Knowledge Curve

I’m going to keep this one short, like most of my posts.

The Knowledge Curve signifies the “possibility” of knowledge if someone were to have consistent and focused study throughout their life versus the typical life long learner that prefers a more sporadic approach – which is provoked by work demands or life changes. There’s no shame in learning as you go from a career perspective, but you can change your outlook on learning exponentially by having a more consistent approach to learning.

The key here is that you’re not “resetting” by allowing your brain an unnecessary break (several month’s or years). I specifically remember the first time that I obtained my CCNA. I had all of the textbook knowledge crammed in my brain, I was confident, and then I decided to stop labbing and maintaining my knowledge after passing my exam. Three years later, I have to renew my CCNA and progress onto the CCNP – but I lost a lot of the knowledge because I have not been using it in a practical manner. There’s a way to prevent this from happening to you.

Stay maintained and continue learning. It’s a life long venture; not a 5k race. Reading one topic a day for three years would have kept me on cusp of knowledge in the world of CCNA and honestly, it would have promoted me to learn CCNP before my renewal date… So now, I’m stuck renewing my CCNA again before I can even progress onto the CCNP. That’s not because of a limitation set by Cisco, but rather the inherent need to relearn all of the information that I put on the back burner three years ago…

Edit #1 – 8/25/2019 – Finished post and corrected grammatical errors.

Objective Study Partner

Look, there are many areas of life where having a partner is the best, and the worst. When studying, with two people setting common objectives and targets, makes for a successful partnership.

Just like this blog, it’s a place for us to dump projects, resources, and roadblocks that we identified throughout our journey. Luckily, we have different paths but a similar journey.

Daniel called me one day and asked me if I’d be interested in setting real objective goals. Well… I’m an MBA (humble brag), aspiring Network guru and I know Daniel is amazing at what he does, but he’s gonna have to write about that… With all of this said, what could I lose? It’s obviously in my blood to set goals and achieve them.

Daniel and I both have CCNA’s – to date. So, we set our first goal. In two weeks we will jump on a conference call (day 2 of my first real vacation!) to cover EIGRP and OSPF at the NP level. This means that we will both study independently, come together on a call and share what we both learned. Sounds a lot like your moms book club doesn’t it? Cringy…

But it works.

Get the emotions out of your head so that you can maintain peak clarity! This is a long road to travel (we’re coming for you ‘Pan-American Highway’), so find a reliable partner, fuel up and start rolling.

CDP Neighbor – 6.2.2019

Technology: CDP Neighbor

What does this technology do? CDP Neighbor is used to identify directly connected devices on a Cisco system.  

Use case? If you don’t have physical access to an adjacent switch, you can use CDP Neighbor to identify the device on a specific port. 

Basic Command:
#show cdp neighbors

Full Command:
#show cdp neighbors [ interface { ethernet slot/port | mgmt mgt-num}][ detail]
  • interface – Shows CDP neighbor info for that specified interface. 
  • ethernet – Shows CDP neighbor info for an Ethernet interface. 
  • mgmt – Shows CDP neighbor info for management interface. 
  • detail – Shows the detailed information about CDP neighbors. 

My lab: 

How I used it: 

In todays lab, we will use CDP Neighbor commands to determine which devices are directly connected to the MainDistribution switch from within the CLI of the MainDistribution.  It’s obvious that the AccessLayer switch and the EdgeRouter are directly connected, however, we are not always working in lab environments. In a real world application, the AccessLayer switch may be several hundred feet away. Understanding CDP Neighbor commands will help us determine the exact adjacently attached devices that we have in our network. 

To start, I started all of my network devices. Once booted, I decided to login and run the CDP Neighbor command

#show cdp neighbors

From here you can see the “Local Intrfce” and the “Port ID”. The Local Interface identifies the current switch that you are currently working on and the port that is locally attached to the remote device. The Port ID identifies the remote device port number. So, MainDistribution (Gig 02 from the “Local Intrfce”) is directly connected to the AccessLayer (Gig2/1 from the Port ID) switch. 

