Category Archives: Networking

Tip to Increase Wifi Speeds on an 802.11ac Network

For the past couple of months, I have been benchmarking many Enterprise Access Points, and have tried to test every possible variable I can think of. During my testing, I found a “trick” that increased my Wifi speeds dramatically. First let me explain…

Most/All Enterprise Access Points (Aruba, Cisco, Meraki, Rukus, etc) use a feature called “Band Steering”, which steers 5Ghz compatible devices to use the 5Ghz channels. I always assumed that if I had a 5Ghz capable laptop, I would always be on a 5Ghz channel. (Conditions permitting). And while that is true, Ive noticed the access points handling my connection in some sort of “5Ghz Compatible” mode. (My made up term).
What I mean by 5Ghz compatible mode, is I am running on the 5Ghz spectrum, and my laptop has an 802.11ac chipset, yet my speeds increase dramatically when I force by laptop to only connect using 802.11a. I guess I assumed I would always connect via 802.11ac if both laptop and AP supported it.

So here it the trick (not really a trick).

  1. Open Network Connections and Right-ClickProperties on your Wifi Adapter

2. Click Configure on the window that appears

 

3. Click AdvancedWireless Mode – and change value to 802.11a

My average speed increased as follows (transferring 20 MB Files)
Average Upload Time: 13.7% Faster
Average Upload Mbps: 16% Increase
Average Download Time: 52% Faster
Average Download Mbps: 53% Increase

Just remember to switch this back in places that don’t have 802.11ac Wifi or else you may not have a wireless connection at all!

Put SonicWall into Safe Mode

When your SonicWall has gone AWOL or if you have messed something up, there is a pretty easy way to get things back on the right track. Just follow these instructions.

– Unplug the device
– Push a pin the the small hole in the back of the device for 10 seconds (until the red lights flash)
– After, connect to the device via web browser by going to http://192.168.168.168
– Username: admin and Password: password
– From there you can restore from a backup file or start from scratch

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Brocade Fibre Channel Zoning

So you want to learn how to zone you fibre channel switches? This post will describe how to do zoning through any Brocade Fibre Channel Switch.

After installing your FC Switch and getting in an IP, Login to it by going to the IP address. It requires a specific version of Java and I have found it works best in Firefox than any other browser.

Once logged into the Switch, you should be presented with the Main Switch Admin page that will look something like this. (Each model varies slightly):

Click Configure at the top of the Screen and Choose “Zone Admin”. A new Window will appear and look like this:

Here is where all the magic happens. In FC Zoning, the goal is to create “VLAN-Like” objects called zones that contain the WWNs of your HBAs and Storage.

First off, lets zone in your SAN. Make sure the only cables plugged into your Fibre Channel Switch, are those from your SAN. (This will make explaining things easier).
We need to create an Alias for the WWNs of your SAN. To do this, I click on the Alias Tab and Select the “New Alias’ Button.

Give your Alias a descriptive name, like SAN_WWNs_ Alias.

Expand the WWN’s on the lefthand side. You’ll want to click the + on the WWNs to view the Second-Level Object. Add those objects to this new Alias you created. (See the image above or below for reference).

After you have the SAN Alias created and have added the WWNs, click on the “ZONE” tab.
Now we will create a new Zone and add the Alias we just created to the zone.
Click the “New Zone” Button and give it a name like “SAN_ WWNs_Zone”.
Expand the Aliases on the left and add the Alias you created to this zone.
If you have a two port FC card, there should only be two WWN’s per switch. Repeat this process on your other switch.

Now for the Servers- We will want to plug the servers in, one at a time, zone each server, and then plug in the next server. This will help us identify which server is which.
When you plug in a server into the FC switch, you will see a new WWN.

You need to go to the Alias Tab and create a new Alias and name is something like: “ServerName”.
Expand the WWN and add the Second-Level WWN object to this Alias.

Next, go to the “ZONE” tab and Create a new zone, something like “Servername+SAN_WWNs”.
Add the Server Alias you created PLUS the “SAN_WWNs_Alias”.
Again, you will add the server Alias and the SAN Alias into this Zone.

Finally, click on the Zone Config Tab and create a new Zone Config. Add all the Zones you created into this Zone Config Tab. This is basically a big file will all your settings.

Click on Save Config at the top and wait about 30 seconds for the changes to be saved. You’ll see a success message in the bottom log screen.
The select Enable Config. Wait another 30 seconds for the settings to be enabled and take effect.

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Brocade Fibre Channel Zoning – Dell Compellent

There are good step by step zoning documents out on the internet, so I assume this post will be a success. This post will explain how to do Fibre Channel Zoning using any type of Brocade Fibre Channel Switch. In this case, I am zoning in a Dell Compellent SAN, but these steps basically apply for any type of SAN.

Fibre Channel Zoning for Dell Compellent

After Installing your FC Switch, Login to it by going to the IP address in a web browser. It requires a specific version of Java and I have found it works best in Firefox than any other browser.

Once logged into the Switch, you should be presented with the Main Switch Admin page that will look something like this. (Each model varies slightly):

Click Configure at the top of the Screen and Choose “Zone Admin”. A new Window will appear and look like this:

Here is where all the magic happens. In FC Zoning, the goal is to create “VLAN-Like” objects called zones that contain the WWNs of your Server and Storage HBAs.

Since I am configuring this for a Compellent SAN, the first thing I need to do is create an Alias for all the Physical WWNs. To do this, I click on the Alias Tab and Select the “New Alias” Button.

