Posts from ‘Nexus’

Jan
07

This week I will be running a Nexus NX-OS Primer class online. This class is essentially Nexus NX-OS for Cisco IOS engineers, and is designed to get you quickly up to speed with using Cisco’s Next Generation Data Center Switching Network Operating System, Nexus NX-OS. Class will run Wednesday – Friday (Jan 9th – 11th) from 10am PST – 2pm PST (18:00 – 22:00 GMT). This class is free to attend for all users with active All Access Pass subscriptions. Recorded versions will be available in streaming format for AAP members a week or two after the class’s completion, as well as a download version available for separate purchase.

The advantage of attending the class live is that you will be able to ask me questions and get immediate feedback. Technically I guess you could still ask me questions while you’re watching the recordings, but I won’t be able to respond and you might get strange looks from those around you ;)

AAP members do not need to pre-register for this class.  Simply click the Nexus NX-OS Primer link under the All Access Pass section of your Members dashboard. This will also give you a countdown timer so you know exactly when class is starting.

Specifically this course will help engineers with a solid understanding of traditional Cisco IOS technologies and features to quickly transfer their knowledge to NX-OS. The course materials will be useful for engineers who plan to implement or support Cisco’s Data Center Unified Fabric architecture on platforms such as the Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000/5500, Nexus 3000, Nexus 2000, MDS 9200, MDS 9500, or the Unified Computing System Fabric Interconnects (UCS FIs). Candidates pursuing the CCNA Data Center, CCNP Data Center, or CCIE Data Center certifications will also benefit from this course.

This course consists primarily of live, hands-on examples comparing and contrasting Nexus NX-OS to traditional Cisco IOS, and introducing new Nexus NX-OS-specific features.

Topics Include

  • NX-OS CLI Fundamentals
  • NX-OS AAA & Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
  • NX-OS Setup Utility and Control Plane Policing (CoPP) Templates
  • NX-OS Feature Licensing
  • NX-OS Virtual Device Contexts (VDCs)
  • NX-OS Virtual Routing & Forwarding Instances (VRFs)
  • NX-OS In Service Software Upgrade (ISSU)
  • NX-OS Parsing with GREP, PERL, & XML
  • NX-OS Ethanalyzer Packet Capture and Analysis
  • NX-OS vs. Catalyst IOS Ethernet Switching (VLANs, VTP, Trunking, STP, etc.)
  • NX-OS vs. IOS First-Hop Redundancy Protocols (FHRP/GLBP/HSRP)
  • NX-OS vs. IOS IPv4 & IPv6 Routing (EIGRP, OSPF, IS-IS, BGP, etc.)
  • NX-OS vs. IOS IPv4 & IPv6 Multicast Routing
  • NX-OS vs. IOS Security (ACLs, Port Security, DHCP Snooping, etc.)
  • NX-OS Specific Features (FEX, vPC, FabricPath, OTV, etc.)

I hope to see you in class!

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Dec
10

The third and final portion of our CCIE Data Center Live Online Bootcamps – Unified Computing with Nexus 1000v – is now complete, and the videos are available for both streaming and download. This class focuses on the Cisco Unified Computing System – both B-Series and C-Series servers, Fabric Interconnects, and also the Nexus 1000v. We use the Nexus 5548UP switches along with Cisco MDS 9222i and a rack of JBODs to configure absolutely everything live in the class, including boot-from-SAN, FC zoning, static and dynamic pinning, normal and vPC port-channels, FCoE and vPC-HM (Host Mode) with MAC-Pinning. We also discuss many of the very recent enhancements to the Cisco UCS line with the new addition of version 2.1 and UCS Central.

All Access Pass (AAP) subscribers can view the videos in streaming format for no additional fee and also purchase the download version at a discounted rate. If you are not an AAP subscriber you can purchase the standalone download version here. As usual, all of these videos have cross-platform support (desktop, iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows phone, etc.), and the download versions are DRM free. After you purchase them, they are yours to do with as you please.

A few samples of the class, along with the outline can be seen after the break.
Continue Reading

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Nov
14

While delivering what turned out to be a very successful UCS and Nexus 1000V class a week and a half back, a number of you on the east coast of the US got tragically knocked out of class due to Hurricane/TS Sandy. While the class had to go on, I received a number of emails later on the following week mentioning about the disappointment many of you had based on not being able to ask questions during the live class. So we’ve decided to run the class again, live, the week after next. So for any who were not able to attend the first time due to this or any other reason, or would just like to attend again (or simply have an opportunity to purchase it for the first time and still attend a live version of this class), we will offer it again beginning on Nov 26 and running through Nov 30.

