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Wireless Review

We are currently working on increasing AP density at work in order to keep up with the increasing amount of wireless client devices. It’s always nice to revisit what other product vendors have available, so I was able to get my hands on a few test AP’s.

Aerohive networks AP meraki AP

I will be unboxing and testing these at home. They are lower end AP’s, but this will give me an opportunity at looking into the config user interface, performing some wireless site surveys, and playing with wireless channel planning tools. Stay tuned!

Metageek at Interop


Metageek makes great wireless analyzer tools. The picture above is showing “Chanalyzer Pro”. The software works with Metageek’s Wi-spy usb wireless adapter line. The unique part about this software  is the ability to show all devices that may be operating in the 2.4Ghz spectrum. That means you will be able to identify noise coming from microwave ovens to 2.4Ghz cordless phones. Another cool feature is being able to see if the 2.4Ghz spectrum is overloaded. For instance if you have a high density AP deployment, you will be able to detect if your over saturating the 2.4Ghz spectrum. If so, you may want to consider lowering your AP’s power output. They also sell an adapter that can view the 5Ghz spectrum as well.


Interop wifi – so so


Wireless is a bust, at least in the conference room I’m in. The 2.4Ghz spectrum is saturated with hotel AP’s, mifi’s, and Interop wifi sponsor Xirrus AP’s.

I then turned my nexus 4 to strictly use 5Ghz (knowing that there is much more

channel space available in 5Ghz band), however Xirrus doesn’t have good 5Ghz coverage in the conference room I’m in. I was able to connect my macbook pro to a 5Ghz channel. Signal shows a -72db.

The more the 2.4Ghz band is saturated, 5Ghz will become even more important. As we move up the spectrum, our coverage range falls. Building out your wireless network coverage in 5Ghz is extremely important. If you know your 5Ghz coverage is great, then you already know your 2.4Ghz coverage will be more than adequate.

A great tool to use on OSx in the command line is:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Resources/airport -I

Running the command without any switches will show you all the available options.

Interop here I come!

I am on my way to Interop which is being held in Las Vegas. For those of you who don’t know about Interop, it’s defined as ” an independently organized conference and exhibition designed to empower information technology professionals to make smart business decisions.” -Interop

Vendors from all over the board will be there. This will be my first time attending and I will be posting updates on the event, so stay tuned!

My first day will include 2 workshops:

“Advanced wireshark” and “A structured approach to Network Troubleshooting”

Brocade, Enterasys, Juniper Brainstorm Lab Gen up

Brain storming is something that you should do quite often. Find a whiteboard and start drawing. Even a piece of paper will do. Get others involved in your brainstorm. Developing new services or improving upon existing services will greatly benefit from this. We can’t be content with the “if its not broken, then don’t fix it” mentality.

With that said, here’s a diagram that came from a brainstorm/whiteboard session. This came out of my lab gen to replace our aging Juniper m7i with some Brocade icx 6610’s. There’s an old school Enterasys DFE in there as well that simulated our building distribution router.





Brocade ICX 6610 – enabling ssh and a few other things…

After an exhaustive search of a WAN switch, we finally made our minds up to go with the brocade ICX series. We are primarily an enterasys extreme networks shop, but we are on a budget, like most other public education institutions. In my experience, I have seen many shops stick to what they know, cough, cough cisco, but is that always going to be the best price/solution? The brocade command line is very similar to cisco, so for you peep’s out there looking for an alternative to cisco, take a look at the brocade ICX lineup.

Now on to the good stuff. I’ve listed a few pointers to get ssh properly setup on an ICX 6610. You can also view more icx 6610 commands in my brocade ICX 6610 part 2 article.

//This command enables ssh on the icx 6610
(config)#crypto key generate dsa
//We can then setup a local account to use for ssh, but we first want to mask passwords
(config)#enable user password-masking
(config)#username yourusername password
//The next command enables the brocade to use the local user for ssh login
(config)#aaa authentication login default local
//We can then further secure by which IP’s are allowed to ssh
(config)#ip ssh client yourclientip
//Here is how we disable ssh.
(config)#crypto key zeroize dsa



F5 monitors

I successfully completed the 4 day F5 LTM configuring v11 course. I am very happy with the amount of information covered and the teacher was very knowledgeable. Now that I’m back at work, I have already applied some of the knowledge I’ve obtained.

I was assisting another individual with setting up an http monitor that was using a send/receive string. We were having issues in getting the monitor to work. We struggled in where the CR/LF characters needed to be and how many to use. Each version of LTM seems to operate a little different and we found that out from the SOL10655 publication on the askf5 knowledge base. After going through some additional docs, we still couldn’t get the monitor to work. After trial and error, the monitor finally started working after we changed the HTTP version from 1.1 to 1.0.


Send String: GET /your/page/page.html HTTP/1.0\r\n Host: anynamewilldo\r\n\r\n

F5 Training

Today I’m starting a 4 day F5 online training course. The course will be going over how to setup and configure their BIG-IP LTM (local traffic manager) product. The LTM main feature is load balancing application traffic. For those of you who aren’t familiar with F5, they offer an extensive line of application delivery service products. The LTM is just one of their many product offerings. F5 offers some great introductory study material on their F5 support site. I would recommend starting there if you’re interested on learning about LTM.

Introduction, a little about me

Last modified on Jul 10, 2018

Hi, my name is Javier Solis, and I’m currently the Network and Infrastructure Supervisor at Purdue University Northwest. I was also recently asked to serve as Interim Assistant Director of Information Security Services. My work day consists of leading and mentoring a total of nine full-time employees and three student workers. One day I could be assisting the security team with incident response and the next day I could be working with the networking team on leading projects such as wireless expansion, end of life equipment replacement, or telecom related projects. One of my primary goals as a leader is promoting teaming and collaboration. I also enjoy training others to take on lead roles and responsibilities. If my team can function well while I’m enjoying a vacation, I know that I’ve done my job.

A Little History

I have been engrossed in the world of IT since the start of my freshmen year of high school back in 1998. I have also been blessed to carry two core full-time jobs since the start of my career as an IT student worker at the former Purdue University Calumet campus in Hammond Indiana.

My first full-time job was at a WISP (wireless Internet service provider) in Northwest Indiana. We were small in the eyes of the local telcom providers such as ATT and Comcast, but pretty large for a shop run by just a few employees. We heavily ran the Motorola canopy wireless line of gear and primarily used Mikrotik routers. Then I had the opportunity to move up to Wisconsin under contract by the same WISP to manage and deploy a 2.5 square mile municipal WiFi cloud mostly on my own. It proved to be quite a task, but I learned a great deal.

Five and a half years after working at that WISP, I took an offer to work as a full time network administrator back at Purdue University Calumet. Five and a half years working at the Purdue Calumet Hammond campus, there was a unification/merger with the Purdue North Central Westville regional campus. I’ve since been serving in supervisory roles at Purdue University Northwest. I’ve participated in two interim roles, lead networking, infrastructure, and telecom teams. It’s funny how we find ourselves back where we started, but I’m learning more than ever. I enjoy sharing my experiences with others and I hope you enjoy this blog. I also look forward to hearing from anyone out there. You can also find me on twitter at @javi_isolis or at linkedin.

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