CCIE Data Center

Fibre Channel (FC) Basics for CCIE DC

When first looking at the blueprint for the CCNA/CCNP/CCIE Data Center track, one of my biggest fears was storage. My entire career thus far has been based on traditional IP data networks, not storage networks. I’m used to things like MAC addresses and IP addresses, not WWPNs and FCIDs. This is a completely foreign technology to most Network Engineers. You have to think back, at some point we were young and hopeful CCNAs-to-be, we knew nothing, but that didn’t stop us! Intimidation is over-rated, so throw fear aside and know that persistence always wins. (more…)

FabricPath for CCIE DC

We’re all cut from the same cloth, or in other words, fabric. It only makes sense that we connect with each other in the most immediate way, with all lines of communication open and inviting. In this blog post I’ll be looking at FabricPath, it’s purpose and how it pertains to the CCIE Data Center lab exam. I’ll also run through a configuration, observing behaviors along the way. For those just looking for a sample config, a full config is provided at the bottom of this post. (more…)

Configuring BFD on Nexus NX-OS

BDF is listed in the CCIE Data Center Lab Blueprint as, “1.2.c – Implement BFD for dynamic routing protocols”. In this blog post, I’ll be explaining BFD and going over it’s relevance for dynamic routing protocols. Without further ado.

Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) is a protocol designed to quickly detect failures in the forwarding-path, and notify the configured protocols (OSPF, EIGRP, BGP, HSRP, etc) immediately, before they’ve even had an opportunity to be aware of the failure themselves. This results in expedited, sub-second detection of failed forwarding-paths, leading to quicker convergence. (more…)

Mixing SATA and SSD in Same B-Series UCS Server

Here are the basic steps I took to configure 2 local ATA disks in a RAID1 and 2 local SSD disks stand-alone on a single B440-M2:

Since we have 2 SATA drives and 2 SSD drives in the same server, we need to make sure NOT to configure a Local Disk Configuration Policy.  This one through me for a bit, since this is the preferred way to handle RAID configuration when the same disk-types are present.  If you have varying disk types, you need to manually configure your disks. (more…)

Configuring Nexus SAN Admin Role

If you’re in a company that uses Nexus 5Ks to run both LAN and SAN, and for some strange reason your SAN Administrator wants access to the 5Ks for zoning, just deny it.  Okay, okay, I guess that won’t fly, so let’s configure role-based access control (RBAC) to lock down what the SAN Administrator has access to.

Good thing about Nexus 5K is there is a built-in role called san-admin that we can use for this purpose.  Let’s take a look at the role privileges:

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OTV for Secured / Firewalled Networks – A Design Consideration

My colleague at (ccie-or-null.net) and I recently came across a design limitation, or “opportunity,” with OTV and firewalls.  The plan was to take a current environment with Layer 3 gateways on a firewall, and OTV those networks across multiple Data Center.  A simplified topology would look like this: (more…)

Configuring Nexus vPC – Part 1

My favorite command in all of NX-OS – no feature vpc

Kidding! It’s actually not that bad once you’re aware of how it works, what are the caveats, and how to troubleshoot if you run into an issue. There are an incredible amount of excellent vPC guides out there that I highly recommend you read, such as the vPC Best Practices Design Guide on Cisco.com. Below are some of my notes on setting vPC up in preparation for my next lab study – OTV (hint hint). I’m assuming you have already read the configuration guides and have a general understanding of vPC. (more…)