Configuring QoS with Cisco's Intent-Based Networking

career success ccna r/s Jan 09, 2018

Over the past few months, you might have noticed Cisco’s publicity push regarding intent-based networking. The first time I saw this new brand messaging was at the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, when I arrived for Cisco Live 2017. Walking up and down the Vegas strip, there it was again, larger than life on the Cosmopolitan Hotel's sign.

Then, once attending Cisco Live, I repeatedly heard the message and the promise of intent-based networking. That’s the focus of this blog post: what is intent-based networking, and how can it make your life easier. Even though intent-based networking can ease the configuration of multiple features, to provide a tangible example, this blog post focuses on how it can be used for quality of service (QoS) configuration.

At a high level, intent-based networking is the idea that you can easily communicate to your network the behavior you wish to be carried out in the network, without the need to know the underlying command line...

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Fundamentals of QoS


Last week (on Cyber Monday), I did a webinar covering the theory and configuration of multiple QoS mechanisms. Here's what you'll learn in this replay of that webinar:

  • Learn QoS Mechanisms
  • Understand QoS Markings
  • Demystify Weighted RED
  • Select Appropriate Queuing
  • Explain the "Token Bucket"
  • Configure QoS Using MQC

Enjoy the webinar replay!

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945

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5 SDN Concepts You've Gotta Know

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Nov 28, 2017

I recently did a Facebook Live session covering 5 major Software Defined Networking (SDN) concepts. If you missed the live session, or just want to watch a replay, check out this video.

We cover:

  1. Intro to SDN
  2. Python Installation
  3. Basic Python Programming
  4. Configuring a Router with Python
  5. APIC-EM Applications

BONUS: I'm offering viewers of this video $50 off my Fundamentals of Network Programmability video training series. That means, you only pay $147, as compared to the regular price of $197. To get your $50 discount, click HERE.


Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945

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Configuring Quality of Service Using MQC

The Need to Know MQC in a World of Automation

These days, Quality of Service (QoS) can be configured relatively easy. If we’re using the APIC-EM as a network controller to manage our routers and switches, we can simply point and click our way through the EasyQoS utility and have a very robust QoS configuration applied to our devices. Even at the command line interface (CLI) of a router a switch, we could invoke the power of AutoQoS VoIP (to optimize QoS settings for voice traffic, or (just on routers) AutoQoS for the Enterprise (to discover network traffic patterns and create a customized QoS configuration to reflect our network’s specific characteristics).

However, what if you need to make an adjustment to such dynamically generated QoS settings? If you examine the underpinnings of any of these QoS automation tools, you’ll see they all use the same approach to configure most (of not all) of their QoS settings. This approach is called Modular QoS CLI, or MQC for...

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Fundamentals of Auto Smartports

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Sep 26, 2017

The Auto Smartports feature available on Cisco Catalyst switches allows a port to automatically detect that you’ve attached a device it can recognize (e.g. a Cisco IP Phone, wireless access point, video surveillance camera, etc.)

Then, it runs a macro on that port to apply a "best practice configuration," including QoS, STP, and security settings.

This video introduces you to this exciting feature and gives you a configuration demonstration.

For scaling automatic configurations beyond a single switch, check out Cisco’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions. In fact, you can sign up for my Free SDN Mini-Course by clicking HERE.

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945

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3-Year Anniversary & My First Live On-Line Training Class In 3 Years

ccna r/s Sep 19, 2017

Some of my blog posts (most of them, in fact) focus on teaching you some technical content or offer career advice. But, sometimes, I just need to share a major milestone with you. That’s what I’m doing in this post (actually, a couple of major milestones), and I hope you can (virtually) celebrate with me.

The first milestone is my 3-year anniversary of being in business full-time as Kevin Wallace Training, LLC. Specifically, on Sept. 26, 2014, I walked away from my 14-year position as an instructor for a Cisco Learning Partner (CLP) to run my own business.

