Tag Archives: brocade

BCEFP 2015 certified!

Passed the Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional 2015 exam in May and I finally got the results back!

https://www.certmetrics.com/brocade/public/transcript.aspx?transcript=8XRF1FE12MR41GC4

This one felt quite hairy compared to the other tests I’ve taken. Definitely recommend doing the course / getting some real hands-on experience for these certifications.

BCEFP 2015 – Studying for the exam – part 3

This third post  focuses on the remaining sources of information I had for studying for the BCEPF. At the time this post is published I have taken the exam.

When I make comments to CLI commands I put them after a #.

This is part of a series of posts on the topic of studying for Brocade’s Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional.

The two previous posts: Objectives and reading materialscourse and nutshell guide and NOS Admin Guide

 

VDX Troubleshooting Course

 

The material available also feels very short, same as the beta material available for the CEF300 , like only the parts of the slides that were updated for the BCEFP 2015 beta were included.
When a slide says “(cont.)” but there was no previous slides on this topic, that’s a hint :)
Take the (currently free) course on Brocade’s SABA – it’s under Education on my.brocade.com. It has way more slides and info.

 

Some notes from the course:

Firmware Upgrade

  • Can upgrade all/selected RBridges in a logical chassis: firmware download logical-chassis
  • FTP/SCP/SFTP/USB(only local switch with USB)
  • By default it stages firmware only – so no reboot or activate. By adding auto-activate it reboots all RBRidges at the same time, not recommended.

SNMP

  • When BNA discovers a switch it automagically configures the switch to send traps (UDP 162) to the BNA server.

Fabric Formation:

  • Requires: Licenses. Same VCS ID, unique RBridge ID and same VCS mode (Fabric Cluster or Logical Chassis)
  • Check:
    • ISL ports are operational (show fabric islports)
    • Incompatible Firmware Levels

ISLs:

  • no fabric isl enable # this disables ISL formation. This makes it an edge port
  • CPU could be too busy to send ISL keepalives
  • If ISL is segmented and interface is up/up – it’s probably a config issue.

 

vLAGs:

  • show running-config interface TenGigabitEthernet 1/0/2 # shows config
    • no shutdown
    • channel-group $NUMBER mode active type standard # active – LACP. Standard/Brocade proprietary.
  • show interface TenGigabitEthernet 1/0/2 # shows status
    • When counters are non-zero and looking for errors. Clear them and compare the delta.

 

Other:

  • show interface stats brief # shows discards, errors and CRC
  • VRRP:
    • show vrrp detail
    • pre-empting : if a virtual router comes online with higher priority than the current it will take over
    • VRRPE: Can enable short-path-forwarding. If one of the backup virtual routers (that don’t own the Virtual IP) can actually forward traffic if that is advantageous.

 

FCoE:

  • show running-config zoning # show FCoE zoning
  • show fabric all #
    • RBRidge with this name: fcr_fd_160 # this comes online when fabrics are connected and Fibre Channel Routing is used.
    • RBRidge with this name: fcr_xd_4_100 # this comes online when devices across FC Fabrics can communicate. Don’t see this? Check zoning.

iSCSI:

BCEFP practice questions / answers

http://community.brocade.com/t5/Certification/BCEFP-2013-Exam-150-180-Practice-Questions/ta-p/4099

These are decent practice questions and is nice because the answers give some explanation to the answers too.

Other

Intro to VCS Fabric Technology: http://www.brocade.com/downloads/documents/white_papers/intro-vcs-fabric-technology-wp.pdf

CFP- MSA CFP2 Hardweare Specs:

  • about the 40/100Gbps CFP2 SFP. MSA – multi-source agreement.
  • CFP2 module shall support LC, MTP12 and MTP24 optical connector types. MPO

NOS 4.1.1 release notes (p4,10,28,50): 

  • 4.1.0 and later support VRRP-E across VCS fabrics.
  • 4.1.0 and later have vlag ignore split on by default
  • clear mac-address-table can clear MAC addresses associated with vLAGs and on other switches
  • Page 50 Has a table of scalability numbers for various features such as (6710 VCS, 6740 VCS, 8770 VCS):
    • max members of a LAG (8,16,8)
    • max switches in a fabric/logical cluster (24,32,32)
    • max ECMP paths (8,8,16)
    • max member ports in a vLAG (64)
    • max member of VMs (8k)
    • max ARP entries (8k,12,50k)

 

Network OS Command Reference v4.1.1 53-1003226-01

Pages 299, 1258-1260,1266,1297,1317,1318

  • firmware download
  • snmp-server user # access
  • snmp-server v3host # trap recipients
  • spanning-tree edgeport # quickly transitions to forwarding state: only for RSTP/MSTP. Portfast for STP.
  • switchport access # only allows untagged and priority tagged
  • switchport trunk allowed vlan ${rspan-vlan} # add allowed VLAN on trunks on L2 interfaces in trunk mode
  • switchport trunk default-vlan # put all non-matching traffic into this VLAN

 

Hardware reference manuals

VDX 6740 Hardware Reference Manual 53-1002829-02: Page 1

  • 6470: 24 1/10GbE SFP+ ports.
  • 6740T: 24 RJ-45
  • 6740-1G: 48 RJ-45 Base-T. 10Gb with license.

VDX 8770-4 / 8770-8 Hardware Reference Manual 53-1002563-03: 

  • Chapter 1, Page 1:
    • Features CloudPlex.
    • Requires NOS 3.0.0 or greater.
    • 8770-8:
      • Up to 384 10GbE or 96 40GbE. Dual MM. 6 SFM. Max 8 PSU. 4 Fans. SX or LX 1Gbps SFP transceivers.
    • 8770-4:
  • Chapter 3, Page 32
    • For copper connections to < 1Gbps BaseT switches a crossover cable is needed (but it might not be if MDI/MDIX works..).
    • LC connectors for fiber ports

VDX 6730 Hardware Reference Manual 53-1002389-06: Pages 1,2,15

  • 6730-32: 32-ports. 6730-76: 76 ports. 8 or 16 x 8GB FC ports.

 

Network OS Software Licensing Guide v4.1 53-1003164-01

Pages 11-13

  • All have FCoE license (except 6710).
  • All have POD licenses (except 8770)
  • 6740 have 10/40GbE port upgrades
  • 8770 have L3 and Advanced Services

Notes:

  • for multi-hop FCoE it is needed on each node
  • L3: OSFP, VRRP, PIM-SM, Route-Maps, prefix list
  • Advanced: FCoE and L3
  • After installing a time-based license you cannot change system date or time. NTP is however not blocked. If you are using NTP, don’t change system date/time when a time-based license is installed.

BCEFP 2015 – Studying for the exam – part 2

This second post  focuses on the NOS Admin Guide.

When I make comments to CLI commands I put them after a #.

This is part of a series of posts on the topic of studying for Brocade’s Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional.

