luck and one or two will decide my user groups are a worthwhile cause and donate some software? Here's to dreaming.
- Ed

Monday, September 04, 2006

I am now using a Windows Mobile 5 phone

I have been using a T-Mobile Blackberry 7100t for about 2 years now. Its been a good phone but there are some things it is missing that I would like to have in a mobile phone, especially with my new job. I just picked up the new Verizon XV6700 and I have to say I am impressed. I have managed to hack it up pretty good so far and in addition gotten it to do Active Sync with our Exchange over wireless with no problems. E-mail sometimes shows up on the phone quicker then in my Outlook client.
I will play with it some more prior to passing final judgement. The only thing I have noticed is the battery life is not as good as the Blackberry (which easily lasted all day and therefore I never had a car charger for it). I think a car charger will be needed for this phone for sure!
- Ed

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cisco 871W Router

I have now been using the 871W router for several months. I picked one up to do lab work for IPv6, routing and the VMware hands on class I have been doing for Pacific IT Professionals.
I am VERY impressed with these routers. I can run EIGRP, RIPv2, OSPF, BGP, IPv6, OSPFv3, 6to4, DMVPN, CBAC and wireless all on one device. I am amazed at the diversity of what the product can do and how quiet it is since it has no internal fan. I think it really is the perfect remote home office router. If they made it POE by default it would be a perfect product, IMHO.
Just wanted to give my thumbs up for this great router!
- Ed

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is there a better way to move your environment around?

With a new job comes new hardware (laptop), new network and new policies. I have had little issue with the new network and policies but the new hardware is killing me. The amount of time it takes to get your desktop environment useable again is staggering (I am estimating 48+ hours). I am wondering if I am better off running P2V on my current machine and from here on out only running inside a VM!

I know it sounds silly but that way, regardless of hardware upgrades I might see soon I would not have to do any rebuilding of my desktop environment. Perhaps I have to many applications I use for work but I don't think I am that unusual.
- Ed

Monday, August 14, 2006

New Job - Starting with Peak IP Solutions

I'm pretty excited as I am starting at my new company, Peak IP Solutions today. After 6.5 years at j2 Global Communications it will be interesting doing consulting, design and installation work for companies here in my backyard. Peak IP specializes in Cisco Telephony, specifically Cisco Call Manager and Unity installations. I'm excited to start working on those platforms.
- Ed

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What products would you use for network management?

And in network management I mean true network elements (not servers). Besides the pure Cisco shops that run CiscoWorks (because they HAVE to) I have typically seen Kiwi Cattools (I use it myself - great product) and Solarwinds. I know there are other options out there like's DeviceExpert but I honestly have not run into a lot of folks who have run anything else except CiscoWorks, Cattools and Solarwinds. It sounds funny but I think there is a ceiling when it comes to what folks are willing to use.
I mean honestly, how many tftp servers do you use or are willing to try? If you have Solarwinds you are using that one, otherwise it is Pumpkin or the really old free Cisco one (which has serious limitations - what are you thinking?). Granted there is WinAgent and tftpd32 out there but I would make a guess that most folks are using Pumpkin or Solarwinds.
It is just interesting how that works...
- Ed

NetScout User Forum - 5th Annual User Conference

The 5th annual NetScout User Forum User Conference (is it just me who finds that name ackward?) will be in October (3rd-5th) in Las Vegas and they have registration open now. The timing doesn't work for me this year but it would be cooling seeing what other folks are doing with the product.
- Ed

Monday, July 31, 2006

VoiceCon coming soon

VoiceCon will be at Moscone Center August 21-24th. The exhibits are the 21-23rd and you can sign up for a free pass. Should be a good show to check up on the state of VoIP.
- Ed

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

IT buying spree

I was talking with Doug Spindler yesterday and he and I both felt like there seems to be an increase in the amount of acquisitions going on. With HP buying Mercury, AMD buying ATI, Microsoft buying Winternals, and a whole slew of other purchases going on it feels like there is some opportunity buying going on. I guess a lot of companies have more cash laying around then I thought.
- Ed

