Archive for the 'Main blog' category

(d)dos attack

 | 15 Jan 2009 22:35

It appears my host was under attack this morning. Have mitigated as much as I could but there’s only so much one can do against dns ddos attacks… Sorry for todays downtime. 🙁

Experiencing mod_rewrite issues

 | 7 Jan 2009 02:13

Please excuse me while I hunt some issues with this site after upgrading wordpress, gallery2 and wpg2…

Site upgrades

 | 6 Jan 2009 20:57

Note to self: disable and/or clear rewrite rules before upgrading… (Still in stormy water, just testing if I can update posts now)

Moving countries #1

 | 11 Feb 2008 12:05

Not posted much about moving countries yet. As I’m on a roll I might as well just give a little update for all those who know me and wonder what I’m up to.

We’re not out of the boxes yet but working hard to get there. Hayley’s work and my CCIE are both ensuring that many hours are spent cleaning, drilling, moving and sorting. Trying to fit the same ammount of stuff in a different house is proving to be quite the challenge. It’s much like one of those kiddy puzzles where you have to move the squares around to find the picture. I often ended up picking the squares out and then putting them back in order. Sadly I can’t apply the same process here.

Due to family and work related deadlines we’ll have to get the study in order before the end of the month. Now if only I can get my phone system to behave and get myself access to nscglobals CCIE lab then I should be all set to go come March.

F5 certification

 | 11:32

Not posted much recently, it’s time to add some more meat…

Last week I passed the F5 BIG-IP LTM v9.0 essentials exam. Was easier than I thought, however tomorrow I may be humbled further as I go for the advanced version of the F5 BIG-IP LTM v9.0 test. Studying with the training books from 4 days worth of training but without further hands on is not what I call fun. Admittedly it’s a lot easier than CCIE so what really am I moaning about. I suppose it the fact that I’m not studying for my next lab…

Humbling experience

 | 11:27

Ouch. Humility is a painful process…

I’ve just been taught a lesson in humility and authorship. My post about Cisco’s NTP authentication implementation received a comment from a certain Frank. I’ve added my comment and need to verify my statment as soon as I can manage to get some hands-on in a lab again (not got Dynamips set-up yet)…

Back but not quite [fixed]

 | 5 Feb 2008 07:47

Completed a server migration the weekend before last. Had to spend some time on my DNS configuration/migration and email. Both of which are now working as they should but doesn’t look right. Mailed the author of the vSlider3.[0|1] theme I use as it seems it’s unable to read the settings.

Odd things is the files, permissions and database are the same as what I have on the old server. Still there it looks perfect and here it doesn’t… Suggestions welcome! Reverting back to the default theme comes up fine. Where does vSlider store its settings?

[edit, 6 Feb 2008] Right, sorted the theme problem. A row in my WordPress database had gone weird, not sure what exactly went wrong but it may have been the database sync I used to keep the new server in sync with the now removed server. Anyway, I removed row vSlider from table wp_options and the theme then created a new one with default settings. Still trying to figure out what all my personalised settings were so please bear with me while I tinker away.

Changing jobs

 | 26 Nov 2007 21:19

Finally some news to write. Not that I haven’t been busy but just not with CCIE. Have had too much on my mind and finally I can write about it.

Today I’ve resigned from my position at Easynet and signed with nscglobal as a Consultant. First thing while writing here is to thank Easynet for the time there, the opportunities and trust given to me. Despite moving my desk from Rotterdam to Amsterdam within six months of employment, I have thoroughly enjoyed working for Easynet. Seeing it mature from a internationally fragmented company into an upcoming global enterprise player has been both challenging and inspiring.

For those who don’t know nscglobal, they’re a UK integrator and I’ll be working in one of their London offices. This means moving from The Netherlands to the United Kingdom and we’ll be doing so physically in January. We’re looking for a rental house for multiple reasons but for this site the relevant one is my CCIE. Once in the UK I need to start focussing on my CCIE again and I hope to be able to do so with the support of some of the CCIE’s nscglobal has. So be ready for some new CCIE updates starting January.

Till then I’ll probably blog about whatever technology comes my way during the move. For example the UK mobile operator 3 has an offer with free Skype calls so I might be looking into UMTS coverage in London, Hitchin and the rest of the extended North of London. Plus I’ll be looking for a hosting location for my two servers, offers are welcome. Offers for dedicated hosting too, might help the uptime of things… My VoIP setup will have to change as well, only slightly as I’ll only be adding an FXO port at home.