Now, you may be asking, how do you know that the adjacent device is the “AccessLayer”? Well, based on the previous image, you cannot unless you know the environment very well. Let me explain. 

The “Device ID” column shows the adjacent device “Hostname”. If the hostname is configured and you understand the name, then you will be able to identify the adjacent switch. Take a look: 

I changed the hostname of the adjacent device so that you can see the difference between screenshots. In my first image, the Device ID said “Switch”, which is the default hostname. Since I changed it, you can now see “AccessLayer” as the Device ID for the connected device. 

Now that you can identify the adjacent device, the local port number and the adjacent port number, we can now spend some time to understand the “Holdtme” column and what to do if the CDP command isn’t showing anything. 

“Holdtme” means Hold Time, this is the length of time that the switch will hold that information before it discards it. You can use the following command to specify the time (Default = 180s). (Think “Time To Live”) 

(config)#CDP holdtime <60>

I personally prefer the shorter times, but if you have a ton of management traffic, you can cause CPU/RAM overload… You can always set the time when you are troubleshooting and reset it when you’re done. 
Finally, if CDP neighbors is not working, you may need to enable it on your devices. This is a very easy command.  

(config)#CDP enable


Starting Point 2.0 (Eve-NG installation) – 5.3.2019

Umm.. yeah, bro. I had a blog before. I had different priorities at the time, but now I’m back at it. You got beef? Or are you vegan?

Today, I have Eve-NG configured on the Google Cloud Platform… This ended up being a total waste of time. More about this later (See my GNS3 post).

My total cost was roughly $90/month. With me shutting the server down when I didn’t use it, the monthly cost was $20… It became more of a hassle. I deleted my compute instance and moved on.

I subscribed to INE’s All Access Pass. This was great, because for me, I paid $300(ish) about three years ago for their CCNA class, and this meant that I would have all of their classes for $99/month. I plan to have my employer pick up the tab in the new year if I end up liking the subscription.

If you’re installing Eve-NG on Google Cloud Platform, you may need to use the following:

##Community Edition installation repo command
wget -O - | bash -i 

If you’re like me and pre-installed the pro version, then you’ll need this:

## To roll back from EVE-NG Pro to the Community Edition, issue the following commands in the CLI of EVE

> apt install eve-ng eve-ng-guacamole

> systemctl disable docker

> systemctl disable docker.service

> systemctl stop docker.service

> systemctl disable udhcpd

## Reboot EVE

Finally, do not forget about the license files!!

5.13.2018 – SuperPuTTY

I have to say, SuperPuTTY is amazing. I wish I could justify the purchase of SecureCRT, but for now, SuperPuTTY is the winner.

Before you head over to the SuperPuTTY distro on GitHub, you will need to make sure that you have Putty downloaded to your computer. I like using Windows as my primary workstation, but I may change it to a Mac Book Pro within the next year. You know, it’s the whole debate between – should I put a down payment on a house or buy a Mac… Tough decision. I think I need to phone in Dave Ramsey.

Anyways, you will download the .exe of Putty and then download SuperPuTTY (do you know what TTY stands for?). Once you have the .zip downloaded, you will extract it and run SuperPuTTY. SuperPuTTY will then prompt you to point the core installation to the Putty .exe. I store mine in Google Drive so that I can automatically backup all of my sessions and maintain a single location for all things Putty.

Working with SuperPuTTY

To create a session, you can either type it in directly (see below)

Or, right click on “PuTTY Sessions” and create a new connection if you access it frequently.

If you need help understanding all of the input information required to start a PuTTY session, then you’re not ready to start with PuTTY – newb.

BUT, let me know and I’d be happy to get you up to pace. I was a newb once. Now I’m an expert.

Just kidding. I’m still a fucking newb. #humble?