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

VMware Server License

I was getting the free license for VMware Server (you know it is free, right?) on the website and thought it was pretty wild when I was filling out the form that I could get 100 licenses at a shot. Yeah - 100!! So I did it, just because I could! hahahaha So cool.
- Ed

HP buys Mercury

It was just announced that HP is buying Mercury for their application development management platforms. I wonder what is going to happen to SiteScope now with HPOV being the big boy on the block.
- Ed

TechSmith's SnagIt 8.1

SnagIt Screen Capture from TechSmith is a very cool product. If you are doing any presentation work and need to do screen captures their product is one of the BEST ways to do it. The product just works as you would expect. To top it all off, TechSmith gets the user group side of the fence completely. They even have a way to request materials like eval cds, door prizes, and literature for your user group meetings to give out. You have to give them credit, TechSmith even has a Chief Evangelist (Betsy Weber - hi Betsy!) which I find remarkably refreshing. Hats off to Guy Kawasaki for really building the evangelist style and kudos to TechSmith for using it!
- Ed

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Winternals Software is acquired by Microsoft

Winternals Software announced this - big news for them. Guess this means that Mark Russinovich won't be a Microsoft MVP anymore since he will be a MS employee. Congrats to Winternals.

- Ed

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Windows Vista Build 5456

I downloaded build 5456 yesterday and I have been having issues getting this build to install correctly. What is odd is that I am using a system that has been running previous Vista build without much problem. I don't remember the last build outside of 5270 that installed smoothly, which has me a bit concerned.
It seems that the install process gives you very little information about where potential conflicts exist in either your hardware or even the lack of drivers within the native OS. There appears to be a LOT of room for improvement to getting Vista to install on hardware. The most frustrating part for me is that I need this stuff to run to work on my lab configurations for testing the network performance. Go figure eh?
- Ed

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I've been awarded as a Microsoft MVP again

Well, third time is a charm? I am very thankful to all the folks up at Microsoft and their MVP program for feeling that the work I am doing in my user group involvement is worthy of the MVP title. It is a great honor. I think there are only about 3,200 or so Microsoft MVP's in the world so it is a rare honor to be part of such a small but elite group.
I guess I will be seeing Scot Mehl, Doug Spindler, Mike Pennacchi, Laura Hunter and a bunch of other fellow MVP's up at the Microsoft Summit in March of next year. Very excited about the work I am doing on some practical labs for Vista. I hope to have some more posted on those here shortly.
- Ed

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

TechDays June 23rd and 24th

This week, Friday and Sat is the Pacific IT Professionals event, TechDays that I have been helping Doug Spindler put together. It should be a fun and interesting chance for ITPros to hear some great content from the likes of Acronis, EqualLogic, Microsoft, and a bunch of really qualified speakers. I think it is some of the most cost effective training you can get (ok, I don't want to say cheap!) given what is out there today.
I will be presenting along with Mike Hansen from Peak IP Solutions on VMware ESX. We will be covering both 2.5 and the new 3.0 product with a hands on lab that folks can play with to see how to install VM's and how to admin them.
- Ed

Fun with a Cisco 871W Router

I picked up a Cisco 871W Router to play with and I have to admit that I am very impressed with this little (very quiet - no fan) router from Cisco. It has a single F4 FastEthernet port that is run as a routed interface and then it has 4 FastEthernet ports that can act as switchports for access, trunk or any combination you want to do along with irb, Etherchannels and the regular vlan configurations you expect. In addition, I can run cbac, ipv6, nbar, QoS, ospf (v2 and v3), bgp, eigrp and rip (v1 and v2) on this thing. To top it all off, it has a wireless interface built in that can act as a bridge, a standard AP and is completely customizable in terms of authentication and access rules.
I am starting to set up my own internal lab with several of these just to practice some routing and wireless configurations. I am also using them as the basis of my IPv6 labs for the Windows Vista hands on labs. So far they have been great!
- Ed