The two previous posts: Objectives and reading materials and course and nutshell guide

The NOS 4.1.1 Admin Guide

I’ve been reading the pages on paper (together with a highlighter :) that I printed with the help of my script below and there is lots of goodness in there.
For sure some topics are brought up without any preamble so for these I just make a note in the paper that I need to check out this other thing later.
Especially the Fibre Channel things take up quite a lot of pages. I thought in these devices FC would not be with so much focus but it seems like they do re-use a lot of the things in FC that works.

Notes and acronyms (page in NOS Admin Guide):

  • DCB – lossless. Able to allocate bandwidth on links.
  • TRILL – transparent interconnections of lots of links.
  • RBridge – Routing Bridge. Lowest WWN or priority.
  • Looks like on p54 only the text about Logical Chassis cluster config is applicable.
  • Trunking between VDX8770 and B8000 are not supported (B8000 is some early version of FCoE from Brocade, not visible on Brocade’s page where they list their switches)
  • ECMP – Equal-cost multi-path routing (p149)
  • AG – VCS must be enabled for Access Gateway
  • AMPP – Automatic Migration of Port Profiles – some OK pictures around p375
  • VRF – Virtual Routing and Forwarding

 

Questions:

  • There is also a Openstack Neutron Plugin (p29)
  • Would be good to include also page 114 before page 115 to see what they mean with leaf/spine/core (p115)
  • OOB access to console is via serial (p115)
  • How to reload a group of switches? (p115)
    • reload system rbridge-id all
  • Does trill use IS-IS type link-state? (p136) Yes
  • Can VF_Ports be anywhere in the fabric? (p202) Yes, they must be mapped to N_Ports.
  • Is there no web interface on the VDX? (p269) Probably not, there are some “http server” and “ip http-server” commands.
  • What are valid upgrade paths? Not so clear. 3.0.0 to 4.0.0 is not OK. 3.0.1 to 4.0.0 is OK. (p341)
  • What is this netinstall? (p371) – 10 hits on google: brocade “netinstall” vdx
  • What does the asterisk mean in the output of “do show vcs” ? (p597) The one you are running the command on? Is not principal RBRidge, that is >.

 

Commands (# comments) (page):

  • backup config: copy rbridge-running-config rbridge-id rbridge-id location_config
    • copy rbridge-running-config rbridge-id 2 scp://user:pw@host
  • vcs
    • no vcs logical-chassis enable # remove a node from logical chassis cluster (p76)
    • vcs replace rbridge-id 3 # replace RBridge with id 3 (p77)
    • enable (p139)
    • virtual ip address 10.1.1.1 (p143)
  • config terminal # to enter global exec mode (p94)
  • firmware download (p119)
  • logical-chassis principal-switchover (p138)
    • and logical-chassis principal-priority are the only logical-chassis commands
  • disabling a port:
    • shutdown # on an ISL brings down link and FSPF adjacency.
    • no fabric isl enable #  link stays up, shorter reconvergence
  • show
    • vcs virtual-ip (p143)
  • vcenter/vnetwork # used to connect to a vcenter and to discover hosts. (p243)
  • bind # create persistent binding between logical FCoE port and 10G/40G/LAG port. Port or MAC, not both. (p345)
  • enable statistics direction # for VXLAN tunnels to enable statistics on VLANs. (p365)
  • no spanning-tree shutdown # default for all VLANs – meaning it’s enabled. (p381)
  • lacp system-priority 25000 # For deciding which system is in charge of resolving LAG conflicts. (p437)
  • nas server-ip IP/PREFIX # Set IPs for AutoQoS for NAS (p506)
  • address-family ipv4 unicast # Used to enter IPv4 config in a VRF (p609)
  • debug lacp pdu # turn on debug (p714)
    • terminal monitor # view debug messages in terminal

Printing the NOS Admin Guide relevant pages:

 

Because the slides for the BCEFP course were insufficient I would get a lot of the basic information about the NOS from the NOS Admin Guide.
In the materials provided the NOS Admin Guide was separated into two documents. The guide is of course available in one pdf. Go to the web version and click on the pdf icon.
This makes printing based on the numbers provided easier. However the NOS Admin Guide for v4.1.1 referenced was one version below the one on the html version.

Now the numbers referenced are the numbers in the document, not the one told by the pdf viewer. So actually page 11 is page 13. Page 135 is 137. 311 is 313. 425 is 427. 517 is 519. 661 is 663. 714 is 716.
I checked a few to make sure there were no major increase due to version difference or elsewhere. One could with a bit of scripting increase each number with two like:

1,13-22,28-33,56-58,77-79,96,117,121,137-146,151,152,193,203-205,212,245-249,255,263,271,313-316,323,324,340-347,363-387,402,405,408,427-435,439,467,485,497,506,508,519-523,543,561,565,567,585,595,596,599,605-611,663-665,670,678,684,688,716,717

Cover page added to make it look nicer when printing. Old numbers:

Network OS Administrator’s Guide v4.1.1 53-1003225-01

Pages 11-20,26-31,54-56,75-77,94,115,119,135-144,149,150,191,201-203,210,243-247,253,261,269,311-314,321,322,338-345,361-385,400,403,406,425-433,437,465,483,495,504,506,517-521,541,559,563,565,583,593,594,597,603-609,661-663,668,676,682,686,714,715

 

BCEFP 2015 – Studying for the exam

In a previous post I listed a some of the sources Brocade listed that one should use when studying for the BCEFP exam. Here I’m going through a those I found some comments on what what they are and what I think of them.

Beta Course Material

The first of the beta material available is something called “Brocade Ethernet Fabric Administration“. This is a few pdfs/slides with notes on them. Introduction of various features and components. Not much detail in the first 10 modules and basically all the modules are awfully short, some are one slide even. Hopefully this is just because it’s a beta. Progressively they become more detailed, which is good to not overwhelm the reader I guess. Checking out the data sheet for the CEF 300 course should give you some idea what you should learn after going through the materials. There are free materials available for the Ethernet Fabric Specialist Accreditation – it’s even on the tube. The youtube video is quite long but it’s an introduction to the thought behind the Ethernet Fabrics. It’s a bit outdated already I hope as they the talk talks about immaturity a lot, less than a year old. The presenter – Chip Copper – also mentions a Fabric Essentials 201 that should be out “later on down the line” – which is not out yet. Boo Urns!

Questions I got while reading material:

  • What is a hard-drop option in an extended ACL?
  • What does “override the control packet trap entries” mean? Brocade communities to the rescue. Is for normal transit traffic and traffic to the CPU == the management interface?

BCEFP Nutshell

I usually print these out, read through a few times and note down anything I don’t get so that I can go through the course materials and user guides to completely understand it. This one is vital.

