Author Archives: Michael McNamara

About Michael McNamara

I'm a network architect, security professional, programmer and loving husband and father.

Episode 19 – SD-WAN

We returned to record our seventeenth episode on Sunday May 28, 2017.

Interesting News and Events

Roundtable Discussion – SD-WAN

Is SD-WAN just another buzz word or will it dramatically change the networking industry?

What can you hope to gain from SDWAN product?

  • Visibility
  • Dynamic Policy Based Routing/Forwarding
  • Automatic Provisioning
  • Security /Encryption

SD-WAN products are able to function beyond the limitation of today’s traditional routing protocols.

AT&T Unveils SD-WAN Hybrid Networking Strategy

PacketPushers list of SD-WAN vendors

What tools are you using?

Nmap – Network Mapper
Free Vulnerability Scanning Software


Episode 18 – Real World Performance Issues

We returned to record our seventeenth episode on Sunday April 23, 2017.

Interesting News and Events

Vendor Specifications vs Real World Performance

Did you ever purchased a HW and find out the Hard way that the box is not performing in your environment who it was described in the datasheets

Routers and Switches

  • can be measured and tested in the Lab
  • Packet sizes
  • L2 vs L3 traffic
  • watch out for all the features that will degrade the performance

ARP packets can consume a lot of CPU utilization? Miimon – NIC teaming in Linux


  • Real world traffic is different
  • single flow can effect the complete system
  • NGFW features

Virtual vs Physical Hardware

  • Limitations of the physical HW
  • Performance penalties and with virtualization

What tools are you using?


Google is perhaps one of the biggest tools in a network engineer’s toolset. Google is invaluable in searching for solutions to a problem or issue or simply searching for the documentation or an example configuration.


Episode 17 – Avaya Sale | Cisco Live | Tech Field Day Extra

We returned to record our seventeenth episode on Sunday March 12, 2017.

Interesting News and Events

Cisco Live 2017 Berlin

  • New ACi deployment Option Multi-Site Controller (Stretched Fabric >> MultiPod >> Multi Fabric, Multi Data Center)
  • Python runs on IOS 16 natively
  • Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch CDB-8U
    • Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch Highlights
    • 8 fast Ethernet ports and 2 gigabit copper uplink ports, with line-rate forwarding performance
    • Universal Power over Ethernet (Cisco UPOE) and Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) support with up to 480W of power budget.
    • Support for Layer 2 features, optimized for robust connectivity to lighting and other building IoT devices.
    • Silent operation due to fanless design, which enhances reliability
      Enhanced Limited Lifetime Warranty (E-LLW)
    • boots in 5 seconds
  • IR829
  • Cisco Configuration Professional express
  • UDAP 1.1 ASIC Review (Peter Jones) – Catalyst 3000 Series Switches
    • Dual Core 500Mhz,
    • 256Bit MACSec Encryption,
    • 24k x2 Netflow Records
    • 240G Stacking
    • 6MB x2 Packet Buffer
    • 148GE Bandwidth
  • Tetration Analytics
  • Cisco Spark Board 55
    • Screen: 55” edge LED LCD
    • Camera: +/- 86 degree viewing angle
    • Capacitive touch
    • 12-element microphone array
  • ENCS 5400
  • FirePOWER 2100 Series Hardware
    • 6.2 FTD release
    • Clustering
    • Flex Config

What tools are you using?

Ansible – From Networklore; Ansible is an open source automation platform. …Ansible can help you with configuration management, application deployment, task automation. It can also do IT orchestration, where you have to run tasks in sequence and create a chain of events which must happen on several different servers or devices.


Episode 16 – Vendors VARs Manufacturers

We returned to record our sixteenth episode on Sunday January 29, 2017.

Interesting News and Events

Roundtable Discussion – Vendors / Value Added Resellers / Manufacturers

  • How should you prepare yourself for a vendor meeting ?
  • What is the interest of the manufacturer ?
  • What is the interest of the value added reseller?
  • How to pick the right solution for your environment ?
  • Long Term relationship and support models
  • Why are Vendors trying to push you into a product or technology ?
  • Pursue a VAR that is interested in a long term relationship

What tools are you using?

Perl – I‘ve used Perl for the past 20+ years to help automate various small tasks and to help gather data for reporting purposes across a large number of devices (switches, routers, access points, etc)

You’ll find a few very detailed examples on the Perl Scripting section of my blog.


Episode 15 – Thoughts on 2017

We returned to record our fifteenth episode on Sunday January 8, 2017.

Interesting News and Events

Roundtable Discussion – 2017 Thoughts?

Looking back at all the episodes we recorded in 2016:

01 >> How to Improve Yourself
02 >> Fast Deployment vs Planing
03 >> New Location Rollout
04 >> Evolution of Broadband Internet
05 >> Network Monitoring
06 >> Discussion with Avaya’s Roger Lapuh
07 >> Next-Gen Firewalls
08 >> Network Troubleshooting
09 >> LAB Environment
10 >> IPv6 Internet Addressing
11 >> Infrastructure Lifecycle
12 >> Fiber and Twisted Pair Cabling Plant
13 >> Campus Network Design
14 >> Building Temporary Interim Networks

  • SDN disruption continues – SDN-WAN has convincing arguments
  • Public Cloud / Private Cloud
  • Automation / DevOps
  • Small Scale IT vs. Large Scale IT vs. Humongous Scale IT (differing challenges to each)
  • Security Challenges / IoT
  • IT Generalist – Knowledge of Application Layer, Network Layer, Storage Layer, Computer Layer – extremely valuable going forward


  • Consumer – cutting the cord – Video over Internet, Video on Demand, Streaming TV, AT&T DirectTV Now, Smart TVs, Hulu, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV
  • What HD Channels get I get over the air? – USA

What tools are you using?

syslog-ng – I’ve running syslog-ng for the past 15+ years as my centralized syslog server with great success. Here’s a blog post from Balabit outlining how to deploy syslog-ng with Elasticsearch and leveraging Kibana to visualize the data on CentOS/RHEL.