Anyway just keep reading and you’ll find out, the great thing is that I don’t have to keep silent any more about what is going on and that we’re looking forward to new things.

Debian Lenny snmpd IP binding

 | 12 Oct 2007 15:09

Yet another non CCIE post 😉

It appears that Debian Lenny by default only binds to (localhost). I had to add the following two lines to snmpd.conf to get snmpd to listen to external requests.

interface eth0

I eventually found the solution at

No IP unreachables (and Cacti)

 | 11 Oct 2007 15:49

*Sigh* Took me an hour or two to figure this one out. Cacti now does a ping before actually polling a device for stats. I’m running a small cacti site which had been neglected for a long time. After updating cacti and cleaning up some mess I was confused why one router did get polled and the other’s graphs remained a dumb “nan”.

I debugged and pinged, even installed hping3 to do UDP pings. I don’t want to run cacti as root, especially not on a vhost. So the UDP ping had to work. The pings arrived but still no replies.

Getting sidetracked I noticed that the one router that did work was being hit by SSH login attempts and it’s cpu was spiking. An ACL took care of the break-in attempts but then I noticed that directed broadcasts were made to my server’s segment. So I nailed that down plus proxy-arps when I noticed that the router which had worked before now was causing errors in Cacti as well.

Tracking back I noticed that the UDP ping ‘replies’ were unreachables rather than ICMP replies (doh, how obvious!) . I enabled IP unreachables on both routers again and I was done. It’s amazing how blind one can be at times to the blatantly obvious…

Exam price increase

 | 10 Oct 2007 10:33

Only just noticed but in effect since September 7th. The CCIE lab exam has gone up from $1250 to $1400, which results in $1694,- / €1199,30 including the 21% VAT for the Brussels lab location.

Even though it’s a 12% price increase it’s been 8 years since the previous increase. It’s been argued on Groupstudy that a 2% annual increase is not bad as it’s relatively on par with the inflation we’ve seen over the last 8 years. Never the less for those of us forced to pay for our own labs it’s a bitter pill to take.

Also note that all exams from CCNA to the CCIE written and lab have increased in price.


 | 4 Oct 2007 21:30

I’m normally quite weary of sites tracking my behaviour and have NoScript installed on FireFox myself to control this. It’s amazing to see how much crap NoScript blocks.

Well, I kinda joined the evil camp by installing HitTail. In my defence, HitTail only looks at how people come to my site. It does not track users (to my knowledge that is). More specifically it tells me what search strings resulted in hits on my site.

I’ve come up with the idea that I’ll use these hits to delve deeper into stuff. I’m quite impressed by some other sites which go into intricate detail of current hot topics, be it training subjects or market hyped topics. My main priority will remain my certification. But looking beyond my 1st CCIE, I’m not sure what the future will bring. Could be another CCIE track or VoIP related, maybe even PRINCE2 or even something Juniper. Only time will tell.

However I really like the idea of addressing hot items. I realise that most google (etc) hits on my site will be related to the current content of my site. Guess I’ll have to involve the things I’m working on at work. But I’m open to suggestions, so if you have requests or suggestions for (finding) good topics then by all means leave a comment!


 | 20:20

A recent question prompted this post. I’ve noticed that my site is getting more popular, despite my silence over the past weeks. I hope to propperly break the silence soon. All I can say now is that I’m busy working out an action plan towards my next lab attempt. By no means am I giving up!

Since my last post I’ve been very busy with work related issues and as such have not had the time or the right frame of mind to study. Please bear with me as I work to get back into the game. Feel free to comment on my previous posts, or this one if you like. It really helps me to know that other find this stuff useful.

Static routes since 12.3

 | 31 Aug 2007 10:56

Since 12.3 (T?), static routes pointing to interfaces will be advertised by RIP and EIGRP as these static subnets are assumed to be part of the interfaces on which RIP and/or EIGRP is activated.

ip route prefix mask {ip-address | interface-type interface-number [ip-address]} [dhcp] [distance] [name next-hop-name] [permanent | track number] [tag tag]

Show me more… »

Activity limit exceeded

 | 16 Aug 2007 00:04

Eek, Cisco keeps tabs on page hits when checking available lab seats. I set up firefox to automatically reload the page which works fine but resulted in me being locked out. Luckily only for a day but at 28 days before my ideal lab date this is not funny.

The following advice to all who’re desperate for a lab date: Be persistent but do not over do it.

ERROR: The ‘Available Lab Seats’ activity limit for the candidate has been exceeded for today. Please try again tomorrow.