Some really useful sections:

  • VCS Data Path
  • VCS Fabric – Layer 3 Routing

Some questions I needed to clarify after reading the BCEFP nutshell guide (page numbers):

  • Are there any new hardware represented in the BCEFP 2015 compared to the BCEFP 2013?
    • 6740 – 10GbE, 10GbE/FC and 40GbE ports
    • 6740T – 48 x 1/10GbE
  • VDX6720:
    • Is the VDX 6720-60 oversubscribed?
    • Is the difference between switching and forwarding bandwidth that one is how much the backplane can handle and the other is how much the ports could do?
      • Looks like that, an older version of the 6720 Data Sheet shows this, it’s been removed in a future data sheet.
  • VCS / Logical chassis / Distributed:
    • VCS Modes:
      • Logical Chassis: Requires NOS 4.0.0. Data and config paths are distributed. All is configured from the principal node.
        • Distributed
      • Fabric Cluster Mode: Data paths are distributed. Config is done independently on each node.
        • 8770 and 6740* boot up into this mode by default.
        • Local Only
    • Standalone Mode: Only compact switches support this restricted mode – 6710-6730. Only support NOS 2.1 features. Only IP static routes and in-band management.
  • VDX 8770 and what does N+1 mean? Active passive.
    • 8770-8 is N+1 with loss of one SFM
      • So it can loose one SFM and it still has a redundant SFM? Aye, this can have up to 6 SFM.
    • 8770-4 is not N+1 if one SFM is lost
      • This can have 3 SFM
  • NOS 3 requires cold reboot of standby MM during failover & firmware upgrades. Does NOS 4 do too?
  • What is an unsigned integer? – Hop Count Field in the trill frame.
    • It cannot be negative.
  • VCS features:
    • VCS Edge Port config + LACP: With Brocade type are there more models than a CNA, VDX or Brocade 8000?
    • With NOS v2.0.0a max 8 ECMP paths per switch. Different with NOS 4?
  • From show vcs detail (shows switches in the fabric):
    • What is the Internal IP used for? Unclear, the pattern is: 127.1.0.RBRIDGE ID
    • What does the state “Testing” indicate? Unclear, perhaps when running “diag *” commands?
  • show fabric
    • “show fabric islports” is similar to switchshow shows islports only, how to see device ports
      • show interface switchport # shows all ports in L2 mode (VLAN1)
    • “show fabric all” shows a short list of switches in fabric, similar to fabricshow
  • What is  “Static MAC Pre-Provisioning on vLAG” ? (p55)
  • The fibre length of a link should have deskew value of 7 microseconds. Is this configurable?
    • Looks like it’s not. It’s not in the NOS 411 cmd reference guide anyway.
  • FCOE
    • FCF = FCoE Forwarder. A switch that does both Ethernet and FC
    • ENode = FCoE Node
    • FSB =  FIP Snooping Bridge (Can I get a Yay for nested acronyms?) A FCoE Switch that needs to be connected to an FCF (p67)
    • FCoE Profiles = (p84)
  • priority-table command is just messed up. What do the numbers mean? (p66)
    • It’s a mapping of Priority Groups to Classes of Services.
  • Are Virtual Fabrics on FCoE supported these days?
    • No. FCoE needs to be on VLANs with ID < 4096.
    • Btw, Virtual Fabrics is also a feature on Ethernet. Not only FC. Used when one needs overlapping VLAN IDs – multitenancy.
  • Is the max amount of RBridges in a fabric still 24? (p77)
    • Max 24 in Logical Chassis with VDX 6710-6730. Max 32 for 6740 and 8770.
    • It is the recommended amount. Theoretical max in NOS4 is 239. One below 1111000.
  • Is there a pattern to the MAC addresses of the Switches/RBridges/FD/XD?
  • What is a VMWare Port Group?
  • In RBAC what does it mean that one can access a command but not execute it? (p86)
    • It means one can view the settings, like a ‘show command’ works but not ‘command’ to set the setting.
    • Btw: admin/user accounts are locked, only pw can be changed
  • What are these FRUs: cid-card, compact-flash, mm, SFM? (p89)
    • MM – Management Module
    • SFM – Switch Fabric Modules
    • Compact-Flash – Supposedly where the firmware/configs are stored.
    • CID-Card – Chassis ID – each card has two EEPROM – one critical and a non-critical. The non-critical can be fixed with a “CID Recovery Tool”
  • oscmd – more details about this, how to run a command? (p96)
    • oscmd arp -a
    • oscmd scp localfile remote.server:

The below I’ll bring up in a later post:

VDX Troubleshooting Course

VDX Troubleshooting Course

BCEFP practice questions / answers

http://community.brocade.com/t5/Certification/BCEFP-2013-Exam-150-180-Practice-Questions/ta-p/4099

 

Other

Intro to VCS Fabric Technology: http://www.brocade.com/downloads/documents/white_papers/intro-vcs-fabric-technology-wp.pdf
CFP- MSA CFP2 Hardweare Specs: About the 40/100Gbps CFP2 SFP. MSA – multi-source agreement.
Code names of switches? Find the NOS firmware and look in the file “platform_names”. Quite a few bird names (nighthawk, dragon, superhawk, tomahawk ;), kestrel, falcon, blackbird).

Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional 2015 Beta Exam

Intro

http://community.brocade.com/t5/Certification/BCEFP-2015-Beta-Exam-Information-and-Study-Material/ta-p/58276

The course materials, including references to various resources such as the NOS Admin guide are available on the page above.

The Advanced Ethernet Fabric Troubleshooting (VDX-TS 300-WBT) has the pdf’s on the link above, but it’s also currently free on brocade’s saba education page.

 

Objectives for 2013 exam

Objectives for the exam (2013 version, so might be different for 2015) are:

Theory and Concepts

  • Describe the VCS implementations of TRILL
  • Describe the rate-limiting features in a VCS fabric
  • Identify basic routing concepts and how they interact with an Ethernet fabric
  • Identify VDX hardware components support.

Design

  • Describe the benefits of using TRILL
  • Describe QoS in a VCS fabric
  • Demonstrate knowledge of various types of link aggregation in a VCS fabric
  • Describe VDX hardware used in the design of a VCS fabric
  • Describe AMPP concepts

Implementation and Configuration

  • Demonstrate knowledge of sharing native FC storage with FCoE devices in a VCS fabric
  • Describe the implementation of lossless Ethernet for FCoE and iSCSI traffic
  • Describe how to integrate AMPP into a vCenter environment
  • Demonstrate knowledge how to implement Layer2/Layer3 ACLs in a VCS fabric
  • Demonstrate knowledge how to configure VRRP/VRRP-E on a VDX
  • Demonstrate knowledge how to configure a VCS fabric to connect to traditional Layer 2/Layer 3 switches
  • Demonstrate knowledge how to implement vLAGs

Management

  • Demonstrate knowledge of VDX management features

Troubleshooting

  • Demonstrate advanced troubleshooting knowledge
  • Demonstrate knowledge how to troubleshoot native FCoE and VCS to FC SAN bridging
  • Demonstrate knowledge how to troubleshoot VCS to an IP network