During the past three years, I’ve released a ton of training videos. However, I hadn’t actually taught a live online class, allowing me to interact with participants. That all changed this month, which brings us to the second milestone.

Earlier this week (I’m writing this on 9/15/17), I wrapped up my first live-online training class in about three years. I was given the opportunity to...

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The 3 Topics You Need To Know For Your CCNA R/S Exam

ccna r/s May 23, 2017

Studying for your CCNA R/S (200-125) exam? If so, a perusal of the exam topics list can be daunting. Clearly, you’re going to spend a significant amount of time getting at least a passing familiarity with the myriad of topics. However, your focus should not be spread evenly over all topics. Rather, there are some topics that need a disproportionately large amount of study.

That’s the focus of this blog post, identifying 3 of the topics likely to appear multiple times on your 200-125 exam. These topics won’t come as any surprise, but I hope this will be a reminder to expend that extra measure of effort when reviewing “the big 3.” Let’s check out the list:

1. IP Addressing

To be prepared for IP addressing questions on the CCNA R/S exam, you need several skills, including:

  • Knowing how to convert between dotted decimal notation (e.g. and slash notation (e.g. /24) for subnet masks.
  • Determining the number of useable IPv4 addresses in a...
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Introduction to Python for Cisco Network Professionals

career success ccna r/s Mar 20, 2017

The day-to-day tasks of Cisco network engineers are in the midst of a major industry shift. Specifically, we’re moving away from traditional command line interface (CLI) commands, and moving towards having programs do the work for us. The industry term for this new environment is Software Defined Networking (SDN). Cisco’s SDN product suite is called ACI. As an example, we could write a program to talk with a Cisco APIC controller, which could then send out commands to multiple Cisco devices (e.g. routers and switches).

This change is going to require Cisco engineers to become proficient in programming, and the most common programming language for SDN is the Python programming language. Unfortunately, the challenge of learning a new programming language can be a bit daunting even to seasoned engineers.

Fortunately, this video will break the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) surrounding Python. Specifically, in this video, you’ll learn:

  • How to download Python...
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Understanding EIGRP Part 6 (Router ID and Neighborship Requirements)

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Feb 23, 2017

This blog post wraps up our series on Understanding EIGRP by discussing two final topics:

  • The EIGRP Router ID
  • EIGRP's Neighborship Requirements

Let's begin our discussion by considering the EIGRP router ID.


Each EIGRP-speaking router has an associated EIGRP router ID (RID). The RID is a 32-bit value written in dotted decimal format, like an IPv4 address. A router’s EIGRP RID is determined when the EIGRP process starts. Interestingly, EIGRP uses the same steps to RID calculation as does OSPF. The following list identifies these step, in sequential order:

Step 1. Use the configured RID value (using the eigrp router-id rid EIGRP router configuration mode command).

Step 2. If no RID is configured, use the highest IPv4 address on a loopback interface in the up/up state.

Step 3. If no loopback interface is configured with an IPv4 address, use the highest IPv4 address on a non-loopback interface.

Interestingly, while EIGRP requires a router to have a RID, the...

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Understanding EIGRP – Part 5 (Static Neighbors)

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Feb 05, 2017

Typically, an EIGRP-speaking router dynamically discovers its neighbors, by sending multicast Hello messages. However, there is an option to statically configure those neighbors, and communicate with them via unicast messages. This is rarely done, but could on rare occasion be useful.

Consider for example a Frame Relay WAN. Imagine that router A has an interface configured with ten Frame Relay permanent virtual circuits (PVCs). At the other end of two of those PVCs resides EIGRP-speaking routers. However, the other eight PVCs do not have an EIGRP-speaking router at the far end. In such a topology, if router A’s WAN interface was participating in EIGRP, then router A would have to replicate its EIGRP Hello message and send a copy out all ten PVCs, resulting in an increased processor burden on router A and increased the bandwidth usage (unnecessarily) on the eight PVCs not connecting to an EIGRP router. This is the type of situation that would benefit from our statically...

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