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

HP Releases c-Class Servers Blades

Well, looks like those of us interested in HP Blade Servers should be excited. The new c-class line has been released (granted it only has Intel Xeon chips for now) but the density and flexibility they are putting into these designs are pretty cool. You can do a full height BL480c or a half height BL460c. I imagine Opteron 64-bit dual core will be released soon. With the full height configuration I would not be surprised if they could fit 4 sockets allowing 8 64-bit CPU's with the Opteron. Wow. VMware ESX junkies have got to be excited about the potential in this...
- Ed

Friday, June 09, 2006

SenderBase - Global Email Traffic Monitoring

So, for those that don't deal with large volumes of e-mail it can be difficult to find some of the great online tools out there simply because you don't need them. One that you should be aware of is SenderBase which allows you to search by all sorts of parameters such as IP address, CIDR ranges and domain name. Lots of interesting things you can find there.
- Ed

Monday, June 05, 2006

VMware Infrastructure 3 announced - but can you download it yet?

Well, it seems that VMware decided to jump the gun and announce what their product offering and bundles were going to be a little bit before the bulk of the products are actually available. Everyone is really interested in getting their hands on VMware ESX 3.0, especially if you didn't make it on the beta.

I'm excited to see all the new enhancements VMware has put into their products. I can sort of forgive them for announcing early, they are doing that to meet the promises they gave the street about product release in this quarter. Gotta keep the street happy or the stock goes in the tank. Still, sort of frustrating to go to the site and try and do the download and only have available ESX Server 2.x and VirtualCenter 1.x, such is life.
- Ed

Presenting at SFNTUG tomorrow, June 6th on VMware ESX

Mike Hansen w/(Peak IP Solutions) and I will be presenting to the SFNTUG about VMware ESX and doing a practical - hands on lab with the hardware at the user group. It should be very cool and good fun.
This is a slightly different presentation then the hands on lab presentation we gave at TVNUG since we can't have that many folks on the system building VM's - well not until we get a lot more hardware! Come visit the meeting if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Ed

6bone will shut down tomorrow!

It is officially here, the 6bone will shut down tomorrow June 6th, 2006. June 6th is also considered IPv6 day as this is the official phased end of experimental use of IPv6. Basically, everyone is saying IPv6 is ready to be mainstream and ready for production.
Wow, sort of cool news.
- Ed

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

NetQoS presentation at the San Diego Cisco User Group

NetQoS presented this evening at the San Diego Cisco User Group. It is an interesting product that competes with NetScout. It has a very cool web interface and seems robust, especially the overview NetQoS Performance Center which is the umbrella product that will aggregate SuperAgent, ReporterAnalyzer and NetVoyant.

There are some differences in their approach but the end functionality seems very on par. NetQoS does not make use of probes so it has some limitations on doing Layer2 correlation but their SuperAgent does application performance and the Harvester is a collector for NetFlow.

They are making use of IPFIX (new IETF name for Cisco's Netflow)* and IP-SLA (new IETF name for Cisco's Service Assurance Agent - SAA)* to do performance measurement from Cisco routers and switches. That is a unique aspect of their product.
- Ed

* - corrected on May 31st, 2006 - Thanks John!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hands on Presentation on VMware ESX at TVNUG

Tomorrow night I will be presenting a hands on lab (with several other colleagues) on VMware ESX at the TVNUG meeting. We have one server built out and ready to go for the lab and another that will be blanked out to build another ESX server. With any luck, we will get both up and running and then get Virtual Center working to allow everyone access to build VM's. I'm pretty excited to see how this one turns out.
- Ed

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Victor Oppleman's Presentation on IP Sinkholes and Darknets is available

If you are interested in getting a copy of Victor's presentation please head over to SFNTUG's Downloads and Links page. From there you can get to Victor's website, his books and to his posted presentation. It is worth taking a look at, especially if you are way to busy to be running IDS/IPS configurations but want something that will catch issues on your network.
- Ed

Friday, May 05, 2006

Learning about VMWare ESX

I just got together with several colleagues last night to work on an ESX lab for our local user group to give a presentation. I must say I am very impressed with the product. We got a server loaded up and started doing best practices on the build out. I wanted to thank Mike O'Reilly with VMWare for coming out to do all the education.