 

 

Page numbers for 2015 beta exam below:

Network OS Administrator’s Guide v4.1.1 53-1003225-01

Pages 11-20,26-31,54-56,75-77,94,115,119,135-144,149,150,191,201-203,210,243-247,253,261,269,311-314,321,

322,338-345,361-385,400,403,406,425-433,437,465,483,495,504,506,517-521,541,559,563,565,583,593,594,597,

603-609,661-663,668,676,682,686,714,715

 

Network OS Command Reference v4.1.1 53-1003226-01

Pages 299, 1258-1260,1266,1297,1317,1318

 

Network OS v4.1.1 Brocade VDX Release Notes

Pages 4,10,28,50

 

Network OS Software Licensing Guide v4.1 53-1003164-01

Pages 11-13

 

VDX 6740 Hardware Reference Manual 53-1002829-02

Page 1
VDX 8770-4 Hardware Reference Manual 53-1002563-03

Chapter 1, Page 1; Chapter 3, Page 32

 

VDX 8770-8 Hardware Reference Manual 53-1002564-03

Chapter 1, Page 1
VDX 6730 Hardware Reference Manual 53-1002389-06

Pages 1,2,15

 

Brocade VDX 8770 Switch Data Sheet GA-DS-1701-04

 

CFP2 Hardware Specification Draft Revision 0.3

Page 46

Brocade Certified Professional Data Center Track – Check!

After ~49 posts on this blog on the topic Brocade the first larger block is finally complete: the Brocade Certified Professional Data Center Track (BCPDC)!

What’s that? So Brocade has several (4) tracks which consist of  certifications/accrediations, some are shared between the tracks and some are only in one track.
Currently, after completing 3 out of 4 you gets the title Brocade Distinguished Architect! Woop!

It took me ~3.5 years (counting since first blog post about BCFA (certified fabric administrator)) to complete all the prerequisites for BCPDC, but naturally I didn’t do it as fast as I could. I was patient and many of the certificates I got by being signing up for Brocade’s beta tests of their certs.

Not that many certificates left to take actually before I can complete another track.
Most of the remaining ones are labeled accreditations, which are unprobro_edu4_cert_pro_data_center_rgbctored tests one does at home.

  • For Brocade Certified Professional Converged Networking (BCPCN) I have 3 accrediations left (Fabric Specialist, FCoE Specialist and Ethernet Fabric Support Specialist) and 1 certification: Ethernet Fabric Professional 2013. The certification I have signed up for the free one I mentioned in an earlier blog post.
  • For Brocade Certified Professional FICON (BCPF) there’s one accrediation (Accredited FICON Specialist) an done certification (Certified Architect for FICON 2013) remaining.
  • For Brocade Certified Professional Internetworking (BCPI) there’s 3 certifications: Certified Layer 4-7 Engineer 2010, Certified Network Professional 2012 and Certified Layer 4-7 Professional 2013.

BANAS – Brocade Certification – Studying

I’m going to focus on the below things when studying for BANAS: They are based on the current objectives listed on Brocade’s page.

 

Brocade Accredited Network Advisor Specialist Exam Topics

  • The Brocade Accredited Network Advisor Specialist exam has these objectives:

Product Features

  • Demonstrate knowledge of Brocade Network Advisor product features

Installation and Configuration

  • Describe the installation and configuration of Brocade Network Advisor

  • Perform SAN Discovery

    • What are seed switches?
  • Perform IP Discovery

    • BNA 170-WBT is a course that’s currently free by Brocade – it’s about IP Discovery in BNA!
    • Once discovered devices are stored in the Management application database. First IP of the device discovered becomes the primary address of the device.
    • Simple/Profile based discovery: single: hostname/IP. Profile: range.
    • Requirements
      • Users must have Discover Setup-IP and “All IP Products AOR” privileges
        • For rediscovery only “All IP Products AOR” is needed?
      • ICMP or telnet must be enabled on devices
      • Snmpv1+v2 or v3 read-write
      • IP range of devices must be known
      • All devices must have SNMP MIB support
    • Access by: “Discover -> IP Products”.
    • One can add default username/password. One can add several and it tries the default and then the rest..
    • It uses OIDs to select products to include/exclude.
      • Cisco/Juniper are available by default.
    • Seed address: the IP the BNA server will use to contact the switches?

Migration

  • Describe considerations when migrating to Brocade Network Advisor from other tools
    • Check out the Installation Guide for BNA.

Troubleshooting

  • Demonstrate knowledge of troubleshooting Brocade Network Advisor

Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional

Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional – BCEFP – is available for free right now! I signed up and if you pass it you’re in the drawing for a $500 amazon coupon each week/month :)

Ethernet Fabric you say? “As a Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional, you must be able to demonstrate knowledge of IP, SAN, and FCoE concepts, “

What to focus on: http://community.brocade.com/t5/Certification/BCEFP-Exam-Preparation/m-p/56467

Nutshells: http://www.brocade.com/education/certification-accreditation/certified-ethernet-fabric-professional/index.page

To register for the exam, head over to the post on reddit. Basically there’s a pdf with the voucher you use when registering for the exam on pearsonvue.

Currently the “CEF 250” is free, but it’s not the main curriculum for the course.

BANAS – Brocade Accredited Network Advisor Specialist

Finally got around to start preparing the last certificate/accreditation – BANAS – to complete the Brocade Data Center Track (ok, not last. There are plenty more!).

It looks like it’s an accreditation showing that the taker can do some basic tasks in Brocade Network Advisor (BNA). This used to be a certification, so it’s probably a bit harder than it might seem!

Please note, this post is not meant to be a replacement for the official Brocade studying recommendation, just my notes on how I’m practicing for it.

Methods:

 

Install in a VM

Not much can be tested without any switches, but installing it a few times is probably helpful. Also getting acquainted with the UI and some things can still be done in the UI like:

  • Set UI options
  • Set up a firmware repository (at least import firmwares, release notes and md5 checksums)
  • Retrieve a SupportSave

Either register on Brocade’s site and get the download that way. Or get it via HP’s public page – for example here. Click on Download.
Because I’m lazy I’m installing it in a Windows 7 x64 VM 2 cores and 4GB RAM is much faster than 2GB. For just installing it you’ll need 3-4GB disk space.
Find install.exe within na1214_hp_windows.zip

The default user/password is: Administrator/password
The user/password you set during installation is for the database.

FTP/SCP/SFTP, syslog, snmp, https. Uses a postgreSQL database.

On the http/https page there are MIBs and the BNA client.

Brocade – Vyatta – Future

Spoke a bit with some people in the Brocade stand at HP Discover in Barcelona. The open source / core http://www.vyatta.org/download will be kept, but could not get any commitment to what will happen to it or if they will update it. The 5400 (VSE, 6.6) and 5600 (VR, 7.x) are however available for a free 60-day trial. With the 5600 having a new architecture and is interfacing more closely with the hardware (using Intel’s DPDK to for example dedicate processes to cores) that improves performance “quite a bit”.