Give your Alias a descriptive name, like SAN_Phy_WWNs_ Alias.

Expand the WWN’s on the lefthand side. Keep this window on the right side of your screen with the Compellent Storage Center GUI opened on the lefthand side with the Fibre Channel IO cards expanded so you can see their WWNs.

Add all the Physical WWNs you see in the switch that match up with the Physical WWNs on the Compellent SAN. (Physical WWNs on Compellent are the Green objects).
If you have a two port card, you will only see two Physical WWN’s (Per switch).
After you have added the two Physical WWNs to this alias you created, you will need to do this exact same thing on your other switch, only this time you will use the OTHER Compellent Physical WWNs you see in the list.

When finished, create a new alias and call is something like “SAN_Virt_WWNs_Alias”.
This time you will follow the same steps as above but you will be adding the Virtual WWNs of the Compellent into this alias. The Virtual WWNs are the ones in blue. Again, if you have a two port FC card, there should only be two WWN’s PER SWITCH. Repeat this process on your other switch for the other Virtual WWNs.

Next we create two Zones. One Zone that includes the Alias of the Physical WWNs and one zone that contains the Alias of the Virtual WWNs. TO do this, click on the Zone tab and select new Zone.

Name the Zones something like “SAN_Virt_WWNs” and “SAN_Phys_WWNs”.
In one zone add JUST the “SAN_Virtual_WWN_Alias” Alias, and in a new Zone and JUST “SAN_Phys_WWNs_Alias”

Now for the Servers- When you plug in a server into the FC switch, you will see a new WWN.

You need to go to the Alias Tab and create a new Alias and name is something like: “ServerName”.
Expand the WWN and add the Second-Level WWN object to this Alias.

Next, go to the Zone tab and Create a new zone, something like “Servername+SAN_WWNs”.
Add the Server Alias you created PLUS the “SAN_Virtual_WWNs” Alias.
You will need to make sure each Server you connect to the SAN has It’s server alias + The SAN’s Virtual WWN’s. 

Finally, click on the Zone Config Tab and create a new Zone Config. Add all the Zones you created into this Zone Config Tab. This is basically a big file will all your settings.

Click on Save Config at the top and wait about 30 seconds for the changes to be saved. You’ll see a success message in the bottom log screen.
The select Enable Config. Wait another 30 seconds for the settings to be enabled and take effect.

 

To recap, these are the aliases and zones you will need to create:

Compellent_Phy_WWNs: Alias
Compellent_Virt_WWNs: Alias

Compellent_Phy_Alias: Zone
Compellent_Virt_Alias: Zone

ServerWWN+Compellent_Virt_WWN: Zone

Add all those to your zone config.

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What it’s like to be a Network Engineer, Translated End-User Language

User: I think we are having a major road issue.

Me: What? No, I just checked, the roads are fine. I was actually just on the roads.

User: No I’m pretty sure the roads are down because I’m not getting Pizzas.

Me: Everything else on the roads is fine. What do you mean you aren’t getting Pizzas.

User: I used to get Pizzas when I ordered them, now I’m not getting them. It has to be a road issue.

Me: As I said, the roads are fine. Where are you getting pizzas from?

User:…I’m not really sure. Can you check all places that deliver pizzas?

Me: No I’m not even sure all the places that deliver pizza. You need to narrow it down.

User: I think it’s Subway.

Me: Ok I’ll check…No I just looked and Subway doesn’t deliver pizzas.

User: I’m pretty sure it is Subway. Can you just allow all food from Subway and we can see if Pizza shows up?

Me: Sigh, fine I’ve allowed all food from Subway, but I don’t think that is the issue.

User: Yeah I’m still not getting pizza. Can you check the roads?

Me: It’s not the roads, the roads are fine. I’m pretty sure Subway isn’t the place.

User: Ok I found it, its Papa Johns.

Me: Ok I looked and Papa Johns does deliver pizza. Is it the local papa johns or one in a different town?

User: I don’t know. Can you allow pizza from all Papa Johns to me?

Me: No I can’t do that. Can you get me an address for Papa Johns?

User: No, I only know it as Papa Johns. Can you get me all the addresses of all Papa Johns and I’ll tell you if one of them is correct?

Me: No I don’t have time for that. Ok I looked at the local one and it looks like they have sent you pizza in the past and they are currently allowed to send you pizzas. Try ordering a pizza while I watch.

User: Yeah still no pizza. I’m guessing they are getting blocked at the freeway. Can you check the freeway to make sure they can get through?

Me: NO this is a local delivery. They aren’t even using the freeway.

User: Ok, well then it has to be a road issue.

Me: NO the roads are fine. OK I just drove from the papa johns to the address they have on file for you and there is nothing there.

User: Hmm, wait we did move recently.

Me: Did you give your new address to Papa johns?

User: no, I just thought they would be able to look me up by name.

Me: No they need your new address. What’s your new address?

User: I’m not really sure. Can you look it up?

Me: sigh, give me a second…Ok I found your address and gave it to Papa Johns. Try ordering a pizza now.

User: HEY PIZZA JUST SHOWED UP!

Me: Ok, good.

User to everyone else they know: I apologize for the delay in the pizza but there was a major road issue that was preventing the pizza from getting to me. The network engineer has fixed the roads and we are able to get pizza again.

Me: but it wasn’t the roads…whatever.

User: oh can you also check on an issue where Chinese food isn’t getting to me? I think it may be a road issue.

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