If you really want to get involved I recommended you check out VMWare's VMTN subscription.
- Ed

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Victor Oppleman speaking at SFNTUG today

Victor Oppleman will be presenting today at the SFNTUG meeting in San Francisco. Victor is the author of Extreme Exploits : Advanced Defenses Against Hardcore Hacks and will be presenting on "Defeating Denial of Service, Decreasing False Positives, and Enriching Network Intelligence using IP Sinkholes" which should be really good stuff.

Also, a quick thank you to Mark Mendelson for putting me in contact with Victor to make this all happen!
- Ed

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Windows Live OneCare

OK, I have been using Windows Live OneCare on my standalone laptop at home (my non-work machine) and I have to admit I have been impressed with how easy it is to forget it is there doing AV, Anti-spyware, Firewall and backups.

While I would still make use of other products to accomplish all the same functions on my own regardless of OneCare, Microsoft really has made the product just work pretty seamlessly. I am hard pressed to move off of it given how well things have gone. I have even restored files from the backup process (just to make sure things really work!)

Kudos to Microsoft on this one, it is by far the smoothest beta I have run to date.
- Ed

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Some Good Teredo links

If you are interested in reading up on Teredo check out:
Microsoft Technet

As odd as it sounds, Cisco is not doing a lot regarding Teredo. It is mentioned briefly here and there on CCO but if you do an actual search on the CCO website you get back zero results.

Oh, forgot to mention that the Teredo prefix has been assigned from IANA also, it is: 2001:0::/32
It is my understanding that Microsoft will be changing Vista within the next month or so to start using the new range instead of the experimental Microsoft prefix of 3ffe:831f::/32 which is what their existing Teredo server and clients are set up for. currently.
- Ed

Teredo and NAT

I've been working on getting a teredo server working and also on getting the clients configured. Its been an interesting experience working around the different NAT types. I don't have a cheap NAT/PAT router in my lab at home so its been tough doing the required testing for Teredo since almost all my configuration are Symmetric, you'll see why this is an issue in a bit.

As an overview, the different NAT types are:
Cone - basically when your internal host pokes a session out to the Teredo server any other external IP address traffic sent to your external IP's outbound NAT port will be allowed in. Not exactly super secure.

Restricted - when your host pokes a session out it is keep track of one side of the session IP and port along with either the IP and/or port of the other end of the session. Most default Cisco router NAT configurations do this.

Symmetric - NAT devices keeps a full matching rule for internal source IP and port to external source IP and port. Most common to firewalls and more advanced NAT devices that perhaps are doing SPI or other filtering.

Vista clients can work with all three NAT types with one condition, that both hosts are not behind symmetric configurations. Windows XP and Server 2K3 don't work with symmetric NAT at all at this time.

If you are trying out Teredo for the first time point your client at to see if you get an IPv6 address starting with 3ffe:831f. If you do, then you have a configuration that can work with Teredo.

Remember, the netsh command line syntax is different for XP compared to Vista. For Vista you need to run:
netsh int teredo set state client

For XP you need to run:
netsh int ipv6 set teredo client

Now I just need to go buy that cheap wireless router to test some of these NAT situations.
- Ed

Friday, April 21, 2006

AMD Opteron + DRC = Intel killer?

There is a great article over at The Register titled Start-up could kick Opteron into overdrive. I must say this looks like very good news for 64-bit multicore server folks. What will be really interesting is if these could be virtualized in the same way so that you can gain benefit from them from multiple OS configurations.