// Update, I since found out about VyOS: http://vyos.net/wiki/Main_Page which is a community fork of the Vyatta Core OS

BCvRP – Brocade Certified virtual Router Professional – Objectives

For training these I set up networks. Many.
Drawing the networks first in LibreOffice Draw and then setting them up with virtual machine templates and LAN segments.

The exam I took in October and because it was a beta exam the results aren’t out until December :)

The BCvRP has the below objectives (included for free are some of my comments on each topic).
None of this should be taken as a replacement for taking the actual course and actually doing these things on a vrouter.
And honestly, the various concepts and technologies described in the objectives below can become very complex. So before taking this course/exam you at a minimum want to know the basics of BGP and setting up an OSPF network should be a breeze.

 

OSPF Multi-Area Concepts

  • Describe OSPF routing concepts
  • Stub area – replace external routes with a default route
  • NSSA – not so stubby – can have a local external route inside a stub area
  • no-summary : exclude inter-area routes
  • LSA – link state advertisements
    • 1 All OSPFs: Lists subnets/links directly connected, does not cross area boundaries
    • 2 from DR: Lists routers connected to a network, does not cross
    • 3 from ABR: Lists networks from outside the local area
    • 4 from ASBR: Summary, lists location of ASBR
    • 5 from ASBR: AS external, list networks outside OSPF AS. 7 for NSSA.
  • Summarization: Good to have continuous addresses in an area, easier to summarize.
    • Do not summarize routes originating in Area 0.

BGP, EBGP and IBGP Concepts

  • Describe gateway protocol concepts
  • BGP Basics
    • Purpose is to determine best path (not necessarily the shortest)
    • TCP Connection, no periodic updates.
    • iBGP – within an AS / eBGP – between AS
    • Attributes – BGP policies – costs
    • eBGP – best to be on the same network
    • TCP port 179
    • A unique AS number is needed, there are private AS numbers.

eBGP

set protocols bgp AS# router-id IP
set protocols bgp AS# neighbor ip-address remote-as as-number
set protocols bgp AS# network address/mask

exact match must be in the router’s table: create a static route to blackhole on the router

iBGP = same AS on the BGP peer (the neighbor)

iBGP – a full mesh is necessary. iBGP does not forward routes learned from other iBGP peers.
One can use “next-hop-self” so that iBGP router’s change the next-hop address to a network whenever it propagates the route.
update-source – this needs to be the same as the router-id.

iBGP required settings: local AS number, neighbor address and “update source”.

bgp does not reset advertised routes after an administrator’s changes.
Changes to eBGP does not come into affect until you run the reset:
reset ip bgp external out‘. The BGP table can be large – gigabytes.
Use the word soft to only request updates and not reset the peer connection.

reset ip bgp external [ipv4 address]

 

Tuning attributes and priority

  1. Local preference – only included within an AS. Default is 100. Higher is better.
  2. AS Path – always forwarded – shorter is better
  3. Origin – lowest
  4. Multi-exit discriminator # modified by an ISP to indicate preference
  5. eBGP preferred over iBGP
  6. Lowest Peer ID
  7. Community # group of prefixes with a common property. Can be used in filters.

 

Prepending: insert your AS number in the AS in the beginning of the AS path.
Communities are created with: set policy community list

BGP troubleshooting

An active peer – not good. Trying to actively set up a session.

 

iBGP design

  • Does not have to be physically connected (as in BGP).
    • Connectivity over BGP
  • Peer to loopback address
  • Full mesh is required
    • Doesn’t scale. You can use a Route reflector (“concentrator”) and have other iBGP routers as clients.
    • route reflectors must be meshed
    • You can also create multiple private AS within your AS. Reduces members in the mesh. Called a confederation.
      • Public AS number is only visible in the config
      • The Private numbers are visible in the show ip bgp commands.

 

Create a peer group, set BGP settings on the peer group. Then assign peers to the group.

Route Redistribution

  • Describe route redistribution design and configuration
  • Best practices:
    • Set metrics
    • Do not redistribute into or out of BGP
    • Use network statements
    • Statements to direct towards BGP exit points
    • Only redistribute a network from one host (VRRP)
  • OSPF: metric type (increase cost)
  • Only active routes are redistributed

IPsec VPNs

  • Identify IKE Phase 1 and Phase 2 operations
  • Describe how to configure and troubleshoot an IPsec VPN

OpenVPN Concepts

  • Identify the features of OpenVPN
  • Describe OpenVPN configuration

VRRP Concepts

  • Describe VRRP concepts and operations

Optimization

  • Describe the attributes of WAN load balancing
  • Describe QoS features and configuration

Policy-Based Routing

  • Explain where policy-based routing falls in Brocade Vyatta packet flow
  • Configure and verify policy-based routing
  • Default: drop route entry . By default it only takes the first action that matches.
  • Rule -> Filter -> Route Map (excluding deny filters) > Take action as defined
  • Filter list: prefix 172.16.0.0/16, le 24. Any netmasks between /16 and 24, including /16.
  • Regexp for matching AS lists – use underscore to match whitespaces
  • Filter has the rules.
    • permit/deny in the filters affects if the rule is applied to the filter.
  • Route-maps has the rules.

Multicast Routing

  • Describe multicast protocols/elements
  • Configure and troubleshoot multicast routing

BCvRE – Brocade Certified virtual Router Engineer – Objectives

This post will be continuously updated with my short notes under each concept.
It’s not meant to be a replacement of the official training materials.
I’m just starting out playing with the vRouter Core / open source version and installing it in a VM and set up some networks and firewalls is probably one of the best way to learn this.
Learn by doing!

The Brocade Certified vRouter Engineer 2013 exam has these objectives:

 

Brocade Vyatta vRouter System Operations

  • Describe show command system usage
    • show – in operational mode shows status of components
    • show – in configurational mode shows the configurations
    • run show –  in configurational mode shows status of components
  • Identify key CLI operations
    • set/delete
    • copy (configs)
    • renew (new dhcp IP)
    • install (to disk)
  • Describe the commit and save processes

Ethernet Concepts

  • Identify Ethernet operations
  • Identify VLAN operations and settings
    • set interface ethernet eth0 vif <vlanid> # this creates eth0.<vlanid> a subinterface. This looks like a normal ethernet interface.
    • set interface pseudo-ethernet # these can be used if you want to set the MAC-address. Some features are not allowed for these peth devices though (VLAN, bonding).
  • Identify bonded interface operations
    • Two NICs on the same network
    • set interface bonding (IP address, mode)
    • set interface ethernet (bond-group)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of configuration and operation using show commands

TCP/IP

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between Layer 2, IP and TCP/IP
  • Identify TCD and UDP differences
  • Identify address subnets

DHCP and DNS Troubleshooting

http://www.guldmyr.com/blog/?p=2022 I’m going through how to set it up.

