Dual ISP – Cisco ASA HA Active/Standby

So a single ISP isn’t cutting it anymore you need a backup just in case the primary fails and might as well add a second ASA into this design, more redundancy equals more up-time, right? On paper it sounds good but in the “real” world there probably is tipping point, more redundancy increases complexity. In this post we’ll aim to keep it simple, with setting up a Cisco ASA HA active/standby pair and then add in the second ISP. Let’s get started!

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FMC Syslog with Graylog Extractor

Let’s continue to talk about the Cisco Firepower Management Center, in this post we are going to look at sending connection events over to syslog. In this example I’m using Graylog which is an open source logging platform and  although any syslog server would work, one of the problems with syslogs is there is little uniformity when you have different systems sending these logs. One of the things that Graylog can to do is extract the raw message and put each part of message into a separate searchable field. We’ll configure the FMC to send syslogs and then configure an extractor on Graylog. Continue reading “FMC Syslog with Graylog Extractor”

Oh…Spanning Tree

black and white cold fog forestIt’s the “S” word we don’t like to hear, and often times it has degraded networks or even took them down entirely.  (All Systems Down – an older but classic story) It’s also one of those things that nobody really likes, we even had network companies, as well as IEEE try to replace it with something else. Remember the names like TRILL, and IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) or Cisco’s FabicPath technologies? You had all of these different flavors that showed a lot progress, but they never really took off for one reason or another. The funny part is this protocol we are all trying kill off is still alive and doing well, so let’s look at spanning tree in the meantime because you will likely run into it.

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Barracuda Load Balancer- Powershell

Great_Barracuda_off_the_Netherland_AntillesWorking on my Powershell skills, I was playing around with a Barracuda Load Balancer and noticed it supported some APIs which is kind of cool. At first I was playing around with it in postman and got to login and put some servers in maintenance mode, but then thought it would be really neat if I could get this working in Powershell, that way us humans can just run a script and even thinking in the “future” maybe have some automated process (a.k.a AI) handle this for us. 😉 So in this post I’ll talk about the script I created and some of the small challenges I had with this overall it was kind of neat putting this together. Continue reading “Barracuda Load Balancer- Powershell”

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 “Automation Dance”