14 posts categorized "Network Access Control" Feed

The Do's and Do NOT's of using SPAN Ports (by Darragh Delaney)

The do’s and do not's of SPAN ports!

A mirror or SPAN (switch port analyser) port can be a very useful resource if used in the correct way. SPAN ports are typically found on network switch gear although their features vary among switch vendors. They are commonly used for network appliances or software applications that require monitoring of network traffic, such as an intrusion detection system or application performance management.

While all this sounds great you do need to be very careful with the way you use SPAN ports. On the Cisco Catalyst 5500/5000 and 6500/6000 series switches, a packet received on a port is transmitted on the internal switching bus. Whether one or several ports eventually transmit the packet has absolutely no influence on the switch operation.

The problems with SPAN ports start when you overload them with data. A typical example would be where someone has a bunch of servers connected to a core switch and they try and mirror all of these ports to a single SPAN port. Chances are the port will become oversubscribed resulting in dropped packets on the SPAN port. In some extreme cases the switch may even throttle back on its own operations if the SPAN port is receiving too much data.

Tap span

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Insurance For Your Network? (by Jay Botelho)


Insurance is a way of life, right? We insure our lives, our cars, our homes, and even mundane things like our cell phones. In short, we insure those things that are dear to us and that we cannot do without. So how about your network? If you’re a network engineer the network is pretty dear to you, and your company certainly cannot do without it, so it seems like a good candidate for insurance too. But what kind of insurance do you need? What is it that you need to protect most about your network?

Last year was labelled the “Year of the Hack,” by IT security professionals, with an onslaught of breaches that were financially and politically motivated. This year seems to be following in those same footsteps, with the latest mega-breach of Global Payments in April 2012 with 1.5 million accounts compromised. And on the political front, just do a Google search on cyber crime and see how worried everyone is about cyber criminals targeting the Summer Olympics in London.

Current protections are not enough. Although current security systems certainly protect against a significant number of attacks, they obviously don’t protect against all attacks. So let’s buy some insurance!

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What Is Hiding In Your Closet? (by Josh Stephens)

Calling All IT Pros: Show Us What’s Hiding in Your Closet  

How do you determine which device is connected to which switch?

Do you have to crawl through multiple cabling closets to figure out where the defective device is hiding?
Really messy cabinet             Neat network

Or, are you a bit neurotic and have a ridiculously clean closet with color-coded cables?

We at SolarWinds want to see how you manage your network devices!

Submit photos or videos of your network closet for a chance to win some geeky, yet cool swag (not to mention bragging rights with your boss)! Winners will be picked for the cleanest, messiest and most creative closets.

Hurry Up! The deadline to submit is March 9 for your photos! Do not miss out on this FUN adventure.

More details are described in our Video and on our Facebook page.

Now that we had some fun, it’s time to get down to real business…


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A Backup a Day Keeps the Technical Support Away (by Josh Stephens)

A Backup a Day Keeps the Technical Support Away


Can an NCCM solution make your Mondays better? 

 Do you often get “a case of the Mondays?” 

Picture this: The traffic is bad, and you are already late (ironic?). Your coffee maker breaks, and the line at the coffee shop is wrapped around the corner. On top of that, you finally get to the office and the network is running slower than a turtle!

You say to yourself, “Oh crap, what changed since Friday to slow things down like this!?!?”

With this Geek’s help, you won’t need to have those stressful days. Here are my tips for managing your configuration changes effectively. 

The Geek’s Top Five Tips for Network Configuration and Change Management (NCCM) 


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New Free Tool - Permissions Analyzer (by Josh Stephens)

System Administrators: Come on down! You’re the next contestant…

 In today’s IT environment, technology is continually changing. With virtualization, the cloud and data center consolidation, it’s no wonder that managing your IT environment and resources can be a headache. And for SysAdmins, it’s more important than ever to keep tabs on who has the rights to what.

Here’s a common scenario: Johnny needs access to a specific file folder on a shared drive. But, since his workforce is distributed, he has no idea which user has access to the folder. Without the proper tools in place, Johnny spends the next few hours hunting and sorting through extensive sets of user and group permissions.

Do you have permission 

 OR, what happens when your company decides to let Bob go after things got a little out of hand at the company offsite, and he decided to take the company car for a joy ride? Bob has access to the “super secret” files and shared folders, and that could cause major problems if his permission rights are not immediately identified and turned off.

 Talk about driving you “bonkers.”

 Until today, tools with permissions analysis come bundled as one feature in high-priced products, making it difficult and cumbersome to zero-in on permissions when you only need the one function. Or, you’re left with a cheap/free tool that doesn’t provide you with the depth of reporting needed.

 Today all of that changes.

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