  • Describe troubleshooting of DHCP operations
    • show dhcp server leases
    • show log dhcp
  • Describe troubleshooting of DNS forwarding
    • monitor dns forwarding # I could not get anything into the log)
    • show dns forwarding # shows cache size for example)

Routing

http://www.guldmyr.com/blog/?p=2022 went through how to set up static routes

  • Identify uses for routing
  • Identify show commands for use with routing
  • Identify configuration of different types of static routes

Firewalls

  • Describe firewall operations and troubleshooting using show commands
  • Describe firewall rulebase operations
    • set firewall name <name> default-action
    • set firewall name <name> rule 1 destination/source
    • set firewall name <name> rule 1 action <action>
    • set interface bonding bond0 firewall in/local/out name <name>
      • in – into the router (matching on destination IP)
      • out – out from the router  (matching on source IP)
      • local – to the router itself

NAT

  • Describe NAT concepts

Upgrades

  • Describe the Brocade Vyatta upgrade process
    • 1. Install 6.5R1 to disk.
    • 2. add system image URL
    • 3. reboot
    • It is also possible to copy the config elsewhere and reinstall

Logging and Packet Captures

  • Identify logging options for firewall and NAT operations
    • set firewall name <name> rule <num> log enable
    • commit; exit
    • monitor firewall .. # and see matches to the rule.
  • Identify methods to verify operations and troubleshooting

OSPF Single-Area

http://www.guldmyr.com/blog/?p=2022 set up an area 0 OSPF

  • Describe OSPF show command output
  • Describe how to configure OSPF

BCvRE – Brocade Certified virtual Router Engineer

Been checking out the Vyatta vRouter a bit closer. Mostly because of the BCvRE exam but I’m slowly starting to think there might be some benefits to using it elsewhere too.

  1. See vyatta-a-routervpnfirewall-in-a-vm-brocade-certified-vrouter-engineer/ for where to find manuals or training materials.
  2. See the objectives.

I tried installing Vyatta vRouter 6.6 amd64 Live ISO to disk first in a Virtualbox VDI file and then uploading said file to openstack. This works, but:

Ethernet interfaces might get renamed but a startup, log in and save, poweroff and another boot should get the first interface back to eth0.

In the openstack available to me I could set up my own networking topology like this:

  • Create one network (VLAN) and define several subnets inside (these are still kind of firewalled based on IP and MACs).
  • Then create machines and add the network.
  • Power off and start the machines again (or the links stay DOWN).

VMs should see an individual eth interface per subnet.
The machines still get an IP assigned to each interface/subnet even if DHCP is disabled. If DHCP is disabled you still have to statically assign only this assigned address on the interface.
The interfaces are in order: the IP listed at the top is the IP you need to put on the first interface (eth0).

Because a lot of the things you can do with a router involves creating networks and assigning IP addresses, which openstack would block for security reasons – it was much easier to do all of these in VMWare Workstation:

DHCP/DNS

  1. Install a Vyatta VM – bridged and a private network (without a DHCP).
  2. Install another OS in a VM – this will be a client – only on the private network.
  3. Put both VMs in the same network.
  4. Configure dhcp on the Vyatta VM:
configure
delete interfaces ethernet eth1 address dhcp 
set interfaces ethernet eth1 address 10.1.1.1/24
commit

Configure dhcpd on the Vyatta VM:

configure
set service dhcp-server
set service dhcp-server shared-network-name ETH1_POOL subnet ??? # pool, dns, router

Then, set up so that the Vyatta VM routes traffic from the private network to the Internets. A NAT. This is called a source NAT in the vyatta CLI.

set nat source rule 10 ??? # Put in the settings you need. Source, outbound interface and the IP they should be seen as from the outside.

Real easy to set up a DNS forwarding server too:

set service dns forwarding listen-on eth1 
set service dns forwarding name-server 8.8.8.8
commit

Now we have a client behind the Vyatta gateway that can access the Internet!

It’s possible to set up different kinds of VPNs. For example site-to-site or remote access.

It is possible to ssh from the vyatta VM – you can even run ssh-keygen. How to add an authorized key you wonder?:

set system login user vyatta authentication ...

Routing

Another thing to test: launch a bunch of Vyatta VM and use them to route IP traffic, woop woop! The BCvRE objectives actually mention OSPF so this would be wise to test.

Starting with static routing

Key: Network Name (IP subnet, interface on the host)

  • VM hostname – Interface inside the VM: IP address

Topology:

Public (192.168.1.0/24, bridged):

  • Vyatta – eth0: 192.168.0.23

Network A (10.1.1.0/24, vmnet2):

  • Vyatta – eth1: 10.1.1.1
  • V1 – eth0: 10.1.1.10
  • V2 – eth1: 10.1.1.20

Nework B (10.2.2.0/24 , vmnet3):

  • V2 – eth2: 10.2.2.20
  • V3 – eth0: 10.2.2.30

Static routing:

Vyatta: set protocol static 10.2.2.0/24 next-hop 10.1.1.20
V1: set protocol static 10.2.2.0/24 next-hop 10.1.1.20
V3: set protocol static 10.1.1.0/24 next-hop 10.2.2.20
V3: ping 10.1.1.10

OSPF!

Adding host V4 that is in Network B and Network C.
Basically Vyatta, V2 and V4 are routers.
V1 and V3 do not run OSPF, they have their default gateway to one of their local routers.
So V3 has 10.2.2.20 and V1 has 10.1.1.1.

Public (192.168.1.0/24, bridged):

  • Vyatta – eth0: 192.168.0.23

Network A (10.1.1.0/24, vmnet2):

  • Vyatta – eth1: 10.1.1.1
  • V1 – eth0: 10.1.1.10
  • V2 – eth1: 10.1.1.20

Network B: (10.2.2.0/24, vmnet3)

  • V2 – eth2: 10.2.2.20
  • V3 – eth0: 10.2.2.30
  • V4 – eth0: 10.2.2.40

Network C: (10.3.3.0/24, vmnet4)

  • V4 – eth1: 10.3.3.40

Remove all static routes we did previously on Vyatta and V[1-2,4]:

delete protocols static route
commit
save
show proto

Set up OSPF – define the networks on each router that that router share with another router:

ALL: set loopback interface IP to something unique and with a /32
ALL: set protocols ospf redistribute connected
V4: set protocols ospf area 0 10.2.2.0/24
V2: set protocols ospf area 0 10.2.2.0/24
V2: set protocols ospf area 0 10.1.1.0/24
Vyatta: set protocols ospf area 0 10.1.1.0/24
V3: set system gateway 10.2.2.20
V1: set system gateway 10.1.1.1

Test:

V4: ping 192.168.0.23
V4: show ip ospf route

Debug:

V2: monitor protocol ospf enable lsa
V4: reboot # and wait
V2: show log|less

Vyatta: a router/vpn/firewall in a VM

Brocade has a beta exam up for BCVRE – Certified vRouter Engineer – which is on the Vyatta software from the company with the same name that Brocade bought last year.

