Most of us are in some sort of lockdown (or quarantine or shelter-in-place or whatever it’s called) at the moment. Some have their hands full balancing work and homeschooling their kids (hang in there!), others are getting bored and looking for networking-related content (or you wouldn’t be reading this blog).
If you’re in the latter category you might want to browse some of the free ipSpace.net content: almost 3500 blog posts, dozens of articles, over a hundred podcast episodes, over 20 free webinars, and another 30+ webinars with sample videos that you can access with free subscription.
Need more? Standard subscription includes 260 hours of video content and if you go for Expert subscription and select the network automation course as part of the subscription, you’ll get another 60 hours of content plus hands-on exercises, support, access to Slack team… hopefully enough to last you way past the peak of the current pandemic.
With webinars being the only way to deliver training content these days, we’ll run one every week in April 2020:
Starting on April 2nd I’ll talk about one of my favorite topics: switching, bridging and routing, covering almost everything ever invented from virtual circuits and source route bridging to so-called routing at layer-2 and IP forwarding based on host routes;
I was planning to update the Introduction to Containers and Docker material for ages… but then had to move the December 2019 workshop to March 2020, only to cancel it a week before the coronavirus exploded for real in Switzerland. I hope I’ll manage to deliver the online version on April 9th ;)
Dinesh Dutt is back on April 16th with an update of Network Automation Tools webinar, in which he’ll cover (among other things) the new network automation tools launched since we did the original webinar in 2016.
On April 23rd Pete Lumbis plans to dive as deep into the intricacies of switching ASICs as he can without violating an NDA ;)
If you’re an ipSpace.net subscriber, you might have noticed how busy the last month has been (more about that later). February won’t be much better:
- Later today we’ll have David Barroso talk about safely managing network automation secrets.
- On February 6th I’ll describe the tools you can use to automate Azure deployments, including simple CLI scripts, Ansible, Terraform, and Azure Resource Manager templates.
- We’re starting the Networking in Public Cloud Deployments online course on February 11th.
- David Peñaloza Seijas will talk about Cisco (Viptela) SD-WAN on February 13th;
Finally, I’ll run a day-long workshop in Zurich on March 10th describing containers and Docker.
If you’re running a typical (somewhat outdated) enterprise data center, you’re using tons of VLANs and firewalls, use VLANs as security zones, and push inter-VLAN traffic through firewalls for inspection. Security vendors love that approach - when inspecting traffic they can add no value to (like database- or backup sessions), the firewalls quickly become choke points that have to be upgraded.
The amount of layer-2 tricks we use to make enterprise networking work never ceases to amaze me - from shared IP addresses used by various clustering solutions (because it’s too hard to read the manuals and configure DNS) to shared MAC addresses used by first-hop router redundancy protocols (because it would be really hard to send a Gratuitous ARP message on failover) and all sorts of shenanigans we’re forced to engage in to enable running servers to be moved willy-nilly around the Earth.
Design assignments and hands-on exercises were always a big part of ipSpace.net online courses, and our new Networking in Public Cloud Deployments course is no different.
You’ll start with a simple scenario: deploy a virtual machine running a web server. Don’t worry about your Linux skills, you’ll get the necessary (CCIE-level) instructions and the source code for the web server. Building on that, you’ll create another subnet and deploy another virtual machine acting as a back-end application server.
And then we’ll get to the fun part:
You’ve probably heard cloudy evangelists telling CIOs how they won’t need the infrastructure engineers once they move their workloads into a public cloud. As always, whatever sounds too good to be true usually is. Compute resources in public clouds still need to be managed, someone still needs to measure application performance, and backups won’t happen by themselves.
Even more important (for networking engineers), network requirements don’t change just because you decided to use someone else’s computers:
- Joep Piscaer will dive into what changes public clouds bring and what these changes mean for you, as well as what developers and other consumers of cloud resources expect from you in the new public cloud, DevOps and Infrastructure-as-Code world.
- Ned Bellavance will review the principles of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and how they apply to public cloud solutions. Then he will take a look at the landscape of IaC tools that exist and examine their pros and cons.
- Howard Marks will review the types of storage available across public clouds, how they differ between cloud providers and the applications and pitfalls associated with each of them.
- Connecting on-premises data centers or office locations to a public cloud has some unique challenges. Ed Horley will help you create a framework and a checklist to make sure you have the required redundancy, throughput, routing, and security all baked in from day one.
- Matthias Luft will cover the aspects of securing your public cloud deployments.
- Justin Warren will explain how to make good tradeoffs between resilient hardware and resilient software.
Sounds interesting? The first Networking in Public Cloud Deployments course will start on February 11th, 2020, but the minute you register you'll be able to start studying the materials (over 100 hours of content). There’s just one thing you have to do: click the Register button.
I’ve seen successful public (infrastructure) cloud deployments… but also spectacular failures. The difference between the two usually comes down to whether the team deploying into a public cloud environment realizes they’re dealing with an unfamiliar environment and acts accordingly.
Please note that I’m not talking about organizations migrating their email to Office 365. While that counts as public cloud deployment when an industry analyst tries to paint a rosy picture of public cloud acceptance, I’m more interested in organizations using compute, storage, security and networking public cloud infrastructure.
We’ll start with the basics, explore the ways to automate cloud deployments (after all, you wouldn’t want to repeat the past mistakes and configure everything with a GUI, would you?), touch on compute and storage infrastructure, and the focus on the networking aspects of public cloud deployments including:
In November 2019 we’ll continue the crazy pace of autumn 2019 webinar season:
- I’ll talk about network addressing on November 5th (not sure I’ll get to the routing part in the same live session);
- In the next live session in our network automation course, Hans Verkerk will describe how he mastered Python and started using it in his network automation projects on November 12th;
- On November 14th I’ll start the VMware NSX-T saga (expect at least three live sessions - the second and the third one are scheduled for November 21st and 26th);
- Christopher Werny will talk about enterprise aspects of IPv6 security on November 19th;
You probably heard me say “networking engineer encountering a public cloud feels like Alice in Wonderland” - packet forwarding works in a different way in every public cloud, subnets are a mix between routed interfaces and VRFs, you cannot change IP addresses without involving the orchestration system…
We covered the networking aspects of Amazon Web Services and Azure in our cloud webinars, but you might need a bigger picture:
We also had a great guest speaker on the Network Automation course: Damien Garros explained how he used central source-of-truth based on NetBox and Git to set up a network automation stack from the grounds up.
Recordings are already online; you’ll need Standard ipSpace.net Subscription to access the Azure Networking webinar, and Expert ipSpace.net Subscription to access Damien’s presentation. Azure Networking webinar is also part of our new Networking in Public Clouds online course.
I have exciting news I’d love to share with you: we’re launching a new online course focused on networking in public clouds starting in February 2020 (I’ve been mulling over this idea and polishing the concept for almost 18 months, and finally it all came together ;)
With Go To The Cloud becoming the answer to all questions (regardless of what the question is), you can find tons of materials describing various aspects of public clouds, so you might wonder why I decided to enter the fray. The answer is simple: with everyone being focused on developers, there’s not much that an infrastructure engineer could use to help him survive when the developers move on and he’s left to manage whatever they put in place.
TL&DR: Can I download whatever stuff I found as my first Google hit and use it in my automation solution? ****, NO!
Matthias covered these topics: