Website issues for Marketing and Branding (by John Gumas)

Five Quick Tips to Quality Challenger Webpage 

You’ve got a great website. It’s beautiful. Lots of compelling photos of hip people engaging with your product.

Warm, soothing colors that speaks to your brand’s mission to improve your customers’ lives. Modern, legible fonts that say, “we’re smart, innovative and trustworthy.” So, what’s the problem?

Your bounce rate is lunar and your conversion rate is sub-atomic. A gorgeous, expensive website that glorifies your product, but visitors aren’t responding ?

So what gives?

You’ve got a conversion problem, my friend.

A common Challenger Brand malady that is easily treated and requires minimal recovery time.

Here are five tips to improving your critical conversion rate:

1) Goal Clarity– What do you want your visitor to do? You’ve only got time to ask your prospect to do one thing when they visit your site; what’s it going to be? Watch a video? Schedule a tour? Talk to a representative? Learn more? Fill out a contact form? Pick one and use your most premium real estate, the homepage above the fold, to direct your prospect to that action.

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Give me PACKETS!! (by Mike Canney)

Give me Packets!

I have been troubleshooting “network” problems for over two decades.  From mom and pop small businesses to Fortune 10.  Literally thousands of companies.  As far as tools go, I’ve used just about all of them.  From the Network General Sniffer, Novell LanAlyzer, Optimal’s Application Expert/Vantage, Compuware Ecoscope, Cinco NetXray to Wireshark and back.  

You would be hard pressed to find something that is somewhat mainstream that analyzes packets that I haven't used to find and solve network and application issues. Flower issueI’ve have also used the majority of the popular APM/NPM tools on the market for monitoring Network and Application Performance (I won’t list them).  The one thing in common is that they’ve all been useful in their own right.  Understanding at a high level of what traffic is on the network and an inclining of ‘potential’ application performance issues. 


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Wireshark Edit Name Resolution (by Tony Fortunato)

When using any protocol analyzer you might want to change the ip addresses to something more meaningful like; client, server or server name. Replacing an address with a name is also a good technique to mask public ip addresses or when using screen captures in your report or emails.

In this video I walk you through how to edit the name and one step that most people miss to get this to work.



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Knowing Your Tools (by Tony Fortunato)

Knowing Your Tools

I was troubleshooting and had a continuous ping running against a router. I then connected a network analysis tool and suddenly my ping times went from <1ms to well over 100ms. You got to love it when you have to stop troubleshooting the network issue to troubleshoot your tools ;).

I had the presence of mind to immediately unplug the tool and immediately noticed that the ping times returned to ‘normal’. I connected the tool and the times shot right back up. Hmm.  Now I’m intrigued.

Initial Pings After Pings

First thing was to ensure the tool’s settings were set for defaults or factory settings and they were. 

The next thing I did was capture my station’s traffic to ensure I wasn’t interacting or communicating with the tool that would cause some latency because my computer was ‘busy’. 

I could see the ping (ICMP) response times where initially less than 1 ms.

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LMTV LIVE | Visibility Architectures - Understanding NPM and APM (with Keith Bromley of IXIA and Jason Suss of Dynatrace)

YouTube Live Event starts at 9:00 AM PST, Wednesday, March 3, 2017

Yx_X0tC2Most everyone in IT has heard about network performance monitoring (NPM) and application performance monitoring (APM). But what are the real benefits? For instance, what kind of information do I really get and is it worth the investment? Also, what about the complexity involved with these types of solutions? Join us for the third of several discussions to learn what a visibility architecture is, the real benefits of NPM and APM, and how you can optimize your network to take advantage of these solutions.

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Making SNMP Secure (by Tony Fortunato)

While working with a client on a problem, I suggested we enable SNMP version 2 on some older equipment to get better visibility while we worked on the problem. He immediately said, “No way!! I read that SNMP is insecure and can cause all sorts of issues”.  SNMP version 3 wasn’t supported by all devices and takes a bit longer to setup.  Since this wasn’t meant to be a permanent solution SNMP v2 will do just fine.

I explained that whatever he read is probably true but it depends how you configure it and how your network behaves with it. Enabling SNMP is a temporary recommendation for the duration of our troubleshooting engagement and we can always turn it off when we are done with it.

I started to draw a simple network diagram of his network and identified that his firewalls don’t allow SNMP from the internet so that possible issue is covered.

I then showed him some Cisco configuration commands to prevent SNMP traffic from devices and networks that we can specify.

The Cisco commands look like this;

snmp-server community notpublic RO 99

The above command enables and configures the snmp service with a read only string of notpublic. The 99 refers to an access list where we control what devices have permission to perform SNMP queries.

access-list 99 permit

With this command we define that access-list 99 only allows devices from subnet

You should test by performing an SNMP query with your network management tool to ensure that is has access but you should ensure that unauthorized devices do not have access.

You can get an idea if your access list is working as well with the following Cisco command;

show access-list 99

Standard IP access list 99

    10 permit, wildcard bits (684 matches)

The same points apply to Microsoft (plus WMI) or other devices.  Take the time to determine how you can get more data from your devices while troubleshooting or baselining.


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