There is the free open source core. Download from here: http://vyatta.org/downloads (no you don’t have to register).  The evaluation/subscriber version has the API and web gui available, I’ll probably check those out closer to the exam date.

I grabbed VC6.6 – Virtualization ISO. Use it in a VM and assign 5GB disk (install only requires 1G, or you could just run it on the iso, but then it doesn’t keep state between reboots) and 1GB RAM. Two NICs: One NAT and one private. But to get more acquainted with it you’ll likely have to do a bit more configuration on the hypervisor side. Such as turn off dhcpd in your virtual networks.

To install it to disk: hit “install system” at the CLI after it’s booted.

More documentation: http://docs.vyatta.com/current/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm – there are descriptions how to get for example ssh management working ( set service ssh ).

The server is basically Debian with a more recent kernel (6.6 has 3.3) and a shell to make it more switch-like. It actually uses the bash completion to make it look like this. Check out /etc/bash_completion.d/vyatta-*

To remove a setting use “delete” (comparable to no in other CLIs). There is a web interface, but this is only for subscribers. Core version allows SNMP though if you want to use that :)

What to do with vyatta? A bunch of tutorials are here: http://www.vyatta.org/documentation/tips-tricks

  • NAT
  • VPN (for example connect private cloud <-> Amazon VPN)
  • Firewall
  • Routing (OSPF, BGP, etc)

But no SDN stuff (separate data and the control plane). It looks like it’s not possible to modify the flow table of a switch via Vyatta. This looks like a software router/VPN/firewall with some extras added to it.

Factory reset of a Brocade SAN switch

Ever wondered which is the easiest way?

Using the “configDefault –all” does not clear everything, for example it doesn’t clear: system name, zoning, etc.

Setting the switch to AG mode (Access Gateway) – will clear more things as it basically dumbs down the switch, it does not remove the licenses, IP and password.

ag --modeenable
ag --modedisable

The ‘ag –modedisable’ (puts switch back in normal switch mode) command sets the default zones access to No Access, so if you want to merge this switch into a fabric you’ll most likely need to change that and disable/enable the E_Ports.

Quite often there are some good tips on the Brocade’s community forum.

Studying for BCNE – Brocade Certified Network Engineer

In early April of 2013 Brocade had a great offer – ask for it and you’ll get a voucher to an exam – for free!

I took them up on their offer and scored a voucher for the BCNE – Brocade Certified Network Engineer.

After that I noticed that Brocade also has a limited offer for BCNE http://www.brocade.com/education/CNE_250.page , you can take them up on it if you already have a CCNA. By doing that you also get a free voucher to the BCNE exam..

I chose to try it without the recommended course. A bit risky but a long time ago I took the CCNA and passed. For me this exam was probably more about remembering and looking at improvements to all the things in CCNA back in 2005. This post is about my study technique or perhaps more of a record of how I did things. To find places for improvement.

Do you have any study tips you would like to share?

Some really useful links:

  • BCNE in a Nutshell guide – It’s also available on their saba/education page. But it’s out of date in there.
  • Brocade IP Primer – this is a great refresher on most Ethernet things if you’ve been out of touch.
  • Go through the manuals – but read the material in the newer released manuals.
  • IP Quick Reference – CLI Quick and quite comprehensive overview not only of commands but also of technologies.

http://community.brocade.com/docs/DOC-2613 has the list of pages and manuals and guides, but to get the newest documents you have to look elsewhere.
One place to get them is on each Product’s page on brocade.com, at the bottom there is a place to get some manuals.

First thing I did before diving into the materials was to take the BCNE Knowledge Assessment test. Get some sort of idea of what kind of topic the exam is about.

Then I read the nutshell guide and marked the things I needed to learn more about (basically all). Last time I took an exam with Brocade I only read the nutshell in the beginning of my study time, this time I’m re-reading it every now and then to see if I catch something that is not clear and I want to focus extra on. I’m also keeping a focus on the objectives of the exam. Reading the objectives and trying to answer them with as much detail as I can.-The objectives are general so there’s quite a lot of room for freedom there. As a bonus, if you can’t describe something in the objectives well, you just found something you do not know well  enough.

After going through the nutshell guide and checking up on a few acronyms and technologies I hadn’t heard about I read through the IP Primer and did the same things there: Mark the things that I thought would be of interest and what I would need to dig deeper into.

Then went through the NetIron and FastIron configuration guides. Not only did I have a peak at all the pages that were listed as relevant, but also read chapters that was not listed. Either because I found them interesting or perhaps because the subject in those chapters are touched upon in Nutshell. To me that just means the more you know about the subject the better.

Rehash objectives/previous notes and dig deeper. Perhaps first time you read it you glanced over some part. By digging deeper I mean finding the chapters in all the manuals that touch on this subject and reading them, making more notes. Could also be surfing the Internets or Wikipedia for basic overview of how a technology operates. Eventually all of this crystallizes into a view that describes things in your own words.

To me there are parts of IT exams that you just can’t know even if you’ve been working with it for a long time. For example license options or feature differences between all the products. To learn things like these (also other types of questions I thought would come on the exam) I made flashcards in a spreadsheet and printed it on normal A4 so that the question is on one side and the answer is on the back. This was no easy feat.

After going through all these documents you should be able to figure out yourself which areas are being focused on – which you should be making sure that you know.

Some good articles/blog posts:

P.s. I passed :)

Thoughts after Brocade’s Analyst and Technology Day 2012

Thursday today, the day after the Day. It was a real long day, and to my surprise it said ‘press’ on my pass – so I had to try to ask some questions :)

Some things picked up:

* New VDX 8770 product released – a modular Ethernet switch. Room for 384 10GbE ports. 100GbE ready and also ready for SDN protocols like VXLAN (vmware) and NVGRE (windows 2012). The VDX 8770 chassi is called “Mercury” internally in Brocade. I found it very similar to the DCX chassis  except that the supervisor modules are half-height.

* Today Brocade opened up registrations for the BCEFP certification – Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional (which include the VDX8770), It looks advanced and you probably want to take the previous exam – BCEFE – before.

* SDN – storage-defined network was the main focus of the day. Fibre Channel was barely mentioned at all.
Ken Cheng‘s (one of the VPs of Brocade) definition of SDN:

“A set of technologies which are focused on achieving three objectives: network virtualization (vxlan), programmatic control (openflow) and cloud orchestration (openstack).”

It was quite obvious that Brocade’s VCS is the technique/medium which they intend to enable these new technologies. SDN is still quite immature (even though internet2 are already using it in their production network) – so be prepared to wait if you want ready solutions.

