My lab rack of 2019 consists of multiple Cisco routers and switches, as well as Juniper ScreenOS firewalls for routing purposes, a Palo Alto Networks firewall, a Juniper SRX firewall, a server for virtualization and some Raspberry Pis. That is: This rack can be used for basic Cisco courses such as CCNA or CCNP, or for even bigger BGP/OSPF or IPsec VPN scenarios since those ScreenOS firewalls are perfect routers as well. Of course, everything is IPv6 capable. Having some PoE-powered Raspberry Pis you can simulate basic client-server connections. A Juniper SA-2500 (aka Pulse Connect Secure) for remote accessing the Lab rounds things up.
I am just writing down a few thoughts on why I have “designed” the rack in that way. It’s basically a reminder for myself. ;)
Continue reading My IPv6/Routing/Cisco Lab Rack (2019)
Now that we have enabled NTP authentication on our own stratum 1 NTP servers (Linux/Raspbian and Meinberg LANTIME) we need to set up this SHA-1 based authentication on our clients. Here we go for a standard Linux ntp setup:
Continue reading NTP Authentication: Client Side
As already pointed out in my NTP intro blogpost Why should I run own NTP Servers? it is crucial to leverage NTP authentication to have the highest trustworthiness of your time distribution all over your network. Hence the first step is to enable NTP authentication on your own stratum 1 NTP servers, in my case two Raspberry Pis with DCF77/GPS reference clocks.
Continue reading NTP Authentication: Server Side
With Infoblox you’re almost doing everything through the WebUI on the Infoblox Grid Master. At least the daily business such as adding/changing/deleting/moving/whatever DNS, DHCP, and IPAM stuff. Even troubleshooting is almost done through this HTTPS-based GUI. However, some circumstances require the use of the CLI on an Infoblox appliance/VM, called “Remote Console Access” aka SSH. Here are the most common troubleshooting CLI commands for Infoblox DDI. Samples on how to use the IPMI/LOM features round things up:
Continue reading CLI Commands for Troubleshooting Infoblox
When configuring a pool of NTP servers on a F5 BIG-IP load balancer you need to choose how to check if they are still up and running. There is no specific NTP monitor on a F5 BIG-IP that does an application layer health check (like there is for http or radius). The out-of-the-box options that can be used are only ICMP and UDP monitoring. Let’s first look at the pros and cons of using either (or both) of these monitors. Then let’s build a custom UDP monitor that does a better job at checking whether the NTP servers are still healthy.
Continue reading F5 BIG-IP Application Level NTP Health Checks
As you hopefully already know, you should use at least three different NTP servers to get your time. However, there might be situations in which you can configure only one single NTP server, either via static IP addresses or via an FQDN. To overcome this single point of failure you can use an external load balancing server such as F5 LTM (in HA of course) to forward your NTP queries to one of many NTP servers. Here are some hints:
Continue reading Load Balancing NTP via F5 BIG-IP LTM
This post shows how to use a GPS receiver with a Raspberry Pi to build a stratum 1 NTP server. I am showing how to solder and use the GPS module (especially with its PPS pin) and listing all Linux commands to set up and check the receiver and its NTP part, which is IPv6-only in my case. Some more hints to increase the performance of the server round things off. In summary this is a nice “do it yourself” project with a working stratum 1 NTP server at really low costs. Great. However, keep in mind that you should not rely on such projects in enterprise environments that are more focused on reliability and availability (which is not the case on self soldered modules and many config file edits).
Continue reading NTP Server via GPS on a Raspberry Pi
In this tutorial I will show how to set up a Raspberry Pi with a DCF77 receiver as an NTP server. Since the external radio clock via DCF77 is a stratum 0 source, the NTP server itself is stratum 1. I am showing how to connect the DCF77 module and I am listing all relevant commands as a step by step guide to install the NTP things. With this tutorial you will be able to operate your own stratum 1 NTP server. Nice DIY project. ;) However, keep in mind that you should only use it on a private playground and not on an enterprise network that should consist of high reliable NTP servers rather than DIY Raspberry Pis. Anyway, let’s go:
Continue reading NTP Server via DCF77 on a Raspberry Pi
What’s the first step in a networker’s life if he wants to work with an unknown protocol: he captures and wiresharks it. ;) Following is a downloadable pcap in which I am showing the most common NTP packets such as basic client-server messages, as well as control and authenticated packets. I am also showing how to analyze the delta time with Wireshark, that is: how long an NTP server needs to respond to a request.
Continue reading Packet Capture: Network Time Protocol (NTP)
Working with Infoblox can be challenging when it comes to their naming of features, licenses, marketing slides, and GUI options. So let’s bring some clarity into this chaos. :D I have listed the most common DNS security features and their corresponding Infoblox names. I hope you folks can use it as well.
Continue reading Infoblox Features & Licenses Naming Clarity
This post is not about software but hardware tools for network admins. Which network gadgets am I using during my daily business? At least three, namely the Airconsole, the Pockethernet and the ProfiShark, which help me in connecting to serial ports, testing basic network connectivity, and capturing packets in a high professional way. Come in and have a look at how I’m working.
Continue reading My Network Gadgets
I was interested in how a recursive DNS server resolves DNS queries in detail. That is, not only the mere AAAA or A record, but also DNSSEC keys and signatures, the authority and additional section when testing with
dig , and so on. For this I made two simple DNS queries to my recursive DNS server which resulted in more than 100 DNS packets at all. Wow.
In the following I am publishing a downloadable pcap so that you can analyse it by yourself. Furthermore I am showing some listings and screenshots to get an idea of the DNS resolution process.
Continue reading Single DNS Query – Hundreds of Packets
Cisco’s IOS offers an easy to use feature for configuration versioning to an external server such as TFTP or SCP. Furthermore, you can use IOS commands to compare any two snapshots and to roll back to one of them.
Continue reading Using Cisco’s IOS Archive
While there are many approaches on how to structure your IPv6 prefix into /64 subnets (blogposts, books, talks) there are only a few hints what you can do with the other 64 bits of the addresses, namely the IPv6 interface identifier or IID. To my mind you can put some (but not too much) logic into those IIDs to a) have some structure for your addresses that b) helps you identifying those addresses when seeing them in logs or anywhere else. Hence it is easier for you to remember the IPv6 address behind a name (forward DNS) as well as the host when seeing the address (reverse DNS).
This post just shows the approach I am using in my lab. You might find it useful or you might disagree completely. Anyhow, feel free to comment your experiences or solutions for that. :D I am wondering why there isn’t much discussion about these IIDs at all. Maybe for some good reasons I am not seeing yet?
Continue reading IPv6 Interface ID Structure
Some time ago I published a pcap that can be used to study basic IPv6 protocol messages such as ICMPv6 for Router Advertisements, Neighbor Solicitations, etc.: “Basic IPv6 Messages: Wireshark Capture“. You can use it to learn the basic IPv6 address assignment and layer 2 address resolution. However, that pcap does not include any upper layer protocols.
This time I captured a few application layer protocols that I used over IPv6 rather than over legacy IP. Common user protocols such as DNS, HTTP/S, IMAP, SMTP, as well as some network administration protocols: SSH, SNMP, and Ping. It is not that interesting at all ;) though you can use it to have some examples for Wireshark to prove that those application protocols are almost the same when run above IPv6 compared to IPv4.
Continue reading IPv6 Upper Layer Protocol Samples