I have to admit that AMD has a much more compelling story about 64-bit and multicore then Intel for the moment. Soon there will be dual core 64-bit mobile processors from AMD and then it might be time to buy a new laptop.
- Ed

Monday, April 17, 2006’s 10 Hottest Certifications for 2006’s 10 Hottest Certifications for 2006 puts the Cisco CCIE at #6 - a slide from last years #1 slot but I think it just isn't the hot cert due to how hard it is to get. I think the last numbers I saw for the CCIE was about 13,000 total for active CCIE certs.
If you want to read an interesting article about the CCIE see the Network World piece here. My boss and co-worker Robert Yee is quoted in it about the time and investment he had to make to get his cert.
- Ed

DBAN - A nice utility to securely wipe out hard drive data

Well, I am getting two older laptops ready for the e-waste recycle and I needed to delete all the data on the hard drives. There are several utilities out there to do this but I think the easiest and feature rich option is DBAN. You can build a bootable CD and it will allow you to delete all the data on the drive to several different specification like DoD 5220-22.M Standard Wipe or RCMP TSSIT OPS-II Standard Wipe.

I highly recommend wiping out the drives prior to dropping of equipment at most e-waste facilities. Often companies that operate as e-waste collectors are reuse/recycle facilities so if your machine is in working order they will take it and either donate or sell it. There is no guarantee that they will wipe the drives out prior to selling or donating the hardware which means someone could easily boot your system up and have fun trying to recover your data. In this day and age there is no reason to take that sort of risk.
- Ed

April 22nd is Earth Day - Take note all you tech folks

I know all of us tech folks LOVE our computers, gadgets and other electronic toys but the reality is we produce the most toxic waste out of just about any industry.

What is worse is that we have little in the way of recycling systems in place nor have we been promoting the good habit of recycling these sort of materials. I think it is all our responsibility in the IT community to pitch in and make people aware of what is the right thing to do with their electronic waste.

If you are in Alameda County you can drop your materials off at:
e-Cycle is in Livermore, CA
BSE-Recycling is in Fremont, CA

If you are in Contra Costa County you can drop your materials off at:
Concord/Pleasant Hill Recycling Center

To find a local recycle location try looking it up at:
EIA Environment Consumer Education Initiative

- Ed

Friday, April 07, 2006

New Microsoft MVP - Scot Mehl

Excited to tell everyone that my good colleague Scot Mehl has been awarded. I will badger him to get his profile and information posted up to the MVP site but it is very cool and deserving that Scot is now an MVP. I don't know when the general announcements will go out but I am sure it is soon.
- Ed

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cisco removing all IPv6 support in 12.5!!!!

Cisco announced they are removing all routing and support for IPv6 in all forward release of IOS after 12.4.7. Appartently they will no longer support IPv6 due to a serious flaw in the US goverment thinking it is important at all. This is a serious setback for all of us trying to track every spec of dirt on the planet!!


- Ed

Thursday, March 30, 2006


I am debating if I should do my ISATAP lab with a Longhorn server as the ISATAP router or use an existing Cisco router to perform this function. I think a lot of folks who are from the server centric camp will run their AD/DNS server as an ISATAP router to make things easy. Problem is it makes doing ISATAP with a 6to4 gateway a little more difficult. I am going to have to play around a bit to see what the optimal configuration is to get that working. Anyone set ISATAP up in both configurations and have an opinion?
- Ed

Thursday, March 23, 2006

IPv6 dead peer detection

I have started the next phase of my lab build out and hope to show IPv6 dead peer detection from a host perspective. If all goes well traffic will continue to forward out to the public IPv6 space after shutting down the primary interface of my test lab router.
Some of the improvements made to IPv6 are really very cool and appear to work in concept much better then their IPv4 counterparts. I am just wondering if all of these improvements, on aggregate, are enough for folks to want to start utilizing IPv6. Only time will tell.
- Ed

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

IPv6 6to4 Lab is working

I have managed to configure 6to4 properly in our lab and got it routing additional IPv6 6to4 space. It is actually pretty neat to see all of this working as stated. I am building out lab notes and slides. I am now going to start on building out ISATAP configurations to see if I can get that working properly. After that, get Teredo up and running.
- Ed

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ultimate frustration with Carriers

I have been dealing with an outage (DS3 flame out) since Friday evening. I was up until 4am on Sat dealing with what I thought was all the parties needed to restore this circuit. As it turns out, there is a third party cross connect provider that refused to come out on site or be timely in terms of dispatching anyone to fix our issue. At this point, I have no idea how we are going to get all this resolved but the fustration level is rising rapidly. This really is NO fun. I would rather be studying QoS then spending this amount of time of the phone!
- Ed

University of the Pacific Tigers Men's Basketball going to the NCAA Tournament!