For anyone who may not know INE’s teaching style very well – let me just tell you that you will not be bored to death-by-powerpoint. We’ll present a very few slides with key points to remember, but 90% of the content you will see will be live, hands-on configuration and troubleshooting. We test everything the box(es) have to offer. We’ll do static pinning, dynamic pinning, and port channels for both LAN and SAN, and verify and fail(over) everything to show exactly what’s going on. We don’t just do GUI (that’d be too boring). We verify everything in the NX-OS CLI, and the upstream Nexus 5548UPs and MDS 9222Is. We’ll boot from local disk, boot from SAN, and build ESXi 5 live on the blades and pizza-box C200 as well, while talking through a number of the recommendations from both Cisco and VMware on the box. Things like number of vNICs, vHBAs, when to enable failover or not to enable failover and on which vNICS – and when should you do these things on ESXi with standard vSwitches vs when you should do them on ESXi running on top of the N1Kv VEM module.

Also, watch this blog as we will soon announce dates for a few new classes I will be holding relating to some very real-world production network training. Things such as UC on UCS (actually building it – not just talking about it), as well as BYOD with Cisco ISE across Wireless, Nexus and Catalyst platforms, as well as an across-the-board QoS class that shows both relevant and similar comparison configurations spanning Catalyst 3550, 3560/3750, 6500 with many various model blades, and Nexus 5500, 7000 and even 1000 platforms. The QoS class is something I’ve been asked by students to do for a while now, and am quite excited to bring all the hardware together in a single class.

See you in about a week.

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Oct
04

As many of you already know, the launch date for the CCIE Data Center Lab Exam is approaching soon. The CCIE Data Center Written Exam is now live, and lab scheduling will come online in the coming weeks. At INE, we’ve completed two out of our three planned online classes for CCIE DC – CCIE Data Center Nexus Switching and CCIE Data Center Storage Networking. Videos from the Nexus class are currently available for download and streaming, and Storage is currently in post-processing and will be available next week. More information on the Storage Networking class, as well as samples, will be posted early next week. The final portion of our online classes – CCIE Data Center Unified Computing – will be held at the end of this month, the week of October 29th. Seats in the online class are still available for purchase, which includes the downloadable videos after class – All Access Pass members can attend this class live online for free. This brings us to the most anticipated and requested product of the CCIE Data Center line: INE’s CCIE Data Center Workbook and Rack Rentals.

Like our online Bootcamps, INE’s CCIE Data Center Workbooks will take a three-part approach to the topic scope: Nexus Switching, Storage Networking, and Unified Computing. Unlike our previous workbook products, however, the delivery of the Data Center Workbooks will be enhanced. The Data Center Workbook series will be delivered as online content. It will still include diagrams, technology scenarios, configurations, and verifications, but it will also include embedded streaming video content that delves deep into technology breakdowns, verification, and troubleshooting. By delivering the content in an online format as opposed to print-formatted PDFs, we will be able to shorten the time to market for the labs through incremental releases, and we will be able to ensure that everyone always has the most updated version of content without the need for a complicated sub-versioning system. Furthermore, the embedded video breakdown content will take this product above and beyond the incredibly high quality bar that you, our customers, are already accustomed to with INE.

The time frame for content release of the CCIE Data Center Workbooks is as follows:

  • Nexus Switching: Mid to Late November 2012
  • Storage Networking: Mid to Late December 2012
  • Unified Computing: Mid to Late December 2012
  • Full Scale Labs: Mid to Late January 2013

What about rack rentals? We plan to release access to rack rentals in tandem with the release of the workbook content. Rack rentals will be offered in multiple ways. First we will offer smaller subsets of the overall complete hardware topology that is used to complete specific technology labs. For example, a lab on vPC on Nexus 5000 may consist of 2 x Nexus 5548UPs and an end host. Likewise, as you progressively work through the labs, the topologies will get more complex, ultimately culminating in full-scale multi-protocol labs that require the entire overall hardware topology.

The full hardware topology used in the workbooks will consist of:

  • Nexus 7000s with both M1 and F1 modules
  • Nexus 5500UPs
  • Nexus 2000 1GigE & 10GigE Fabric Extenders
  • MDS 9200i Fibre Channel & IP Storage Switches
  • UCS C Series Rackmount Servers
  • UCS B Series Blade Servers
  • UCS Fabric Interconnects
  • Additional 1GigE & 10GigE attached end servers
  • Fibre Channel attached Storage Arrays

Further details, such as pricing for the workbooks and rack rentals and the availability of the rack schedule, will be solidified within the next few weeks. As always, questions and comments are welcome, and I hope to see many of you in the upcoming CCIE Data Center – Unified Computing class at the end of the month!

