See Schprokits Dance! Demo of Unreleased Code

Schprokits LogoMy second “Secret Sunday” post back in August introduced Schprokits, a company founded by Jeremy Schulman, previously the Director of Network Automation at Juniper.

I was truly flattered when Jeremy invited me to be part of a small team testing early Schprokits code (and trust me, I am way outclassed by the rest of the testers!), and having had a chance to try out what is probably only a small proportion of the code, I thought I would take the opportunity to share some early impressions of the software.

TLDR: I’m having fun!

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Secret Sunday – Greg Ferro

Greg FerroJust over a month ago I accepted Etherealmind’s “30 Blogs in 30 Days Challenge”, and this Friday I ‘m pleased to say that I completed the challenge without missing a day. It seems appropriate then that I should use today’s Secret Sunday to give a shout out to the man behind the mission, Greg Ferro (aka Etherealmind).

In some ways it feels like cheating to include Greg because he’s unlikely to be a new discovery for anybody reading my blog, but credit is due where it’s due; you can’t argue that Greg does not give back to the networking community. His Etherealmind website has a huge following and a wealth of content written over a number of years. He’s a co-host of the PacketPushers podcasts, generating hundreds of podcasts dedicated to the networking industry. He has written three books that he has published on LeanPub and has a fourth on the way, co-authored with the venerable Brent Salisbury.

Greg is never short of an opinion, and I suspect that one of the reasons for his large following is that he isn’t afraid to go out there and let you know what he thinks, even if “you” are a vendor, and what he thinks is that “your product sucks”. He has helped many others get their own start, and shares his experience and gives advice to help others advance their goals with a selfless attitude. I don’t want to make him sound holier than thou, but so often people who are succeeding don’t want to share the love with others; Greg on the contrary seems willing to share his platform with you, or at the very least to help you build your own platform of an equal height.

That kind of honesty and mentoring is endearing, and when you mix in his wit and his willingness to engage, you get a very powerful mix of authorship and social skills that has propelled Greg to be one of the best known networking ‘personalities’ out there. He also, occasionally, throws out an insane challenge. Right? Anyway Greg – cheers mate, for all you do for the networkers out there.

Follow Greg on Twittter as @etherealmind, at his technical blog (Etherealmind), at PacketPushers and on his personal blog at



Cisco ISR: Enable Features, No Performance Hit?

Last month I visited Interop NYC 2014 as a guest of Tech Field Day Extra! where our group was given a presentation about the new Cisco ISR routers by Matt Bolick, a Technical Marketing Engineer for Cisco.

The Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) themselves seem pretty feature packed, covering four key areas:

  • Transport independence (DMVPN)
  • Intelligent Path Control (PfR v3)
  • Application Optimization (WAN optimization, ADC and WAAS)
  • Secure Connectivity (Scalable, strong encryption, IPS, web filtering, etc.)

Rather than reinvent the wheel, Matt explained that the idea was to use existing protocols in a useful new way; in this case in particular to offer secure hybrid transport across MPLS and Internet for private cloud and DC access, probably ultimately moving to just Internet connectivity base on the shift Cisco has seen in how corporations see their branch offices (and specifically how much they want to reduce costs!).

So far so cool, but I figure you can look up all the specifications and features for yourselves so I won’t bore you with much more of that here. There was something else that tickled me though.

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Scary Poodle: Quickly Checking Websites for SSLv3

GitHub Logo

Weird looking poodle, right? *coughs* With the recent SSLv3 Poodle vulnerability being disclosed, there has been a rush to disable SSLv3. But if you manage quite a few web sites, how can you quickly check whether or not you are vulnerable? Better still, if you know you have vulnerable sites, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to check before and after your mitigation attempts in order to confirm that SSLv3 has indeed been disabled?

The consequences of disabling SSLv3 is another discussion entirely; let’s assume that I’ve decided it’s worth disabling.

So that was my problem, so here’s what I did about it.

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