University of the Pacific Tigers Men's Basketball is going to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight time.

Proud to be a UOP Tiger regardless of the win/loss but it is nice to see the team doing well.

It is wonderful that UOP has gotten on the map for basketball for sure but I think we are in the wrong conference for athletics. Now, when is the school moving to the WCC?
- Ed

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

BT Exact IPv6 Tunnel Broker

BT Exact IPv6 Tunnel Broker has a working IPv6 tunnel broker service that only took a few moments to set up with my Cisco 871 router. Until Hurricane Electric gets their IPv6 routing working again I will be using BT Exact.

I will start testing Native IPv6 with Window's Vista and also be building out lab configurations to test other IPv6 technologies like 6to4, ISATAP and Teredo. Should be interesting playing with the new Advanced Firewall in Vista also as it does ingress and egress traffic filtering for IPv6.
- Ed

Monday, March 06, 2006

Problems with HE.NET's tunnel broker

Maybe I am alone in this but it looks like Hurricane Electric is having problems with their tunnel broker router. I am unable to connect to some common IPv6 addressing via the tunnel - well actually, I am unable to connect to ANY public IPv6 addressing through them right now. I've been e-mailing in asking for them to take a look but to no avail. Hope they get it fixed soon. I may have to find some other tunnel broker services to use as I am in the middle of testing out and building some lab configuration.
If you are using's tunnel broker service please drop me a line, I am trying to make sure it isn't isolated to my tunnel configurations and having someone else out there using it makes confirming that sooo much easier.
- Ed

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

IPv6 routers - what to use at home

I have been using a Cisco 871 router to do most of my IPv6 lab work and I think it is the right choice given the sort of material I am trying to cover. There are however a lot of options out there that are far cheaper and perhaps just as good. I was looking at the OpenWRT site and I think running their kernel release on a Linksys WRT54GS might be the trick. You can find those units for about $30-40 on ebay which is far cheapers then the Cisco 871's which start at about $300 and up. Only problem is that if you have an issue installing the firmware you have a brick - no fun.

I wonder what other hardware folks are using for cheap IPv6 labs. Lots of folks use an old PC and run Zebra or if it will support Windows XP they can run that for a lot of IPv6 services also. Its not like vendors are labeling their gear IPv6 ready in the home/soho market. The OpenWRT stuff seems to run on a lot of hardware platforms so that might be worth a more serious look.
- Ed

Friday, February 17, 2006

My current reading list

Well, for the long weekend I will be of course reading some technical books. Thought someone else might be interested to see what I am currently going through.

Running IPv6 by Iljitsch van Beijnum
Cisco Self-Study: Implementing Cisco IPv6 Networks by Regis Desmeules
Study Guide for the Cisco CCIE Routing & Switching Written Exam by Brad Ellis

That should keep me pretty busy.
- Ed

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

IPv6 running in my lab

I finally got around to getting everything working. I have a /64 from Hurricane Electric through their IPv6 tunnel broker service to my Cisco 871 router. From their I have my router configured with my prefix for my local subnet and I have a Windows XP SP2 machine on that local subnet. I started up IPv6 on my XP machine and get an IPv6 address and I can pass traffic to the IPv6 public Internet! It all works, very cool. When I get a moment I will do a dump of some configuration files and XP screen shots to show how it is configured.
- Ed

Monday, February 06, 2006

Pegasus Mail and Mercury

Pegasus Mail and Mercury MTA are wonderful if you are looking for a low cost method of running an SMTP mail list server. I can't say enough about how cool it is to have a windows based MTA that is free and works well. It is easy to set up and you can install Pegasus Mail on the local machine to check the local postmaster account without using some fancy bloated client.
- Ed

Kiwi - Free Syslog Server and Remote Device Configuration Management Software

Kiwi Syslog Server is a great little application for those that need a more robust syslog server to run on a windows platform. I have run it for several years now and it is top notch.