 

 

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Sep
05

This past week Mark Snow and I completed the first of three of our CCIE Data Center Live Online Bootcamps – Nexus Switching. This class focused on the core Layer 2 Switching and Layer 3 Routing features of Nexus NX-OS on the 7000, 5500, and 2000 platforms, and the Data Center specific applications of the platforms with technologies such as vPC, FabricPath, and OTV, just to name a few. The videos from class are now in post-processing, and will be available both for download and in streaming format, both of which have cross platform support (Desktop, iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows phone, etc.) Also as usual our videos are DRM free, so once you purchase them they are yours to do with as you please.

All Access Pass subscribers will get access to the videos in streaming format for no additional fee, and can also purchase the download version at a discounted rate. The download version can be purchased standalone here for people who are not AAP subscribers. Our next two classes, CCIE Data Center Storage and CCIE Data Center Unified Computing are coming up at the end of September and October respectively. All AAP subscribers can attend the live online classes for free, while anyone who want to purchase the download in advance also gets access to attend these classes.

Below are some excerpts from the class relating to the new FabricPath technology. FabricPath is a new alternative to running Spanning-Tree Protocol in the Layer 2 DC Core, and is a pre-standard version of the TRansparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) feature. The videos below cover the underlying theory of FabricPath, it’s basic configuration, it’s more advanced configurations and verifications, and its integration with Virtual Port Channels (vPCs) with the vPC+ feature.

Enjoy!

CCIE Data Center :: Nexus :: FabricPath Overview

CCIE Data Center :: Nexus :: FabricPath Initial Configuration

CCIE Data Center :: Nexus :: FabricPath Configuration & Verification

CCIE Data Center :: Nexus :: FabricPath & vPC+

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Aug
17

Edit: For those of you that want to take a look first-hand at these packets, the Wireshark PCAP files referenced in this post can be found here

One of the hottest topics in networking today is Data Center Virtualized Workload Mobility (VWM). For those of you that have been hiding under a rock for the past few years, workload mobility basically means the ability to dynamically and seamlessly reassign hardware resources to virtualized machines, often between physically disparate locations, while keeping this transparent to the end users. This is often accomplished through VMware vMotion, which allows for live migration of virtual machines between sites, or as similarly implemented in Microsoft’s Hyper-V and Citrix’s Xen hypervisors.

One of the typical requirements of workload mobility is that the hardware resources used must be on the same layer 2 network segment. E.g. the VMware Host machines must be in the same IP subnet and VLAN in order to allow for live migration their VMs. The big design challenge then becomes, how do we allow for live migrations of VMs between Data Centers that are not in the same layer 2 network? One solution to this problem that Cisco has devised is a relatively new technology called Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV).

As a side result of preparing for INE’s upcoming CCIE Data Center Nexus Bootcamp I’ve had the privilege (or punishment depending on how you look at it ;) ) of delving deep into the OTV implementation on Nexus 7000. My goal was to find out exactly what was going on behind the scenes with OTV. The problem I ran into though was that none of the external Cisco documentation, design guides, white papers, Cisco Live presentations, etc. really contained any of this information. The only thing that is out there on OTV is mainly marketing info, i.e. buzzword bingo, or very basic config snippets on how to implement OTV. In this blog post I’m going to discuss the details of my findings about how OTV actually works, with the most astonishing of these results being that OTV is in fact, a fancy GRE tunnel.

Continue Reading

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Aug
14

As any CCIE candidate knows, there is no escape from the hours and hours of reading that comes along with preparing for the written exam and the lab exam.  The new CCIE Data Center certification is no exception. There is a lot of prerequisite reading that should be done before sitting down at the keyboard and pounding away at the CLI, and we have compiled a manageable list that we are recommending candidates to go through before attending our upcoming CCIE Data Center Live Online Bootcamps.

This list, like our bootcamps, is broken down into three topic domains: Nexus Switching, Storage, and Unified Computing. All of the books listed below are available on Safari Online for those of you that want to save a few trees.  The vast major of the list however is comprised of Cisco documentation.  Since these technologies are so new – say compared to OSPF – there are not as many traditional books available.  What I would recommend for people going through this track is to start with the first book listed in each category (or in the case of Storage, the first two) and use these as an overview of the technologies that are within that topic domain.  Once you have a basic understanding of what’s involved, then go through the configuration guides in detail to see the specific technology details, platform caveats (there are a lot, you’ll see ;) ), syntax examples, etc.  This list may expand in the future but for right now it’s a really good starting point for anyone that is going to be pursuing CCIE DC, or just wants to learn these technologies in general.

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