Automation Dance

people enjoying the concertI keep doing the automation dance, there are a lot of different tooling products out there. I have been trying to understand a use case around using it with network automation. Recently I have been dancing around with Ansible. My personal belief is that using any type of these tools would be helpful but it can be a steep learning curve if you really don’t have any programming knowledge. This is not something that is relatively easy to use or understand, don’t expect to have a working network automated tool in production on day one. I think this is great for learning, and using this in a network sandbox. If you don’t have programming mindset it might make your job harder on day one before it gets easier, but just like learning to dance you have to learn the steps, the moves, and maintain the rhythm. So with that let’s at least figure out the starting points, and begin learning the steps of the automation dance. 😉 Continue reading


Enable a RESTful ASA API

close up photography of sleeping tabby cat Starting from ASA 9.3(2) and onward the 5500-X hardware supports a RESTful API as an additional method for configuration/monitoring ASA hardware. Infrastructure as code as they call it, not anything new but I was reading a post that wrote and as he points out there are two types of styles when we are dealing with IaC, the data model or CRUD. When reading information about the ASA RESTful API it was interesting what the ASA falls into, CRUD is the method it uses and although this method works, I have similar feeling to what Ivan posted, it wonders me if this is really a step forward into IaC. In this post we’ll go through the steps to enable it and you can be the judge, does this RESTful API help? Continue reading

Verifying DNS Lists – FMC

We are back with another post about Cisco’s Firepower Management Center and this time we are working with the DNS list which if you have a protect license you can have your Firepower modules or your FTD (Firepower Threat Defense) devices look at DNS requests and deny requests if they are malicious. These have to be applied on your access control policy to be able to use it and in this post we are going verify some of the domain names that are in this lists. Continue reading

Installing a GNS3 Server

gns3_logoAlthough GNS3 can run local on your computer and you can use VMware Workstation and have the GNS3 appliance. I found it much more stable and predictable to run GNS3 on a dedicated server. Using this type of installation, all the projects, and images are stored on the GNS3 server, so I can install the GNS3 client any computer and get access to the same projects I was working on. You can also have multiple people working on different projects that are on the same server. I find that neat for educational use or if you where helping someone with a project. In this post I’ll walk though the steps needed to set up a GNS3 server.

Continue reading

Cisco FTD Standalone

No management centers here, sometimes a standalone firewall is all you need. In this post I have a FTD appliance and there really isn’t a need tie this into Cisco’s Firepower Management Center. So we’ll configure appliance in standalone mode and go through the initial first steps that are required to get it online and walk through Firepower Device Manager. If you worked with Cisco FMC you’ll find its pretty similar, so with introductions out-of-the-way let’s get started!

Continue reading