* VCS seems quite similar to QLogic’s/Juniper’s QFabric. They had a hands-on lab where we could connect four smaller vdx switches and a vdx8770 (4-slot version). The switches had only had a unique ID set on them and their were end-devices (web-servers, web cams and a tablet) on different IP subnets on each switch. All I needed to do to connect switches (and devices) was to connect two switches via a fibre pair. Quite easy. Almost too easy to be true. This is something I really enjoy that’s part of Fibre Channel. The technology has quite a few features, self-forming trunks being one of them (with frames being striped over all members of a trunk). It also gets rid of spanning tree (so no more unused links).

* Quite soon we should see Brocade’s OEMs release embedded VDX switches for their blade chassis. No news yet about which but lately IBM have been quick to release new Brocade products. As a side note: Brocade from start only sold their gear through OEMs, this is no longer always the case and they are trying to communicate more directly with customers.

* Cost per bit was really important to push down for internet exchanges.

* It’s a lot easier to write a blog post on my wordpress blog via Chrome (on android) than via the native browser. Using my asus transformer tf101 as a note taking device for the day worked out great. Success!

Hello Silicon Valley!

Checked in at the hotel, mighty fancy one, it has a pool :)

Weather is great down here, much warmer than in San Fran. Hotel is basically right next door to where I’m heading tomorrow and it looks like there’s quite a lot of people coming!

Cisco is right next door to, gotta go snab some pictures while I’m here, may not get any time off tomorrow.

Lots of lunch places next door too, I was afraid it was going to be in the middle of an industrial area.

And a bonus picture has been taken, but I appear to be having some issues inserting it into the post..

 

Brocade Analyst and Technology Day 2012

I’ve been invited by Brocade to their Brocade Analyst and Technology Day 2012!

It’s in San José, California and it’s going to be a blast to get over to the US again, it’s been a while.

In anticipation of possible future blog posts I just want to let you know that I’m not getting paid for this – Brocade are paying for flights/hotel though.

More details about the day can be found on facebook and there’s an agenda here.

It’s also possible to register and view the event via the Internets. Will it be broadcasted on this URL perhaps? http://brocadeanalystday2012.com/ Strange page, just empty with a sky background.

With talks from soon-to-be ex-CEO (new CEO being announced?) and veep of Data Center Networking Group Jason Nolet about new innovations for fabrics it looks interesting indeed.

 

Time to suit up :)

Brocade Accredited Server Specialist – BASP

http://www.brocade.com/education/certification-accreditation/accredited_server_connectivity/curriculum.page

I’m currently preparing for yet another accreditation, the previous one I took was the BADCS,

The BASP (Brocade Accredited Server Specialist) appear to focus on the server side. Things like:

  • how to install drivers
  • HBA management tools
  • describe features
  • how to run diagnostics

This accrediation has the most questions of all the current ones, but it has the same amount of time allotted (one hour) so this exam will have a lot less time available for each question.

The curriculum for this accreditation are also free, they are called Introduction to HBA and Introduction to CNA. There’s also some docs about the 1860 Fibre Adapter. They can be found on Brocade’s Saba/training website under my.brocade.com.

 

// Update 20140422: This accrediation has been replaced with something else. See the current list here: http://www.brocade.com/education/certification-accreditation/index.page?

Brocade Accredited Data Center Specialist – BADCS

 

Time to study for another one :) Working my way towards the “Data Center Track”. To complete it it would be enough for me to complete 5 accreditations.

This one has a pretty cool name – BADCS!

http://www.brocade.com/education/certification-accreditation/accredited-data-center-specialist/prerequisites.page

I haven’t tried one of these Accredited exams before, but as far as I can tell:

  • Cheap: only 20$ USD
  • The exam is web based, no need to find a test center, you can do it exactly when you want to.
  • Accreditations do not expire
  • You don’t _have_ to take the course in the prerequisites before taking the exam, but it is recommended :)

Also, for this Accreditation the pre-requisite is the FC-101 course on brocade’s SABA page – and it’s free!

– The BADCS exam consists of 38 questions and lasts 60 minutes
– To pass this exam you must get a score of 71% or better 

So that’s about 27 correct out of 38 questions.

The objectives are on this page.

The only part I was initially not entirely sure about is the “Given a scenario, describe when portlog dumps are required”. The objectives indicate that a Fibre Channel theory knowledge is necessary, so the FC-101 course seems like a very good idea to study. I doubt many people remember specific FC mechanisms/theory if they don’t work with these occasionally. Like the well-known addresses – who remembers the address of the name-server or controller? =)

My general tip for the BADCS: Learn the material of the FC-101 course. Really. Learn. it.

You may be tricked into thinking that Brocade’s accrediations are easy because you can do them from home.

Access Gateway – NPV – TR

Say what??

Access Gateway – Brocade

NPV (N_port Virtualization (not NPIV) – Cisco

Transparent Mode – QLogic

These are all names for the basic idea / functionality but as there’s no standard the vendors have made up their own names for it.

A switch in Access Gateway (AG) mode does not consume Domain IDs, you can do port mapping, needs NPIV on the port in the switch that it connects to. AG requires a switch / fabric to connect to as it doesn’t run the normal fibre channel services.

It is very useful in case you are going to mix vendors in your fabric. Meaning you can populate the core with Brocade switches and then connect other vendors’ switches in the above modes to the Brocade switches.

On some QLogic switches you can also set a port into TR-mode, see this post on HP’s EBC forum about how to do it. It is not exactly the same as AG or NPV, because you still need to do zoning on the QLogic switch.

There is also the IPM by Qlogic for IBM – it looks like a module that you cannot switch between ‘fabric’ and ‘IPM’ mode. Which is what you can do on a Cisco or on a Brocade switch.

 

Storage FC HBA Transfer Size Tuning

HP just published an advisory describing how to tune some parameters for Emulex, Qlogic and Brocade Fibre Channel HBAs: c02518189. It sounds like these are new, but these changes have been around for at least 6 months in all three vendors’ HBAs.

Emulex

“Emulex driver version 2.42.002 or later, along with OneCommand Manager version 5.1.53.2 or later,”

Use HBAnywhere to change these.

Examples to tune the server or port level transfer size:

  • 128 kbytes, set the LimTransferSize = 2 and ExtTransferSize = 0 (default)
  • 512 kbytes, set the LimTransferSize = 0 (default) and ExtTransferSize = 0 (default)
  • 1 Mbytes, set the LimTransferSize = 0 (default) and ExtTransferSize = 1

Qlogic

This is part of the Qlogic SANSurfer utility.

  • c:\>qlfc -tsize /fc
  • c:\>qlfc -tsize /fc /set 128
  • c:\>qlfc -tsize /fc /set default

Brocade

  • bcu drvconf –key bfa_max_xfer_len –val 64
  • bcu drvconf –key bfa_max_xfer_len –val 128