I would also recommend Kiwi CatTools which is a great little utility for pushing configuration changes out to Cisco Routers and also for backing up the configuration on a regular basis. We do backup's daily of our router and switch gear and CatTools sends us an e-mail report of what changed, what wasn't available and if everything backed up just fine. Great, great tool.
- Ed

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Making the time to study - life style change

I am always amazed at how big a mental change I have to make in order to get back into the study habit. Maybe frustrated would be a better word. Anyway, I finally have put the investment in on getting materials to study and now have a small study group together to try and keep me on track to learn and practice all the info I need.

I think when you are working day in and day out you forget how much effort you have to go through to learn new material and to retain it for access in a quick format like an exam. At work I always know I can turn around and grab either a book, a reference manual or look up on the Internet about some subject. No such luck in a closed book exam format. It can be a wake up call for those who think obtaining a certification is just a matter of knowing the material, its knowing how to take a test in the format and parameters the certification test writers wanted you to know the material.

Who knows if it is worth the time and effort... but at this point I am gonna keep up the studying.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cisco Certification Forums Site is a forums discussion site for Cisco Certifications. I just got a profile for the site so I have no idea how good/bad/ugly it is. I typically read through newsgroups to keep up on stuff and answer a few questions here and there. Since there are so few sites that are really dedicated to Network folks it is worth mentioning them all.
- Ed

EnableMode Expert Site

I just ordered up the CCIE RS Written Study Guide from the EnableMode Expert site. Brad Ellis (CCIE #5796) is the technical writer for the material and I am excited to get the material to start studying. For over 500 pages of study material paying $100 is a good deal. Plus, it is current to the new 2006 written exam blueprints.
Brad also teaches over at Network Learning and they offer a bootcamp for the written exam. That looks interesting and might be worth the time after I make a few passes through his monster study guide.
- Ed

Friday, January 06, 2006

New Microsoft MVP - Mike Pennacchi

Mike Pennacchi with Network Protocol Specialists has just been awarded as a Microsoft MVP. Since there are only about 3,000 worldwide covering a wide varity of subjects it is a big deal! Congraduations Mike - it is exciting having such a talented individual join the fold.
- Ed

Thursday, January 05, 2006

EBCUG - NetScout Presentation

I attended the EBCUG meeting tonight where NetScout gave a presentation on their product. I will be using this product pretty soon as our tool for performance and reporting of our network. It does some pretty cool reporting that folks should definitely check out. If you are trying to do regular reporting on the performance of your network this is pretty much the Cadillac of solutions. If your shop has been running MRTG or Cricket for a few years but are itching to get more out of your tools this is the way to go.

Now I just need to find the time for the training class. Go figure.

- Ed

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Security Holes Found In RIM BlackBerry Service

Slashdot has a interesting article on a hack for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server solution. Hard to believe that a company as big as RIM with a product as widely deployed as the BlackBerry would still have issues with unencrypted data storage in their database design. Makes you wonder how many other products suffer from the same flaws.
- Ed

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year - resolutions?

Well, it is 2006. Hard to believe. Doug Spindler and I will be hard at work to make some Vista and IPv6 labs available sooner rather then later. We also are trying to get some exciting stuff going with Pacific IT Professionals and SFNTUG. With any luck we will have a very exciting year ahead.
I also think I need to get some certifications nailed down this year. I let my CCNP laps and I think I need to either get my CCIE written passed soon or figure out what Cisco cert I feel like getting.
This year, I am going to focus on some new subjects:
Virtual Machines

But I think I still need to keep up on:

I think that is plenty to try and keep current about.

Best wishes to everyone and good luck on your personal tech education goals. I know first hand how tough it is to keep up on everything.
- Ed